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June 2010

Moldova Orders Russia To Withdraw Troops From Transdniester

Moldova has ordered Russia to withdraw all its troops from the separatist Transdniester region, where they've been stationed for two decades. READ MORE

Will Kazakhstan's oil reach Europe?

By Ainis Razma, VDU PMDI doktorantas

The main trend of the strategy for export of Kazakhstan’s energy resources is ultimate diversification of its roads, therefore oil export to Europe is in compliance with the country‘s interests. READ MORE

Turkish Government Criticized for its Policy on Kyrgyzstan

By Saban Kardas

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, paid a visit to Kazakhstan. Davutoglu met his Kazakh counterpart, Kanat Saudabayev, and President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to discuss the situation in Kyrgyzstan as well as bilateral relations. The two nations agreed to coordinate their assistance to Kyrgyzstan. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Gets Jump on Caspian Naval Race

By Joshua Kucera

It may not approach the scale of the great battleship race between Britain and Germany that preceded World War I, but a naval build-up is currently and quietly taking place on the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan appears to be setting the pace, with plans to buy six ships for its navy by the end of 2010. READ MORE

Aliyev: Azerbaijan’s defense spending tops Armenia budget

President Ilham Aliyev has said Azerbaijan is committed to increasing its military power that now surpasses the budget of Armenia, a neighboring country that occupies part of Azerbaijani territory, ignoring international law. READ MORE

Berlin plays party political games in German presidential election

By Peter Stuetzle

Germany's presidential election has long looked like a done deal. But the opposition has found a candidate who could manage to upset the traditional structures - and cause trouble for the government in Berlin. READ MORE

OSCE generic response effectively gave Baku a free pass

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has shared with Ambassador Robert Bradtke, the U.S. Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, the concern of the Armenian American community that the OSCE's weak response to Azerbaijan’s recent attack on the Mardakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh will effectively encourage continued belligerence from Baku, ANCA website reports. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan votes in favour of new constitution

First results from Sunday's referendum on Kyrgyzstan’s new constitution show voters to be  overwhelmingly behind a charter that seeks to give the country’s parliament greater power whilst limiting that of the president. READ MORE

Sergey Boyarkin: Rosenergoatom can Negotiate Freely

By Kirill Dyakov

North Germany Experiences Energy Deficit that is Still Covered by the Energy Imported from Poland. READ MORE

Ambassador of Kazakhstan: Lithuania as a Bridge to European Bodies

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Interests of Kazakhstan and Lithuania within the sphere of energy are mutually complementary, thinks Kazakhstan Ambassador to Lithuania Galymzhan Koishybayev. "We are energy suppliers, and Lithuania is a consumer and a transiting state of this energy", - he underlines. He estimates the level of relations between the two states as “pretty high”. According to his words, Lithuania as the EU member can “play the role of a bridge between Kazakhstan and general European bodies”. Kazakhstan is the 9th biggest country in the world, its population is more than 15 million people. READ MORE

Europe’s top banks keen on funding Nabucco

As global financial market recovers, Europe’s major commercial banks are getting more interested in financing the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which will pump Caspian and Central Asian gas to European markets. The consortium on the Nabucco gas pipeline project are holding talks with international financial institutions, including European Investment Bank and EBRD, to attract financing for construction of the 7.9-billion-euro pipeline. READ MORE

Turkish President: We don’t want anything other than EU membership

Turkey will not accept any new framework of relations to the EU except full membership, Turkish President Abdullah Gül told EurActiv in an exclusive interview. READ MORE

US blames EU for Turkey's eastward shift

By Ben Knight

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates stirred the ire of both the European Union and Turkey when he suggested that Turkey was moving east because it was being shut out from the EU. Critics say there is some truth to it. READ MORE

Obama's energy pipe dreams

By Robert J. Samuelson

"For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels... Time and time again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor." READ MORE

'Gas War' Between Gazprom And Belarus

The European Commission has called an emergency meeting. READ MORE

President Medvedev's Interview to "Wall Street Journal"

By Gregory L. White, Robert Thomson, Rebecca Blumenstein

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubts about the future of Europe’s common currency and said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the survival of BP PLC. READ MORE

Is NATO to Blame for Russia's Afghan Heroin Problem?

