May 2009

OSCE Chairmanship suspends talks on continued OSCE presence in Georgia

The Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, Greek Ambassador Mara Marinaki, said the OSCE Chairmanship had suspended negotiations on a continued OSCE presence in Georgia until further notice. READ MORE

All European Countries Not Equal in China's Eyes

By Tyson Barker, Ting Xu

The true mettle of the Sino-European relationship lies in China’s bilateral relationships with the UK, Germany and France. If the European Union is to forge its own effective relationship with Beijing, it must move member-states beyond their own separate-track approaches to China. READ MORE

The Nabucco Carrot and U.S.-Iran Engagement

By Joshua Kucera

For years, analysts have argued that the Nabucco natural gas pipeline -- a U.S.-backed effort to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, thus bypassing Russia -- needed to accept gas from Iran if it was to be economically viable. But Iranian involvement in the project, which is intended to reduce European energy dependence on Russian gas exports, has been anathema for U.S. policymakers: Washington's efforts to thwart Iran's ambitions have so far overridden its desire to thwart Russia's. READ MORE

Energy Security Within Baltic Context

Lithuanian Mass Media Review.  READ MORE

"European breakthrough": Gas Turkmenistan Activates Dialogue With Brussels

Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdymuhammadov made an official tour to Europe, including Belgium, Germany and Austria over 6 months ago. The president commissioned Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov to hold direct talks with the European Union next two months, official sources said. READ MORE

EU-Russia summit reveals differences rather than agreement

EU and Russian leaders failed to mend the rifts at their summit in the Siberian town of Khabarovsk. Moscow criticised the EU's new eastern partnership while Brussels urged for a more reliable energy supply.

At the press conference on the last day of talks, both sides were eager to stress the good relations and the positive atmosphere of the summit. READ MORE

Horst Koehler wins second term as German president

Members of Germany's electoral college elected incumbent Horst Koehler as president in a vote that could have profound implications for the general elections in September.

Horst Koehler, backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, was running in a close race against Gesine Schwan, who was supported by the Social Democrats. READ MORE

Russia says 'no' to Energy Charter, urges new agreement

Russia reaffirmed on Friday it will not ratify the existing Energy Charter and called for a new energy agreement to ensure future global energy security.

Energy security was among the key issues on the agenda of a Russia-EU summit in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk on 22 May. READ MORE

Cuba and EU have 'real dialogue'

By Leigh Phillips

The European Union should normalise relations with Havana, development commissioner Louis Michel said as the EU and Cuba held talks in Brussels. But the Czech EU presidency is taking a more cautious approach over human rights. READ MORE

Manas at the Center of Kyrgyzstan's Complex Foreign Policy

By Erica Marat

As Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is seeking re-election in July, he is balancing foreign policy between promises made to Russia and maintaining relations with the United States. Any decision on foreign policy is made with the idea of retaining his power, despite his low approval rating within the country. Thus far, Bakiyev has successfully balanced Bishkek's cooperation with both Russia and the United States. READ MORE

US seeks better ties with Serbia

Despite the tensions in their relationship over the years, the US and Serbia have agreed to disagree in order to move their relationship forward.

In a visit to Belgrade on Wednesday, US Vice President Joe Biden told the Serbian government that Washington wants a fresh start in its relationship with the country. READ MORE

Climate change, trade top agenda at EU-China summit

A vigorous debate on carbon emissions is expected as European and Chinese leaders meet for a high-level summit in Prague 20 May. Protectionism and the EU's yawning trade deficit with China are also expected to feature high on the agenda. READ MORE

Kazakhstan: Evaluating Astana’s Democratization Intentions

By Joshua Kucera

When Kazakhstan was named 2010 chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Astana pledged to undertake wide-ranging political reforms. But now, just over six months before Kazakhstan takes over the OSCE’s helm, US lawmakers and diplomats are voicing concern that Astana is not serious about fulfilling its commitments. READ MORE

Zagorski: Tough task ahead for EU-Russia talks

Energy, trade, investment and security will be at the heart of EU-Russia partnership negotiations, Andrei V. Zagorski told EurActiv Slovakia in an interview. The Russian expert predicts that negotiations will be difficult as the EU-Russia relationship is "not going through the best time". But the Russian academic is hopeful that agreement can be struck, citing substantial "mutual interests". READ MORE

OSCE In Georgian Dead End

Bogdan Serpich

On May the 18th-19th another round of international discussions in the framework of Geneva process and the discussions of the Parties on the development of new UNO Mission mandate took place.

