November 2011

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on Missile Defence


I have taken note of President Medvedev's statement on missile defence. NATO's missile defence system, which NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to develop last year at the Lisbon Summit, is designed to defend against threats emanating from outside Europe and is not designed to alter the balance of deterrence. READ MORE

NATO’s relations with Kazakhstan


NATO and Kazakhstan actively cooperate on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms, and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. The Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out the overall programme of cooperation between Kazakhstan and NATO. The defence-related fields of cooperation are supported by the Planning and Review Process (PARP). READ MORE

Extraordinary Trainings Expected

By Daniil Rozanov

The CSTO gives higher priority to the trainings of the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (KSOR) in Armenia in 2012. This was declared during the press-conference in Yerevan by the Vice General Secretary of the Organization Valery Semerikov. READ MORE

Lithuania Prepares to Pass the OSCE Exam


By Roman Yakovlevsky

Parting year 2011  has  been special for Lithuania, which took the relay of Chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Community of Democracies. And if the Community has the extension task basing on definite principles, then within the territory of the Organization we can observe deviation from democratic promotion. Despite certain attempts of the OSCE human rights are still being violated commonly. That is why the Chairman-in-office has declared the intentions to give special focus to the promotion of human rights, freedom of press and civil society among the Organization’s member-states. Also such troublesome Lithuanian’s neighbor as Belarus has intensified this focus. READ MORE

Vera Kobalia: Diversification in Georgia is Everywhere

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Minister of Economy and Stable Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia considers economic relations of Lithuania and Georgia to be insufficient. She thinks that more can be expected, and that the main problems rest within the sphere of goods transportation and absence of direct communication between the two states. During an interview for DELFI she underlined that due to the embargo imposed by Russia in 2006 on Georgian goods, her country has only benefited, and entrance of Russia into WTO shall positively influence Georgian economy. In course of her visit to Vilnius the youngest minister in the team of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili Vera Kobalia answered the questions of DELFI, shared with her view on economic cooperation between Lithuania and Georgia, main problems and project of Georgian economy, talked about the opinion of Tbilisi on entrance of Russia into WTO and on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Confronting Iran


By Efraim Halevy

Peace must precede the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East and not the other way round. READ MORE

Kazakhstan, EU review progress in cooperation, outline future plans

In the past twenty years, Kazakhstan has developed an extended partnership with the European Union through bilateral cooperation with its many countries in a variety of fields and with the help of state-sponsored projects such as a three-year programme called "Path to Europe." READ MORE

Pakistan buries troops amid fury over NATO strike


Pakistan on Sunday buried 24 troops killed in a NATO cross-border air raid that has pushed a crisis in relations with the United States towards rupture. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Sees Instability at End of Afghan Mission


By Rick Gladstone

The departing president of Kyrgyzstan, the small but strategically important Central Asian country that houses a vital American air base for supplying the NATO war effort in neighboring Afghanistan, expressed deep concern on Wednesday about the potential for a contagious economic collapse in Afghanistan when foreign military forces withdraw. READ MORE

The Roads To War And Economic Collapse

By Paul Craig Roberts

The day before the Thanksgiving holiday brought three extraordinary news items. One was the report on the Republican presidential campaign debate. One was the Russian President's statement about his country's response to Washington's missile bases surrounding his country. And one was the failure of a German government bond auction. READ MORE

Russia Elevates Warning About U.S. Missile-Defense Plan in Europe


By David M. Herszenhorn, Thom Shanker

Russia will deploy its own missiles and could withdraw from the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty if the United States moves forward with its plans for a missile-defense system in Europe, President Dmitri A. Medvedev warned on Wednesday. READ MORE

Rahmon Balances Domestic and Foreign Pressures Over Rogun Project


By Alexander Sodiqov

Tajik authorities announced that they had completed the main diversion tunnel of the Rogun Dam project. This means that it is now technically possible to divert the Vakhsh River from the part of the valley in which they plan to place the giant dam. Dewatering the construction areas will allow the authorities to start building the facility. READ MORE

The Cold War Is Really Over Now

As Russia begins to spend $650 billion to modernize their armed forces (by the end of the decade), the prime minister also ordered a dramatic step to permanently cut the Russian military loose from their Cold War past. This requires scrapping over 10 million tons of obsolete weapons (including over 20,000 tanks, over 100,000 other armored vehicles and artillery, hundreds of ships and thousands of aircraft). During the 1990s, this stuff was just left to rot in open fields, remote airbases and dingy corners of ports and naval bases. In the last decade, Russia has spent over half a billion dollars providing some security, and minimal upkeep for this stuff. For a long time, there was the hope that the abandoned weapons might be useful if there was another major war. But there's no one to operate the stuff, as the current Russian armed forces are a fifth the size of the Soviet Union military that used to own all these weapons. Moreover, more than half the equipment to be scrapped is considered obsolete (by Russian standards). Nearly all of it is considered obsolete by Western standards. The rest of the world has picked over this pile of Cold War surplus for the last two decades, and bought what they thought might be useful. That made hardly a dent in the pile of abandoned weapons and equipment. READ MORE