By Simon Shuster

It had to be one of the weirdest displays the Russian president had ever seen. Laid out on a table were a mound of walnuts, a chess set, an old tire and an anatomically correct dummy — all stuffed with little baggies of imitation heroin. Titled "The Deadly Harvest," the exhibit was meant to show the clever ways smugglers have of getting Afghan heroin into Russia, which has become the world's largest consumer of opiates from Afghanistan since the U.S. began its war there in 2001. READ MORE

Russia's 'new' stance remains anti-West

By David J. Kramer

Ahead of Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Washington this week, a "leaked" Russian foreign policy document is causing some Russia watchers to wonder whether the Russian president is shifting his country toward a more positive, pro-Western stance. A careful read of the 18,000-word document does not support such wishful thinking. READ MORE

Poland Prepares for a Run-Off Vote

By Hilary Heuler

Poland's first round of presidential elections on Sunday resulted in the center-right candidate Bronislaw Komorowski beating the far-right's Jaroslaw Kaczynski by a slim margin. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Learns to Survive in Chaos

By Erica Marat

Amid corruption scandals and ongoing instability it is easy to write off Kyrgyzstan as a state destined to fail due to its dishonest political leaders and impoverished economy. However, despite the fact that the provisional government has not filled all its ministerial seats and faces numerous domestic challenges, there is a strong sense of normality in Kyrgyzstan’s daily life. As local NGO groups like to describe it: “despite troubled government, life continues in Bishkek.” Indeed, in the past two months Kyrgyzstan has changed from being a country where dynastic succession of state power was most likely to a place with free media and active civic engagement. READ MORE

Strategic decisions adopted by the European Council will help prevent crises in the future

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė calls the decisions adopted by the European Council strategic and important for Lithuania and for the whole European Union. The Heads of States gathered in Brussels agreed that all Member States will perform stress tests on their banking systems in the effort to stabilise financial markets. According to President Dalia Grybauskaitė, testing in Lithuania will be performed by the central bank and the Ministry of Finance. READ MORE

EU approves harsh new sanctions against Iran

By Andrei Fedyashin

The European Union and the United States apparently find it easier to take on the Iranian nuclear problem than the global financial crisis. On June 17, EU government chiefs agreed to new sanctions against Iran at a Brussels summit. U.S. President Barack Obama was no doubt pleased to hear the news, even though the U.S. and the EU had most likely coordinated the sanctions in advance. READ MORE

Poland Wants to Refuse of Russian Gas Partially

Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk intends to change a gas agreement with Russia, if it turns out that the part of needs could be covered by the gas produced from shale. This was stated by Prime Minister during the interview for Radiо Zet. According to his words, the agreement with Russia has not yet been ratified, so is it possible to make changes. However, the comments of Prime Minister can’t be accomplished, as it is impossible to estimate shale fields without extra tests. First results of drilling, starting in June, will be known only in a few months. And final results will be received only in two-three years. READ MORE

Creating synergies, avoiding overlap key to strengthening work of OSCE and Council of Europe

The OSCE and the Council of Europe should strengthen co-operation and avoid overlap to promote security on the basis of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Minister Antonio Miloshoski, told the OSCE Permanent Council READ MORE

"Turkey not junior US partner any more"

By Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org

F. Stephen Larrabee, an expert on Turkey at the RAND Corporation, says the days when Turkey was a "junior partner" of the United States are over. READ MORE

Ethno-religious conflict in Europe: Radicalisation in Europe’s Muslim communities

"The truly remarkable failings of the Western economic model now on display" may "give a renewed boost to Islamic radicalisation," writes Michael Emerson, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). READ MORE

For U.S. and Russia, Kyrgyz Crisis Poses Strategic Risk

By Gregory L. White

The worsening ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan is hundreds of miles from U.S. and Russian bases in the central Asia country, but it poses thorny strategic dilemmas for both. READ MORE

A Russian Made Disaster in Kyrgyzstan

By Daniel Greenfield

The violence unleashed in Kyrgyzstan is being spun as ethnic rioting. The reality is a good deal more complex, and the blame can be laid directly at Russia's door. Russia's coup against the Bakiyev government which took power in the Tulip Revolution leveraged Uzbek separatists in the Osh Province to suppress Kyrgiz nationalist supporters of Bakiyev. READ MORE

The EU needs a foreign policy doctrine

Today's world contains two declining global powers (Russia and the US) and two emerging ones (China and the EU). While China's rise is unstoppable, the EU must establish its own foreign policy doctrine, which in an interdependent world must be one of "inclusiveness" and soft power, writes Romanian MEP Adrian Severin, vice-president of the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament, in an exclusive commentary. READ MORE

