Home

April 2011

Russia Pushes Bulgaria to Decide on Oil Pipeline, Nuclear Plant

By Anna Shiryaevskaya and Elizabeth Konstantinova

Russia urged Bulgaria to speed up decisions to allow the countries to start building an oil pipeline bypassing Turkey’s Bosporus strait and a nuclear power plant on the Danube River. READ MORE

Ukraine's President Resists Russia on Trade

By James Marson

KIEV, Ukraine—President Viktor Yanukovych brushed off Moscow's latest efforts to woo Ukraine into a Russia-led trade bloc, insisting in an interview that Kiev wants special terms that would allow it to develop relations with the European Union as well. READ MORE

China’s Maritime Strategy Is More Than Naval Strategy

By James Holmes

The sporadic confrontations that punctuated the past two years in the China seas subsided for a time. Senior U.S. military officials depicted the lull as a temporary, tactical retreat from the assertive stance Beijing assumed on such controversies as conflicting maritime territorial claims, foreign naval operations, and military surveillance in the "near seas". READ MORE

It’s Time to Create New Financial Architecture

On May 3rd – 4th the capital of Kazakhstan shall hold the IV Astana Economic Forum (AEF) on the subject: “New Decade: Challenges and Prospects”. READ MORE

Lessons of Chernobyl must be learned, but nuclear should not be abandoned

Japan and other nations will heed the lessons of Chernobyl as they deal with the aftermath of Fukushima, says Ukraine's Deputy Economy Minister Valery Piatnitsky. READ MORE

India gains a foothold in Kazakhstan

By Isabel Gorst

Kazakhstan tries to balance its geopolitical interests between the east and the west when handing out oil and gas reserves. So it was high time that India, which landed a block in the Caspian Sea on Saturday, got a break in the central Asian country where US, Russian and Chinese oil firms have secured huge energy deals. READ MORE

Expert: Visit of Kazakhstan President to Give a New Impulse to the Economy of Estonia

As the transit expert Raivo Vare considers, the visit of Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Estonia is a significant step within the relations development between the two states and it will positively influence the economy of our country. READ MORE

Nuclear Non-Proliferation within World Scale

By Ian Donovan

The problem of non-proliferation still remains to be a complicated international problem. Current war in North African Libya once again has reminded of it. Politicians and experts began remembering, that Muammar Gaddafi intended aforetime for Libya to become a member of the nuclear club. But under powerful pressure of the leading UNO member-states he was forced to refuse of such plans, which in practice helped him to restore relations of Tripoli with world powers and other states of the world. Today, when Libya has found itself under the pressure of the UN sanctions, when NATO member-states lead warfare within its territory, it is even frightful to think what could happen if Gaddafi possessed nuclear weapon. They say, that in this case there could be no intervention of western states into Libya. READ MORE

Countries join together in Kyiv to assure nuclear safe future, attract financing

An International Nuclear Safety Summit and a Donor Conference themed "25 Years after the Chernobyl Disaster, Safety for the Future" were held in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 18-19. READ MORE

Private probe: Officials in Russian tax fraud case stashed millions offshore

By Will Englund

The American investor who once employed Sergei Magnitsky, a whistle-blowing lawyer who died unattended in a Moscow jail cell in 2009, said Monday that tax officials involved in the fraudulent $230 million refund scheme that Magnitsky was trying to expose have bought millions of dollars’ worth of real estate in Russia, Montenegro and Dubai, and stashed millions more in offshore bank accounts. READ MORE

Does Kazakh banker know the secret of RBS's missing billions?

By Tom Harper

One of the world's biggest suspected fraudsters is living freely in luxury in London - and intends to call on Prince Andrew to help defend himself against Kazakhstan's accusations of a fraud that left British banks £5 billion poorer. READ MORE

Kazakh-Azeri relations making good headway, Ambassador

By Arnur Mukhametkarim

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the Caspian littoral states that are known to have common history of foundation and development in old time and as member states of the former USSR have always maintained amicable and good neighborly relations. The countries embarked on a brand new level of relations since both had gained independence back to 1991. READ MORE

