Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Merkel: No Nord Stream II Without Ukraine Transit
During an April 10 meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German chancellor Angela Merkel said
that she had expressed to Russia that "a Nord Stream 2 project is not possible without clarity over the future transit role of Ukraine."
In her phone call with Russian President Putin the day prior to the meeting with Poroshenko, Merkel emphasized the necessity for Ukraine to maintain its strategic significance in gas transit to Europe. The project, which would bring Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, has many German and other European investors.
On April 16th, protesters blocked
some of Yerevan's main thoroughfares and metro stations. These actions come after several days of protests on France Square in response to the nomination of ex-president Serzh Sargsyan to the post of Prime Minister.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's party, Fidesz, won
a parliamentary majority in national elections on April 8. Fidesz now has the power to change the Constitution. Turnout is reported to have exceeded 70 percent. Western observers were alarmed at the significant presence of anti-immigrant rhetoric by the party in the leadup to the elections.