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December 2011

Ukrainian Vector of Vladimir Putin

By Alexey Makarkin

In Russia foreign policy course is defined by the President – that is why a political decision that Putin returns to this post in spring 2012 has become a significant event affecting the development of Russian-Ukrainian relations. At first sight these relations should get worse considering traditionally more rigid foreign political line of Putin and political stakes of Yanukovych to establish contacts first of all with Medvedev, who becomes Prime-Minister in the new system of power.  “Yanukovych, who is evidently more prone to communicate with liberal Medvedev, was made clear that now he’ll have to deal with rough Putin. If someone had illusions, that one can come to an agreement with one of the Kremlin leaders individually, playing on contradictions, then now there are no such”, - considers political analyst Vladimir Fesenko. READ MORE

French "genocide" bill is attack on Turkey's dignity, foreign minister says

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made a final appeal on Wednesday to French parliamentarians not to back a bill that would make it a crime to deny that Armenians had suffered a "genocide" at the hands of Ottoman Turks, dpa reported. READ MORE

Why Russia Matters to China

By David Cohen

As the regime of Vladimir Putin faces the most serious challenge of its 12 years in power, Chinese leaders will be watching apprehensively. Instability in Russia, which shares a 2,600 mile-long border with China, would be a major strategic problem for China.  The obvious resemblance to the Arab Spring is still more threatening for a ruling party that lives in fear of repeating the fate of the Soviet Union. If uprisings in Egypt and Libya created a strategic headache for China, Russia has the potential to be a migraine. READ MORE

Armenia Steps Up European Integration Drive

By Emil Danielyan

Armenia appears to be intensifying integration into the European Union, despite Moscow’s unease over the growing EU presence in its former Soviet backyard. The authorities in Yerevan are particularly keen to conclude a far-reaching “association agreement” that will lead, among other things, to a permanent free trade regime with the EU. Armenian leaders are also increasingly asserting their commitment to “European standards,” with promises to hold democratic elections and carry out other wide-ranging reforms. READ MORE

Baltic Dimension of Cooperation

By Daniil Rozanov

In a narrow understanding the notion Baltic countries covers the states possessing direct access to the Baltic Sea, options for direct sea communications between each other without crossing borders of other states. And these are nine countries: Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Estonia. READ MORE

Piotr Topychkanov: “The Threat of Gaining Nuclear Weapon by Saudi Arabia is Pretty Real, and Pakistan May Assist”

The declaration of the Prince of Saudi Arabia Turki Al Faisal about that Riyadh is able to start development of nuclear weapon pretty corresponds with the potential of this country. The case is that in due time Saudi Arabia provided financial aid within gaining of nuclear bomb by Pakistan. And, probably, with the contribution of Saudi Arabia a market for nuclear technologies and probably materials sale established around Pakistan. That is why considering close cooperation of the two states in this sphere, it wouldn’t be hard for Saudi Arabia to create nuclear bomb in short terms. The same is about carriers. READ MORE

The Syria Crisis: Assessing Foreign Intervention

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By Scott Stewart

The ongoing unrest, violence and security crackdowns in Syria have been the subject of major international attention since February. Our current assessment is that the government and opposition forces have reached a stalemate in which the government cannot quell the unrest and the opposition cannot bring down the regime without outside intervention. READ MORE

NATO Foreign Ministers to discuss operations, partnerships and Chicago summit

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The foreign ministers of NATO Allies and partner countries will meet in Brussels on 7 and 8 December to discuss current operations, the Alliance’s relationship with its partners, and preparations for the NATO summit in Chicago on 20-21 May 2012. READ MORE

‘Turkey will allow South Stream pipeline by end of year’

By Faruk Akkan, Fuat Seferov

Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev has said Turkey will give the OK for the South Stream pipeline project, which will transport Russian natural gas to Europe by passing through Turkish territorial waters, by the end of the year. READ MORE

New Initiative of Nazarbayev “G Global Project”

I would like to address the World Community

In the very beginning of 2009 in the heat of the crisis, I came forward with an initiative of a world financial reform

In the articles “Key from Crisis” and “The Fifth Way” I said that cosmetic anti-crisis measures shall not save the world from new growing waves of crisis.

The course of events has proved these words.

Yet no one has managed to suggest global anti-crisis plan that would be adopted on consensus basis.

Unfortunately, the formats G20 and G8 demonstrate to be inefficient, they haven’t even get to discuss the world Anti-crisis Plan.
  READ MORE

Russia's Plan to Disrupt U.S.-European Relations

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By Lauren Goodrich

Tensions between the United States and Russia have risen in the past month over several long-standing problems, including ballistic missile defense (BMD) and supply lines into Afghanistan. Moscow and Washington also appear to be nearing another crisis involving Russian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). READ MORE

The Hundred Years’ German War

By Victor Davis Hanson

Germany’s dominance was won by national character, not arms or handouts. READ MORE

The Covert Intelligence War Against Iran

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By Scott Stewart

There has been a lot of talk in the press lately about a “cold war” being waged by the United States, Israel and other U.S. allies against Iran. Such a struggle is certainly taking place, but in order to place recent developments in perspective, it is important to recognize that the covert intelligence war against Iran (and the Iranian response to this war) is clearly not a new phenomenon. READ MORE

Russian ambassador has 'doubts about EU's future'

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Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin expressed 'doubts' about the European Union's future and warned of the bloc's economic weakness. His comments came in a wide-ranging discussion on the future of Russia and the EU. READ MORE

Ukraine’s gas, security interests may trump trade offers

As Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych weighs the economic benefits of the EU’s deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and Russia’s Customs Union offer, Ukraine’s energy and security needs must be taken into consideration, argues Stephen Christensen.
Stephen Christensen is a resident fellow at the Prague Security Studies Institute. READ MORE

Are Russia and Europe Ready for a New Pacific World Order?