Crisis of confidence at the core of security challenges, says Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister

A crisis of confidence lies at the core of security challenges facing the OSCE region today, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Zhigalov said today at the opening of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference. READ MORE

Leila Aliyeva: Azerbaijan could become a bridge between civilizations

Leila Aliyeva, head of the Russian office of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and editor-in-chief of Baku magazine. READ MORE

The myth of Iran's 'isolation'

By Charles Krauthammer

In announcing the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran, President Obama stressed not once but twice Iran's increasing "isolation" from the world. This claim is not surprising considering that after 16 months of an "extended hand" policy, in response to which Iran accelerated its nuclear program -- more centrifuges, more enrichment sites, higher enrichment levels -- Iranian "isolation" is about the only achievement to which the administration can even plausibly lay claim. READ MORE

European Union 'concerned' about Kyrgyz unrest

By Gregg Benzow

The EU's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has said she is "very concerned" about the unrest in Kyrgystan and has called for a stable government. At least 117 people have been killed in the ethnic clashes so far. READ MORE

Kazakhstan’s ‘Path to Europe’ Opens the West’s Bridge to Asia

By Roger N. McDermott

Kazakhstan, often perceived in western capitals in terms of its energy wealth or its close relationship with Russia, is undoubtedly an important geostrategic player in Eurasia and in early 2010 became the first former Soviet country to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has elicited speculation and controversy concerning its role and potential. READ MORE

SCO Sec Gen Muratbek Imanaliev: Problem of security on Eurasian space - crucial for all SCO member states

By Ruslan Suleimenov

As earlier reported, on June 10-11, 2010 Tashkent will host a  session of the Council of Presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Muratbek Imanaliev, Secretary-General of the SCO, told about the agenda of the forthcoming sitting and the threats and challenges the Organization faces today in an interview to Kazinform. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan invites Russian troops to end unrest

Kyrgyzstan on Saturday asked Russia to send troops to end ethnic violence that has killed more than 60 people and wounded about 800 in the impoverished nation that hosts U.S. and Russian military bases, the country's interim president said. READ MORE

Russia and China leaders to meet at security summit

The leaders of Russia and China will discuss global financial markets and tensions on the Korean peninsula during the annual summit of a regional security grouping on Thursday, a Kremlin source said. READ MORE

Moscow Objects to Patriots in Poland

By Pavel Felgenhauer

US-Russian relations were dominated by the arrival and deployment of US soldiers with Patriot missiles in Poland near the Russian border. The Patriot deployment was agreed between Warsaw and Washington to offset possible Russian threats to station Iskander ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad in response to the deployment of US Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptor missiles in Poland and the BMD radar in the Czech Republic. Last September, US President, Barack Obama, scrapped existing BMD plans for deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic and President, Dmitry Medvedev, announced that Iskander missiles would not be deployed in Kaliningrad. However, the plans to deploy Patriots in Poland did not change, apparently in order to calm Polish irritation over the BMD reversal and fear of Russia. READ MORE

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan study cooperation potential in energy sphere

By H.Hasanov

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, as energy powers, are studying the potential of cooperation in the energy sector, said in the Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Turkmenistan Vahdet Sultanzade's report spread by Turkmen media outlets. This report is timed to the 92nd anniversary of the declaration of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic. READ MORE

Germany's dangerous code of silence

By Anne Applebaum

Last week the president of Germany quit his job. Just like that. "I declare my resignation from the office of president," said Horst Koehler, "with immediate effect." And he walked away. READ MORE

Interview: German ties with Russia on the upswing as Medvedev visits

By Mark Caldwell

Deutsche Welle spoke with Alexander Rahr, a Russia expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations, about the state of Russo-German relations. READ MORE

The Euro Crisis Is Bigger Than You Think

By Uri Dadush, Shimelse Ali

The eight newest European Union (EU) members (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania) are committed to eventually adopting the euro. But, all already suffer from the problems that dragged the GIIPS—Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain—into crisis: lost competitiveness, widening external deficits, and deteriorating public finances. However, the “peggers”—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Bulgaria, who have fixed exchange rates—are in much worse shape than the “floaters”—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. READ MORE

OSCE-CICA Forum can become a permanent dialogue platform - Kazakh Sec of State-Foreign Minister

