January 2010

Problems of Georgia-Ossetia “Bordering”

By Sergey Markedonov

The new 2010 year was marked by new incidents within Georgia-Ossetia relations. And although there are no confrontations even slightly reminding the situation of 2004-2008 first days of this year were marked by a number of alarm symptoms … READ MORE


By Natalia Grib

Following the results of the meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin suggested to deepen the cooperation within energy sphere by assets exchanging. First of all the case is about the access to the resources of Black and Caspian Sea and the gas transporting system of Turkey. Also Ankara promises to arrange all approvals for the South Stream piping till November. Gazprom says that now Turkey stands in one list with its other strategic partners – Germany and Italy. READ MORE

Improvement of Russian - Azerbaijani relations may change Russia's position on regional issues: Armenian expert

By E.Tariverdiyeva

After Moscow demonstrated its desire to improve relations with Baku, Armenia should be more concerned with a more serious shift in Russian policy, Director of Armenian Center for National and International Studies Richard Giragosianbelieves. READ MORE

Former OSCE Chair Says Time Ripe For 'Serious Look' At Reform

The 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is facing hard times as observers increasingly question its relevance and effectiveness. At a Permanent Council session in Vienna on January 14, the new Kazakh chairmanship of the OSCE will lay out its plan for the coming year -- an agenda that former OSCE Chairman in Office and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb describes as "an extensive and ambitious working program." Stubb, who chaired the organization in 2008, spoke to RFE/RL correspondent Robert Coalson about the challenges the OSCE will face in 2010. READ MORE

Nino Burjanadze: “We are people struggling for democracy in Georgia and for real prospect of the western family membership”

An exclusive interview of the Leader of the party “Democratic Movement “United Georgia”. READ MORE

Georgia: Armenian-Turkish Rapprochement Could Have Significant Economic Impact On Tbilisi

By Nino Patsuria

As prospects dim for a quick reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border, Georgian business executives remain quietly content. Trouble with the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process can mean continued economic benefits for Georgian traders. READ MORE

Spain's EU Presidency Greeted With Skepticism

By Soeren Kern

Spain's six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which began on Jan. 1, 2010, is off to a bumpy start. With the Lisbon Treaty now in effect, the traditional role of the EU rotating presidency has been downgraded. Responsibility for many issues which were once the domain of the rotating presidency now falls to the newly named permanent EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, and EU foreign minister, Catherine Ashton -- who together are supposed to comprise the new "public face" of the EU. READ MORE

Ukraine heads for close presidential run-off

Pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich and populist Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will face off in a second round of presidential elections after Sunday's poll failed to produce a clear winner. READ MORE

Our Year Of Decision

By Victor Davis Hanson

America's challenges are coming to a head READ MORE

Merkel Says Party On Track Even As Germans Question Her Leadership

A new survey has found that a majority of Germans think Chancellor Merkel has little control over her government. Merkel defended herself and her Christian Democrats, saying they were on the right path. READ MORE

Top EU Official Draws Line Between Enlargement, Neighborhood Policies

By Ahto Lobjakas

The first Eastern European to be trusted with a significant foreign-policy role in the European Union went through his confirmation hearing today and stuck closely to the established political consensus within the bloc on future expansion, arguing that all current candidates should be admitted. READ MORE

For the West, 'Game Over' in Central Asia

By Andrea Bonzanni

Last month, the West officially lost the new "Great Game." The 20-year competition for natural resources and influence in Central Asia between the United States (supported by the European Union), Russia and China has, for now, come to an end, with the outcome in favor of the latter two. Western defeat was already becoming clear with the slow progress of the Nabucco pipeline and the strategic reorientation of some Central Asian republics toward Russia and China. Two recent events, however, confirmed it. READ MORE

Germany's New Foreign Policy Orientation

By Nicolas Nagle

Among the questions raised by Germany's elections in September 2009 was the impact Chancellor Angela Merkel's new coalition partners would have on Berlin's foreign policy orientation. A number of developments since then have provided hints of areas of continuity, as well as others of potential change and even internal conflict. READ MORE

Will Moscow-Kiyv Ties Improve After Ukrainian Election?