Europe, the International System and a Generational Shift


By George Friedman

Change in the international system comes in large and small doses, but fundamental patterns generally stay consistent. From 1500 to 1991, for example, European global hegemony constituted the world’s operating principle. Within this overarching framework, however, the international system regularly reshuffles the deck in demoting and promoting powers, fragmenting some and empowering others, and so on. Sometimes this happens because of war, and sometimes because of economic and political forces. While the basic structure of the world stays intact, the precise way it works changes. READ MORE

Democratic development of Ukraine should raise no doubts


President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on a working visit in Ukraine, met with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to discuss the relationship between the European Union and Ukraine, and the progress in terms of European integration. READ MORE

Sergey Sobolev: “The Faster Ukraine Integrates into the EU the Better”


By Oleg Gorbunov

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has reached his X time of European strategy. This December the Summit Ukraine-EU shall take place, within the frameworks of which during two years of Yanukovych’s presidency they have planned to sign an Association Treaty of Ukraine and the EU that would include into itself also the treaty on the establishment of free trade area Ukraine-EU. However, considering imprisonment of Yulia Timoshenko and approach with Russia this prospect is doubted by experts. “Politcom.ru” asked the Chairman of the “shadow government” of Ukraine one of the leaders of “Batskivshchina” party Sergey Sobolev to answer the questions whether Ukraine is ready to go the unstable EU and whether it can count on further integration. READ MORE

Georgia says it won’t drag NATO into war

By Ben Birnbaum

Won’t fight Russia again, official says READ MORE

Obama and Asia’s Two Futures


By Yuriko Koike

TOKYO – Despite the relentless shift of global economic might to Asia, and China’s rise as a great power – the central historical events of our time, which will drive world affairs for the foreseeable future – America’s focus has been elsewhere. The terrorist attacks of 2001, followed by the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the Great Contraction of 2008, the Arab Spring, and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, all diverted the United States from helping to create a lasting structure of peace to accommodate today’s resurgent Asia. READ MORE

United efforts in the European Union will ensure security and well-being for Lithuanian and Estonian people

President Dalia Grybauskaitė and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, currently on a working visit in Lithuania, discussed the situation in the eurozone, the preparedness for negotiating a new financial framework of the European Union, and the Nordic-Baltic cooperation. This is the first visit of the Estonian President after his reelection for the second term. READ MORE

Weekly review: SCO member states vow to strengthen economic cooperation

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov arrived on Sunday for a working visit in Saint Petersburg to attend the Council of the Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states. READ MORE

Russia sees need for more urgency on climate deal -EU


Russia recognises that concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need to be agreed at climate talks in South Africa next month before a globally binding climate deal can emerge by 2015, EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said on Thursday. READ MORE

Lithuanian And British Foreign Ministers Discuss Issues Of Bilateral And Regional Cooperation

On 11 November on his first working visit to London, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and the U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague discussed the most important issues of the European Union, security policies, and bilateral and regional cooperation. READ MORE

Afghan cargo train on track for success

From the countries of Central Asia to the crowded tracks of India, the train is a common sight in many Asian countries. But due to war, poverty and the fear of invasion the age of the railway passed Afghanistan by. Until today. READ MORE

Russia: Rebuilding an Empire While It Can


By Lauren Goodrich

U.S.-Russian relations seem to have been relatively quiet recently, as there are numerous contradictory views in Washington about the true nature of Russia’s current foreign policy. Doubts remain about the sincerity of the U.S. State Department’s so-called “reset” of relations with Russia — the term used in 2009 when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed a reset button to her Russian counterpart as a symbol of a freeze on escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington. The concern is whether the “reset” is truly a shift in relations between the two former adversaries or simply a respite before relations deteriorate again. READ MORE

«Gazprom» Exiled from the Caspian Region

The balance of powers has started changing expressly. In the middle of September the EU Council approved the mandate of the talks of the EU with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on conclusion of legally binding treaty on Transcaspian gas pipeline construction. As Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger declared, the access of the EU to the pre-Caspian region and Central Asia becomes a key issue from now on. Transcaspian gas pipeline is considered to be a part of NABUCCO gas pipeline which is represented by West as an alternative to the “South Stream”. In this respect Brussels declared that it is ready to get down to the operations on preparing the countries of Caspian region and Transcaucasia to the reality of negotiations, and to start specific talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. In this respect Iran has reminded: “Development of transport infrastructure in Caspian region, as well as hydrocarbons transportation is the exclusive prerogative of only pre-Caspian states”. READ MORE

Tajikistan’s Transportation Challenge: Ending Dependency On Uzbek Transit Routes

By Farangis Najibullah

As relations between Dushanbe and Tashkent have become increasingly strained due to multiple factors, including water resources and energy supplies, Tajikistan is trying to end its reliance on Uzbekistan’s highways and railroads. Tashkent has closed most of the Soviet-era highways linking the countries, and Tajikistan’s cargo transit through Uzbek railroads has suffered frequent interruptions since 2009 (www.news.kob.tj August 10, 2010; Ruzgor.tj March 19, 2010). READ MORE