Fukushima fears' boost gas prospects

Japan's nuclear crisis will speed the elimination of nuclear power from some European countries and render many planned projects too risky, ultimately increasing Europe's dependence on gas. READ MORE

Finland election could derail bailouts in Europe

By Pekka Sakki

A huge surge in support for a Finnish nationalist party that opposes eurozone bailouts is complicating Europe’s plans to rescue Portugal and other debt-ridden economies. READ MORE

India and NATO: size no problem

By Michael Rühle

Take the biggest political-military alliance in history, protecting over 900 million people. And then take the world's second biggest country, whose population has just moved past the 1 billion mark. How could these two giants work together? READ MORE

Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism

By George Friedman

There are wars in pursuit of interest. In these wars, nations pursue economic or strategic ends to protect the nation or expand its power. There are also wars of ideology, designed to spread some idea of “the good,” whether this good is religious or secular. The two obviously can be intertwined, such that a war designed to spread an ideology also strengthens the interests of the nation spreading the ideology. READ MORE

Chinese Vector

By Arthur Dunn

Another Summit of BRICS held in China and the oncoming anniversary Summit of the SCO to be held in Kazakhstan once again should remind everyone about intensively growing role of the Tianxia in the world. Modern China today dominates within the frameworks of these two international Forums. READ MORE

Hamish McRae: The Fukushima effect, globally, will be colossal

The former British chief scientific adviser says the UK should press on even faster with new nuclear power stations; the German voters say Germany should dump them altogether – and it looks as though the Berlin government will agree. READ MORE

Prime Minister Orbàn: “We Will Not Allow Brussels Dictating Us Their Terms”

By Gabor Stier

“We will not allow Brussels dictating us their terms! We have never let Vienna or Moscow to guide us in our history, and now we won’t let Brussels do this! Hungary should have its own corner interests!” – claimed the Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn. This belligerent rant has confused even those EU diplomats that are perfectly familiar with Budapest. READ MORE

Why nuclear power is still a good choice

By Mark Lynas

Perspective is needed when deciding between nuclear and other power sources. Renewable energy and conservation aren't enough in the real world. And burning fossil fuels will only worsen global warming. READ MORE

Baltic States no longer counting on Poland

Poland’s Baltic neighbours are observing the Civic Platform administration’s foreign policy with unease. The days when Poland served as the region’s leader, while President Lech Kaczynski mobilized Intermarum to defend against Russia’s aggressive policies, are long gone. Komorowski officially joined in the construction of a new Russian security architecture in Merkel’s and Sarkozy’s presence on 7 February. The following day, Lithuania called for the withdrawal of Russia’s nuclear weapons from the Kaliningrad region, while Estonia signed a defence cooperation agreement with Sweden, the Polish Gazeta Polska paper wrote on 9 March. READ MORE

False Promise of Nuclear Energy

By Brahma Chellaney

Nuclear power no solution. READ MORE

From BRIC to BRICS - emerging markets meet in China

By Jutta Wasserrab

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China are meeting in Sanya, South China, for the BRIC summit on Thursday. South Africa is also attending this meeting as it has been invited to join the emerging markets' group. READ MORE

Estonian transit shows growth but fears Russia

By Olya Schaefer

TALLINN - Estonia’s transit industry continues to show double-digit growth in 2011. This is a very encouraging sign for the economy, and leads analysts to speculate that the transit sector would be a lucrative investment in the future. Estonia is uniquely positioned to capture a significant share of the transit market between Russia and Scandinavia, Western Europe and the Baltics. READ MORE

Russia within Integrational Processe

By Daniil Rozanov

The emergence of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus has incited concern of the European Union. Within the EU program “Eastern Partnership” they declared about the establishment of free trade area with the EU, which may negatively influence the functioning of the CU and Common Economic Space (CES) establishment. READ MORE

What's Behind Kyrgyzstan's U.S. and Russian Counterterror Training Centers?

