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October 2009

Energy: Are There Limits To Growth?

By Sergei Martynov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus

Article to the challenges of future energy supply. READ MORE

Custom Union Impedes WTO Joining

By Aleksey Portanskij

Geneva welcomed first joint conferences of delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus with WTO member-states on joining this organization. As a result Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus intend to resume negotiations on joining the World Trade Organization as individual states, but in cooperation with each other. And the three states still strive to join WTO as soon as possible as a Custom Union. READ MORE

Turkmenistan: Ashgabat Energy-Reserve Controversy Continues To Flare

By Regis Gente

Are Turkmenistan’s energy reserve figures fudged or not? Just over a week after allegations first surfaced that the Turkmen government’s claims are grossly hyped, the controversy over Ashgabat’s export capacity is still flaring. Representatives of the firm that conducted the original audit are vigorously defending their reputation for thoroughness. Meanwhile, a whistleblower says he remains confident in the accuracy of his sources’ information. READ MORE

Russian Foreign Minister Speaks On Missile Defense, START, World Situation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave an interview to editors-in-chief of RIA Novosti, the Voice of Russia radio station, and the Russia Today TV channel in which he discussed topical issues of Russian foreign policy and current global developments. READ MORE

Poland Wants Mini-President At EU Helm

By Andrew Rettman

Poland has said it wants the new EU president to be a quiet consensus-builder who will not try to aggrandise the post, in what looks like another blow to British candidate Tony Blair. READ MORE

Azerbaijan-Russia Gas Agreement: Implications For Nabucco Project

By Vladimir Socor

On October 14 in Baku, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company president Rovnag Abdullayev and Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller signed an agreement on Azerbaijani gas exports to Russia. The move is a logical follow-up to the June 29 agreement, signed by the same company chiefs –in the presence of Presidents Ilham Alyiev and Dmitry Medvedev in Baku on that occasion– on the main principles of the gas trade between the two countries. READ MORE

RFE/RL Interview: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

In an exclusive interview, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with RFE/RL correspondents Brian Whitmore and Abubakar Siddique about the U.S. administration's policy on Russia, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Biden assured Central and Eastern Europeans of the United States' commitment to the region, and said that the United States will not ignore concerns about democracy in dealing with Iran on its nuclear program. READ MORE

Czech Leader Positive On Lisbon

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is satisfied an EU proposal meets demands he made for an opt-out on the bloc's Lisbon Treaty, his office says. READ MORE

The President Calls For Joint Action To Ensure Baltic Security

"The three Baltic States must act together in requesting their Alliance partners to work out, as soon as possible and taking into account the new threats, NATO defense plans for the Baltics," President Grybauskaitė said. READ MORE

Strategic Deal Has "Historic Importance": Nazarbayev

Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev said a strategic cooperation agreement signed with Turkey was of historic importance. READ MORE

Russia Joins The Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline

By Saban Kardas

On October 19, Turkey, Italy and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline (SCP). Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, the Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, inked the agreement that regulates the commitments of the three partners to the SCP. Despite the several signing ceremonies organized in the past for the SCP, the construction work did not commence. READ MORE

PM Tymoshenko Says “Ukraine's Future Is With Europe”

By Grigoriy Vasilenko

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was officially nominated as candidate for president, told supporters that Kiev could build neighborly relations with Moscow, but its future lay with Europe. READ MORE

Turkey May Reconsider Its Gas Pipeline Policy

Renowned American expert on Eurasia, an expert on foreign policy, security and international relations and head of Russian-Eurasian programs at the Heritage Foundation, Ariel Cohen, spoke to Day.Az in an interview. READ MORE

Power Struggle Defines Debate Over Europe's New Foreign Service

By Michael Knigge

Everyone agrees that the EU needs a powerful diplomatic corps to pull its global weight. But when it comes to creating the new service old turf battles could undermine a debate over the role of the new body. READ MORE

Swedish EU Presidency Still Hopes For Fruitful Summit

By Valentina Pop

The Swedish EU presidency is still hoping to fix the line-up of the new college of commissioners and the shape of the bloc's future diplomatic service at next week's summit. But the plans hang on a Czech court decision on the Lisbon Treaty. READ MORE

Questioning The Invisible Hand

Can liberalised energy markets cut carbon emissions? Britain is starting to doubt it READ MORE

Poland to Accept U.S. Offer on Shield

By Judy Dempsey

Poland, smarting after President Obama announced last month that he would scrap Bush-era plans to deploy an antiballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, will accept an offer to host parts of a new, more mobile, missile defense system, Polish officials said Tuesday. READ MORE

Alexander Vershbow Visits Georgia: Who Holds The Key To The War?

