November 2010

Perspectives Of Regional Cooperation In The Sphere Of Energy

By Dr. Arūnas Molis

On 8 October, the session of the third Parliamentary Assembly of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine took place. It placed the focus on energy security challenges and perspectives in Eastern and Central Europe. All the three countries are dependent on Russian energy and are aware that it is necessary to diversify consumption of energy and import of its resources, as well as to define a more favorable regime for energy cooperation with Russia. Another question is: how to reach this goal? READ MORE

Foreign Policy Setbacks Deepen Obama's Wounds

By Scott Wilson

Presidents have often turned to foreign policy after domestic setbacks - from Ronald Reagan's Latin American tour and speech calling the Soviet Union the "focus of evil in the modern world" in the months after his party's 1982 congressional losses to Bill Clinton's escape to Indonesia and the Philippines following his own midterm trouncing a dozen years later. Both found redemption at the polls. READ MORE

A Security Community For The 21st Century

By Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, OSCE Secretary General

Security is a complex notion and can be approached in different ways. At a basic level it could mean feeling safe in your own home – it could mean having a home in the first place. Security is also about confidence in government and in everyday encounters with officialdom. Security begins with the sustainability of resources and the availability of opportunities – for education or for work, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. It is rooted in the inviolability of rights and in the belief that there is adequate recourse if those rights are violated. READ MORE

Vladimir Putin's new economic design for Europe

By Andrei Fedyashin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is in Germany once again, for a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. His working visit will last two days: November 25-26. The entire European Union (EU) and the rest of Europe are watching this visit particularly closely. This is always the case when Moscow and Berlin are planning to redesign the architecture of Europe. Now Europe is paying additional attention to Putin's visit because the Euro is ailing and virtually all EU member states are in the grips of the financial crisis while Germany remains the only one in recovery. READ MORE

Re-Setting the NATO-Russia Relationship

By Adam Daniel Rotfeld

Earlier this year, a group led by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (which included me) issued a report on a new strategic concept called “NATO 2020.” The report recommended that NATO open its door to new members while seeking a more constructive relationship with Russia. We outlined a dual strategy of reassuring the NATO allies that their interests would be defended while engaging with the Kremlin in a manner consistent with the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and the 2002 Rome Declaration on the NATO-Russia relationship. READ MORE

How Can the EU Respond to Kazakhstan's Starry Ambition?

The following commentary was sent to EurActiv by Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former president of Poland and current advisor to the Kazakh government, on the occasion of the launch from Kazakhstan of one of the world’s largest commercial satellites. READ MORE

UN Chief Gives January Deadline For Cyprus Peace Progress

"Serious differences" remain between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders over how to reunite their divided island, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday after talks. READ MORE

NATO, Reinvented

By Sudeep Paul

Has Dmitry Medvedev successfully capitalised on his time as Russian president to pre-empt Vladimir Putin in bringing Moscow irreversibly close to the West? Not Yet. What happens within Russia is a different sport altogether. But one suspects that Putin (mark his silence), even if he’s still scripting his return to the top job in 2012, has lost some room for manoeuvre. READ MORE

Anti-Missile Shield Against Nameless States

By Andrew Slov

NATO Summit in Lisbon and other significant events with the participation of Russia and 20 states, cooperating with NATO, should become historic ones. The new adopted NATO doctrine is called to define the strategy of the Alliance within the following 10 years. READ MORE

NATO-EU Links Top Turkish President's Lisbon Agenda

By Mustafa Akyol

Turkey and NATO’s ongoing disagreement over how relations between the alliance and the European Union should best be formulated will be a key issue at the upcoming NATO summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Friday. READ MORE

Shale Gas Could Ensure Poland's Independence From Russia

By Florian Kellermann

Winter is approaching - a time in which Europe particularly feels Russia's grip on the energy market. This power play has caused Poland many headaches. But new know-how in gas production could mark a turn in events. READ MORE

NATO Adopts New Strategic Concept

At their Summit meeting in Lisbon, NATO leaders adopted a new Strategic Concept that will serve as the Alliance's roadmap for the next ten years and that reconfirms the commitment to defend one another against attack as the bedrock of Euro-Atlantic security. READ MORE

Ukraine – Russia – Europe: the Triangle of Problems

By Oleg Gorbunov

Recently the tone of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation has begun decreasing meanwhile the optimism of Ukrainian politicians towards the rapprochement with Europe increased. It’s time to analyze these trends and to understand what exactly goes wrong. READ MORE

Caspian States’ Leaders Seal Security Deal

Stalled status accord may be signed in 2011 READ MORE

OSCE Astana Summit To Be 'Ineffective' On Karabakh

By Lala B.