By Andre de Nesnera

Ukrainians go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president. Analysts say who wins will determine the course of relations between Ukraine and Russia. READ MORE

Text of the video address from President Nursultan Nazarbayev

On the occasion of Kazakhstan’s assuming the Chairmanship in the OSCE.

January 2010 READ MORE

Enter a lawyer-composer

A result that bodes well for the future of Croatia and the western Balkans READ MORE

Medvedev-Erdogan talks to focus on gas, oil, nuclear projects

Gas pipelines and a project to build the first nuclear power plant in Turkey, will dominate talks between the Russian president and the visiting Turkish premier on Wednesday, the Kremlin said. READ MORE

Europe can lose part of Azerbaijani gas

By S.Aliyev

In 2010, Azerbaijan will produce over 28 billion cubic meters of gas, the republic will have free volume of fuel for export. Along with the traditional markets of gas sale such as Georgia and Turkey, this year Azerbaijan starts supplying gas to new markets - Russia and Iran. READ MORE

Gas Coordination Group Discusses Security Of Gas Supply In The Light Of The Current Winter Situation In Europe

 In its first meeting in 2010, the   Gas Coordination Group, under the chairmanship of the Commission, has focused today on the assessment of the situation on security of gas supply in the EU-27 and countries of the Energy Community and discussed priorities for the work of the Group in 2010. READ MORE

CSU rejects Foreign Minister Westerwelle's Turkey policy

The Christian Social Union (CSU) remains locked in a bitter row with government coalition partners the Free Democratic Party (FDP), after the Bavarian conservatives rejected Westerwelle's overtures to Turkey. READ MORE

Yushchenko and Yanukovych Forge an Electoral Alliance

By Taras Kuzio

On December 25, 2009 UNIAN published a secret agreement “On Political Reconciliation and the Development of Ukraine” leaked by Yaroslav Kozachok, the deputy head of the presidential secretariat’s department on domestic affairs and regional development. Kozachok resigned in protest at the secret agreement between President Viktor Yushchenko and Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych to appoint the former as Prime Minister in the event of Yanukovych’s election. READ MORE

Presidential Candidates Are Not in a Hurry

By Christina Greszta

“Eastern Partnership” within Pre-election Presidential Campaign in Poland. READ MORE

Belarus’ Oil Sector: A Target of Opportunity for Moscow

By Vladimir Socor

Russia’s threat to abolish its oil subsidies to Belarus aim not only to punish Minsk for its recent rapprochement with the European Union, but also to put the oil processing and oil transit in Belarus under the control of Russian companies. READ MORE

Kazakh-Turkmen Coop In Fuel And Energy Sphere Has Long-Term Character

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev pays a working visit to Turkmenistan. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan Askhat Orazbayev told Kazinform about the development of Kazakh relations with this country. READ MORE

Russia-Belarus Oil Dispute Threatens Europe’s Supply

By Andrew E. Kramer

Russia and Belarus have failed to renew an agreement on crude oil export tariffs that expired on New Year’s Eve, raising the prospect that yet another otherwise unremarkable energy pricing dispute between Russia and a neighbor could unravel into a midwinter fuel shut-off on the Continent. READ MORE

Eastern Europeans Crave Power In EU Diplomatic Service

By Valentina Pop

The EU's newest member states are under-represented in the bloc's diplomatic service and among senior EU commission officials, Estonian president Toomas Ilves has said, urging the union's new leadership to alter the situation. READ MORE

Azerbaijan’s Gas Going East?

By Alexandros Petersen

Azerbaijan’s ongoing dispute with Turkey about transit terms and revenues for natural gas heading to Europe across Anatolia, as well as uncertainties about the Nabucco pipeline project, have compelled highest-level officials at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) to publically consider the option of exporting hydrocarbons eastward, potentially to China and other East Asian markets. However, as Baku would have to surmount significant hurdles to make that proposition a reality, it remains to be seen whether a reorientation of Azerbaijan’s energy posture is in the cards, or whether this is just rhetoric to spur the development of Western-oriented projects. READ MORE