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August 2010

Gazprom pressures Lithuania over gas unbundling

Russian energy giant Gazprom wants Lithuania to hold talks on plans to unbundle the gas sector, as doing so would hurt its investment in the country, the company said in a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday (25 August), which also threatens court action. Lithuania reacted strongly to the pressure. READ MORE

In Riga - a call on the baltic and nordic states for greater integration

On 27 August at the meeting of foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland (NB8) in Riga, head of Lithuania’s diplomacy called on the Nordic and Baltic States for greater integration. READ MORE

Europe must act on Roma expulsions, says UN racism committee

The UN’s anti-racism committee is to call on the European Union to act to improve the conditions of the Roma, in the light of France’s controversial collective deportation programme. The committee, meeting in Geneva, urged President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government to “avoid in particular collective repatriation”. READ MORE

Way to solve the problem

By Arthur Dunn

It is widely known that energy sources such as oil and gas are considered as the main strategic resources. Countries possessing them are able to exert significant influence on the global economy and international politics. Meanwhile, it is clear that a key role in the Central Asian region will belong to water resource and their ownership in the near future. READ MORE

Davutoğlu sees stronger global role with ‘yes’ in referendum

By Emine Kart Konya

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, stated on Friday that approval of the constitutional reform package to be voted on at a referendum on Sept. 12 will bring significant confidence to Turkey on the world stage as it will confirm the European Union candidate country's commitment to universal democratic values. “It will be a very huge source of power,” Davutoğlu replied when asked what a positive outcome from the upcoming referendum on the reform package would mean in regards to Turkey's role on the global stage. READ MORE

Moscow Seeks Political Allies in Moldova Ahead of Referendum and Elections

By Vladimir Socor

The crash of Moldova’s experiment with a parliamentary system of government, predictable though it was, could not have occurred at a worse time for the country. When this experiment had first collapsed in 2000, Moldova still had a margin for error at its disposal, sheltered as it then was from direct Russian intrusion into its domestic politics. Even so, that first collapse of the parliamentary system ushered in eight years of Communist Party rule (2001-2009). This preserved the parliamentary republic pro forma while operating as a presidential republic de facto. The communists remain the single strongest party by far in the electorate and in parliament; and their leader, former President Vladimir Voronin, remains the most popular politician (although their ratings are in long-term decline) READ MORE

The European Union's solidarity clause: Empty letter or effective tool?

Over seven months since the EU's Lisbon Treaty was ratified, the meaning of its 'Solidarity Clause' remains open to interpretation, write Sara Myrdal and Mark Rhinard of the Swedish Institute for International Affairs. READ MORE

Who Will Stop Russian Energy March to Europe?

By Valentinas Mitė, a reporter for the RFE/RL

Dependence of the states of Eastern and Middle Europe from Russian gas and oil is practically absolute. This calls a concern that energy dependence can transform into a political one. READ MORE

Pipeline Interdependence

By Vasil Shparluk

Russia has been making enormous efforts recently aiming to reduce its dependence on energy transit across Belarus and Ukraine. It is assumed that the aim will be achieved after commissioning of the gas mains known as the "Nord Stream" and the "South Stream", which will keep Europe, like in "tentacles", in energy dependence from Russia. READ MORE

The significance of the Arctic in Russia’s foreign policy: why Arctic policy issues are of topical interest to the Baltic States

By Vytautas Sirijos Gira

Recently the Arctic Region has appeared increasingly often among Russia’s foreign policy objectives in the Russian foreign policy discourse. Competition for the Arctic Region among the 5 bordering states – USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia – grew intensive in the late 2008 –2009, as all the states (hereinafter – A-5) announced or renewed their national strategies on the “absorption” of the Arctic in the short- and mid-term perspective. As the competition of the A-5 states for the Arctic gathers momentum, the growing global demand for oil and natural gas, which could be satisfied by energy resources of this region, as well as other Arctic-related issues make it possible to forecast that in the nearest future the Arctic will become one of the most significant regions that will be in the focus of attention of the international community. READ MORE

What Can Be Expected from the Future OSCE Chairman?

By Andrew Slov

The subjects of priority may include energy security and the issues of Transnistria conflict regulation READ MORE

«It is only a speculation that the U.S. lost interest in Ukraine»

Discussion with the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine John Tefft at the Institute of World Policy. READ MORE

Ukraine Made Moldova a Maritime State by Mistake: Ukrainian Expert

“Ukraine has to correct the mistakes done in due time in the negotiations with Moldova, which only got worse during the time of “oranges” in power”. Why so unexpectedly Moldova became a maritime state? This issue has to be investigated by Ukrainian Parliament", - claimed Ukrainian political analyst Konstantin Dolgov during the interview for IA Regnum Novosti. READ MORE

Moldova to Choose the Starting Point

By Oleg Gorbunov

A Referendum (Presidential elections – people’s or Parliamentary voting) and pre-term Parliamentary elections are planned for the autumn of 2010 in Moldova. They should either prolong or solve political crisis which began after the Parliamentary elections in April of 2009. READ MORE

Füle: Ankara's foreign policy 'expanding faster than Turkish Airlines'

By Georgi Gotev and Christophe Leclercq

The European Union needs to strengthen its political dialogue with Turkey at a moment when the candidate country's foreign policy is expanding more quickly than Turkish Airlines is enlarging its global network, EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle told in interview. READ MORE

«I Am Confident that the EU Will Overcome Enlargement Fatigue»

Ukraine deserves to be a member of the European Union. READ MORE

European and Russian relations: illusions and reality

By Boris Tumanov

During nearly twenty years of existence of the post-soviet Russia, Europe‘s attitude toward the country has changed significantly. Initially, Europe tried to recover after the geopolitical shock caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, later - to get rid of the illusions concerning the triumph of democracy in Russia; and during the tenth decade of the last century - to get accustomed to the neo-imperial ambitions of Russia. But Europe hasn’t stopped developing economic cooperation with Moscow by gradually accepting Russia‘s reality and rejecting the measures which were to make Russia pursue the principles of democracy. READ MORE

Holding of OSCE Summit in Kazakhstan to give new impetus to Organization's work - Yerik Utembayev

Representative of the European political circles and international experts share the same opinion that during the first half-year Kazakhstan has successfully chaired the authoritative international structure - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the convocation of the Organization's Summit in 2010. READ MORE

Gazprom’s Anti-Nabucco Campaign Misses German Targets

By Vladimir Socor

Gazprom’s proposal for German RWE to join Gazprom’s South Stream project, has fallen flat at both the corporate and the political levels in Germany. The proposal clearly aimed to disrupt the European Union-backed Nabucco project, where RWE is a key stakeholder, developing offshore gas in Turkmenistan and a cross-Caspian transport solution. The German-language business press has assessed Gazprom’s move as an unprecedented escalation of effort and “new stage in information warfare aimed at weakening Nabucco”. READ MORE

OSCE to Hold Summit in Kazakhstan After Eleven Year Hiatus

By Vladimir Socor

On July 16-17, in Almaty, an informal meeting of 56 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) countries’ foreign affairs ministers decided to hold a summit of the organization this year in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. This will be the OSCE’s first meeting at the level of heads of state since Istanbul in 1999 (“Outcome of the Almaty Informal Ministerial Meeting,” Kazakhstan OSCE Chairmanship perception paper, July 17, 2010). READ MORE

Lukoil CEO: Russian oil business prospers in EU

By Georgi Gotev

For Russian oil companies, the business climate in Europe is good, but a lot of fallacious information about the country still needs to be countered, Vagit Alekperov, founder and president of Lukoil, Russia's largest oil company, told n interview. READ MORE

A transcript of a speech given by Prime Minister David Cameron in Ankara, Turkey, on 27 July 2010

Thank you, Mr President, and thank you for that very warm welcome. I can tell from your enthusiasm and the enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs that I met outside this incredible building that there is an enormous spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurialism and industry and business and trade here in Turkey, and that is one of the reasons that I want our two countries to build this incredibly strong relationship that I will be speaking about... READ MORE

Kazakhstan And The OSCE Can Take The Lead In Kyrgyzstan

This summer's Kyrgyz-Uzbek clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan presented the gravest threat to Central Asian security since the Tajik civil war of the 1990s. Reportedly, about 3,000 people died and more than 300,000 were displaced in the violence. While some stability emerged after the bloodshed and following a national referendum legitimizing the new government, the urgent needs for speedy reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure and for reconciliation between the two ethnic groups present daunting security challenges. READ MORE