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August 2009

General election campaign riding on Sunday's decisive state elections

By Ben Knight

Saxony, Thuringia and Saarland go to the polls on Sunday. With a general election barely a month away, national party leaders are nervously anticipating results that will set the tone for the impending campaign. READ MORE

Ukraine deputy PM: "We chose a realistic path to EU integration"

Ukraine is making steady progress towards EU membership, but is aware of the difficulties which lie ahead amid an unfavourable global economic context, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria, responsible for European integration, told in an exclusive interview. READ MORE

Georgia quits ex-Soviet “commonwealth”

One year after its short war with Russia, Georgia on Tuesday (18 August) became the first country to withdraw from the grouping of former Soviet republics, in a sign of rebellion met with disdain from Moscow. READ MORE

Gazprom, Turkey Revive and Reconfigure Blue Stream Two

By Vladimir Socor

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wooed Turkey's AKP government with grandiose vistas of a bilateral partnership on energy during his visit to Ankara. Along with his proposal to build Gazprom's South Stream pipeline to Europe via Turkey's Black Sea economic zone, Putin also discussed reviving Gazprom's Blue Stream Two pipeline project in a new form. READ MORE

War of words escalates between EU countries Hungary and Slovakia

A bitter war of words between EU members Hungary and Slovakia intensified Friday as Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom cancelled a private visit after Bratislava said it would bar him from entering. READ MORE

All Countries Of Central Asia Should Benefit From The Presidency Of Kazakhstan In OSCE

Next year Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Kazakhstan joined OSCE in 1992 right after declaration of independence, and afterwards has actively cooperated with the Organization in all spheres during all these years. READ MORE

Not the Best Way to Reset Relations

By James F. Collins

The response from the Obama administration was also immediate. In an effort at damage control, the White House and State Department denied any suggestion that the administration was changing its carefully crafted approach toward Russia, even as spokesmen for the administration reaffirmed U.S. principles about the independence of Russia’s neighbors. But the incident has demonstrated once again how easily U.S.-Russian relations can be derailed or diverted and how vulnerable they will remain until a firmer base is built for better ties. READ MORE

Chancellor Candidate Steinmeier Pledges 4 Million Jobs By 2020

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who faces off with Angela Merkel in next month's parliamentary elections, has pledged to create millions of jobs. It is drawing sharp criticism from rivals. READ MORE

Russia, Czech Republic conduct tit-for-tat expulsions

Russia has expelled two Czech diplomats, following an earlier move by Prague to dismiss two Russian diplomats over suspicion of spying. READ MORE

Gazprom's Investment Strategy Runs Out Of Steam

By Sergei Blagov

Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom has cut its investment program in response to the difficulties it faces in the current economic downturn. These cost-saving measures contrasted sharply with Gazprom's pledge last year to become the world's largest company. Such efforts were supported by the Russian government. On July 13, the cabinet approved Gazprom's revised investment program worth 775 billion rubles ($25 billion) or 15.8 percent down from its 920 billion rubles ($29.7 billion) planned earlier. At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin conceded that Gazprom's January-June 2009 production was 20.8 percent down year-on-year. However, Putin voiced confidence that Gazprom's production and sales will return to their pre-crisis levels eventually. READ MORE

Nino Burjanadze: I Absolutely Don’t Understand Why Russia Challenges Georgian People So Openly?

By Roman Yakovlevsky

Georgia remains in the focus of international policy and Mass Media. Current processes in the country incite ambiguous reaction, assessments among the upholders of the President Saakashvili as well as among his opponents. After the war in August of 2008 with Russia, Georgia lost 20% of its territory. One of the most famous Georgian politicians Nino Burjanadze gave an interview exclusively on her view on current situation and future prospects in Georgia. In 2008 she established and headed the opposition party “Democratic Movement “Edinaya Gruzia” (“United Georgia”). READ MORE