By Ilya Kramnik

Deputy Defense Secretary Alexander Vershbow arrived in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on Tuesday October 20. READ MORE

EU: Energy Security Is In The Pipeline

By Adrian Blomfield

After years of dithering, and despite Moscow's threats, agreement has been finalised for a project to bring non-Russian gas to Europe. READ MORE

Biden's Trip Confirms Eastern European Defense Is Still On The US Agenda

By Faith Thomas

Despite the scrapping of US eastern European missile defense plans, Vice President Biden's trip to eastern Europe presents fresh alternatives and confirms its security concerns are still a US priority. READ MORE

Ankara Courts EU Over Nabucco Gas Supplies

Turkey wants to help the EU to realise the Nabucco pipeline project by acting as a broker for securing natural gas supplies from Iraq and Qatar as well as Iran at a later stage, the country's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. READ MORE

Russian Energy Strategy – The Domestic Political Factor

By Roman Kupchinsky

In 2003 a team of Russian foreign policy and energy experts wrote a 70 page memo about the role of Gazprom, the state-owned gas monopoly, in Russia’s domestic politics and the country’s foreign policy strategy. The document was distributed to a limited number of consumers and was never published. It is in the possession of the Jamestown Foundation. READ MORE

Demands For More Reform By Turkey Lessen EU Membership Chances

By Dorian Jones

The European Commission's annual progress report on Turkish membership says Ankara has improved its handling of human rights issues and the Kurdish minority. But it says that a lot more work needs to be done for it to become an EU member. The report is being met with little enthusiasm in Turkey as doubts over its bid to become a member continues to grow. READ MORE

Astana Can Initiate OSCE Reforms. Expert View

Kazakhstan can give an impulse to the OSCE restructuring and balancing the three baskets of the Organization during its Presidency in OSCE in 2010, claimed the Head of the Foreign Policy Studies Department of Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies at the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bulat Auelbayev. READ MORE

Negotiations On The Transnistria Conflict In A Deep Freeze

By Vladimir Socor

Authorities in Tiraspol are watching the political deadlock in Chisinau with barely concealed satisfaction. Moldova’s political and constitutional crisis since April has further deepened the freeze on both tracks of negotiations on the Transnistria conflict: the international 5+2 format and the bilateral right bank – left bank dialogue. Tiraspol is in a position to argue irrefutably that negotiations can only resume after Moldova resolves its internal crisis and elects a head of state. READ MORE

Germany Welcomes Polish Approval Of Lisbon Treaty

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was "delighted" that the Polish had signed the EU's reform treaty, describing Warsaw's move as the "penultimate step" toward the treaty's implementation. READ MORE

Belarussian President Return Into Russian Politics?

By Anton Rubesh

Even the experienced political observers – those who monitor every step and word of Alexander Lukashenko – remain in the state of shock after he spoke to Russian journalists in Minsk. READ MORE

Customs Triumvirate Wants to Join WTO

By Evelina Titova

An unexpected initiative of Moscow doesn't promote WTO joining for Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The participants of the Customs Union received two variants of WTO joining: together and separately. READ MORE

Turkey Casts Doubt Over Landmark Agreement With Armenia

The agreement between Turkey and Armenia to re-establish ties has sparked controversy on both sides of the border. The deal also received heavy criticism from Azerbaijan over unsolved Armenian-Azeri territorial disputes. READ MORE

Patriot Missile Procurement Option Sparks Controversy In Turkey

By Saban Kardas

The Turkish government's possible purchase of missile defense systems from the United States, as part of an ongoing tender, has sparked a new debate on Ankara's new regional policies and its domestic arms procurement projects. On September 9, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the U.S. Congress of a possible sale to Turkey of 13 Patriot fire units, various Patriot missiles including the advanced capability (PAC-3) missiles, and other related support equipment. Raytheon Corporation and Lockheed-Martin are the principal contractors and if they are awarded the tender, the project is estimated to cost $7.8 billion. READ MORE

The European Parliament Cares About “Eastern Partnership”

By Aleksey Medvetskij

Diplomatic Adviser Arnold Pranckevicius dwells on priorities of the new staff of the European Parliament. READ MORE

The Mission Of Kaliningrad Is In European Presence Of Russia

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Lithuania should be a priority within interrelations of the Parliament and the Administration of Kaliningrad region, as considers the Head of Foundation “Regional Policy” Solomon Ginzburg. He thinks that the Administration of Kaliningrad region pays little attention to Lithuania, meanwhile at unofficial level “RUR and LTL” vote for cooperation. READ MORE

Russia's New Ukrainian Disinformation Campaign

By Roman Kupchinsky

Disinformation, or the planting of false information to deceive or smear an enemy, is now being regularly used by both government and non-governmental players in  Russia and Ukraine in the fierce battles for control of power and assets in these countries. During the January 2009 "gas war" between Ukraine and Russia, the Russian leadership accused Ukraine of preventing Russian gas from reaching customers in the E.U. READ MORE

David Miliband: Europe Is Tories' Massive Weakness

By Bruno Waterfield and Adrian Michaels

David Miliband was combative while defending European Union foreign policy and the Lisbon Treaty. READ MORE

EU's East-West Divide Shifts On US And Russia

By Valentina Pop

The traditional European east-west divide towards the US and Russia is shifting, with 'Obama-mania' and the willingness to stand up to Moscow more frequent among western than eastern Europeans, a survey of the German Marshall Fund reveals. READ MORE

Kazakhstan: Government Focusing On Domestic Economy, Not Upcoming OSCE Chairmanship

By Joanna Lillis

With Kazakhstan’s parliament now in its fall session, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has made it clear that Astana’s top priority in the coming year is economic rejuvenation, not political democratization. READ MORE