May 2010

Czech election brings big political shake-up

By Rob Cameron

Czech center-right parties are beginning talks on forming a coalition government, after their surprising success in the polls this weekend. They have promised severe budget cuts to trim the country's growing deficit. READ MORE

Russia is going to spend approximately 145 billion roubles for the ecology of the Baltic Sea until the year of 2020

During the period until 2020 Russia is going to spend approximately 145 billion roubles for the preservation and restoration of the ecology in the Baltic Sea, reported on 20 May, Thursday, Jurij Trutniov, the RF Minister of Nature. READ MORE

Georgian Exit Polls Show Incumbent Ugulava Winning Reelection As Tbilisi Mayor

By Brian Whitmore

Polls have closed across Georgia in key local elections that are seen as the first test of the strength of President Mikheil Saakashvili's government since the disastrous August 2008 war with Russia. READ MORE

Ukraine and Moldova: Time to talk openly

By Alyona Getmanchuk

The Republic of Moldova is the smallest of Ukraine’s neighbors, yet the most roublesome as well. An undemarcated border, the frozen conflict in Transnistria, a Ukrainian community on both sides of the Dnister whose interests are not always defended, common challenges linked to neighboring Romania—all these prevent Kyiv from dropping Chisinau from its sights for any length of time. READ MORE

Central Political Leaders in Baltic Sea Region participate in BDF Summit

Apart from the President of the European Commission, five Prime Ministers and two deputy Prime Ministers from the Region will be at the BDF Summit in Vilnius. READ MORE

Uzbekistan joins INWRDAM

By D.Azizov

Uzbekistan has become a full member of the Inter-Islam Network of Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), Jahon agency at the Uzbek Foreign Ministry announced. READ MORE

The Next Round of the Great Game

By Richard Lourie

The April uprising in Kyrgyzstan illuminates the latest phase of the Great Game. READ MORE

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: Signs of Real Rapprochement

By Dmitry Slavin

Today the foreground of international relations includes the issues of arrangement and holding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Tashkent this June. The Heads of SCO member-states are constantly substantially exchanging views on the situation within Central Asian region. A significant defining factor is the relations between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which gain the tendency to rapprochement. READ MORE

The “Reefs” of Russian-Ukrainian Rapprochement

Russia and Ukraine are on their way to a system dialogue. President Viktor Yanukovich has already sounded the suggestion to finalize the provisions of the Great Treaty of 1997. Will the states develop a new format of interaction? READ MORE

Environmental Problems of Asian Region have Reached a Critical Point

By Christina Greszta

The OSCE is literally the only regional organization, which includes the most influential countries in the world. READ MORE

The Faith of South Ossetia and Finland is Predicted to Crimea

The prolongation of the stay of Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea can result into the issue of the status of a peninsula. This was stated by a former Head of President’s Secretariat (PS) Viktor Baloga, commenting on the agreement stipulating the locating of the Black Fleet in Crimea till 2042. READ MORE

Turkey unveils energy plan

By Saban Kardas

The Turkish energy ministry has announced its strategic energy plan for 2010-2014, which seeks to accomplish several objectives: boosting supply security and Turkey's influence in regional and global energy markets, protecting the environment, making greater use of domestic resources and restructuring the legal-institutional infrastructure of the national energy market. READ MORE

Poland wants 'friends' group for EU Eastern Partnership

Poland has invited Russia to be part of a "group of friends" of the European Union's Eastern Partnership with former Soviet republics, Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Monday. READ MORE

U.S. And NATO Accelerate Military Build-Up In Black Sea Region

By Rick Rozoff

In the post-Cold War era and especially since 2001 the Pentagon has been steadily shifting emphasis, and moving troops and equipment, from bases in Germany and Italy to Eastern Europe in its drive to the east and the south. READ MORE

President Gul Calls On Turkish Companies To Invest In Kazakhstan

Turkey's president who is on an official trip to Kazakhstan has called on Turkish companies to invest in this Country. READ MORE

Turkish PM’s historic visit to Greece

A series of agreements were signed during the visit which shows political will of both sides. READ MORE

Saakashvili’s dream is to have easy access to Europe

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili believes that Europe must not be a tough target for his country as he said at the debates in Tbilisi's House Of Europe opened specifically for such discussions. Logomachies, as creators of the institution believe, will accelerate Georgia's accession to Europe. Experts in Tbilisi and Moscow comment on real progress of Georgia's integration into Europe. READ MORE

The End of the Euro

By Niall Ferguson

How the crisis in Greece could lead to the demise of Europe's most ambitious project.