At special meeting "Security and Economic Cooperation in Eurasia in XXI Century" in Istanbul OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Kazakhstan Secretary of State - Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat Saudabayev has suggested discussing the issue of establishing the OSCE-CICA Forum. READ MORE

UN prosecutor still critical of Serbia and Croatia

By Zeljko Pantelic аnd Augustin Palokaj

A highly anticipated report by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serge Brammertz, on Serbia's and Croatia's cooperation with the court appears less positive than both countries were expecting. But it might just be enough to allow them to move another half step down the path towards EU integration. READ MORE

Russia may exclude Israel from Blue Stream-2 gas pipeline project

By Aleksey Druginin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Israel may be excluded from the Blue Stream-2 gas pipeline project as it has uncovered its own gas deposits. READ MORE

New U.S. Strategy Focuses on Managing Threats

By David E. Sanger and Peter Baker

President Obama’s first formal national security strategy describes a coming era in which the United States will have to learn to live within its limits — a world in which two wars cannot be sustained for much longer and the rising powers inevitably begin to erode some elements of American influence around the globe. READ MORE

The impact of conflicts on trade and goods turnover

Free trade: the lost opportunity of unresolved conflicts READ MORE

Tbilisi Mayoral and Local Elections – Significant Improvements but Media Transparency Still Lacking

On 30 May local elections took place throughout the country. Georgian voters elected the members of 63 councils (sakrebulos) of local government units (municipalities and self-governing cities), Tbilisi City Council, the Mayor of Tbilisi, who was directly elected for the first time, and three vacant Parliamentary seats. READ MORE

Turkey Prioritizes Independent Regional Policies in the Middle East and the South Caucasus

By Saban Kardas

Turkey continued its regional diplomacy, following the historic visit by Russian President Medvedev to Ankara. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan paid back-to-back trips to Greece, Iran and Azerbaijan, which underscored Turkey’s rising activism in its neighborhood, as well as highlighting divergence with the United States. READ MORE

EU starts defining energy strategy for next decade

EU ministers on the 31th of May gave their first views on the upcoming EU energy strategy for 2011-2020, agreeing that it should be ready for endorsement by EU leaders in March 2011. READ MORE

Neil MacFarlane: “All the States, Involved into the Minsk Process, are a Bit Annoyed with the Current Situation”

By Makhir Mamedov

An interview of1news.az with the Head of Department of Policy and International Relations of Oxfrord University Neil MacFarlane. READ MORE

Baltic Sea region's future - faster and deeper integration

"The European Union supports and promotes the region through the Baltic Sea Strategy, specially designed to encourage regional cooperation. Today, the governments of all the countries in the region, especially EU member states, bear the great responsibility for its implementation, engaging as widely as possible other members of the Baltic Club, and their permanent partner - the European Commission," President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the Summit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) held in Vilnius to discuss promotion of competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and energy cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. READ MORE

Future Transdniester in Ukraine?

By Viku Stratan

In spite of the fact that any worsening of situation neither in Moldova proper nor in its mutinous province Transdniester did occur recently, the region again has attracted heightened attention. It happened due to changing authorities in Kiev. READ MORE

Israel's reputation in tatters as EU, world powers review relations

By Nick Amies

Israel's relations with the EU and other world powers have taken a battering in the wake of the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla. In spite of this, experts believe Israel will not buckle under growing pressure. READ MORE

Western experts: Turkmenistan's construction of gas pipeline East-West to increase chances of Trans-Caspian project

By A.Badalova

Construction of East-West gas pipeline by Turkmenistan will increase energy independence and increase the chances of implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline, Western experts said. READ MORE

Struggle for Central Asian energy riches

By Richard Galpin

A year ago, the Kremlin issued a stark warning: that growing competition for control of global energy resources could spark wars on Russia's borders, including those in Central Asia. READ MORE

Global Insights: Proposed NATO Reforms Worry Moscow

By Richard Weitz

Last week, the group of experts assisting with the drafting of NATO's new Strategic Concept released their final report, entitled "NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement." In anticipation of the planned Strategic Concept, which is scheduled for approval at this November's NATO heads-of-state summit in Lisbon, the experts' report recommends how the alliance should define its purpose, nature, and fundamental security tasks in the contemporary and future security environment. Since last fall, the 12-member group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has convened a series of public and private meetings in various countries to discuss international security challenges, including several last week in Washington. READ MORE