«The Northern ones» vs. «the Western ones» – drills or geopolitical stand?

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Are military drills preparing for future aggression or is it another way to threaten the West? Belarus-Russia drills «Zapad-2017» unsettled their neighbors. The Eastern Partnership countries already have a sad experience of the aftermath following such Moscow’s drills. This is how Russian-Georgian war started in 2008, and Crimea occupation and Donbas destabilization in 2014.

What did Kremlin aim for with the drills this year? What is the role of Belarus – aggressor’s ally or a piece in Moscow’s games? And what did Minsk gain as a result of its relations with the Russian Federation and with the West? Arseny Sivitsky from Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies Center was searching for answers. 

In the meantime another attempt to escape Russian military presence was made by Moldova. The issue of withdrawing the Russian contingent from the territory of the Republic was included into the agenda of the UN’s General Assembly session by official Chisinau.

Also in New York Ukraine presented its vision of the UN’s peacekeeping mission, one of the main requirements of which is Russia’s non-participation in the mission.

The ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia were seeking common ground for solving the Karabach conflict on the margins of UN assembly.

As for Georgia, it is still immersed into the notorious process of adopting a new Constitution and is waiting for the President to veto the Parliament’s project.

These and other main September developments are in the traditional first-hand monthly reviews from  Eastern Partnership analysts.