(© picture-alliance/dpa)

  Russia and the EU

  12 Debates

A year ago the Russian ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury with the chemical nerve agent novichok. Moscow refutes any involvement in the attempted murder even though it has been proven that Russian agents were in the city on the day the poisoning occurred. It wasn't just the former agent and his daughter who suffered as a result of the poisoning, commentators conclude.

Germany has prevented a revision of the EU gas pipeline directive that could have stopped the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Paris had indicated it would back tougher rules, putting pressure on Berlin to negotiate a compromise that imposes certain restrictions on the pipeline. Has Germany lost credibility while Russia carries on regardless?

The centre-right coalition in Latvia has lost its majority after general elections. The pro-Russia opposition party Saskaņa (Harmony) won the most votes and three parties won seats in parliament for the first time. In view of this fragmentation the formation of a new government is likely to be difficult. Journalists examine what this means for the Baltic state.

In April of this year the Netherlands expelled four Russians who were allegedly involved in an attempt to hack the computer network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague, the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday. It suspects that the Russian intelligence agency GRU was behind the attack. How should Europe react to Russian cyber-attacks?

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to German Chancellor Angel Merkel in Berlin for the first time since 2012. Together with the French and Ukrainian presidents they agreed on a plan of action for Eastern Ukraine. Merkel also criticised Russia's "inhuman" actions in the Syrian war. But without a strategic vision, Europe's leaders are powerless against Putin, commentators complain.

The Russian Defence Ministry has invited representatives of Nato to Moscow to discuss security in the Baltic Sea region. Russia wants an agreement under which the military aircraft of both sides will only be allowed to fly over the Baltic with their transponders switched on. Commentators all agree that Nato should respond positively to Moscow's invitation to talk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Athens on Friday marked the leader's first trip to an EU country in more than a year. He and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced plans to tighten the economic and political ties between their countries. The visit is a thorn in the side of commentators from Eastern Europe.

The victory of Ukrainian singer Jamala at the Eurovision Song Contest has chafed Russian-European relations. Her song "1944" deals with the fate of the Crimean Tatars expelled by Stalin. Russian politicians have criticised the performance as an attack on today's Russia. How much politics can the Song Contest handle?

The Nato-Russia Council has met for the first time in two years, but there was no sign of a rapprochement on key issues. Nato must finally put Moscow in its place, some commentators demand. For others the Alliance's Russia policy is too aggressive.

A growing number of asylum seekers are heading for Finland via Russia. The Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is meeting with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the situation. Is Moscow working with smuggler gangs to provoke the EU?

A British judge has concluded that Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the murder of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko died of radioactive poisoning shortly after a meeting with two Russian agents. Will Moscow face reprisals?

A 13-year-old Russian-German girl from Berlin has admitted that her claim that she was raped by "southern-looking men" was made up. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had accused the German authorities of trying to cover up the alleged incident. How long is the arm of Russian propaganda?