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October 2011

The Water Hegemon

By Brahma Chellaney

International discussion about China’s rise has focused on its increasing trade muscle, growing maritime ambitions, and expanding capacity to project military power. One critical issue, however, usually escapes attention: China’s rise as a hydro-hegemon with no modern historical parallel. READ MORE

Global Insights: Dim Prospects for Putin's Eurasian Union

By Richard Weitz

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin followed up his unsurprising Sept. 24 declaration that he would again seek the presidency with a more surprising call: to create what he called a "Eurasian Union." In a rare and lengthy newspaper piece published on Oct. 4, Putin announced his desire for Russia to again lead a multinational bloc of tightly bound, former Soviet republics. But major obstacles stand in the way of Putin's project, and the prospects of a new Eurasian Union emerging anytime soon in the former Soviet space are small. READ MORE

From the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: Rethinking the Region

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By George Friedman

The territory between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush has been the main arena for the U.S. intervention that followed the 9/11 attacks. Obviously, the United States had been engaged in this area in previous years, but 9/11 redefined it as the prime region in which it confronted jihadists. That struggle has had many phases, and it appears to have entered a new one over the past few weeks. READ MORE

A Latvian Government for Latvia

By Vladimir Socor

Latvia’s government approved the country’s new government, a three-party center-right coalition that does not include the leftist Russian party Harmony Center (BNS, LETA, October 25). This outcome was in doubt until almost the last moment. Western-oriented Latvia came close to being governed by a hybrid coalition that would have included Harmony, an openly Russia-oriented party, signatory to a cooperation agreement with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, and allied to certain local Latvian oligarchs. Harmony is also Latvia’s single largest party as a legacy of Soviet-era migration from Russia’s interior, followed by monolithic Russian voting in today’s Latvia. READ MORE

Fact Sheet: U.S. - Kazakhstan cooperation on nuclear security and nonproliferation

Kazinform Agency offers its readers the fact sheet by the the US Diplomatic Mission to Kazakhstan about the US-Kazakh relations. The United States of America and the Republic of Kazakhstan have cooperated on a broad range of nuclear security and nonproliferation topics for nearly two decades. READ MORE

Teaming, Transparency, and Transition in Afghanistan

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When NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) was stood up in November 2009, our mission was about teaming with Afghans to build a dynamic future for a secure and stable Afghanistan. With lessons from the Soviet experience and previous international efforts as our guide, NTM-A adopted a new mindset relying on teaming, transparency, and transition. READ MORE

Central Asia: Russia Grapples with a Security Dilemma

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By Joshua Kucera

CSTO Countries NATO Countries Russia EurasiaNet's Weekly Digest Geopolitics War in Afghanistan READ MORE

Turkmens slam Russian bid to hinder gas pipeline

By Alexander Vershinin

Energy-rich Turkmenistan lashed out Wednesday at what it says is a Russian attempt to stymie the creation of a natural gas supply route to Europe. READ MORE

The State and Prospects of the Russia-EU-Ukraine Triangle

An interview with Andreas Umland, DAAD lecturer in political science, National University of Kiev – Mohyla Academy, Ukraine (since 2010). READ MORE

A Farewell to Nuclear Arms

By Mikhail Gorbachev

Twenty-five years ago this month, I sat across from Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland to negotiate a deal that would have reduced, and could have ultimately eliminated by 2000, the fearsome arsenals of nuclear weapons held by the United States and the Soviet Union. READ MORE

Double Light of the Polish Parliamentary Elections Results

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By Antony Gotfree

Past Parliamentary elections were in the focus not only in Poland itself, their course and results were actively commented on by politicians and experts of several countries. READ MORE

As Poland shines, Ukraine sinks. Yet both their trajectories can be changed

By Timothy Garton Ash

While the EU is right to react firmly to the show trial of Tymoshenko, it shouldn't see history as a reason to give up on Kiev. READ MORE