The event in Geneva is organized in accordance with the agreements of Russian and French Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy, reached in August 2008 to resolve the issue of security assurance in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The discussions are held under the co-chairing of the EU, UNO and OSCE. They include Russia, the USA, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. READ MORE

US analyst: West should better monitor Russia

There is "little appetite" today in the Western world to monitor Russia's "influence operations" and "active measures" vis-à-vis the EU, Ariel Cohen, a senior researcher with the conservative US Heritage Foundation, told in an interview. READ MORE

Political Situation in Turkey and Economic Power of Russia Can Negatively Affect Nabucco Project Accomplishment

In spite of all commercial troubles Nabucco gas pipeline can be accomplished due to political reasons rooted within the demand of Europe to assure its energy security. This is a consideration of the analysts of British Consulting Association CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates). READ MORE

Foreign Ministers Of The Baltic States And Germany Discussed Important Issues Of The Eu And Regional Cooperation

On 15 May in Palanga, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas took part in the 11th annual Foreign Ministers meeting of the Baltic States and Germany. READ MORE

Russia, Turkey premiers to talk trade, energy in Sochi

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will discuss with his Turkish counterpart economic and regional issues, European security and the Nagorny-Karabakh dispute at a meeting in Sochi, a government source said on Saturday. READ MORE

Georgia: Russian Border Guards In Abkhazia, South Ossetia Pose New Challenge For Tbilisi

By Molly Corso

Georgia is facing a new challenge in its quest to reclaim the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: the planned introduction of hundreds of Russian border guards.

The new border guards - deployed under an agreement signed by Moscow, Sukhumi and Tskhinvali on April 30 - give Russian border guards the right to patrol the frontier dividing the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgian-controlled territory. READ MORE

European countries sign gas pipeline deals with Russia

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom has signed deals with companies from four European nations, paving the way for a new natural gas pipeline that sidesteps the Ukraine and worries Brussels.

International Security and Its Influence on Fuel and Energy Complex of Caspian Region

Vladimir Yevseyev

Fuel and Energy Complex covers the sphere of mining and production of energy resources, processing, delivery and consumption of all types of energy. FEC of Caspian region that includes all Central Asia, Caucasus and Caspian Sea adjoining regions of Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran is pretty well developed and includes oil and gas industries, power industry grounding of thermal and hydroelectric power plants, and also a great number of coal and natural uranium fields in development. READ MORE

RosGas AG to Control 20 Percent of Hungarian Gas Distribution

By Roman Kupchinsky

Barely nine days after the Hungarian gas trader Emfesz KFT announced that it will begin receiving supplies of 3 billion cubic meters annually from the Zug (Switzerland) based company RosGas AG, rather than the now inactive RosUkrEnergo (RUE) the Russian press reported that Emfesz has been sold to RosGas. Thus RosGas, a little-known company, now controls 20 percent of the Hungarian domestic gas distribution market. READ MORE

Busek: Western Balkans should join EU as a block

To prevent infighting between neighbours, the Western Balkan countries could join the EU more easily as a bloc, Erhard Busek, special enlargement advisor to the Czech EU Presidency. READ MORE

OSCE Chairperson urges renewed commitment to peaceful resolution on 15th anniversary of Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Press release

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, expressed hope today that the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would make further progress towards a peaceful settlement, and urged them to implement fully the provisions of the ceasefire, including pulling back snipers from the front lines. READ MORE

Turkish-Armenian Dialogue on the Verge of Collapse

By Emil Danielyan

The nearly year-long negotiations between Armenia and Turkey look set to prove fruitless after Ankara has revived its long-standing linkage between the normalization of bilateral ties and a resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly made clear this month that his government will not establish diplomatic relations with Yerevan and re-open the Turkish-Armenian border without Azerbaijan's consent. In Armenia and especially amongst its worldwide diaspora, meanwhile, there are growing calls for President Serzh Sarkisian to abandon the Western-backed talks. READ MORE

Marathon of Prague Summits is Over

By Albert Dunn

Two of four summits held in Prague under the aegis of the EU attracted attention of world media the most: on the issues of Polish-Swedish initiative of Eastern Partnership and “Southern Corridor – New Silk Road”. Participants of these summits singed political declarations.

Two others concerned the cooperation of the EU with Canada and the problems of employment within the EU states. READ MORE

German, French leaders question Turkish EU membership

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin on Sunday in a mutual show of support ahead of European elections next month. READ MORE

EU Commissioner’s representative: Eastern Partnership does not offer a membership prospective

The Eastern Partnership aims at helping partner countries to address the challenges they face, told EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner's spokesperson, Christiane Hohmann in an interview to a REGNUM . READ MORE

EU forges new Eastern Partnership in Prague

The European Union has just launched a new Eastern Partnership plan with six former Soviet states. However, Russia has already voiced its concern over the plan, which it sees as the EU encroaching on its territory.