By Joshua Kucera

A couple of weeks ago, Kyrgyzstan's president, Roza Otunbayeva, announced that the country was planning to construct two counterterror training centers in the southern part of the country, and that one would be built by Russia and the other by the U.S. Her announcement raised a lot of questions, which I posed to Alisher Khamidov, a EurasiaNet contributor and expert on southern Kyrgyzstan. He said that fears of Islamist militants from Tajikistan as well as the military of Uzbekistan are motivating Kyrgyzstan to develop the centers, and that Otunbayeva puts a higher priority on the U.S. center than on the Russian one. READ MORE

Viennese dream of kazakh opposition

By Dinara Asanova

Speaking about kazakh opposition, it is right to say: “there are no already other people, another are far away”. Following the tradition we'll talk about those who are far away. Among those, who are far away, perhaps the most prominent representative is Rahat Aliyev. READ MORE

Medvedev to push Russia's Asian integration at China conference

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in China where he will address Russia's economic integration into the Asia Pacific region, a presidential aide said on Tuesday. READ MORE

Ažubalis: There are Positive Moves but the Parties Retrench Themselves

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Within the issue of Nagorny Karabakh we can observe “some space for the move forward”, and Georgia should be more brave and trust its partners, declared the during the interview to DELFI the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis after his trip to Caucasus. With regret he noted that Russia and Georgia “retrench themselves seriously and for long”, and Belarus gets close to self-isolation “successfully”. READ MORE

China cracks down on dissent

Events in the Middle East are reverberating throughout the world, but no government is as committed to squashing domestic protests as is the leadership in Beijing. The government there has begun a crackdown against liberal voices in China. This seems to be a systematic effort that includes control of communications, beefing up internal security, arrest and prosecution of progressives, and even extralegal mechanisms. READ MORE

Conflict of interests has created water crisis

A modern intensive economic development of Central Asian countries, and particularly development of relatively dry zone, creates prerequisites for water resources to become a tool for political pressure. READ MORE

US puts supply security at centre of future energy policy

By Eberhard Rhein, a professor and former European Commission official involved in external relations

More oil and gas drilling, biofuels, the abandonment of climate change ambitions and perhaps more fuel-efficient vehicles: this is the United States' recipe for energy in the next decade READ MORE

Poles mark anniversary of plane crash tragedy

Poland on Sunday relived the deep pain that engulfed the nation a year ago with a day of prayers and other ceremonies marking the anniversary of the plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many other prominent civilian and military leaders. READ MORE

All Level Victory

By Dinara Asanova

Snap elections of the President in Kazakhstan ended with firm victory of the current Head of the state Nursultan Nazarbayev. This may have various estimations and viewpoints. But there is the fact – the election campaign was of pure virtuosity. READ MORE

The Consequences of the Libyan War for NATO

By Daniel Larison

Nicholas Gvosdev made an intriguing argument about what the Libyan war means for the future of NATO... READ MORE

The Realist Prism: Libya Could Shift NATO Focus Southward

By Nikolas Gvosdev

The commencement of military operations in Libya has led to some unexpected reactions in Eastern European capitals. It was widely expected that Russia, whose uneasiness with the very principle of humanitarian intervention is well-known, would have used its veto at the U.N. Security Council to block the passage of Resolution 1973. After all, Russia's firm opposition to the Kosovo intervention in 1999 led the United States to work through NATO rather than bring the matter to the Security Council. And Moscow has had a clear track record over the last decade of resisting Western calls for intervention on humanitarian grounds in places like Sudan, Zimbabwe and Burma. Yet Russia chose to abstain from the vote on the Libya resolution, not veto it, and in the absence of Russian resistance, China chose not to be the lone standout on the issue. While there has subsequently been a great deal of criticism -- most notably expressed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- emanating from some circles in Russia, there has been no indication that Moscow is prepared to take any drastic steps to register its displeasure. READ MORE

Abkhazia: between the hammer and the anvil

A reply to a recent article by Brian Withmore over at www.rferl.org. READ MORE

Tajikistan: Rahmon Facing Pressure on All Sides

By Stephen Blank

A buildup of external pressure, combined with growing internal economic stress, makes Tajikistan a Central Asian state worth keeping an eye on. READ MORE

Planning pollution in Estonia

By Stephen Gardner

A European Commission state aid notice published on March 23 has shown how EU member state governments can work directly against agreements they make at EU level, in this case on combatting climate change. The Commission said it would open an investigation into Estonian state aid that will underpin the construction of two highly-polluting power plants. READ MORE