Lithuania will help Moldova to become a European country

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President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Prime Minister Vladimir Filat of Moldova. READ MORE

Libyan Prime Minister announces death of Moammar Gadhafi

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By Matt Zuvela, Holly Fox

Moammar Gadhafi's death has been confirmed by Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril. Gadhafi was found by forces of the National Transitional Council in Sirte. READ MORE

Finland will host 2012 conference to start talks on nuclear weapons-free Mideast

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The United Nations, U.S., Russia and Britain announced the first steps Friday to convening what is certain to be a controversial conference in 2012 on turning the Middle East into a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. READ MORE

China and the Eurasian Union

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By David Cohen

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has thrown down the glove at China over the two countries rival interests in Central Asia, announcing plans to form a 'Eurasian Union,' whose borders will encompass much of China’s northwest and give Russia power over China’s access to Central Asian markets and energy supplies. The proposed map – which bears a suspicious resemblance to that of the former Soviet Union – has so far met with derision in China. READ MORE

The ‘zero problems’ policy

By Berİl Dedeoğlu

One of the most frequently asked questions about the current state of Turkish foreign policy is “What happened to the ‘zero problems with neighbors' strategy?” It is a fact that the list of problems grows longer with every passing day, be it with Azerbaijan, Iran, Syria, Cyprus or, last but not least, with Israel. READ MORE

Surreal Eastern Partnership Summit: EU Gives Ukraine Last Red Card

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By Taras Kuzio

The September 29-30, Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw was another typically EU empty diplomatic soirée. The Viktor Yanukovych administration has ignored Western criticism of political repression and the EU has put all its eggs into the Ukraine basket to show success in the Eastern Partnership, while Belarus pulled out. EU leaders said the summit was “very successful” and “paves the way in many areas of our cooperation.” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk remained confident that an association agreement with Ukraine will be completed this year and talks on similar agreements with Georgia and Moldova would be launched (Interfax-Ukraine, September 29). READ MORE

Western energy experts about Kazakhstan prospects -- interviews

Energy Experts: Didier Holleaux, Gilles Perrot, Marie Norheim. READ MORE

Money And Power And Military Might

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October 10, 2011: While some of China's neighbors (Vietnam, India and South Korea) are nervous about reforms in the Chinese Army, all the neighbors are alarmed at the increasing size and assertiveness of the Chinese Navy. While the navy contains only 11 percent of China's military personnel, it is the element of the armed forces most frequently encountered by foreigners. READ MORE

Uncertain World: The secure Eastern Partnership

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By Fyodor Lukyanov

The summit of the Eastern Partnership that took place last week in Warsaw, Poland, turned into a bombastic event, complete with the ceremonial exchange of solemn words. The only exception was Moscow, which surprised everyone with its calm and even somewhat positive attitude. The Russian foreign ministry did not even rule out the possibility of cooperation. Compared with the passions that the Eastern Partnership elicited two or three years ago, when Russia denounced it as an expansion of the European Union, Russia's relaxed attitude this time seems out of place. What caused this change? READ MORE

The West exchanges Tbilisi for Baku

By Ilona Raskolnikova

Azerbaijan differs from its neighbors in the South Caucasus very much. Despite Mikhail Saakashvili's statement about Sakartvelo's amazing development, Baku is the leader for economic growth among the former Soviet republics. While the financial crisis has walked throughout the planet, the share of the Azerbaijani economy in the region exceeded 80 percent. Its GDP became higher than in Georgia and Armenia together. Will the oil sector help to strengthen the political position of Mr. Aliyev on the international stage? READ MORE

Kazakhstan welcomes Putin's Eurasian Union concept

By James Kilner

Governments in the West may have read with alarm that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wanted to build a Eurasian Union out of the former Soviet bloc but in Kazakhstan the news was welcomed. READ MORE

