The latest KPMG study commissioned by RUSI reveals that almost 45 billion illicit cigarettes were consumed in Europe in 2017, despite a 7.4% decline on 2016 figures. This equates to €10 billion in lost tax revenues for governments, with illicit cigarettes accounting for 8.7% of total consumption in 2017.
As Lenin once quipped at a key turning moment in his revolution, chto delat? (What is to be done?). That is precisely the question facing the UK after the attempted assassination in Salisbury of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Increasing tension over Nord Stream II puts the spotlight on a West that still lacks unity or a clear policy towards Russia. The divisions over the project are adding to bitterness within the EU and the transatlantic relationship, and benefiting Moscow.