In order for the EU to succeed in promoting political and economic reform in several eastern European countries, it must find a way to offer significant incentives to the political elites of those nations even as it withholds the possibility of EU membership.
Promoting democracy in the six post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe that were designated by the European Union as deserving special attention will require the EU to offer incentives for implementing reforms.
A legally binding free-trade agreement could be a key instrument in the EU's efforts to push Ukraine to reform.
Following December’s presidential election in Belarus, which European observers said failed to meet international standards, Alexander Lukashenka claimed an implausible landslide victory and launched a wave of political repression.
Amid growing concern over Viktor Yanukovych’s policies, the question remains to what extent the current political set-up in Ukraine can withstand international and domestic pressure.
The recent presidential election in Belarus, followed by a crackdown on the opposition by President Aleksandr Lukashenka’s government, has strained relations between Minsk and the West.
Although U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Moldova can do much to highlight the country’s potential and to support progress already under way, the solutions to the country's lingering problems will depend on political will and creative thinking from Chisinau.
While the wave of political change sweeping through the Arab world is reminiscent of the political upheaval in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, historical analogies cannot capture the complex and dramatic events occurring or predict how this change will end.
There is widespread concern both inside Ukraine and in the international community about the country’s course as fears grow that Viktor Yanukovych’s policies are rolling back Ukraine’s political freedoms.
Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the biggest upheaval in Russia’s history—the fall of the Soviet Union—with surprisingly little bloodshed.