News.Az interviews Azay Guliyev, a member of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. READ MORE

Kazakhstan, USA Signed Additional Agreement For Air Transportation

Kazakhstan and the USA signed the additional agreement for air transportation of cargoes to Afghanistan through the territory of Kazakhstan, the US State Department informed. READ MORE

Statement by Mr. Kanat Saudabayev

Countdown to the OSCE Summit READ MORE

Central European Chairmen

By Arthur Dunn

Energy security is the main priority of Lithuania, as a future Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE. READ MORE

Baku summit brings agreement on Caspian Sea delimitation closer

The presidents of the Caspian states of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed on Thursday to take steps to resolve the long-standing dispute over the Caspian Sea delimitation. READ MORE

Georgia Unveils Details of Nuclear Smuggling Case

Georgia made public details of its sting operation, which, it said, in March 2010 led to seizure of 18 grams of highly enriched uranium (HEU), thought to be a sample of a larger stash. READ MORE

EU Signals New Trade Tool To Coerce China

By Andrew Willis

Europe's top trade official has signaled his intention to create a new retaliatory trade tool, amid ongoing complaints from European businesses that they are being excluded from Chinese public contracts. READ MORE

Turkey's EU Membership's Possible Impacts on the Balkans

By Dr. Sedat Laciner

End of ‘balkanization’? READ MORE

A Russia-NATO Alignment

By Michael Hikari Cecire

If the prognostications of many foreign policy pundits are to be believed, the NATO summit in Lisbon, set to open a week from today, could be a watershed moment for the Atlantic alliance, something which will set the West on a path of monumental geopolitical realignment. READ MORE

Nuclear Deal With Iran All for Show

By Emma L. Belcher, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow

The Obama administration is preparing the ground for tougher sanctions on Iran by pushing to revive last year's ill-fated fuel swap deal. The renewed proposal to swap Iran's low enriched uranium for research reactor fuel is not a serious attempt at engagement, as the Unites States knows it will likely fail. Instead, it is intended to depict the United States as a reasonable negotiating partner, and Iran as a duplicitous state bent on obtaining the bomb at all costs. This could increase support for harsher international sanctions that are more strictly implemented. READ MORE

Russian Offer On Tapi Comes With Too Many Restrictions

By Martin Sieff

Despite a near reversal by Russia on its opposition to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, Turkmenistan has decided not to cut them in on the project. READ MORE

The New Maritime Arctic

By Caitlyn Antrim

Russian geopolitics of the 21st century will be different from the days of empire and conflict of the nineteenth and twentieth. The increased accessibility of the Arctic, with its energy and mineral resources, new fisheries, shortened sea routes and shipping along the rivers between the Arctic coast and the Eurasian heartland, is both enabling and propelling Russia to become a major maritime state. READ MORE

Russia Targeting Oil Assets in Poland and Lithuania

By Vladimir Socor

On October 30, Poland announced its intention to privatize the state-owned majority stake in the country’s second-largest oil industry concern, Lotos Group. The Polish government is inviting interested parties to pre-tender talks on the Lotos Group. READ MORE

Turkey, Turkmenistan Seek Alternative Gas Supplies

By H. Hasanov

The Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who met the day before in the Caspian city of Turkmenbashi, expressed their intention "to develop cooperation in the sphere of supplies of Turkmen natural gas to world markets through alternative routes, the final joint communiqué, issued by the local media on Saturday, says. READ MORE

Britain and France Make a Deal

Britain and France last week announced that they would begin a new era of defense cooperation intended to conserve their military power at a time of shrinking military budgets. The plan involves sharing nuclear weapons research and other expensive weapons development programs, pooling aircraft carriers in times of crisis and jointly training rapid-reaction brigades that can fight side by side under a single commander. READ MORE

Is The Door To NATO Really Open For Georgia?