What Putin's second coming would mean for India

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Defence Minister AK Antony's significant Russia [ Images ] visit was lost in the domestic political din, yet the message he brought must cheer India. It's not just the confirmation of the delivery schedule for aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly 'Admiral Gorshkov'). New Delhi [ Images ] had been concerned at the delay in its delivery resulting in the escalation of cost from $1.5 bn to $2.33 bn. They also discussed the pending lease of the K-152 Nerpa nuclear multi-purpose attack submarine and licensed production and overseas maintenance of the Su-30MKI aircraft and T-90S tanks. READ MORE

West Plays Up to the Kremlin

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By Alexander Kronin

The results of the last Summit of the “Eastern Partnership” member-states show that the struggle between Russia and West for a dominating influence over former Soviet republics has entered into a new stage. And it seems that Moscow captures greater initiative. READ MORE

Putin’s New Vision of Eurasia

By John Daly

Free Investment Report: The Bakken region is currently the hottest oil play going in North America and our research has uncovered a junior oil company that could be it’s next bit payout. Click here for the Free report. READ MORE

Russia-China: still gassing about gas

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By Stefan Wagstyl

In any deal, if the price is not agreed, then nothing is. What is true in a farmers’ market is true for China-Russia relations. READ MORE

Kazakhstan stands for nuclear free world

During its years of independence Kazakhstan has always stood for peace and harmony, for prosperous development of the mankind and our planet as well. It was the beginning when 20 years ago Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a historic decree on closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in August 1991. READ MORE

Energy links with Russia strengthened

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By Li Xiaokun and Ma Liyao

China and Russia made giant strides in energy cooperation on Tuesday by first agreeing a price for Russian oil exported through a cross-border pipeline and then announcing the approaching "final stage" of work on Russian gas exports to China. READ MORE

European Crisis: Precise Solutions in an Imprecise Reality

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By George Friedman

An important disconnect over the discussion of the   future of the European Union exists, one that divides into three parts. First, there is the question of whether the various plans put forward in Europe plausibly could result in success given the premises they are based on. Second, there is the question of whether the premises are realistic. And third, assuming they are realistic and the plans are in fact implemented, there is the question of whether they can save the European Union as it currently exists. READ MORE

A U.S.-European strategy with Putin's Russia

By Denis Corboy, William Courtney And Kenneth Yalowitz

Western relations with Russia have improved since nose-diving after the 2008 war with Georgia, but they face new challenges with the return to the presidency next year of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is often critical of the West. A new strategy is required to achieve attainable and important interests while not jeopardizing key principles. READ MORE

Poland Wants Friendly Ties With Russia, Notes Difficulties

By Marcin Sobczyk

Poland wants friendly relations with Russia despite recent disagreements and a history of conflicts between the countries, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday. READ MORE

From Geopolitical Point of View, Kazakhstan is Very Important and Lithuania is Ready to be its Worthy Partner – interview of the President of the Lithuanian Republic Dalia Grybauskaite

From Geopolitical Point of View Kazakhstan is Very Important, and Lithuania is Ready to Become its Worthy Partner. This was declared by the President of the Lithuanian Republic Dalia Grybauskaite during an exclusive interview to the official web-site of the President www.akorda.kz and Agency “Khabar”. READ MORE

ISAF Ministers pledge support to Afghanistan beyond 2014

Defence Ministers of the 49 nations which contribute to ISAF expressed strong commitment to support Afghanistan throughout the transition process and well beyond. READ MORE

Nuclear safety is a common goal for Lithuania and Kazakhstan

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President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on her first official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed nuclear safety issues - significant for both countries - and agreed to work together on the international arena for more effective measures aimed at ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities. READ MORE

Sino-Russian Relations: Renewal or Decay of a Strategic Partnership?

