Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the long-time president of Belarus, has recently adopted a new role: that of peacemaker in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. He was instrumental behind the agreement reached in Minsk in September 2014 that brought a halt to full-scale warfare.
In June 2009, Vladimir Putin suddenly declared that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would form a Customs Union, which would become a Eurasian Union. The apparent reason was that he had left the presidency barely one month earlier and wanted to prove his importance, which he certainly did.
In theory, public procurement procedures across the EU should be similar. Yet, the reality shows that there are many details resulting from local legal systems and business culture that may significantly change the practical application of the regulations. The Certificate of Absence of Conviction that needs to be presented by UK companies in Polish tenders is an excellent example.
Romania has strongly entered a new phase of economic growth, supported by a significant growth in GDP and rising expectations of capital market development since the initial public offerings of its strategic energy companies. This strongly-emerging statute has managed to capture considerable attention and Romania is keen to transform it into its long-term engine for development.
Once upon a time the mandarins of trade and investment focused on just that: the barometer was export and import and the balance between the two. Based on monthly stats we became euphoric or simultaneously depressed. In the UK, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ruled the roost and we were very transactional.
Over the weekend, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was elected President of the European Council, one of the top joins within the European Union. An impressive victory for the pro-European Tusk, this event is also much less than it seems, given the events of the past half-year.