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April 2009

Dual Energy Conferences Focus On Pressing European Import Issues

By Bruce Pannier

Two energy conferences are taking place this week -- one in Bulgaria, the other in Turkmenistan -- that could result in major decisions being made on pressing issues surrounding European imports.

State officials and business representatives in both Sofia and Ashgabat will be discussing how to reliably transit energy resources -- mainly natural gas -- from locations in Asia to markets in Europe. READ MORE

What the G2 must discuss now the G20 is over

Did the meeting of the Group of 20 in London put the world economy on the path of sustainable recovery? The answer is no. Such meetings cannot resolve fundamental disagreements over what has gone wrong and how to put it right. As a result, the world is on a path towards an unsustainable recovery. An unsustainable recovery might be better than none, but it is not good enough. READ MORE

Medvedev Tells the West to Keep Out of Georgia

By Pavel Felgenhauer

Russia has reacted angrily to the forthcoming NATO-led Partnership for Peace (PfP) exercises in Georgia. President Dmitry Medvedev called the decision to hold the exercises "shortsighted and not worthy of true partnership." He warned that tensions in the region will rise, saying: "these actions are a clear military demonstration, a buildup of military muscle," and that Russia "shall be following everything that will be happening there in the most attentive way, and, if need be, take this or that decision". READ MORE

Declaration Of The Sofia Energy Summit

This is the full text of the Final Declaration of the Sofia Energy Summit, "Natural Gas for Europe. Security and Partnership", which was signed by 28 states and organizations from Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Egypt, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the Ukraine, USA. READ MORE

Russian Roulette In The EU Neighborhood

By Ahto Lobjakas

Russia has six bullets with which to wound or kill the European Union's Eastern Partnership, and put the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy out of its misery in the process.

It is generally accepted that the project is at the mercy of Moscow, the old colonial master of the six privileged European neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. READ MORE

Surgut's Move Against MOL: A New Stage in Russian Acquisition Strategy in Europe

By Vladimir Socor

Russian expansion into European energy industries stands poised to cross a new threshold with the stealthy acquisition of a large stake in Hungary's privately owned MOL by Russia's Kremlin-controlled Surgut Neftegaz. This move entails a number of bold novelties. READ MORE

Turkey and Armenia agree on roadmap to normalize relations

Ankara says the two sides will work towards peace, security and stability. Tensions between the countries are rooted in Ottoman-era massacres of Armenians by Turks which Yerevan says were genocide. READ MORE

Uzbekistan And Kazakhstan Preparing To Block Energy Projects, Kyrgyz Press Warns

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are preparing to jointly block Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan’s proposed hydroelectric projects, according to media outlets in Kyrgyzstan. READ MORE

Russia in Poor Position To Be an IMF Donor

By Alexei Bayer

At the Group of 20 summit, U.S. President Barack Obama not only charmed other world leaders but also secured a commitment of new money for the International Monetary Fund. READ MORE

State of the Nation Address by H. E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

This is my last state of the nation address to the people of Lithuania and members of parliament. Next year it will be delivered, as prescribed by the Constitution, by a new head of state in accord with own personal values, principles and viewpoint to Lithuania's present and future life. On many occasions, I have shared with the people of Lithuania my thoughts about the challenges that we face and ways of overcoming them. READ MORE

Romania offers citizenship to Moldovans

The latest development since Moldova's elections earlier this month saw Romanian President Traian Basescu  order the simplification of procedures for granting citizenship to ethnic Romanians living in Moldova, saying a million requests were waiting in his country's embassy in Chisinau. READ MORE

Lithuania and Poland welcome the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative

Joint Statement signed by Presidents of Lithuania and Poland

 

President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński signed in Vilnus a Joint Statement of the Presidents of Lithuania and Poland. READ MORE

Lithuania Is Ready To Assist Georgia In Benefiting From The Eu Eastern Partnership Initiative

On 15-16 April, a delegation headed by Undersecretary of Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Evaldas Ignatavičius paid a working visit to Georgia. During the visit, the delegation met with the heads of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs Committee and Regional Development Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, as well as with other high-ranking officials and leaders of the Georgian opposition. READ MORE

Questions raised over Prague May summitry

The ousting of Mirek Topolánek is raising questions regarding a series of high-profile international meetings in Prague, as the Czech prime minister-in-resignation will still be the EU's official chair when the summits take place in early May.

Analysts said the Czech EU presidency had "de facto ended" after Topolánek's government lost a no-confidence vote in the Czech parliament on 24 March. READ MORE

Soros positive on the euro

Billionaire investor George Soros gave high marks to the euro on Monday and speculated the U.S. dollar may eventually be replaced as world reserve currency while U.S. stocks lost ground on failure of the merger between Sun Microsystems and IBM Corp. READ MORE

New Foreign Policy Strategy of Georgia

Georgia and Azerbaijan have signed a document on cooperative political plans in 2009.

