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Russia and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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Widespread condemnation after government websites in Ukraine are shut down by 'massive' cyber hack

Widespread condemnation after government websites in Ukraine are shut down by 'massive' cyber hack

NATO and the European Union led strong condemnation after Government websites of various Ukrainian ministries were hacked on Thursday evening (13 January). The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported this on Friday. According to Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, it is too soon to draw conclusions about who could have been behind the attacks. However it is widely suspected that Russia was behind the attacks.
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NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.

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Opinion: Burns visit to Russia indicates the willingness of Washington and Moscow to continue dialogue

Opinion: Burns visit to Russia indicates the willingness of Washington and Moscow to continue dialogue

The recent visit of the head of the CIA to Moscow had two objectives: first to renew the contacts between the CIA and the FIS on operational issues related to countering international terrorism; the second to pave the way for further high level contacts including possible meetings between Biden and Putin. Professor Lieutenant General (ret.) Hayk Kotanjian in this op-ed says the importance of the visit should not be underestimated.
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Georgia supports efforts to clear the South Caucasus from all landmines and unexploded ordnance

Georgia supports efforts to clear the South Caucasus from all landmines and unexploded ordnance

Georgia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia told a regional conference held in hybrid format on 5 November that landmine contamination disrupts economies, limits the cultivation of agricultural land, displaces communities and challenges access to transportation and other infrastructure. "Since landmines clearly inhibit peace-building and stabilisation efforts we have been actively contributing to the international efforts aiming to achieve a landmine free world", he added.