Crisis—from the Greek "krisis," for a turning point in a disease—is one of many English words we owe to the ancient Athenians. Now their modern descendants are reminding us what it really means. READ MORE

A new impetus to the relations between the EU and its neighbours in the East

Lithuania will remain an active participant of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership initiative and will make every effort to ensure its successful implementation, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis said at the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers’ Informal Meeting on 24 May in Sopot, Poland. READ MORE

End of Nabucco project?

By Grigory Kutovoy, President of Independent Energy Alliance

Signing an agreement with Austria the Russian side may start design work on South Stream project. According to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller Russia will start supplies from the new pipe already in 2015. Remarkably Vienna - one of the gas destinations on Nabucco's way to Europe - prefers the competitor. Does the Western project for supplies of primary materials have a future after this turn of events? READ MORE

Asian Conflict Manager for Europeans

For Kazakhstan and its President N. Nazarbayev the OSCE Chairmanship in 2010 is a prestigious project. At the moment East and West take care of a great and primarily reach in resources state of Central Asia. READ MORE

NATO's new strategic concept

By Andrei Fedyashin

NATO comes out with a new strategic concept once every ten years, like a child that outgrows its old clothes and needs new ones. The great paradox of these regular changes is that NATO's original "zone of hostility" has been shrinking geographically over the past 20 years while its zone of activity has continued to expand. In fact, all of NATO's past concepts simply provided a formal rationale for what it had been doing for a few years anyway, even if this extended beyond NATO's official competence. READ MORE

The EU and natural gas: The new security agenda

By George Joffe, reserarch fellow at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Cambridge

Energy supply should dominate the EU's overall security objectives for the immediate future, given its dependence on Russia. READ MORE

Sergei Ivanov Seeks Deals in Washington

By Pavel Felgenhauer

The Russian authorities are seeking a major détente with the West. A draft of a revised foreign policy doctrine was leaked and extracts published by Russky Newsweek in Moscow this month. The document was prepared by the foreign ministry and envisages closer political cooperation with the US and the West in exchange for much needed Western capital and technologies to kick-start Russian modernization in all fields, including defense. The document was prepared by the foreign ministry in February and provisionally approved by President, Dmitry Medvedev. READ MORE

A diplomatic game of chicken with Iran

By David Ignatius

Let's be generous and call the frantic diplomatic maneuvers that have been taking place this week over Iran's nuclear program a "negotiation," Tehran-style. READ MORE

The Implications of UN-CSTO Cooperation

By Stephen Blank

Kyrgyzstan’s recent upheaval and the  war in Afghanistan have obscured the fact that other important developments are occurring in Central Asia. For example, Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), announced in March that the Russia-dominated security group and the United Nations would henceforth cooperate in countering terrorism, transnational crime (including illegal arms trafficking), and in settling conflicts. READ MORE

Experts: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must not be resolved by Kosovo analogy

Kosovo's precedent cannot be used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as historical facts do not permit this, Turkish Center for Strategic Studies head Celal Cem Oguz said A round-table on "Kosovo and the Nagorno-Karabakh: Differences and Contradictions" was held at the Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Studies with the participation of Cem Oguz and Turkish professors from Bilkent University. READ MORE

Legal Foundation Is Laid For Activities Of The Lithuania-Georgia Commission For Co-Operation

On 18 May in Vilnius, Lithuanian and Georgian Ministers of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and Grigol Vashadze signed regulations of the Lithuania-Georgia Commission for the European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and, thus, paved the way for activities of the Commission. READ MORE

East Europe Feels Ignored by NATO, Report Says

NATO is ignoring the security concerns of its Central and East European members to such an extent that several of those countries are pursuing separate bilateral security arrangements with the United States, says a report issued by a group of experts on the eve of the presentation of a major new proposal on strategy for the alliance. READ MORE

OSCE, Asian Partners discuss comprehensive approach to security

How the OSCE concept of promoting comprehensive security through co-operation and dialogue could also be an inspiration for Asia is the focus of an OSCE Conference with the Organization's Asian Partners - Japan, Korea, Thailand, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Australia - that started in Seoul. READ MORE

Turkey Unleashes New Energy Strategy Plan

By Saban Kardas

The Turkish energy ministry announced the strategic energy plan for 2010-2014, which seeks to accomplish several objectives: boosting supply security and Turkey’s influence in regional and global energy markets, protecting the environment, making greater use of domestic resources and restructuring the legal-institutional infrastructure of the national energy market. READ MORE

The shadow of Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership Lies on South Caucasus

By Rasim Musabekov

The first accomplished official visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Turkey draw attention first of all due to the demonstration to all the world of growing scales of economic cooperation and deepening political dialogue, allowing to talk about strategic character of relations between these states. READ MORE

