German chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Berlin on June 18th. “It’s sad that our European partners didn’t hear us and acted differently,” Mr Zelenskiy  said about the Council of Europe decision. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Kiev has led criticism of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe for allowing Russia to return to the human rights watchdog, five years a(...)

Georgian people hold national, EU and Nato flags at a rally against Russia in Tbilisi in September 2008. “Russia’s war against Georgia in 2008 should have been the wake-up call – but to some extent the West pressed the snooze button and went back to sleep,” says Estonia’s foreign minister, Sven Mikser. File photograph: Irakli Gedenidze/AP

A casual reader of certain websites could conclude that the recent arrival of Nato reinforcements in the Baltic states has been a fiasco of brutality (...)

The landing station of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream in Lubmin, near Greifswald, Germany. Photograph: Stefan Sauer/EPA

Germany and Russia face growing opposition to their plans for a major new gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that critics say would strengthen the Krem(...)

A dramatic photo of a Russian jet coming very close to  a US Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea, June 19th, 2017, in a manoeuvre  criticised as unsafe. Photograph: Master Sgt Charles Larkin Snr/US European Command/AP

A close encounter between Russian and Nato warplanes over the Baltic Sea this week highlighted rising tension in the region linked to a series of majo(...)

The old town in Latvia’s capital, Riga. From Bulgaria on the Black Sea to Estonia beside the Baltic, political leaders in eastern Europe are lobbying for a “soft” Brexit.

The European Union’s eastern members are lobbying for a “soft” Brexit that would preserve close ties between Britain and the bloc, and prevent a bitte(...)

A bus passes by a memorial to those killed when a rocket struck a bus stop in Donetsk. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times

Western states are to discuss tightening sanctions on Russia after Moscow-backed militants were blamed for a rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of(...)

Polish MP Anna Grodzka: she was the first transgender MP to be elected by Krakow’s voters four years ago. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Perhaps it was a sign of the times, but Leo Varadkar’s outing on RTÉ Radio made only a modest splash in the world’s media. English-language media outl(...)

 Latvian prime minister Laimdota Straujuma (left), president of the European Council Donald Tusk, President Andris Berzins and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, during the opening event of the Latvian presidency of the EU in Riga. Photograph: EPA

Latvia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union will not be an “anti-Russian” presidency, Latvia’s minister for foreign affairs said yesterda(...)

A general view of Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Latvia and Lithuania favour a tough response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Latvia will assume the presidency of the European Union, and Lithuania will adopt the euro tomorrow, raising their EU profile at a time of spiralling (...)