By Aivaras Bagdonas, VU TSPMI doktorantas

During the visit to Tbilisi on 30 September – 1 October, NATO Secretary General A.F.Rasmussen said that the door of the Alliance remains open to Georgia and that the decision made during the Bucharest NATO Summit in 2008 is still in force. However, this statement could hardly be considered as an introduction to fast Georgia‘s integration into Alliance. It could first of all be based on several examples reflecting the dialogue between Georgia and NATO (or, to be more exact, the state of relations close to stagnation) during the recent years. READ MORE

Westerwelle Repeats Call For Withdrawal Of NATO Nuclear Weapons

By Gregg Benzow

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, speaking during a parliamentary debate, has again called on the country’s NATO allies to remove their stockpiles of nuclear weapons from German soil. READ MORE

Lithuania And Poland Will Reach Out For More By Working Together

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė participated in the festive events dedicated to Poland's Independence Day in Warsaw, on the invitation of President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland. READ MORE

Uncle Sam, Energy And Peace In Asia

By M K Bhadrakumar

In the Orient, offspring don't rebuke parents, even if the latter are at fault - especially in the post-Soviet space where Marxian formalism continues to prevail as political culture. The sort of stern public rebuke bordering on short shrift that Ashgabat administered to Moscow is extraordinary. READ MORE

Resetting Georgia

By Brian Whitmore

Young couples sip wine in sidewalk cafes and children play in fountains, seeking relief from the searing heat. Elsewhere, elderly men play chess on park benches and traders hawk their wares from makeshift kiosks. It's another summer in Georgia's scruffy, chaotic, but charming capital. But there's one change this season: For the first time in years, there are no rumors of war. READ MORE

The Strategic Concept: NATO Beyond Afghanistan



Chairmanship In OSCE And Upcoming December Summit In Astana Significantly Improved Image Of Kazakhstan In Europe

By Meiram Baigarin

In view of the upcoming OSCE Summit 'Kazinform' National Information Agency disseminates a review of the press with the most interesting materials published in Kazakhstan and abroad on presidency of Kazakhstan in the OSCE and Astana Summit. READ MORE

The Realist Prism: Moving Beyond NATO's Perpetual Crisis

By Nikolas Gvosdev

Just as the turning of the leaves heralds the arrival of winter's chill, so too are there unmistakable signs whenever a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization draws near. The media is filled with commentary about "NATO's crisis," while statements percolate forth from the alliance's capitals about NATO's clear purpose for the 21st century. READ MORE

EU criticizes Turkey in annual report on membership hopefuls

By Author: Mark Hallam

The EU has called on Turkey to open up trade with Cyprus, to better promote gender equality and human rights, and to toe the line on foreign policy issues in a lukewarm appraisal of Ankara's path towards EU membership. READ MORE

Poland rejects idea of EU elite group

By Jan Cienski in Warsaw

Poland has rejected the idea of an informal G6 of the European Union’s largest members, suggested by Italy to address its worries about Franco-German dominance of the EU, in a sign of its unwillingness to jeopardise Warsaw’s close ties with Berlin. READ MORE

Russia-Nato Relationship Is One-Way Traffic

By Nadezhda Kevorkova

What does NATO offer Russia, and what does Russia get in reality? Would Russia be willing to help NATO stay afloat by participating in its projects? What is the price of improving relations with its Western partners? READ MORE

The Reset Blooms

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Over the past year, I was skeptical of the Obama administration’s vaunted “reset” of relations with Russia. In January of this year, I wrote, “The problem is simple: not only are many Russian and American interests today out of alignment, the political realities in both countries work against any effective partnership being developed.” READ MORE