Russia opens a new pipeline of diplomacy

By M K Bhadrakumar

Russian diplomacy has been on a roll in recent months, the revival of ties with Ukraine being the most dramatic manifestation. But a string of successes, major and minor, sung and unsung, has been notched up below that high point - in Poland, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Norway and Syria. READ MORE

Crisis in Europe and Forecasts for Russia

By Vadim Massalsky

“It’s absolutely evident, that Europe experiences the period of troubles. However, our article doesn’t touch upon these troubles in general. It focuses on the period following these troubles. And its objective is to define tasks, which European Governments will have to complete to stop the current unequal recession in economy and to achieve a steady and persistent growth”. This declaration was made by the Head of a Permanent Representative Office of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Russia Odd Per Brekk presenting another regional European report during the meeting with Moscow press. READ MORE

Mikhail Krutikhin: Streams in Dreams

It doesn’t look as a coincidence. On the eve of Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Ankara a group of Turkish experts left for Baku to prepare a comprehensive agreement on supplying Azerbaijani gas to the planned Nabucco pipeline. READ MORE

Iran signs nuclear fuel-swap deal with Turkey

Iran has signed an agreement to send uranium abroad for enrichment after mediation talks in Tehran with Turkish and Brazilian leaders. READ MORE

Moscow Conducts a Direct Dialogue with Kirgiz Government

By Arthur Dunn

The line of activity of the Russian Federation towards Kirgizia, led after the change of power in Kirgizia, proves that Moscow conducts a lame game. Instead of a complex approach, grounded on skilled use of the political environment recently established in the Republic, the Kremlin staked on a fragmented steps oriented on demonstration of segmented focus to the events in Bishkek. READ MORE

European Window of Opportunities for Viktor Yanukovich

By Oleg Gorbunov

The European Commission imposed 19 demands to Ukraine that are connected with the prospects of Euro-integration of this country. Europe tests the Government of V. Yanukovich on the ability to fulfill its Euro-promises in practice. Will that be a kind of a bad try to approach the same as the one undertaken by Viktor Yushchenko earlier? Is the Government of Nikolay Azarov able for serious internal political changes for the sake of Euro-integration? In the end, who is Yanukovich for Ukrainian Euro-integration – a coffin maker or a savior? The questions are covered by the leading researcher of the International Economy and Foreign Affairs Institute of Ukrainian National Academy of Science Sergey Tolstov. READ MORE

Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev on the Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum, Kyrgyz events and his opinion on the Great Victory

Almaty is to hold the Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum entitled "The Eurasian Dimension of the OSCE" on 14-16 May. In anticipation of this event, Interfax-Kazakhstan has spoken to the head of the forum's organizing committee, Kazakhstan's Senate Speaker and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev. READ MORE

OSCE and Organization of the Islamic Conference need to work together to battle Islamophobia, says OIC leader

Co-ordinated efforts are needed to battle the rise of Islamophobia, intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, told the OSCE Permanent Council. READ MORE

EU says not competing with Russia in eastern neighbourhood

By Valentina Pop

The European Commission assured Moscow that the EU's policy's towards its eastern neighbours is not a form of competition, with Brussels keeping the door open for "project-based" co-operation with Russia. READ MORE

EU officials expect pragmatism on Europe from new British government

By Nina Maria Potts

European leaders have congratulated Conservative Party leader David Cameron on taking office as British prime minister, saying they don't fear a more euroskeptic course from the new leadership. READ MORE

Turkey, Russia sign nuclear power plant, visa removal deals

Turkey, Russia signed a $20 billion deal on Wednesday to build a nuclear power plant with four reactors in Turkey. READ MORE

Envoys: Turkey, Brazil brokering Iran nuclear deal

By Louis Charbonneau

Turkey and Brazil are trying to revive a stalled atomic fuel deal with Iran in an attempt to help the Islamic Republic avoid new UN sanctions over its nuclear program, Western diplomats said . READ MORE

Astana Takes Credit for Stability in Kyrgyzstan

By Erica Marat

Astana has promised to open Kazakhstan’s border with Kyrgyzstan almost one month after the violent regime change in Bishkek. Astana remained reluctant to re-open the border despite numerous pleas from the Kyrgyz. The cost of the closed border was high – Kyrgyz businesses claim millions of dollars in losses. As Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Kazakhstan has also pledged that it will work on a special strategy to help stabilize Kyrgyzstan. READ MORE

Will Iran Ease Its Line under the Pressure of Russia?

