Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas line-up: check!

From left to right: 2012 Minkov Brothers Le Photographe Syrah (Gold Medal winner in blind tasting at Alliances du Monde 2013), Thracian Valley, Bulgaria; 2009 Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington State, U.S.; 2007 Domaine Duclaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhone, France; 2007 Ruschi Noceti La Costa Rosso, Tuscany, Italy; 2008 Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Yum yum!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Reflections on Ukraine

I attended on Thursday a public discussion in Sofia entitled, “Ukraine's Struggle for Europe: Mapping Ukraine’s Choices before the Protests and after Vilnius.” It was held at the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and organised by the Centre for Liberal Strategies (CLS). The key speaker was Mr Valentyn Gladkykh, a young political scientist who is currently Chief Adviser of Verkhovna Rada's Secretariat; the other two panellists were Ognyan Minchev of IRIS, the policy institute I work at, and Lithuania’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, H.E. Darius Gaidys, representing the EU Presidency. Moderation was provided by CLS’s Antoinette Primatarova.

                 Photo by Nessa Gnatoush, Wikimedia Commons / Flickr (bit.ly/18Gm4lx)

This was a very useful event which got its due attention, judging by the people present, but it also helped some ideas I had about Ukraine, the EU, Russia, and the Euromaidan protests crystallise. Here are some thoughts: