September 2009

Britain Announces Reduction In Nuclear Submarine Fleet

By Olly Barratt

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says his government is willing to cut the number of nuclear submarines to support US President Barack Obama's nuclear disarmament initiative. READ MORE

UNESCO Director-General: I'll Push For Linguistic Balance

The newly-elected director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, presented to EurActiv in an interview her ambitious plans for the organisation, responsible for promoting education, science and culture throughout the world. She attached special importance to francophony. READ MORE

OSCE Envoy Proffers 'Advice' On Language Law

By Michaela Stanková

An adviser rather than a mediator. This is how Knut Vollebaek, the High Commissioner on National Minorities for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), described his role in the ongoing dispute between Slovakia and Hungary concerning Slovakia’s amended State Language Act during his visit to Bratislava in mid-September. READ MORE

OSCE Mission And Serbian Interior Ministry Agree To Co-Operate On New Police Reform Priorities

The Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Ambassador Hans Ola Urstad, and Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic signed a revised agreement on continued strategic partnership on police reform priorities. READ MORE

Turkey Reconciliation Deal Cause For Controversy In Armenia, Azerbaijan

By Haroutiun Khachatrian and Shahin Abbasov

After years of mud-slinging, Turkey and Armenia appear ready to restore diplomatic ties, but the initial reaction within Armenia suggests that the process could meet with strong political opposition. Watching closely from the sidelines, Turkish ally Azerbaijan, meanwhile, states that it expects Turkey to keep its word -- no diplomatic ties with Armenia until territories bordering the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh are returned to Azerbaijani control. READ MORE

70 Years On, Polish Resolution Condemns Crimes Under Stalin

By Rafal Kiepuszewski

At the beginning of World War II, the Soviet invasion of Poland led to massive loss of life in prison camps and massacres. A new resolution from the Polish parliament condemns the invasion - and irks Russia. READ MORE

A New War In The Caucasus?

By Vladimir Frolov

It has now become hard to deny that there is a relapse of terrorist activity in the Caucasus, particularly in Ingushetia and Dagestan, threatening to unravel the stability and calm that has emerged in this war-ravaged region in the last couple of years. What is the Kremlin to do? Has the policy of betting on Ramzan Kadyrov gone wrong, or is it still a reliable tool of fighting terrorism without provoking terror attacks on targets inside Russia? What are the real causes of terrorist activity in Ingushetia and Dagestan? READ MORE

UN Concerned Over Iran's Mountain Nuclear Plant

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has expressed "grave concern" over Tehran's secret nuclear activities. He was referring to the disclosure of a new uranium enrichment facility hidden beneath a mountain. READ MORE

EU Signals Readiness To Resume Full Ties With Moldova

By Ahto Lobjakas

The European Union has signaled it's ready to resume full cooperation with Moldova following the appointment of a new, liberal-led government and Chisinau's recent decision to normalize relations with neighboring Romania. READ MORE

Regional Cooperation In Central Asia: Improving The Western Track Record

Ву Martha Olcott

As the twentieth anniversary of the independence of states of Central Asia approaches, it is appropriate to review what the international community has learned about the efficacy of regional cooperation in responding to the challenges that the Central Asian region has faced. The article attempts to answer the question why the international community; particularly western defined or dominated institutions, have only been partially successful in working with the countries of the region to work towards the amelioration of these issues, and regional cooperation, cooperation between the five Central Asian states has been disappointing. READ MORE

OSCE Will Remain Engaged On Slovakia’s Language Act

By Michaela Stanková

Slovakia’s Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) keeps pushing the country’s new State Language Act into the centre of national as well as international attention. Only one day after a massive protest was organised in Dunajská Streda in opposition to the law, party representatives travelled to The Hague and, after their return, claimed that they want to help prepare the guidelines to the legislation. READ MORE

EU Chief: ‘Energy And Climate Are Today’s Coal And Steel’

Commission president José Manuel Barroso, who is running for a second term at the EU executive’s helm, likened EU policies to address climate change and improve energy security to the coal and steel community which paved the way for European reconciliation after the Second World War. READ MORE

OSCE High Commissioner Discusses Minority Participation, Education During Visit To Kazakhstan

The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, urged Kazakhstan to further enhance effective minority participation in the country. READ MORE

Germany - Central Asia: Words Must Be Backed Up By Action

Germany and the EU are ready to help the Central Asian countries improve the region’s water management. Minister of State Gernot Erler underlined this during the second EU-Central Asia conference at ministerial level in Brussels. In 2008 Germany, already recognizing
the problem, started the Central Asia Water Initiative. READ MORE