“Azerbaijan and Georgia have no political problems”, stated Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze after negotiations with his Azerbaijani colleague Elmar Mamedyarov held in Tbilisi. READ MORE

Kazakhstan's Transport Policy Faces Political Dilemma

By Farkhad Sharip

On October 16, 2007, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran signed an agreement to lay 700 kilometers of railroad track from Uzen in Western Kazakhstan to Gorgan in Iran transiting Turkmenistan. However, his railroad might be delayed for more than eighteen months for financial reasons. READ MORE

LITHUANIA’S MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: THE EU EASTERN PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE PROVIDES A BROAD BASIS FOR COOPERATION

During his official visit to Azerbaijan, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas gave a lecture called “Azerbaijan and Lithuania: Eastern Partnership from the Caspian to the Baltic” at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku. READ MORE

Obama european benefis

By Albert Dunn

 United States and its main European allies broadly share a common view of the problems facing the world – from Afghanistan and nuclear disarmament to the economic crisis.

Superficially the first appearance of the new American president among the world political beau monde was more than impressive: participation in three actions at the highest level at once plus five hundred of accompanying persons. Much more important, however, how efficient this opening to him Europe as well as his opening to Europe turned out to be.  READ MORE

The Alliance of Civilizations Forum: A Major Test for Turkish Diplomacy

On April 6-7, Istanbul hosted the second United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) forum, co-chaired by Turkey and Spain under the auspices of the UN to foster international dialogue and cooperation. The forum was attended by five heads of state, 26 foreign ministers, 11 ministers and high-level officials from 12 international and regional organizations, providing an opportunity for Ankara to discuss bilateral relations with its neighbors and showcase Turkey's growing international profile . READ MORE

Azerbaijan-Ukraine relations developing dynamically: Azerbaijani president

The first meeting of Azerbaijani and Ukrainian Presidents Council was held in Azerbaijan.

At the meeting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence that the official visit of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to Baku would develop and enhance friendship relations between two countries.  READ MORE

Martynau: “Essentially our attitude to Eastern Partnership initiative is positive”

Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhei Martynau stated that Belarus finds it important that the Eastern Partnership program offered by the European Union provides for equal partnership.

“Essentially Belarus has a positive attitude to the Eastern Partnership initiative. It is important that the Eastern Partnership is oriented to equal partnership,” stressed the head of the Foreign Ministry in Minskafter his meeting with the visiting prime minister of Germany's federal state of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzek. READ MORE

Moldova eyewitness: Troublemakers marred protests

Those who went on the rampage in the centre of the capital of Moldova yesterday (7 April) were troublemakers, Julien Danero, a Belgian researcher at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), told EurActiv in a telephone interview from Chisinau.

Belgian researcher Julien Danero is in Chisinau for political research commissioned by the think-tank 'Centre d’études de la vie politique'. READ MORE

Alternative Gas Suppliers Face Overproduction in Russia

By Sergei Blagov

Russia's independent natural gas producers (IGPs) account for a growing share of domestic output, but they are now facing turbulent times amid the global financial crisis and the subsequent domestic economic downturn, as well as problems with sales and gas transit. The role of independent gas producers in Russia has increased over the past decade. Novatek and others have begun contributing significant volumes to the domestic market. In addition to the gas monopoly Gazprom, some 30 Russian companies produce more than 10 million cubic meters (mcm) a year. READ MORE

European Union's Eastern Partnership Plan Disappoints Ukraine

By Pavel Korduban

President Viktor Yushchenko was vexed when European Commission President Jose Barroso suggested that he and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko should make peace for the sake of Ukraine's stability. "I don't want to get advice on what to do anywhere in Europe, this is humiliating," said Yushchenko, reacting to Barroso's peaceful initiative at the summit of the EU's right-of-center People's Party, which Yushchenko and Tymoshenko attended together in March. Yushchenko's reaction betrayed the degree of disappointment with what is widely seen in Ukraine as betrayal by the European Union of the past-Orange Revolution hopes for faster integration into the EU. READ MORE

Obama Urges Full Turkish-Armenian Relations

Mr. Obama has hailed the steps taken by Turkish and Armenian leaders to resolve their differences as "historic and courageous."
  READ MORE

Integrating a Regime into Eurostructure Democratizes It

Within the development of the dialogue between Belarus and the European Union the bilateral cooperation attracts more attention of society.

