Home

June 2009

OSCE summit on the Greek island of Corfu avoids the "blame game"

Foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe opened talks on the Greek island of Corfu on Sunday aimed at forging a new security framework for Europe. READ MORE

EU warns Tehran over detained British embassy staff

The European Union agreed on Sunday that intimidation and harassment of European diplomatic staff by Iran in Tehran would be met with a "strong and collective response." READ MORE

Russian Military Chief Accuses Georgia of Preparing Aggression

By Pavel Felgenhauer

The top Russian military commander, the Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Army-General Nikolai Makarov during the Paris air show this week said: "Georgia is saber-rattling and preparing weapons to resolve its territorial problems by any means." Makarov accused NATO of supporting Georgian aggressive intentions and E.U. observers of ignoring Georgian rearmament and war preparations. Makarov stated that the Russian army and the FSB Border Guards in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are preparing together with local forces and forming new military infrastructure. He confirmed that the defense ministry will permanently station "somewhat less combat troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia" than the previously announced 3,700 soldiers in each region. READ MORE

Obama, Merkel Speak With 'One Voice' On Iran

By Andrew F. Tully

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama have condemned the Iranian government for cracking down on citizens who have questioned the results of the June 12 presidential election, which President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is said to have won. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Poised to Step into the OSCE's Chairmanship

By Vladimir Socor

Kazakhstan is actively preparing to take over the OSCE's chairmanship next year. The challenges are daunting to any chairing country and the organization as such. According to multiple, though unofficial reports from the organization's Vienna headquarters, Kazakhstan has asked Finland to host an OSCE summit in 2010 in Helsinki, focusing on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's initiative to create a "new European security architecture." The proposed event will be the OSCE's first summit at the level of heads of state since Istanbul in 1999. READ MORE

Erdogan criticizes Germany, France for blocking Turkey's EU bid

During a visit to Brussels to revive Ankara's deadlocked EU accession talks, Turkish Premier Erdogan slammed Germany and France for opposing full EU membership for his predominantly Muslim country. READ MORE

Palestine to Punjab, Bosnia to Baku: A Tour of Security Challenges Facing Europe and America with Carl Bildt

By Thomas Carothers

Sweden’s top priorities for its European Union presidency include signing a global climate agreement at Copenhagen, managing the political ramifications of the once-in-a-generation economic crisis, and building the infrastructure needed to reflect the EU’s growing global clout. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt outlined the EU’s plans to tackle urgent foreign policy challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran while simultaneously ushering in an era of deeper European integration with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. READ MORE

Lithuania Presented The Goals Of Its Presidency Of The Council Of The Baltic Sea States

In Elsinore (Denmark) at the 15th Ministerial Session of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas presented priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency of this organisation. READ MORE

Eastern States Jostle To Host EU Energy Agency

Romania launched a campaign to host the future European agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER), entering a competition with existing rival bids by Slovenia and Slovakia. EU agencies are decentralised executive bodies, distinct from its institutions, to which a specific task is assigned. READ MORE

Vilnus Welcomes OSCE PA 2009

The Summer Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will be held in Vilnius, in the Seimas Building on 29 June - 3 July 2009.

In 2011, Lithuania will preside over the OSCE and will be the first Baltic State to hold the OSCE Presidency. READ MORE

Armenia Presses Ahead with Nuclear Power Plant Construction

By Emil Danielyan

Armenia is pressing ahead with its ambitious plans to build a new nuclear power station to replace the aging Soviet-era facility at Metsamor slated for decommissioning by 2017. The Armenian government has commissioned an Australian engineering company to manage the project. However, the key question of who will provide the funding needed for the plant's construction remains unanswered. READ MORE

Central European leaders call for unity in the face of crisis

Central European leaders from 14 countries have called for more regional cooperation in the wake of the global economic crisis and for a better distribution of energy resources. READ MORE

“Solutions based on compromise and solidarity will make the enlarged and unified Europe even stronger”

President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus participated and made a speech in the second working session of the European Council. READ MORE

Ukraine is a Serious Problem

By Muammar Kaddafi

As I influence international policy to some extent I strive to participate in the creation of free and secure world for all nations, including my people by all means. Grounding on these principles, I comment on serious international problems hoping for positive result. In this article I’d like to dwell on Ukrainian issue, which is a serious problem to my view. READ MORE

Should Ukraine radicalise the famine issue?