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By Jingdong Yuan

Sino-Russian relations appear to be picking up the tempo with frequent high-level visits taking place in recent months. Last week, the top Chinese military officer, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Gen. Guo Boxiong, met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and top Russian military brass in Moscow. READ MORE

Vladimir Putin's plan to create a Eurasian Union is about reclaiming the Russian Empire

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By Andrew Osborn

Vladimir Putin is on a roll. Last month, he revealed he was all set to return to the Russian presidency next year, possibly for as long as twelve years. READ MORE

Linkevičius: Challenges of NATO are Greater, the Contribution of Europe - Smaller

«Recently in the EU they have claimed  that we can do more with less money. This sounds nice from poetic point of view. From political  - maybe, also nice. But it doesn’t seem nice to those who should do that”, - states former Ambassador to NATO, and now – Advisor of the Prime Minister on the issues of defense and security Linas Linkevičius. READ MORE

US finds new friend in Uzbekistan after Pakistan fallout

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad and James Kilner in Astana

President Obama has asked Uzbekistan to expand its role in resupplying troops in Afghanistan as Washington tries to reduce its dependence on Pakistan. READ MORE

They can tear Georgia into pieces

By Ilona Raskolnikova

American expert Ariel Cohen has once again decided to play the role of visionary. He has promised that this year will become critical for Georgia, as it should now decide the fate of the state and the future course of its development. Due to the weak support from Washington the Caucasian republic can completely find itself in the power of Kremlin. Republican mood of Mr. Cohen has long been known to us. Let's see what kind of future awaits Sakartvelo under different scenarios. READ MORE

Debating Missile Defence

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By John Warden & He Yun

China sees US missile defence plans as a threat, while the US worries about Chinese ballistic missiles. Who's right to be worried? READ MORE

Turkey ends gas deal with Russia

Turkey decided to terminate its 25-year old deal with Moscow on natural gas supplies, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted by CNN-Turk as saying. READ MORE

EU lobbying from a new EU member state perspective

While the new member states' generally small stature, relative poverty and inexperience limit their influence in the European Union, they are fast learning the game of Brussels lobbying, argues Gergana Passy. READ MORE

NATO Secretary General announces Chicago summit dates

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NATO’s forthcoming summit in Chicago will take place on May 20-21, 2012, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced during a visit to the United States. READ MORE

Ukraine and Azerbaijan Map Out LNG Project Via Georgia and Black Sea

By Vladimir Socor

To reduce its dependence on expensive Russian natural gas, Ukraine proposes to import Azerbaijani liquefied natural gas (LNG) via Georgia and across the Black Sea to Ukraine. Recent gas discoveries in Azerbaijan, and the reactivation of the Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan gas pipeline project, encourage a growing number of consumer countries to turn to Azerbaijan as a gas producer and transit country. Kyiv’s proposal to Baku underscores this trend. READ MORE

The Empire Strikes Back: European Energy and the Return of Gazprom

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Compared to the Eurozone’s public finances, European energy policy looks decidedly bright. Capacity margins are high, prices are low, even emissions have dropped of late. The EU's 'Third Package' of gas and power market reforms, which took effect in March, is set to further enhance supply security, increase competition and improve consumer choice and services. It all sounds very good, but the problem is that such 'policy hits' are grounded in weak fundamentals–not silver bullet policy making.  Shale gas developments have turned LNG markets on their head, while deep seated financial frailties and economic slumps have kept fundamentals weak and growth anemic across EU27 states. That's making energy policy look good, and political populism all too easy. READ MORE

Georgia and Warsaw Summit of Eastern Partnership

EU could start talks with Georgia on deep and comprehensive trade agreement (DCFTA) by the end of this year, provided “sufficient progress has been made in fulfilling a number of remaining key recommendations,” a joint declaration adopted on September 30 by the EU Eastern Partnership summit says without specifying a date when such talks could start. READ MORE

Growing Afghanistan Doubts

By Mark Thompson

Concern inside the U.S. military that Afghanistan is not going to end well is heating up. It's always been simmering, but now seems to be coming to a slow boil. Lately, at least in private conversations with officers up and down the chain, the concerns are becoming louder. READ MORE