Matthew Bryza Revealed Some Nuances of Negotiations Between Baku and Yerevan

During the interview for the agency Novosti Armenii – NEWS.am (Armenia News – NEWS.am) the Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, the deputy assistant of the US Secretary of State Matthew Bryza revealed some interesting facts and nuances about negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia on Karabakh conflict regulation. READ MORE

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister And U.S. Assistant Secretary Of State Discuss Transatlantic Co-Operation Issues

On 12 August, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas met with the United States’ Assistant Secretary of State Philip H. Gordon, who heads of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  The meeting was held in the Utena Region. READ MORE

Experts: Medvedev’s Statement Is the Attempt to Influence Presidential Elections In Ukraine

Ukrainian political analysts commented on the statement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who accused current Ukrainian Government of leading anti-Russia course and announced the decision to postpone the coming of new Russian Ambassador to Ukraine. READ MORE

Questions abound over Ukraine's European future

Ukraine is currently negotiating visa-free travel with the EU as part of a wide-ranging association agreement, as some of the country's politicians express hopes for a clearer "European perspective". EurActiv outlines various scenarios for Ukraine's expected rocky path towards closer EU integration. READ MORE

Zeyno Baran: the USA Wants NABUCCO to Go Round Russia

The USA have no economic interests in the Nabucco gas pipeline project, as well as there was no economic interest in the oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan. This was stated by Zeyno Baran, the Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute. According to Zeyno Baran, who is also a wife of the US State Secretary Deputy Assistant Matthew Bryza, Washington has a pure political interest in these projects. “We should assure for the countries of Caucasus and Central Asia, through the territories of which Nabucco pipeline will be laid, have no fear to become dependent of Russia”, - she noted. READ MORE

Azerbaijan: No Jitters Over Turkmenistan’s Caspian Sea Threat

By Shahin Abbasov

Turkmenistan’s pledge to take Azerbaijan to court over the two countries’ rival claims to Caspian Sea oil fields has sparked more confusion than anger in Baku. Some Azerbaijani experts even believe that an international arbitration hearing could prove the best way to resolve a long-standing energy dispute. READ MORE

Russia And Turkey Agree On South Stream Pipeline Project

Russia has signed an agreement with Turkey to build the South Stream undersea gas pipeline in Turkish waters. The deal comes one month after Turkey signed transit accords for the rival European-backed Nabucco pipeline. READ MORE

Propagandist Gamble On A Global Tragedy

By Marine Voskanyan

Why does OSCE equalize Communism to Nazism? READ MORE

Romanian President Says Moldova Protests Reminiscent Of 1989

Romanian President Traian Basescu has said that April's post-electoral clashes in Chisinau were a sign that Moldova’s young generation wants real political and economic change. In an interview at RFE/RL's Prague headquarters with correspondent Eugen Tomiuc, Basescu strongly rejected Moldova’s accusations that Romania was behind the violence, and said that Romania's stance toward Moldova will always be “one people, two countries.” The president also spoke about the EU’s eastward expansion plans and about relations with Russia and the United States. READ MORE

Georgia, Russia Tensions Flare Ahead Of War Anniversary

South Ossetia has accused Georgian forces of firing at it while Russia has warned Tbilisi it's ready to use force to defend civilians. The renewed tensions come just one week ahead of the first anniversary of the war. READ MORE

New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage

By Rick Rozoff

When the post-World War II German states the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, West and East Germany, respectively, were united in 1990, it was for many in Europe and the world as a whole a heady time, fraught with hopes of a continent at peace and perhaps disarmed. READ MORE

New NATO Chief Favors Dialog With Moderate Taliban

The new head of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he is ready to open a dialog with moderate Taliban elements. His comments come amid reports that western soldiers were killed by insurgents in Afghanistan on Saturday. READ MORE

Quo Vadis Moldova?

By Ahto Lobjakas

Followers of the Moldovan elections can be forgiven for feeling the results have been something of an anticlimax. READ MORE

Desertec solar energy plans heats up

European companies are meeting in the German city of Munich to sign a memorandum of intent over plans to harness solar power to feed Western energy needs. READ MORE