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov warned that Iran will face serious consequences if keeps acting freely within a nuclear issue. Russia also declared that it doesn’t support the final document adopted during the international conference on nuclear disarmament in Teheran. At the background of the development of new UN sanctions to be imposed towards Iran, the tension in the relations of Moscow and Teheran attracted a special focus of international community. READ MORE

Turkey, Russia eye strategic partnership in Medvedev visit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose visit to Turkey begins today, wrote an article for Today’s Zaman ahead of his visit. Turkey and Russia will discuss plans to introduce a visa-free regime and ways to deepen cooperation in energy, economy, agriculture and security, in addition to political ties, during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Turkey. READ MORE

EU has no objections to Gazprom-Naftogaz takeover

By Andrew Rettman

The European Commission has no objections to Russia's proposed takeover of Ukraine's national gas company, despite warnings that it would harm EU interests. READ MORE

A Statement Of The Institute Of World Policy About A Possible Recognition By Ukraine Of South Ossetia And Abkhazia As Independent States

The Institute of World Policy warns the leaders of Ukraine from taking measures, which could significantly undermine Ukraine’s credibility as a member of the international community, namely, the recognition of alleged independence of two separatist entities, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. READ MORE

Eastern Partnership Initiative Brings The EU And Its Eastern Neighbours Closer, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Says

The Eastern Partnership programme embodies a shift into a new stage of the European Union’s relations with its neighbours in the East and is an important tool for promoting reforms in these countries and their economic integration, and for helping them to facilitate the movement of persons, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis says on the occasion of a one-year anniversary of the Eastern Partnership programme. The programme was announced on 7 May last year in Prague. READ MORE

Russia Moves to Strengthen Ties with Uzbekistan

By Sergei Blagov

As the Kremlin intensified its efforts to develop relations with Uzbekistan, the leadership of the most populous nation in Central Asia appears to remain non-committal. Following talks in Moscow, Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, hailed the bilateral summit on April 19-20 as a move towards strengthening the partnership. Russia and Uzbekistan remain strategic partners, Medvedev reportedly commented. READ MORE

US and EU moving in right direction, says ambassador

By Christina Bergmann

There's been some disquiet lately about the state of US-EU relations with Obama cancelling his participation at an upcoming EU-US summit. Still, the US ambassador to the EU says the relationship between the two is fine. READ MORE

Biden Delivers Message Of Reassurance To Europe

By Ahto Lobjakas

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told the European Parliament that the United States and Europe now need each other more than ever. READ MORE

Three killed as violence flares over Greek austerity measures

Three people die as protesters set fire to an Athens bank during clashes over government austerity measures. Rioters threw petrol bombs and stones in a bid to storm parliament, while police used tear gas. READ MORE

EU-US lawmakers eye new partnership

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the US Congress is ready to reap the benefits of the European Parliament's strengthened role and renew its ties with legislators in Brussels. READ MORE

Turkmenistan postpones signing agreement on gas supply to Nabucco

German RWE Energy Group, which is a participant to the European Nabucco pipeline project, stated today that signing an agreement on gas supplies from Turkmenistan was postponed, Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, told reporters in a conference. READ MORE

Ahmadinejad Blasts U.S., Says Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Iran's nuclear ambitions are endangering the entire world and called on the international community to hold Tehran accountable. READ MORE

Another human-rights irony at the U.N.

By Anne Applebaum

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad campaigned in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Behind the scenes, his flunkies twisted arms and offered favors. For weeks, feelers were sent out to all kinds of unlikely allies. What was the diplomatic prize at stake? Nothing less than a seat on the United Nations council on human rights. READ MORE

Turkey's foreign policy not exclusively focused on Europe anymore

By Michael Knigge

Like China, Brazil or the EU, Turkey in recent years has upgraded its engagement with Africa. Ankara's new interest in Africa is not just economically driven, but exemplifies a recalibration of Turkish foreign policy. READ MORE

Caspian region is for Europe one with a preferential treatment - analyst

News.Az interviews Dr. Friedemann Müller, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Germany). READ MORE

Moscow, Oslo, Copenhagen: Nordic problems

By Andrei Fedyashin

On April 26, President Dmitry Medvedev depart Moscow for his "Nordic tour", which will take him to Norway on April 26 and 27 and to Denmark on April 27 and 28. READ MORE

France's Sarkozy in China to repair ties, push gently on Iran

By Kyle James

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is on a three-day visit to China aimed at mending relations and seeking Chinese support for tough new sanctions on Iran. It will require some delicate diplomacy. READ MORE

New Format of the EU-Russia Dialogue

By Arthur Dunn

Security Issues in the Context of Russian-European Relations. READ MORE