France's push for a European army, greater autonomy from the US and its apologia for Russian expansionism raise questions about its commitment to NATO.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania place travel sanctions on 30 top officials in Belarus, including President Alexander Lukashenko.
Described as a Cold War casualty, Russia has been reasserting itself both politically and militarily. Experts argue that Moscow aims to reclaim its old glory.
Washington and European allies have serious differences on the future of the organisation after French President Emmanuel Macron described the alliance as “brain dead”.
US-Russia missile sabre-rattling in the Arctic sends threatening political messages but the bigger threat is its lasting environmental damage.
Robust annual wage growth of around 10 percent has raised the average gross monthly salary to 970 euros but poverty and income inequality remain among the highest in the EU, largely due to weak progressive taxation.
Scores of various countries within the European Union differ markedly, with some of those of the former communist states in Eastern Europe bringing down the average.
Britain, the EU, and the United States blame Russia for a nerve agent attack against a Russian double agent in the English city of Salisbury earlier this year. The Kremlin denies involvement.
In a show of support to British PM Theresa May, the European Union as a whole has agreed to pin the blame on Moscow for a chemical attack on a double agent and his daughter in the UK.
Western leaders have cited fears the Zapad war games could be a preparation for the occupation of Russia’s neighbours in Eastern Europe.
Military drills involving nearly 13,000 troops are being carried out on the territory of Moscow’s ally Belarus.
NATO forces begin their own war games in Ukraine amid fears that an upcoming Russian military drill in Belarus could be a Trojan horse tactic to invade Baltic states.
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