Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. May 29, 2015


TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties 


FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Dear Friend,
The EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit took place in Riga, Latvia last week, where EU leaders met with the EaP countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Expectations that these countries will be offered a path to closer integration with the EU, however, failed to materialize. Without such assurances, the path toward reform and democratization in these countries will undoubtedly be even more challenging.  

The update includes a number of articles that analyze the implications of the summit on the region. I especially want to highlight Anders Aslund's piece about the summit and the EaP program's failure to address Ukraine's critical needs.  

Russia finalized the S-300 missile deal with Iran on Monday, but hasn't set a date for delivery. While Russian authorities said that the decision on the date will take time, Iranians said they are expecting deliveries to resume by the end of 2015.

I want to highlight Masha Gessen's article in the New Yorker on the real dangers of being an opposition activist in Russia, and the unfortunate fate met by many of those in opposition to the Putin regime.  Earlier this week, Russian journalist and opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalized with 'unknown illnesses,' as speculations are growing about his deliberate poisoning.

Late last week, President Vladimir Putin signed an 'undesirable organizations law,' which allows authorities to shut down international organizations deemed a threat to Russia's security, defense, or public order. International and Russian civil society groups expressed concern that this law will allow the government to further restrict civil society and democracy in Russia.

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said, despite current tensions in bilateral relations, the United States should pursue cooperation with Russia on areas of mutual interests. The Vice President also criticized Russia for its 'brutal aggression' in Ukraine, and said that the White House is still considering sending lethal weapons to Ukraine.

I hope you will join us for our upcoming NCSEJ's Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, June 2, at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C. Our program will feature U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin, a panel with the ambassadors from Estonia and Bulgaria, and updates from international Jewish organizations. For more information, and to register, please visit http://conta.cc/1Ei1QN8.



Stephen M. Greenberg 
  Alexander Smukler
  Mark B. Levin
Executive Director

Please visit http://ncsej.org/NCSEJ-Wkly.pdf  
for NCSEJ's Weekly News Update.

Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
Website:  www.ncsej.org   
Email:  ncsejinfo@ncsej.org 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations.