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October 2010

Gazprom Keeps Grip on Polish Pipeline

By Marcin Sobczyk and Marynia Kruk

Poland and Russia appear to have phrased their new gas agreement in a way that will only formally observe European Union rules on third-party access to the pipeline. In reality, Russia’s Gazprom will keep nearly full control of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that supplies Poland and customers in Germany. READ MORE

All Things Must Pass

By Andrew Slov

‘Kyrgyz question’ will become one of the central ones at December’s OSCE Summit in Astana? READ MORE

Băsescu vs Medvedev

By Svetlana Gamova

The Kremlin strives to win in moldovan elections with former allies. READ MORE

OSCE Summit In Astana To Adapt Organization To New Realities Of 21 Century: US Permanent Representative To OSCE Ian Kelly

By Dimash Syzdykov

One of the most important achievements of Kazakhstan during the years of independence is its election to be the first state in the CIS, Asia, Muslim and Turkic world to chair the OSCE. Our country managed to organize the OSCE Summit on December 1-2 this year in Astana. This event will give a new impetus to the activity of the Organization after 11-year pause in top-level meetings. READ MORE

Revisiting Nato's Role

By Harun ur Rashid

It is very important to remember that its 1949 founding documents clearly say that Nato is a defensive organisation, which would go into action only when one of its member states was attacked. This is known as collective defence. Nato (Atlantic Pact) was constituted to counter communism and the Soviet threat during the Cold War. READ MORE

Serbia: A Weimar Republic?

The current situation in Serbia mirrors that of post-WW I Germany and threatens to re-focus international attention on the region, writes Marko Papic, an analyst for Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in the US. READ MORE

Europe’s Long-Term Growth Prospects

By Uri Dadush, Bennett Stancil

The Great Recession and subsequent debt crisis have left Europe with a deep and painful legacy. Output remains 7 percent below the pre-crisis trend; public debt levels continue to reach historic highs; banks remain fragile; and the Euro area is severely out of balance. To ensure that today’s downturn does not devolve into long-term slow growth and deflationary trends, European policy makers need to respond with far-reaching structural reforms. READ MORE

Austrian Ambassador: Azerbaijan Can Play Strategic Role As Exporting Country To Meet Europe’s Energy Needs

Trend interviews the Austrian ambassador to Azerbaijan Sylvia Meyer Kaibic on the eve of Austria's National Holiday - October 26 READ MORE

Hillary Feeding Georgia With Strategic Promises

By Ruslan Chigoev

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton goes on encouraging Georgia. After her approving statements about support of Sakartvelo's sovereignty and "territorial integrity" she promised to assist in realization of a strategy regarding the "occupied territories". The prospect of the implementation of this document was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Maxim Gvindzhia. READ MORE

Oil And Politics, The Lithuania Round

By Jan Cienski

How a Polish investment in a Lithuanian oil refinery went bad and raised Russia's ire. READ MORE

Turkey Conditionally Approves NATO Missile Shield

By Sevil Küçükkoşum

Turkey indicated Thursday during a meeting of NATO ministers that it could approve the deployment of a proposed U.S.-led anti-missile system on Turkish soil, though it expressed reservations about the project. READ MORE

CIS As A Geopolitical Ghost

By Viktor Denisenko

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which today is more formal than actually operating organization, was established after the fall of the Soviet Union. The initiator of this political alliance was Moscow. Its initial idea was actively supported by Ukraine and Belarus, several former soviet republics joined CIS later. Russia did not want to release its former „sisters“ from the sphere of influence, whereas the size of CIS should have solved the disagreements which emerged after the collapse of USSR. READ MORE

EU unlikely to expand into post-Soviet east in next decade

By Andrew Rettman

Poland and Sweden have in a joint strategy paper indicated the EU is unlikely to invite any of its post-Soviet neighbours to join the bloc in the next 10 years. READ MORE

Nazarbayev's forthcoming visit to Brussels to deepen Kazakhstan-Belgium cooperation and to expand Kazakhstan-EU relations

By Dimash Syzdykov

As is known, the Kingdom of Belgium is an administrative and political centre of Europe where the headquarters of the European Union, EU Council,  European Parliament, NATO and other international organizations are located. In the second half of 2010 Belgium assumed the office of the EU Council presiding country. For Kazakhstan, as the OSCE chairing country, development of the relations with the state where the major European institutes are located is an important priority in its foreign policy.On the threshold of the official visit of the Kazakh President to Belgium scheduled for October 25-26, Kazinform publishes an interview with Director General of the Royal Institute for International Relations Marc Trenteseau who gave his own evaluation to the Kazakh-Belgian bilateral relations and chairmanship of our country in the OSCE. READ MORE

Beware of Smiling Bears

By Janusz Onyszkiewicz

WARSAW – Remember the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), aimed at enshrining “commonly-shared values” between Russia and the European Community? Signed in 1994 during the hopeful early days of Russia’s first-ever democracy, the PCA was bolstered in 1999 by the creation of the European Union’s Common Security Defense Policy (CSDP). READ MORE

At Deauville, Europe Embraces Russia

By Katrin Bennhold

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have had their differences over the years, but on one thing they appear to agree: if Europe wants to remain relevant in the world and maintain peace in its own backyard, it needs Russia.

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Germany Demands NATO Show Greater Commitment To Nuclear Disarmament

By Ian Traynor

France opposed to Berlin's efforts to link support for new missile defence system with removal of ageing US nuclear weapons. READ MORE

Volker: Rebuilding Central Europe

By Kurt Volker

Political relationships still have time to cement. READ MORE

Russia moves closer to NATO over controversial missile shield

By Andreas Illmer

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has indicated Moscow might soften its stance on a controversial anti-missile shield after reassurances from France and Germany. READ MORE

Lithuania Will Be Committed To Helsinki Act Values During Its Chairmanship Of The OSCE

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė forwarded a welcome address to participants of the Seimas sitting dedicated to the 35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and to Lithuania's upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE. READ MORE

NATO Needs a Missile Defense

By Anders Fogh Rasmussen

To most people in Europe, the threat of missile attack is rarely on their radar. Of those who do think about it, some wonder about the cost; or about whether there really is a threat; or about whether missile defense actually works. READ MORE

In A Multi-Vector Trap: Who Will Guarantee The Security Of Ukraine?

By Oleg Gorbunov

In the end of September Ukraine raised an important issue during the UNO General Assembly – who will guarantee the security of non-nuclear states? Which is the point to strive for neutrality if it will result into vulnerability? In this respect “Politcom.ru” asked the experts the following question: how do you assess the possibility of the signing of an international treaty that would guarantee the security of Ukraine and other states, which refused of its nuclear potential and/or which are not included into international military blocks? READ MORE

Georgian FM On Motives Behind North Caucasus Visa-Free Rules

Georgia says it will be “a bridge connecting the North Caucasus with the civilized world”. READ MORE

China As A Superpower

By Joschka Fischer

Given its rapid and successful development, there can be no doubt that the People’s Republic of China will become one of the dominant global powers of the twenty-first century. Indeed, despite the massive problems that the country is confronting, it could even emerge as the global power. READ MORE

The First Anti-Terrorism OSCE Conference Took Place In The Capital Of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan advocates the promotion of interaction between various international bodies within the issues of struggle against modern threats and challenges. This was covered during the expert anti-terrorism OSCE Conference in Astana. READ MORE

The New World Order

For centuries we have used maps to delineate borders that have been defined by politics. But it may be time to chuck many of our notions about how humanity organizes itself. Across the world a resurgence of tribal ties is creating more complex global alliances. Where once diplomacy defined borders, now history, race, ethnicity, religion, and culture are dividing humanity into dynamic new groupings. READ MORE

Belgian Firm Planning Surprise Twist In Nabucco Story

By Andrew Rettman

A little-known Belgian businessman says his company is poised to clinch a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) deal with Turkmenistan in November in a potential setback for the EU's Nabucco and Russia's South Stream pipeline projects. READ MORE

Russia's Black Sea Fleet - Top Of The Agenda Again

By Ilya Kramnik

The Yantar (Amber) shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia's Baltic exclave, has to date built three more Project 11356 Talwar-class (Krivak-class) frigates for the Indian Navy and now plans to launch construction of similar warships for the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet, after winning a Defense Ministry contract. READ MORE

European Missile Shield Plan Is Expected To Gain Support

By Craig Whitlock

U.S. and NATO officials said Thursday they expect that the military alliance will formally participate in the Obama administration's plan for a missile defense shield over Europe, scheduled to be activated next year. READ MORE

Think Tank Report Urges EU To Reconsider Chosen Security Strategies

By Nick Amies

Pan-European security cooperation will top the agenda at the Deauville Summit between the leaders of Germany, France and Russia but while the topic is a pressing one, are they the right people to be talking about it? READ MORE

The Connection: Water and Energy Security

The energy security of the United States is closely linked to the state of its water resources. No longer can water resources be taken for granted if the U.S. is to achieve energy security in the years and decades ahead. At the same time, U.S. water security cannot be guaranteed without careful attention to related energy issues. The two issues are inextricably linked, as this article will discuss. READ MORE

Initiative On The Caspian OSCE Clone

By Arthur Dunn

Addressing the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov mentioned the initiative to found a “Forum on Security, Peace and Cooperation in Central Asia and Caspian basin”. Obviously, they are talking about a kind of the OSCE analogue in the region. READ MORE

Global Insights: Kyrgyzstan Election Benefits Regional Security

By Richard Weitz

Few would have expected it to be possible a few months ago, but Kyrgyzstan managed to hold a free, fair, and surprisingly non-violent and trouble-free parliamentary election this weekend. In an assessment widely shared by regional experts, David Trilling, writing at EurasiaNet, concluded, "Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary elections couldn't have gone better." READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Votes And Surprises The World

By Kathy Lally

When Kyrgyzstan counted the votes in a parliamentary election Monday, the strong showing of a nationalist party was only one surprise. The bigger surprise was that the results were not a foregone conclusion, making this small, mostly Muslim nation the first in Central Asia to hold free elections in pursuit of a democratic system. READ MORE

Election Results Threaten U.S. Presence At Manas Air Base

By Richard Orange

Political parties backed by Russia are poised to take power in Kyrgyzstan, threatening closure for a strategic U.S. airbase for the war in Afghanistan. READ MORE

Germany And Turkey Agree To Work Harder On Integration

By Darren Mara

Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Berlin with a range issues on the agenda. Among them was the integration of Muslims in Germany, a much-debated topic in recent weeks. READ MORE

Russia Is Ready To Give China Everything

By Aleksey Koval

Ukraine, declaring its intention to develop the relations of strategic partnership with China, should be really cautious about the way of the promotion of the relations between Beijing and Moscow. Following the official terms, they have already reached the level of “comprehensive deepening of partnership and strategic interaction”. READ MORE

Russia's Foreign and Security Policy: An Update

By Dmitri Trenin, Martha Brill Olcott

Recent developments in Russia’s foreign policy reflect the country’s struggle to preserve its status as a “great power” through modernization. Dmitri Trenin of the Moscow Center discussed how the economic crisis, China’s rising power, and Moscow’s relations with its neighbors have affected its foreign and security policy. Carnegie’s Martha Brill Olcott moderated. READ MORE

Europe’s Last Chance

The moment is ripe for Europe to redefine its narrative in order to better cope with future challenges, writes Giles Merritt, editor of Europe's World and head of Brussels-based think-tank Friends of Europe and the Security & Defence Agenda. READ MORE

Russia Plans Increased Energy Exports

By Sergei Blagov

Senior Russian officials have made clear that the country’s energy policies will continue to evolve around the nexus of ambitious export plans. The government pledged to make the country’s gas exports more flexible. Russia’s total gas exports will include 10 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030, Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, announced on September 17. The global demand for hydrocarbons will be increasing in the next decade according to Putin. READ MORE

Ottawa Holds Talks With Russia As Norway Signs Accord

By Olivia Ward

Frosty diplomatic relations were thawing like Arctic ice as Norway reached a landmark deal with Russia this week over a 40-year-old Barents Sea boundary dispute, and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon held cordial meetings Thursday with Russian officials in Moscow. READ MORE

BRIC Military Modernization and the New Global Defense Balance (Part 1 of 2)

By Daniel Darling

The message promoted by foreign policy gurus in recent years is that the American moment is over and a new global balance is emerging; one where power is no longer concentrated in Washington but spread among several different countries. The U.S. will continue to retain a prominent position at the top of the global food chain we are told, but no longer will there be the sense of American worldwide hegemony. Instead the emerging nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called “BRICs”) will assume their rightful place as great powers and in the process create a new multi-polar world. READ MORE

Russia Picks Up The China Card

By Eugene Ivanov

The warm relationship between Russia and China should be an indication that Russia is keeping its foreign policy options open. Long gone are the times when aged and frail denizens of the Kremlin would go on a foreign trip only on special occasions: to sign a strategic arms control treaty or to visit with fellow septuagenarians in the so-called fraternal socialist countries. READ MORE

Tajikistan Unlikely to Be Test Case for Russia-led Security Group

After declining to intervene in southern Kyrgyzstan’s turmoil over the summer, the Collective Security Treaty Organization is facing a fresh challenge in Tajikistan. And once again the Russia-led security group appears set to refrain from acting. The CSTO’s hesitancy is a reflection of a lack of clarity about the possible mission in Tajikistan, as well as underlying problems with its decision-making mechanism. READ MORE

Putin Looks Sour Loser On Nabucco

By Vladimir Socor

Russia seems to have lost its lobbying battle in Europe for its South Stream pipeline carrying gas and against rival Nabucco, which is planned to run from Azerbaijan via Turkey to the European markets. At present, Moscow seeks as a last resort to negate the availability of gas supplies to the Nabucco project in the Caspian basin. READ MORE

Lessons from Prague: How the Czech Republic Has Enhanced Its Energy Security

By Andrej Nosko and Petr Lang

With regard to energy security in the European Union, it has become common knowledge that there are still two Europes.  The security of energy is dividing the continent broadly along what used to be the Iron Curtain. The Western part has both effective and poorly functioning energy markets, but generally a fairly well balanced energy mix.  In contrast, the Eastern part is almost the opposite; the region has accumulated and continues to confront many challenges. READ MORE

Astana Summit Can Give a Signal of the Readiness of the Dialogue between West and Asian Partners of OSCE

By Andrew Slov

The crisis of international political organizations affected the OSCE. The power of the Organization and the interests to its events is not that high as it used to be. READ MORE

Nabucco: The Pipeline That Refuses To Die

By Steve LeVine

What do big Eurasian energy pipelines have in common with U.S. military projects? Once they're proposed, they refuse to die -- they assume a life of their own, and haunt us until someone finally manages to drive a stake into their heart. And by that time, the chessboard has wholly changed, forcing everyone to adjust to a new set of rules.. READ MORE

A Look Behind The Scenes Of The ASEM Summit

The 8th ASEM (Asia-Europe meeting) Summit will take place on October 4th and 5th 2010. This summit is held every two years, sometimes in Asia, sometimes in Europe. It is indisputably the most important event organised within the framework of this Presidency. There is an aspect of this meeting that few people will tell you about: its organisation. In practice, what does such a summit involve in terms of preparations? READ MORE

CSTO: Half Dead, Half Alive

By Roman Muzalevsky

“CORF [Collective Operational Reaction forces] will be no worse than NATO,” claimed Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, only one year ago. Today, these words are used in Russia to popularize the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the CORF within the post-Soviet space. READ MORE

NATO Chief Urges EU To Give Turkey Security Role

By Toby Vogel and Constant Brand

Anders Fogh Rasmussen says measures are needed for closer EU-NATO co-operation. READ MORE

Experts: OSCE Assessment Mission's Results To Benefit Azerbaijan

By E.Tariverdiyeva

The results of the OSCE Assessment Mission's studies will benefit Azerbaijan by bringing international attention to the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories and the situation in the separatist region, experts said. READ MORE

China Showcases Expeditionary Military Power in Peace Mission 2010

By Roger McDermott

On September 9-25, Kazakhstan hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2010 military exercise, at the Matybulak training range in Zhambyl region, designed to showcase the organization’s capabilities against extremism, separatism and terrorism. READ MORE

Pipelines and Pipe Dreams

By Matthew Hulbert

Things are looking up for Russia. In late August, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin finally opened a new pipeline exporting East Siberian oil to China. Dubbed the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, or ESPO, the plan is to pump 1.6 million barrels per day toward the Pacific Ocean over the next few years. The rationale is clear. Diversifying supplies to Asia offers Russia the Holy Grail that all energy producers want — leverage over competing consumers in the East and West. READ MORE