Conclusions on Eastern Partnership

Council meeting, Luxembourg, 25 October 2010 READ MORE

Drifting Into Trouble In The Western Pacific

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Despite her best efforts to placate Beijing, Secretary of State Clinton has once again managed to ruffle China’s diplomatic feathers. The latest incident occurred at the annual East Asian Summit that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conducted this past weekend in Hanoi. READ MORE

CouDiplomatic Debate Raised up between Lithuania and Poland

By Arthur Dunn

Lately Lithuanian and Polish politicians has exchanged with mutual accusations. Vilnius calls groundless the admonitions of Warsaw concerned the status of Polish national minority and the terms of investments of the PKN Orlen Group. READ MORE

A Corporate Ostpolitik

By Ben Aris

From the Vltava to the Volga, Germany's relationship during the last century with Central and Eastern Europe was a tumultuous affair. But ties between Berlin and the countries to its east in the new millennium are proving to be a lot happier and mutually beneficial. READ MORE

Britain and France sign deal creating joint military force

France and Britain announced Tuesday a defence deal that would create a joint military taskforce, share aircraft carriers and bring their nuclear research closer. Economic necessity seems to have pushed the historic rivals to cooperation in a way that diplomacy could not. READ MORE

Turkey Considers Cooperation With Greece On Illegal Immigration To Europe

By Saban Kardas

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, on the margins of the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative conference near Athens last week. The positive reporting of the Erdogan-Papandreou meeting marks the deepening rapprochement between the two countries, after their normalization slowed down in the second half of the 2000’s. READ MORE

EU Foreign Policy Roundup

Posted by William C. Fleeson

There's a lot of fresh news on the EU foreign policy front, so here's a roundup of salient headlines. READ MORE

Is the U.S. Bullying Europe Into Cutting Ties With Iran?

By Vivienne Walt

Tougher U.S. and European sanctions against Iran might be hitting its economy, leading to fears of looming inflation and cuts in food and gas subsidies. But that doesn't mean the Islamic Republic is out of friends — far from it. Even the U.S.'s close allies in Europe have stopped short of cutting their relations with Iran, allowing it to continue its trade in oil and gas. READ MORE

Lithuania And Germany Strive To Continue Close Cooperation

During the meeting between Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle on 2 November in Vilnius, the head of Lithuanian diplomacy highlighted the goal to continue close cooperation of the two countries. READ MORE

Will the U.S. Lose Europe to Russia?

By John Vinocur

The United States used to call wayward members of NATO back to the reservation with a whistle or a shout. It decided what was deviation from doctrine, and that decision was pretty much law. READ MORE

Russia’s Message to Turkmenistan: Export Your Gas Anywhere Except Europe

By Vladimir Socor

On October 28, Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement strongly contradicting the Russian government’s views on the bilateral gas trade and on Turkmen gas export policy in general. The statement follows six days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and a governmental delegation held talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov in Ashgabat. READ MORE

Turkey Not Partner But Owner Of NATO, FM Says

By Fulya Özerkan

Turkey is not a partner, but an owner of NATO, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Saturday, adding that an agreement within the multi-national alliance is as important as an accord within the European Union. READ MORE

Ukraine’s Foreign and Security Policy Controlled by Russia

By Taras Kuzio

President Viktor Yanukovych’s foreign and security policy is controlled by Russia and coordinated with Moscow. The same conclusion is already appearing among European elites after seeing first-hand how Ukrainian foreign policy personnel work closely with Russia. READ MORE

Lithuania Supports Ambitious Further Development Of The European Neighbourhood Policy

On 25 October at the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers exchanged opinions on the discussion that was initiated by the European Commission regarding the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, which would be carried out in order to shape future relations of the EU with its southern and eastern neighbours. READ MORE

OSCE Event Participants Say Paris Charter For New Europe Relevant After 20 Years, Important For Security Community Creation

Participants in a high-level event marking the 20th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe today stressed the significance of the document for the history of the OSCE region and its importance for the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security. READ MORE

Ukraine Vote Will Test Commitment to Democracy

By James Marson

Ukrainians vote Sunday in local elections that are viewed as a test of President Viktor Yanukovych's commitment to democracy. Already, his critics are crying foul. READ MORE