The plan was launched in the Czech capital Prague on Thursday after being signed by representatives of the EU, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan. READ MORE

DECLARATION - Prague Summit, Southern Corridor, May 8, 2009

We, the Participants of the Southern Corridor Summit held in Prague on the 8th of May 2009; READ MORE

Turkey Prioritizing its Relations with Azerbaijan

By Saban Kardas

The recent uncertainty surrounding Turkish-Azeri relations is giving way to a new period of optimism, ahead of high level diplomatic contacts. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Azeri officials in a bid to reassure Baku of Ankara's intention to protect Azerbaijan's interests during the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process. READ MORE

Prague Summit to launch "Eastern Partnership"

By Diana Fong

Good neighborhood policy is normally on the agenda of the EU rotating presidency. But the nation at the helm determines which neighbors take priority. That Sweden takes over soon is good news for the EU's eastern flank. READ MORE

Turkey: Washington’s Geopolitical Pivot

By F. William Engdahl

The recent visit of US President Obama to Turkey was far more significant than the President’s speech would suggest. For Washington Turkey today has become a geopolitical “pivot state” which is in the position to tilt the Eurasian power equation towards Washington or significantly away from it depending on how Turkey develops its ties with Moscow and its role regarding key energy pipelines. READ MORE

Kazakhstan to control Caspian crude supplies

Kazakhstan plans to control the supplies of its crude through the Caspian Sea. Currently, the government is involved in difficult negotiations with its partners for a 51 percent control stake in the Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System (KCTS,) the Kazakh Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev told New Europe. “By all means, 51 percent; we will not join that project, formally or informally, for anything lower that 51 percent,” he said. READ MORE

Speech by Alexandr Vondra at Conference ‘Poland and the European Union: Five Years After the Enlargement’

Speech delivered by Alexandr Vondra, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic on United Europe - New Challenges  Conference ‘Poland and the European Union: Five Years After the Enlargement’ - Warsaw, 30 April 2009. READ MORE

Azerbaijan Looking at Narrow Gas Export Options

By Vladimir Socor

At the oil and gas conference just held in Baku, Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, confirmed that Azerbaijan strives for access to European markets as the main export destination for Azerbaijani gas and, potentially, for Turkmen gas via Azerbaijan to Europe. READ MORE

Audronius Ažubalis: Europe Won’t Assure Its Energy Security without the USA

By Konstantin Ameliushkin and Roman Jakovlevsky

"Europe is not yet able to assure a single energy course without the USA, and this is its weak point", – considers the head of Lithuanian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis. During the interview to DELFI he dwelled on priorities of foreign policy, the EU initiative of “Eastern Partnership”, energy security and the view on the operation of Russia-NATO Council that will officially resume its work in the end of April.

Mitschek: Nabucco consortium making headway

Significant progress has been achieved with Turkey on moving forward the Nabucco gas pipeline project, Reinhard Mitschek told, managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International. READ MORE

Raul de Luzenberger: Eastern Partnership can help development of cooperation in South Caucasus

Armenia is dynamically integrating into European structures. The inclusion of the republic in the Eastern Partnership initiative can encourage closer cooperation with Europe and offer a stability and security guarantee. Head of the European Commission Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Raul de Luzenberger commented to PanARMENIAN.Net on prospects for the initiative. READ MORE

East looks west, EU’s Eastern Partnership beckons

By Volodymyr Stretovychis

At a Summit meeting on March 19-20, the European Council officially approved the establishment of the Eastern Partnership (EaP.) It will embrace six countries of Eastern Europe: Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Moldova. The Summit of the Eastern Partnership will be held on May 7, 2009, in Prague. This Summit must originate this EU initiative.The Eastern Partnership is a response to the desire of the EU’s Eastern neighbors to draw near to the European Union. The project anticipates realisation of programmes formerly available only to official candidates for the EU, as well as their financial and institutional provisions. READ MORE

Uzbekistan Signs Transit Route Agreement

By Roger McDermott

After protracted negotiations, the U.S. and Uzbekistan finally signed a crucial agreement on the transit of non-military cargo to Afghanistan. This allows the U.S. to ship supplies including food, building and medical materials through Uzbek territory by rail, road and air. READ MORE

US Envoy Morningstar: No Either-Or Situation in Eurasian Energy

By Ivan Dikov

Answers by the US Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Ambassador Richard L Morningstar, to questions by Novinite.com's Ivan Dikov during Morningstar's press conference after the end of the Sofia Energy Summit "Natural Gas for Europe", April 25, 2009.


Azerbaijan: Is Baku Offering A Natural Gas Carrot To Moscow For Help With Karabakh?

By Shahin Abbasov

As talk of a potential Nagorno-Karabakh deal gains momentum, Azerbaijan appears to be making serious overtures toward Russia in hopes that the Kremlin will push Armenia to make key concessions, analysts in Baku believe. As an incentive, Azerbaijan is playing one of its most strategic cards - cooperation in the natural gas sector. READ MORE