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“This was the last straw” – Interview with Michael Strelchyk about “social parasite” tax and the limits of Belarusian patience

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In February, a wave of grassroots protests rocked Belarus prompted by the introduction of a “social parasite” tax by the Belarusian government. The government argued that, since most social services are free in Belarus, everyone must contribute to financing them, including the unemployed and those, who do not look for a job and live off their own or their family’s ...

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SDG implementation in Georgia: Main challenges and opportunities

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Sustainable Development Goals represent the United Nations’ post-2015 response to the new, as well as the old but persisting social, economic and environmental challenges the world faces today.

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Are conflicts in the South Caucasus ethnic?

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There is no negative intrinsic value to ethnical diversity that would make it a cause of conflict. Otherwise, every ethnically diverse society would be expected to be in conflict, while the reality suggests that for each case of ethnic rivarly, there are many other cases of different ethnic groups coexisting peacefully.

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Does EU’s “border backyard” intersect Russia’s “Near Abroad”?

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The wide-ranging experience of the “Big-Bang” enlargement provided initial impetus for extended cooperation with EU’s neighbouring countries and has progressively transformed in “European Neighbourhood Policy” (ENP). After launching an intensive and increasingly integrating program, aiming to avoid new divisions in Europe and boost tremendously compound transformation process in the EU’s Southern and Eastern neighbours, harsh discussions are open which tend to ...

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Why is Russia Immune to Economic Sanctions and how should Georgia act?

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It has been more than a year and a half since the European Union and the United States have imposed an array of economic sanctions against Russia. Economic sanctions of Western countries followed the annexation of Crimean peninsula by Russia in March 2014. Prior to the annexation, Viktor Yanukovych – the President of Ukraine – was forced into resignation following ...

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Georgia’s Thorny Path to Europe: Now it is time for EU to Deliver

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Despite the fact that Georgia serves as a crossroad to Europe and Asia, it is not on the crossroad of choice, constantly challenged by geopolitical turbulence. Indeed, Georgia has demonstrated its firm aspiration to join European Union at the Vilnius Summit in 2013, as it is the wish of the majority of the Georgian citizens. All the recent surveys conducted ...

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Russian and Western engagement in the South Caucasus conflicts: Building sustainable stability in the region?

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Russia is playing a dual game in the South Caucasus at the same time both stabilising and destabilising the region.

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NATO credibility crisis and Post Crimea enlargement: Cases of Georgia and Montenegro

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The next NATO Summit is scheduled for July 8-9, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. The theme of the upcoming summit is expected to be that of security within the alliance (collective defense, article V of the founding treaty) as an answer to the security challenges facing NATO today (Ukraine crisis, ISIS, Russia’s military intervention in Syria).

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Judiciary Reform in Ukraine: Promises and Challenges

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The seventh President of the US Andrew Jackson once said that all the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.

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Why boycott is the only way to hurt Belarusian regime

A supporter of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko holds his portrait and waves a state flag in downtown Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Presidential elections in Belarus are scheduled for October 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Presidential elections in Belarus will be held this Sunday, and there is no need to hold your breath. Belarusians already know that Lukashenko, the President of Belarus since 1994, is going to win. There are two reasons for this.

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