After Winning Elections Atambayev Focuses On the US Transit Center


By Erica Marat

Kyrgyzstan’s new president-elect Almazbek Atambayev has once again hinted that he wants the US Transit Center at Manas out of Kyrgyzstan by the time coalition forces leave Afghanistan. “In 2014 the United States will have to withdraw its military base from the ‘Manas’ international airport,” Atambayev said on November 1. READ MORE

President Schmitt Pál: Azerbaijan is great friend and strategic partner of Hungary

By E.Tariverdiyeva

Azerbaijan is a great friend and a strategic partner of Hungary in the South Caucasus region, Hungarian President Schmitt Pál said in an interview with Trend on the eve of his visit to Azerbaijan. READ MORE

A jump of the Asian “tiger” to Eastern Europe

By Česlovas Iškauskas

For China is not enough to conquer all of the Far East and Asia’s neighbors. According to the Russian journal Vlast, China seeks to consolidate its influence in the countries which are considered by Moscow as the zones of its influence: Ukraine and Belarus. Beijing started investing to the economies of the above post-soviet countries. READ MORE

Russian, German leaders launch Nord Stream gas pipeline


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched the Nord Stream gas pipeline on Tuesday, starting delivery of Russian natural gas to Germany bypassing existing transit countries. READ MORE

EU-China relations in times of crisis

By Sebastian Bersick, Associate Professor of International Relations at Fudan University, Shanghai

The European Union does not take its relations with Beijing seriously enough, as evidenced by the unilateral postponement of the 14th EU-China summit and the failure to grant China Market Economy Status, argues Sebastian Bersick. READ MORE

Lithuania and Latvia will act together to pursue common goals

President Dalia Grybauskaitė discussed with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, the continuity of bilateral cooperation in implementing regional energy and transport projects, and the representation of interests significant for both countries in the European Union and NATO. READ MORE

NATO Secretary General makes historic Libya trip


Anders Fogh Rasmussen is making an historic visit to Libya, the first ever of a NATO Secretary General. The visit marks the conclusion of the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector for Libya, which comes to an end at midnight on October 31, exactly seven months since it began. READ MORE

Afghanistan: what’s gone right, what’s gone wrong

When the Taliban was ousted in 2001, there were seeds of hope across the country. The people of Afghanistan, weary from their dark past, embarked on a bright venture of nation and state building. They hoped for prosperity, freedom, and peace. The presence, cooperation and support from the international community galvanised this hope. Looking back, I could see a mix of both extraordinary progress and bitter failure. READ MORE

Opinion: G20 partners lose confidence in Europe


By Henrik Böhme

Members of the G20 have lost much of their trust in the eurozone states due to the unexpected political crisis that erupted in Greece this week, writes Deutsche Welle's Henrik Böhme. READ MORE

Military Cooperation of Ukraine and NATO Shall Be Assessed by the Alliance within the Context of Political Events in the Country.

The interview of Vice Secretary General of NATO on political issues and security James Appathurai. READ MORE

Iran's nuclear ambitions: let's not do anything rash

Should the US seek to destroy Tehran's atomic sites? No. The security case is not made and the risks are disproportionate READ MORE

China and India at War: Study Contemplates Conflict Between Asian Giants

By Ishaan Tharoor

There are plenty of reasons why China and India won't go to war. The two Asian giants hope to reach $100 billion in annual bilateral trade by 2015. Peace and stability are watchwords for both nations' rise on the world stage. Yet tensions between the neighbors seem inescapable: they face each other across a heavily militarized nearly 4,000km-long border and are increasingly competing against each other in a scramble for natural resources around the world. Indian fears over Chinese projects along the Indian Ocean rim were matched recently by Beijing's ire over growing Indian interests in the South China Sea, a body of water China controversially claims as its exclusive territorial sphere of influence. Despite the sense of optimism and ambition that drives these two states, which comprise between them nearly a third of humanity, the legacy of the brief 1962 Sino-Indian war (a humiliating blow for India) still smolders nearly five decades later. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Calls for Stabilisation in Afghanistan through Diplomacy and Development

The social and economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan is an essential guarantee of regional and international security and stability, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov told participants of the Istanbul conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul as he pledged Astana’s continued support for more robust international efforts to assist that country return to the peaceful life. READ MORE

China, India, Iran and Pakistan Crowd Russia in Today’s Great Game in Central Asia


By James Brooke

When I was in Dushanbe, India’s defense minister just happened to be in the neighborhood, and popped in for a visit. READ MORE

Putin trip to Beijing signals troubled partnership


By Reuben F. Johnson

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Beijing followed disclosure of a crackdown on Chinese spying and produced signs that Russia is now becoming the junior partner in its relationship with China, with fewer areas of agreement or cooperation, according to analysts in Moscow and Beijing. READ MORE

Azerbaijan expands gas export possibilities

Azer Ahmedbeyli

Yesterday's statement by the President of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) Rovnag Abdullayev has put new emphasis on the issue of delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and the European markets. Baku and Ankara intend to build a new pipeline on the territory of Turkey, given the prospects of growth in production on the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, exactly by 50 billion cubic meters per year by 2025. READ MORE