Afghan and Central Asian Members of Parliament work to strengthen cooperation

A group of 14 parliamentarians from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The visit - organised by NATO Public Diplomacy Division - was part of a long-standing programme of cooperation in the field of public diplomacy between the Alliance and these countries. The group met with representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as with members of the International Staff, including Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy. READ MORE

Lithuanian-based NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence to be officially established


A Vilnius-based NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence will be established by signing official documents at the headquarters of the NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, on Tuesday. READ MORE

NATO nixes Syria action plan

NATO rejected Turkey’s request for the adoption of a contingency plan to include the establishment a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace, which was made during a meeting last week in Brussels after Turkey invoked Article Four of the NATO Treaty in response to Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet in international airspace. READ MORE

Kazakhstan to play most active role in supporting reverse transit of ISAF forces from Afghanistan

Kazakhstan will play “the most active role” in supporting reverse transit of the U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan, according to President Nazarbayev’s advisor for political affairs, Ermukhamet Ertysbayev. READ MORE

NATO Deputy Secretary General highlights Chicago outcomes, praises reforms in trip to Georgia


Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, welcomed the progress Georgia is making in democratic reforms during a two-day visit there on 26-27 June. READ MORE

Moscow Fears Shift in Central Asia’s Strategic Balance Post-2014

By Roger McDermott

Moscow has reacted with concern after learning about the ongoing talks between Washington and three Central Asian countries aimed at agreeing on the handover of equipment linked to the NATO drawdown in Afghanistan. Russian officials fear that such equipment donations to the Armed Forces in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan not only go way beyond the existing arrangements to assist in reverse transit using the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) but could upset the strategic balance in Central Asia post-2014. In diplomatic circles in Moscow, this development is portrayed as entirely unacceptable to Russia and may indicate a worsening in US-Russian relations. A potential diplomatic crisis between Washington and Moscow is brewing precisely in this area due to a number of inter-related factors, but with President Vladimir Putin under pressure domestically he may choose to use this at some stage to boost his image at home by confronting the United States more directly. READ MORE

Russia to modernize border security

By Trude Pettersen

Russia is modernizing protection of its outer border by replacing outdated protective installations like barbed wire fences with advanced surveillance and monitoring equipment. READ MORE

NATO Deputy Secretary General Vershbow visits Jordan


Tthe Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow visited Jordan for bilateral talks in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue partnership and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Nasser Judeh, with H.R.H. Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussain and with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt.Gen. Mashal Mohammad Al-Zaben. READ MORE

Russia's role in Polish-Lithuanian tensions


Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in an interview on 4 June that Lithuania and Poland should "have a pause" in their relations, adding that such a pause would be a better choice than to mend what cannot be corrected. READ MORE

How would NATO respond to Syria shooting down a Turkish plane?


By Uri Friedman

Turkey made the startling announcement that it had lost contact with one of its F-4 military jets near the country's southern border with Syria, and that it had launched search-and-rescue efforts for the plane's two pilots. READ MORE