By Taras Kuzio

This is more of a political than a legal issue to gain international support for Ukraine’s denunciation of the crimes of the USSR, particularly Stalinism. There are unlikely to be any legal repercussions. President Viktor Yushchenko has in effect radicalised the issue of the 1933 artificial famine first raised by President Leonid Kuchma. The raising of the famine issue domestically and internationally and the denunciation of Stalinism have been important in consolidating Ukraine as a democracy, in the same manner as post-war Germany in its denunciation of Nazism. In contrast, Russia under Vladimir Putin has sought to rehabilitate Stalin. READ MORE

Risks and Prospects

Levan Girsiashvili, Political analyst Associaction of International relations in Tbilisi

Geopolitical Games in Southern Caucasus. READ MORE

The Search For Independence From Russian Monopoly

By Ruslan Timashenka

Lately, the relations between Minsk and Kiev have intensified evidently. It is considered that they are stimulated by the EU program “Eastern Partnership” launched on May 7th and in the end of the project of “Union state”, marked by a scandalous statement of Russian Vice Prime-Minister and the Minister of Finance Aleksey Kudrin about oncoming collapse of Belarusian economy made on May 28th in Minsk. The following harsh and negative reaction of Aleksander Lukashenko guided Minsk to search for new various schemes with other states. And primarily with such neighbors as Ukraine and Lithuania on bilateral and multilateral grounds. READ MORE

David Kramer: Obama’s Administration Can Marginalize Ukraine

By Alena Getmanchuk, “Glavred”, Washington

Last time we talked to David Kramer in November 2007. Then he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus affairs, and later an Assistant Secretary of State. READ MORE

Russia-West Partnership Hurt by Moscow's Paranoia

André Budick

Russia has an ongoing fear of being encircled and slowly pushed back by the West, making it difficult for other nations to have valuable relations with Moscow. Should the West even pursue a partnership with such a paranoid regime, even though the alternative is very unpleasant? READ MORE

Czechs and Slovaks sign nuclear deal

With memories of this winter's gas price row between Russia and Ukraine still fresh, the Czech and Slovak governments are taking another look at the promise of nuclear power. When Slovakia joined the European Union five years ago, one of the terms of accession was that it shut down a Soviet-era nuclear plant by 2008. READ MORE

Landslide election victory for Iran's hardline president

Incumbent Iranian President Mahmound Ahmadinejad has resoundingly won a hotly-contested election but his rival Mousavi has alleged widespread irregularities during Friday's polls. READ MORE

Steinmeier pushes for arms cuts on Moscow visit

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on a visit to Moscow urged Russian leaders not to miss an opportunity for improved ties with the US and a new deal on global nuclear disarmament. READ MORE

Expected Turn within Common European Policy in South Caucasus

By I.Bayandurlu

On may the 15th German Bundestag adopted a Resolution on the South Caucasus situation. This document stipulates for the Government definite estimating political and legal guides of political course towards the region. READ MORE

"Time to break Russian gas habit"

By Anthea Pitt

E.ON Ruhrgas executive Jochen Weise claimed the former Eastern Bloc countries hardest hit by January's gas crisis were like "junkies", adding that nations dependent on Russia for their gas supply "had to do their homework". READ MORE

EU boosts development of Baltic Sea Region

On the 10th of June the European Commission presented its proposal for an EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. READ MORE

Neo-Imperial Policy of Russia and Central Asia

By Sergey Antonov

Russia Loses the Region For Good. READ MORE

On The Eve Of OSCE Chairmanship, Lithuania And Kazakhstan Strengthen Cooperation

During his official visit in Astana (Kazakhstan) on 8 June, Lithuania‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas met with Kazakhstan‘s Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin. READ MORE

St. Petersburg Forum: in search of anti-crisis solutions

By Samir Shakhbaz

Interview one of the participants of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum - Kairat Kelimbetov, the head of Kazakhstan’s National Welfare Fund (Samruk-Kazyna) READ MORE

Europe urged to be 'visionary' with Ukraine

Experts from Washington have called on the EU to be more daring and propose closer ties with its large Eastern neighbour. But European Commission officials told that the current mood in Europe was not exactly in tune with such an approach. READ MORE

Center-right parties maintain dominant position in European Parliament

Conservative parties have scored victories in most of Europe’s largest economies as socialist parties in Germany, France, Italy and Spain all failed to capitalize on the global financial crisis. READ MORE

On final day of EU parliamentary elections, Merkel urges Germans to vote

On the last day of voting across Europe, citizens from Germany, France and 17 other EU countries are going to the polls to choose their representatives for the European Parliament. READ MORE

The Eastern Partnership: Getting Down To Work

Four weeks after the launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) the EU and its eastern neighbours 1 are getting down to work. One of the innovations of the EaP is a new multilateral dimension to relations with these countries alongside the bilateral path of cooperation . The first Eastern Partnership (EaP) multilateral platform held, 5 June, in Brussels. READ MORE

