Eastern Europe

Expert Voices

Russia has strong hand to play at Paris meeting on eastern Ukraine

protestors at night in a public square in Kiev
Ukrainians gather outside the Presidential Office building in Kiev ahead of the Normandy Four summit in Paris. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A group of European leaders meeting in Paris on Monday aims to revive progress on terms for peace in eastern Ukraine, an effort that has largely stalled since the second Minsk agreement was signed in February 2015.

Why it matters: It’s the first such meeting in more than three years among France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia — the so-called Normandy Four. Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the talks with his greatest leverage yet, which does not bode well for Ukraine.

Expert Voices

Polish parliamentary elections raise stakes for presidential vote

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice political party (PiS), speaks to his supporters.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice political party. Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images.

Poland's Law and Justice party (PiS) prevailed this weekend in parliamentary elections marked by a record turnout of 61%, cementing the euroskeptic party's hold on power domestically and potentially impacting democratic trends across the EU.

The big picture: The PiS has presided over fast economic growth (above 5% in 2018), the delivery of generous social programs, and a more conservative course on many issues, such as LGBT rights, that are deeply polarizing. But after an often controversial 4-year term, the party has now received a sign of popular approval.