Slovenia Current Affairs - 2020

Ukraine crisis: NATO suspends civilian and military co-operation with Russia

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, NATO suspended all practical civilian and military co-operation with Russia.  Russia’s annexation is being considered as a threat to European security.

The 28-member NATO bloc gathered in Brussels (Belgium) for their first meeting since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and stalwartly condemned Russia’s ‘illegal’ annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. NATO is also considering options like situating permanent military bases in the Baltic States, to restore confidence amongst the members in Eastern Europe.

Why NATO is suspending civilian and military co-operation with Russia?

Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region was being considered the solemnest hazard to European security for quite sometime. Russia’s of Ukraine’s Crimea region has now fazed nerves in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were a part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Baltic States which were a part of Soviet Union like Ukraine, whose Crimean territory was recently annexed by Russia, also fear an annexation in future.

The map below shows the position of Ukraine, Crimea region, Russia and Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in RED.

Russia-Ukraine-Crimea-Baltic States

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty (signed on 4 April 1949). The organization comprises a system of collective defence through which its member states accord to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external threat.

  • Formation: April 4, 1949
  • Type: Military alliance
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Membership: 28 states
  • Members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA

Baltic States

Baltic States or countries are 3 northern European countries east of the Baltic Sea – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which attained independence from the Russian Empire in the backwash of World War I. In the period between the World Wars, the Baltic States also included Finland.

  • Membership: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Lativa becomes the 18th state to join the Eurozone

The Baltic nation, Latvia joined the Euro Zone, with the expectation that the euro will lower its borrowing costs and encourage investors by eliminating currency risk. It became the 18th member of the European Union, which uses the Euro as its currency and the fourth smallest economy in the euro zone after Malta, Estonia and Cyprus.

The euro switchover ceremony took place at a site where Latvia’s crisis began – the former headquarters of the collapsed Parex bank, now headquarters of state-owned Citatele bank, which emerged from Parex’s ruins. The official conversion rate is 1 EUR = 0.702804 LVL.

About the Euro

  • Established by the provisions in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.
  • Central bank: European Central Bank.
  • Official currency of the Eurozone.
  • The Eurozone is an economic and monetary union (EMU) of 18 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender.
  • Member states: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Latvia joined the Eurozone on January 1, 2014.