Kazakhstan’s Strategic Significance

The decision by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to award Kazakhstan the chairmanship of the organization for 2010 underscores a growing recognition of the country’s regional and continental importance. Kazakhstan is a strategic linchpin in the vast Central Asian-Caspian Basin zone, a region rich in energy resources and a potential gateway for commerce and communications between Europe and Asia. READ MORE

European elections kick off in Britain and the Netherlands

Four days of European elections have kicked off in Britain and the Netherlands amid concerns that a record low turnout and protest votes could boost extremist parties. READ MORE

Armenia, Azerbaijan 'Satisfied' With Fresh Summit

By Aza Babayan

Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported further progress toward a resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict after a fresh meeting of their presidents held in St. Petersburg, Russia. READ MORE

Paet Met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

During their bilateral meeting held within the framework of the meeting of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) foreign ministers in Elsinore, Denmark, the ministers discussed the state of Estonia-Russia relations and developments since their last meeting in December 2008. They also addressed bilateral economic relations, visa policy, and the status of many agreements that are currently being worked out. READ MORE

Astana Drifts Away From EU-Favored Energy Projects, Nazarbayev

By Farkhad Sharip

Gas and oil supplies to energy-hungry Europe have always featured as the key topic in talks between Astana and EU officials, concerning Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship in 2010. Stifled by the precarious situation in the energy sector, the EU has often ignored the heavy-handedness of the Kazakh authorities in dealing with the opposition press, and has toned down its criticism on the non-compliance of Kazakhstan's laws with democratic standards. In appreciation of western backing for Kazakhstan's coveted chairmanship of the OSCE, Astana invariably showed interest in European energy projects. READ MORE

U.N. Secretary-General Revises Report on Abkhazia under Russian Pressure

By Vladimir Socor

Russia no longer needs to veto the U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) resolution on the mandate of U.N. observers in Georgia, which expires on June 15. Intimidated by Moscow's veto threats, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and some key UNSC members have bowed to Russian demands and agreed to change key wording in the Secretary-General's report that recommends a new mandate for the observers. READ MORE

Diplomats Of Lithuania And Kazakhstan Are Getting Ready To Chair The OSCE

On 1 June in Vienna, Lithuanian and Kazakh diplomats started a two-week long training, thus preparing to chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The training is organised by the Centre for OSCE Research, which is part of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. READ MORE

Gazprom's new weakness offers opportunity

By Anders Aslund

Gazprom has gone from being a great commercial hope to an ailing giant. Gazprom`s owners need to face up to the crisis and institute reforms. READ MORE

Russian-Azerbaijani Approach: Strategic Impulse or an Immediate Game?

By Andrey Areshev

The end of the “five-days war” and Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence gave a new powerful impulse for the discussion of the Caucasian region future. International summits, conferences, official visits and informal consultations go on almost non-stop. And sometimes it is pretty difficult tell progress from “diplomatic tourism”. READ MORE

Putin warns of new gas dispute with Ukraine

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the international community to help Ukraine finance its gas bill so as to avoid a fresh gas war. Ukraine is due to pay its bill for Russian gas intended for domestic consumption and stocking in underground reservoirs on June 7, Putin said in a statement posted on his website. READ MORE

Belarus leader says will not beg Russia for loans

Belarus`s president declared an end on May 29 to "begging" to Russia and told his government to ignore Moscow`s decision to shelve a $500 million loan and turn elsewhere to find credits. Alyaksandr Lukashenka made his comments a day after Russia`s finance minister said the funds were no longer on offer as its smaller Western neighbor -- linked by a "union treaty" since the 1990s -- could be insolvent by the end of the year. READ MORE

Transit – Klondike of Kazakhstan

By Ilya Blogger

The expertise of potential incomes from transit traffic through the territory of Kazakhstan comprises about 2 billion USD. However, yet this lot is more like a ripe apple beyond the reach of native specialists in transport and logistics. A part of them think, that the fruit has already been gathered by China. READ MORE

Consultations On The EU Strategy For The Baltic Sea Region Took Place In Vilnius

On 28 May, consultations on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region were held in Vilnius at the initiative of Lithuania and Sweden. Lithuania was represented by Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Žygimantas Pavilionis and Sweden by State Secretary for the European Union at the Office of the Prime Minister of Sweden Maria Asenius. Officials from the European Commission, Foreign Ministries of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Finland and Germany took part in the consultations. READ MORE

Head of OSCE Office in Baku Ali Bilge Cankorel’s exclusive interview

 READ MORE