The idea of mechanisms and means of cooperation of Belarus with international community expresses Tatiana Poshevalova – an expert of the Program of the European Commission “Support to the development of the potential and network cooperation of Belarusian NGOs and the local authorities”. READ MORE

Russia Is Not Able to Play a Significant Part in Iranian Gas Transit to Europe

The attempts of Russia to participate in Iranian gas supplies to Europe will hardly be successful. This point of view was sounded by the Senior Researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Ivan Danilin. READ MORE

The Second Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)

 The second Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations will be held on 6-7 April 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. READ MORE

Obama Seeks Renewed Trans-Atlantic Ties

By David McKeeby

The United States is taking a new approach to a host of emerging global challenges, but friends and allies such as Europe must shoulder their share of the burden, says President Obama, making the case for renewed trans-Atlantic ties. READ MORE

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Is Invited to Yerevan

According to the press-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Tigran Balayan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian has invited Foreign Ministers of all BSEC member states, including Turkish Minister Ali Babajan, to visit the summit of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC). READ MORE

Europe Could Draw Gas Through Iran-Armenia Pipeline

If Teheran manages to agree with Brussels, gas for the “Nabucco” pipeline could flow from Iran to the EU, comments Armenian analyst Armen Hanbabian for Deutsche Welle.

Today the Iran-Armenia pipeline has a regional importance and is in a way an alternative to the supplies of Russian gas by the pipeline via Georgia. But the Iran-Armenian pipeline could also transport “blue fuel” from Iran to European countries. Moreover, if Teheran manages to agree with the European countries, then gas for the “Nabucco” pipeline could flow from Iran, considers the expert Armen Hanbabian. READ MORE

Democratic Reforms Imminent in the Wake of Turkey's Local Elections

By Lale Sariibrahimoglu

The local elections in Turkey on March 29, widely regarded as a referendum for the ruling Justice and Democratic Party (AKP) as well as for its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raised questions over whether democratic reforms will now be initiated. Oli Rhen, the EU Commissioner responsible for enlargement, said that he hoped the election results -showing a sharp decline in the popularity of the AKP- would not weaken the governing party's earlier pledges to carry out democratic reforms. READ MORE

Countries of Central Asia: What Are the Prospects?

By Dmitry Pertsev

According to the World Bank report, practically all developing countries are suffering from the economic crisis to greater or lesser extent. 84 of 116 developing countries are going over significant retardation of business activity. In 2009 international GDP reduced sufficiently for the first time since the Second World War. READ MORE

European Vector of Tajikistan Foreign Policy

Considering promotion of its authority, role and influence the European Union intensifies the establishment of mutually beneficial relations with all subjects of international law. The Community leads active foreign policy within all world regions. The European Union devotes special attention to Central Asian region that is supported by the New Partnership Strategy between the EU and Central Asia adopted in June 2007. READ MORE

Repairing the bridge

The diplomatic benefits of an undiplomatic outburst.

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a panel discussion with Israel’s President Shimon Peres in Davos last January, denouncing Israel’s offensive in Gaza and quoting the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill”, many wondered whether he had just demolished Turkey’s position as the bridge between the Jews and the Arabs, and between the West and the Islamic world. READ MORE

А. SEIFERT: "Diplomats Should Check Up Their Compasses"

A famous German researcher, an expert in Central Asia Doctor Arne Seifert commented on current issues of Central Asian region. READ MORE

Turkey and Armenia Relations Continue to Warm as Deal to Reopen Border Inches Forward

By Emrullah Uslu

On March 17, Congressmen Adam Schiff, George Radanovich and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone and Mark Kirk introduced a resolution to the U.S. House of Representatives co-sponsored by over 70 House colleagues to recognize the Armenian "genocide" of 1915. The resolution is identical to the one introduced in both the House and Senate in the 110th Congress, which was adopted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The timing of the legislation is especially critical, since President Obama will visit Turkey on April 6-7. Obama promised his American-Armenian supporters during his presidential election campaign that he would recognize the 1915 "genocide," yet his trip to Ankara will seek to improve U.S. relations with Turkey after the difficulties experienced in recent years. READ MORE

Last Interview With Mathew Bryza?

By Diana Tosunian

What will be the policy of the White House with Obama? Today, politicians and analysts can only guess, but they all agree that Washington won’t change its foreign policy course greatly, especially because it will be headed by a well-known Hillary Clinton, and position of the Security Minister is still occupied by Robert Gates. It will be possible to make certain conclusions only in April, after the summit of the “Great Twenty” in London. This meeting of the Presidents of the leading countries will be a political presentation of Barak Obama. There the US and Russian Presidents will meet each other for the first time. Deputy assistant of the US Secretary of State Mathew Bryza dwells on future of Russian-American and Georgian-American relations. READ MORE