Saved by the BRICs

By Julian Evans

Emerging markets, in particular China, are protecting the luxury sector from the worst of the global economic downturn. READ MORE

The New North: the World in 2050

By John Gray

It is easier to know what cannot be than to foretell what will be. There was never any possibility that Iraq would become a secular democracy: toppling Saddam Hussein meant destroying a secular regime, however despotic, while post-invasion politics was bound to reflect sectarian divisions. Similarly, there was never the remot­est prospect of post-communist Russia becoming a western-style economy; 70 years of Soviet rule had produced a military-industrial rustbelt, lacking the most rudimentary preconditions of a viable market system. READ MORE

Russia battles with Europe over Ukraine

Ukraine this week continued its weeklong negotiations with the European Union over associate membership in, and the formation of a free trade agreement with, the bloc. READ MORE

One Year After Regime Change: Kyrgyzstan’s Recent Past is Full of Ambiguity

By Erica Marat

As Kyrgyzstan marks the first anniversary of the April 7, 2010 regime change after a year full of dramatic changes, ambiguity about the country’s recent past prevails. The public and political leadership still grapples with interpreting the meaning of April 7 as well as the ethnic violence in June 2010, in southern Kyrgyzstan. Instead, rumors triumph while competing political factions prefer to use this uncertainty for their own purposes. READ MORE

Smells like Gas...

By Oleg Gorbunov

Ukrainian authorities still count on the revision of gas treaties, concluded during the period when Julia Timoshenko was the Prime Minister. This is regularly indicated by the President Viktor Yanukovych, the Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov and Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Bojko. The subject shall become more urgent when gas discount ends to be valid, which was gained in the result of Kharkov agreements on Black Sea Fleet. And what’s then? READ MORE

Political nonsense or Rough Shoraz

The name of Rahat changed from Aliyev on Shoraz, the book «The Godfather-in-law» appeared- as a former Kazakh politician trying to put a spoke in the wheel of an established mechanism for the most prosperous state in Central Asia region. Affected everyone, especially, the current leadership of Kazakhstan. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Is Far from the Middle East

By Yermukhamet Yertysbayev

On a recent trip to London, I was asked by several experts whether the domino effect that started in the Middle East could affect Kazakhstan and its neighbors. My answer was a simple no for three reasons. READ MORE

THE OSCE AREA SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED BETWEEN “EAST OF VIENNA” AND “WEST OF VIENNA”, LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS

The area of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should not be divided between “East of Vienna” and “West of Vienna” and security across the entire Eurasian and Euro-Atlantic space should be held indivisible and interlinked through all Dimensions of the OSCE, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis said on 5 April at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. READ MORE

Deserts prove fertile ground for renewable energy

By Nele Jensch

Change is in the air in northern Africa and energy policy is also undergoing a revolution. The region boasts ideal conditions for solar and wind energy plants. And even Europe stands to profit. READ MORE

China, Russia 'have lost' oil race in Libya: ex-minister

By Dario Thuburn

A former top minister in Moamer Kadhafi's regime who has fled to Europe in a fishing trawler told AFP in an interview that he believes China and Russia have "lost" the race for oil in Libya. READ MORE

Poland should reinvent itself as the bridge between east and west

By Sławomir Sierakowski

Poland's old anti-Russian prejudices are preventing it from finding its true place in Europe READ MORE

Libya exposes Russian rifts

By Ariel Cohen

Barack Obama’s “reset” with Russia is looking flimsy in the wake of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s vitriolic reaction to events in Libya last week. READ MORE

Productive dialogue with Norway and other Nordic countries – priority for Lithuania

Tuesday, April 5, Oslo - President Dalia Grybauskaitė started a two-day state visit in Norway. The President was officially welcomed at the Royal Palace, where she met with King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Astrid. READ MORE

Forever Bosnia

By John R. Schindler

The significant role played by National Security Council staffer Samantha Power in our current Libyan war raises interesting and troubling questions about what commentators are terming “humanitarian imperialism.” Certainly the potential implications of Professor Power’s “Right to Protect” doctrine on U.S. foreign and defense policy appear vast. READ MORE