Andrey Fedorov: “Lukashenko Knows Russia’s Pressure Points Very Well”

By Dmitry Kramchuk

Executive director of National informational centre of Russia Andrey Fedorov told his opinion about development of Belarusian-Russian interrelations. READ MORE

Four-Way Street In Kazakhstan

By Robert M Cutler

The presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan ended their meeting in Kazakhstan's resort city of Kenderly with its purpose and consequences as clear as distant figures in an early autumn mist. READ MORE

Placating Russia Won't Work

By David J. Kramer

Russian leaders never liked the idea that the United States, Poland and the Czech Republic were cooperating on missile defense to confront an emerging Iranian threat. The notion that two former Warsaw Pact states that Moscow used to control would be hosting 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a corresponding radar facility in the Czech Republic was unacceptable. Kremlin leaders alleged that the system was meant to target Russia, not counter Iran, and they had threatened to scuttle unrelated arms control negotiations with the United States unless Washington backed down. READ MORE

Putin's 'Polish Syndrome'

By Vladimir Nadein

Ten years of absolute power and 10 years of unlimited sycophancy have not failed to leave their mark on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He has completely lost the ability to listen to others or to hear himself. READ MORE

US Targets Russian Support On Iran With Shield Reverse, Say Experts

By Nick Amies

Scrapping the US missile shield project has more to do with Iran than just its perceived lack of current threat, say experts. Removing the barrier to dialogue with Russia could give the US a powerful ally against Tehran. READ MORE

War Between Russia And Ukraine – A Possibility

By George Bovt

What exactly is going on in Russian – Ukrainian politics? Nobody can give a precise answer nor can they explain what really provoked the strongly-worded statement of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on August 11th, in which he denounced the Ukrainian president for his anti-Russian policy and announced that the new Russian envoy to Ukraine would remain in Moscow for the time being. READ MORE

The Great Pipeline Opera

By Daniel Freifeld

Inside the European pipeline fantasy that became a real-life gas war with Russia.

When Joschka Fischer's lucrative new job as the "political communications advisor" to a consortium of European energy companies was leaked to a German business publication this summer, there was one comment that stood out. "Welcome to the club," said Gerhard Schröder, an even more highly paid advocate for the other side in Europe's increasingly politicized energy war.

Schröder's remark was short, snide -- and very much to the point. For eight years, the two men had led Germany together, with Schröder ruling as its center-left chancellor and Fischer as his foreign minister. Their long-running partnership had survived a particularly complicated era in post-Cold War Europe, and publicly Fischer had always been supportive, even telling Der Spiegel that Schröder "will go down in the history books as a great chancellor." READ MORE

Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff

By Clifford J. Levy

A year after its war with Georgia, Russia is engaging in an increasingly hostile standoff with another pro-Western neighbor, Ukraine. READ MORE

Croatia, Slovenia Bury Border Dispute

Slovenia and Croatia have reached an agreement on their long-running border dispute, a move that will allow Croatia to continue its European Union accession talks. READ MORE

Soviet Park Period

By Mikhail Korobchits

Lithuania-Belarus economic forum which will take place in the middle of September in Vilnius and the all at once coming information about Aleksandr Lukashenko possibly visiting it, can be events which will draw the attention of mass media, politicians and observers not only in Lithuania and Belarus. Obviously, the official Minsk will try to build a bridge to the West again, and this time to a very close West. The reporter of euramost.org asked the international observer Roman Yakovlevsky to comment on the forthcoming events. READ MORE

Mateusz Piskorski: Poland and Russia Are Against Chauvinism: the Chance For Strategic Partnership?

The visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Poland is the most significant event in the foreign policy of Poland in 2009. The Government of Donald Tusk has a serious task to normalize Polish-Russian relations, which has lately occurred to be almost frozen. READ MORE

The promise of emerging democracies

By Nursultan Nazarbayev

The world is remaking itself. Amid pressing economic challenges and multinational security concerns, new alliances are forming. Global commerce along with governments are bringing down borders, opening relationships and creating opportunity. Kazakhstan, like most emerging democracies, is cautiously optimistic, with a pragmatism steeped in the hard lessons of history. Policies have consequences; alliances can liberate as well as captivate. With the stroke of a pen, superpower leaders like Presidents Obama and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia can reverse a decade of tepid relations to put forces and agendas into motion that affect all of us. READ MORE

Azerbaijan May Also Open Borders With Armenia

Azerbaijan is ready to open its border with Armenia and establish formal relations if Yerevan returns five occupied regions adjacent to disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani official has said. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Approaches OSCE Chairmanship As A "National Strategic Project"

By Vladimir Socor

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has instructed the government to form a State Commission on Preparations for Kazakhstan's Chairmanship of the OSCE. Personally chairing an enlarged inter-departmental meeting on this subject, Nazarbayev described Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010 as a "national strategic project." The State Commission should coordinate all aspects of the country's effort, from policy analysis and diplomatic activity to personnel training and public outreach. READ MORE

“Gazprom” Accomplished the Second Line of Gas Pipeline Through Lithuania to Kaliningrad

The ceremony devoted to the accomplishment of gas pipeline took place on September 9th in Sakiai region of Lithuania. READ MORE

Medvedev Suppressed Putin and Timoshenko

By Sergey Kulikov

Dmitry Medvedev interfered into Russian-Ukrainian gas talks. READ MORE

Astana and the EU Intend to Intensify Bilateral Cooperation on the Eve of Kazakhstan Presidency in OSCE

The Ambassador of Kazakhstan, the Head of the Mission of the Republic to the EU and NATO Erik Utembayev met the Secretary General of the European Union Javier Solana in Brussels. READ MORE

Estonia and Kazakhstan Agreed on Cooperation

During an official visit to Kazakhstan, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip signed two bilateral agreements within the meeting with Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov.  According to the news agency REGNUM Novosti, on September 7th Estonian Government Office received the both agreements – one on the issue of visas abolishment for diplomats of both countries, and on the issue of economic, scientific and technical cooperation. READ MORE

NATO and World Security

By Zbigniew Brzezinski

In the course of its 60 years, NATO has institutionalized three monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long “civil war” within the West for trans-oceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States’s post–World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination; and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union. READ MORE

Lithuania and France as Strategic Partners

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and President of the Republic of France Nicolas Sarkozy signed a strategic partnership agreement which is the first document of this kind in the history of the two countries. READ MORE

Moldova Enters Post-Voronin Era -- Or Maybe Not

The murky world of Moldovan politics has become murkier still with acting President Vladimir Voronin's announcement that he will resign that post if his Communist Party officially goes into the opposition, as it is almost certain to do. READ MORE

Can Belarusians Expect Fair Play on the Issue of Visas?

By Yekaterina Glod

The thesis that the EU is perceived by citizens of Eastern Europe in the light of its visa policy towards them is hardly a new one. Indeed, for most applicants, a meeting with a consular officer constitutes their first opportunity to come face to face with those representing the EU. In this regard, the way in which this process is carried out can either contribute to a positive image of the European Union in the eyes of the outside world, or on the contrary it can significantly diminish the reputation of EU Member States, particularly when the visa application process could become, as stated by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, a “bureaucratic and costly nightmare.” READ MORE

Transformation Without Revolution

Will Astana Become a Unique Basis for Dialogue of the Heads of OSCE States? READ MORE

Caspian Passions

By Elem Rustamov

The new round of Russian Government attention to the issue of the Caspian Sea legal status determination, specified by President Dmitry Medvedev during the recent meeting in Astrakhan, called a disruptive reaction among pre-Caspian states. READ MORE

Poland Remembers The Outbreak Of World War II

By Adam Easton in Kielce, Poland

Poland commemorates the battle of Westerplatte, which marked the start of World War II on Sept. 1, 1939. Ignacy Skowron was one of the soldiers who tried to defend his country from the Germans' overwhelming attack. READ MORE

Merkel's CDU Party Experiences Setback In State Elections

Just a month before national elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats suffered losses in two out of three state elections, while the left-wing Left party and the liberal Free Democrats gained ground. READ MORE

Caucasus: The War That Was, The World War That Might Have Been

Politicizing Ethnicity: US Plan to Repeat Yugoslav Scenario in Caucasus. READ MORE

Where Does “Caspian Corridor” Go?

By Liudmila Razumnova

Caspian region with bordering territories became the most promising and gasul regif the world by the beginning of decade. Proved stocks of “black gold” here are about 10 billion tons, and overall resources of oil and gas condensate are estimated as 18-20 billion tons. The experts of the US Energy Ministry suggest that by 2015 Caspian region will cover 7% of world production of liquid hydrocarbons and 12% of their export (200-230 million tons annually). READ MORE

The Hillary Doctrine

By Matthew Kaminski

Hillary Clinton had quite the African odyssey. On the day she started her ambitious 11-day, seven country tour, husband Bill jetted off to Pyongyang and wrested two American journalists from Kim Jong-Il. Then, after dancing in Kenya, sitting down with Nelson Mandela, and upbraiding various African pols, her rumble in the jungle with a Congolese student was what dominated the headlines back home. READ MORE