If the US adopts the 'axis of evil' as its slogan, the EU's equivalent is the 'arc of instability' on its eastern and southern borders. These two images, and the policy mechanisms they imply, are so very different. One is aggressive and categorical, the other apprehensive and cautious. But what happens when they overlap? Can they be coordinated?
Transforming Transdniestria: on the history and future of a tiny strip of land located between Moldova and Ukraine which is called both Trandniestria and the Dniester Moldovan Republic (DMR). It declared independence from Moldova more than ten years ago, has it's own currency and held its third presidential election yesterday. Igor Smirnov was elected for a third term. It has yet to be recognized by any country: almost an imagined state. Being completely landlocked and extremely poor, it's existence is probably largely due to free shipments of natural gas from Russia and the presence of around 15,000 Russian peacekeepers. The latter are due to leave in 2002, although past agreements on the reduction of those forces have not been honored. A long term resolution, either recognized statehood for Trandniestria or reunification with Moldova, seems unlikely to be reached anytime soon as no one seems to be in a hurry to push things one way or the other. Moldova though, has recently started playing the terrorism card.