Third Energy Package: dispute between Russia and the EU

By Česlovas Iškauskas

During the visit in Brussels on 24 February, Vladimir Putin tried to push own energy policy model to the EU. Negotiations were indeed very difficult and parties didn’t manage to coordinate their positions. But the EU’s third internal energy market package took effect on 3 March. READ MORE

The international community must intervene – in Japan

By Jacques Attali

Just as the international community had to come together to stem the financial meltdown from contaminating the entire world economy or prevent massacre in Libya, it must now intervene in Japan to prevent radiation from poisoning the planet. READ MORE

Kazakhstan’s steady progress toward democracy

By Nursultan Nazarbayev

The unrest that has gripped North Africa and the Middle East has been driven by a potent mixture of economics and politics. Citizens have taken to the streets to protest falling living standards, a lack of political power and an absence of opportunities. READ MORE

Key Issues Facing Ukraine in 2011

By James George Jatras

Ukraine, Introduction. READ MORE

EU water blueprint to pave way for savings targets

A major review of Europe's water policies next year will pave the way for savings targets to be adopted by member states and industries, according to a senior EU official who was speaking on World Water Day. READ MORE

Russia, Kazakhstan team up to produce rare earth metals

Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) and Kazakhstan's uranium producer Kazatomprom signed a memorandum of intent to cooperate in the production and sales of rare earth metals, the market for which is squeezed by Chinese export restrictions, Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), said on Wednesday. READ MORE

Russia’s response to the Libyan crisis: a paradigm shift?

By Eugene Ivanov

What does Russia's divergent response to international action in North Africa say about future foreign-policy choices in the region? READ MORE

President Obama calls for one-third cut to oil imports

By Steven Mufson

President Obama called for a one-third cut in oil imports by 2025 to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign petroleum. READ MORE

U.S. Ambassador on Georgia's NATO Path

Georgia will become a NATO member by convincing Allies that it is a significant “net contributor” to the common security in the North-Atlantic region, John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, said on March 24. READ MORE

Russian decision boosts Moldova's EU entry prospects

By Andrew Rettman

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia has said it is ready to dismantle Cold War-era arms dumps in Moldova, raising the prospect of an end to the Transniestria conflict and boosting Moldova's chances of future EU accession. READ MORE

Serbia: South Stream for sure?

By Neil MacDonald

Will Serbia get a piece of Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline or not? Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, rattled nerves across the region this week by saying “different versions” of the route were under consideration. READ MORE

Wind energy surplus threatens eastern German power grid

By Richard Fuchs

More than one third of Germany's 21,500 wind turbines are located in the nation's east. This concentration of generating capacity regularly overloads the region's electricity grid, threatening blackouts. READ MORE

Russia takes on board Slovenia in South Stream venture

Russia signed a deal with EU member Slovenia , paving the way for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline through the Adriatic country. READ MORE

European Diplomat on Russia-Georgia Conflict

Moscow, whose policy towards Tbilisi is “not imaginative”, has lost great part of its influence over Georgia and is “at a loss how to re-establish” it, while Tbilisi’s policy towards Moscow lacks multi-dimensional approach and is “quite one-sided,” Hansjörg Haber, head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), said. READ MORE

Discussing nuclear energy

By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - The tragedy of Japan, including the nuclear accident in Fukushima, got an immediate response from Lithuanian hearts. Over 200,000 litas (58,000 euros) in donations, mostly via calls to charity phone numbers, were collected by ordinary Lithuanians during the first five days after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, and the charity action continues. That sum from the first five days is almost equal to the Lithuanian government’s help in blankets and sleeping-bags for Japan. READ MORE

Odessa-Brody Pipeline Operating On Azerbaijani Oil

By Vladimir Socor

Oil delivered by Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) is moving through Ukraine’s Odessa-Brody pipeline at the moment, a portion of it heading for Belarus (BELTA, March 24). SOCAR expects to deliver oil to Poland also through the Odessa-Brody pipeline. The line runs from the Pivdenny terminal on the Black Sea to the Brody junction on the Druzhba pipeline, near the Ukrainian-Polish border. For the first time since its commissioning in 2004, the line is now operating as intended, south-north, for transporting Caspian oil into Central Europe.  READ MORE