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By Maksym Khylko

The U.S. intensify the process of New Pacific World Order shaping, where Europe and Russia are not considered to be key players. Are Russia and Europe ready to assert their rights to leading roles in the future world order? READ MORE

Nuclear Power Goes Rogue

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By Henry Sokolski

Post-Fukushima, the market for nuclear power is changing latitudes. Here’s what’s at stake. READ MORE

Grigol Vashadze: We are Concerned with the Plans of Moscow to Rebuild the USSR

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

“We are highly concerned about the plans of Moscow to rebuild the Soviet Union”, - declared the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze during the interview for DELFI. He has also assessed positively the Chairmanship of Lithuania in the OSCE. According to him, the issues of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have little progress, but it is not yet possible to solve them fundamentally. READ MORE

Russia Threatens to Kill NATO War in Afghanistan

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By Alex Newman

Following the Pakistani government’s recent decision to shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan indefinitely, Russian officials upped the ante by subtly threatening to close off northern routes for the occupation if the U.S.-led military alliance refuses to back down on a proposed missile defense system in Europe. According to analysts, such a move by Russia at this point would either spark a new war or force a rapid withdrawal of supply-starved Western forces from the region. READ MORE

Kazakhstan ready to continue strengthening OSCE's role, FM declares

Kazakhstan delegation led by Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov attends the 18th session of the OSCE Ministerial in Vilnius, Lithuania, on December 6-7. The meeting reviews the progress achieved in 2011 and seeks to identify further steps in strengthening the organisation's role in the international arena. READ MORE

Uzbekistan’s Karimov Lashes Out at Putin’s Union

By David Trilling

In October, when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared his goal of establishing a Eurasian Union, scorned by some as a “Soviet Union-lite,” the more sycophantic among post-Soviet leaders jumped over each other to sign up. READ MORE

Vilnius Ministerial Council concludes with decisions to strengthen responses to conflicts and transnational threats, engagement with Afghanistan and other Partner countries

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The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, highlighted the progress achieved at the Vilnius Ministerial Council and urged the 56 OSCE participating States to build on the decisions taken and address the challenges raised at the meeting, which concluded today. READ MORE

The Polish-German Tandem

By Andrzej Turkowski

On November 8, the Polish and German foreign ministers, Radoslaw Sikorski and Guido Westerwelle, issued a joint letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and representatives of other member states calling on the EU to revamp its relationship with Russia. While hard to imagine just a few years ago, the joint penning of the letter represents a milestone in the two countries’ common policy toward Moscow. READ MORE

Russian-Georgian Compromise Finally Permits Russia’s WTO Membership

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By Richard Rousseau

The last remaining hurdle to Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) now appears to have been cleared, as Russia’s chief WTO negotiator, Maxim Medvedekov, announced on November 3 that Moscow has accepted a last-minute membership compromise. Thus, Russia has taken another significant step away from the closed, Soviet type centrally planned economy and toward full integration into the international community. READ MORE

Osce Ministerial Council Opens With Call To Address Transnational Threats, Protracted Conflicts, Strengthen Engagement With Partners

Ensuring security in the OSCE region requires further efforts to tackle transnational threats, prevent and resolve conflicts, and engage meaningfully with partners in the Mediterranean and Asia, foreign ministers of the 56 OSCE participating States heard at the start of the 18th OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius today. In the meeting, Ministers discussed the need to reinforce the OSCE's efforts in all of these areas, with a view to realizing the common vision of a Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community. READ MORE

Analysts say Russia could deliver deathblow to Nato

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With the Russian threat to cut land routes for supply to Nato troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan battleground may turn into a cold deathtrap for Nato, defence analysts believe. They say that Pakistan should utilise the opportunity for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan by pulling it out of the American war. READ MORE

Caspian gas: Bulgaria first

By Azer Ahmadbayli

Europeans better agree with its Eastern partners on a bilateral basis than on behalf of the whole EU. The example is Bulgaria, which really, as Bulgarian President Georgy Pyrvanov reported, showed Europe how it is possible to deal with Azerbaijan. READ MORE

Interconnections with European networks – guarantee of energy security for the Baltics

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President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the meeting of Presidents of the Baltic States in Estonia. Discussing the goals and new challenges of the Baltic States the Presidents underlined that energy security and the ending of energy isolation of the region was currently a key priority for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. READ MORE

No visible results of “economic modernization on the Medvedev track”

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Valdai Club.com interview with Sergey Aleksashenko, Macroeconomic Research Director of the National Research University – Higher School of Economics.   READ MORE

The United States and China: friends under compulsion

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By Stanislovas Stasiulis

The United States and China could be considered the two super powers, but one is dealing with the financial crisis and seeks to keep its dominant position in global politics, and the other pursues economic growth and expands its military power. This impression occurred during the summer discussions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, when budget deficit problems were solved by raising the U.S. debt ceiling by several trillions dollars, and when the ratings agency Standard & Poor‘s downgraded the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from its top rank AAA. China criticized the economic policy pursued by the White House. READ MORE

“Third World War” of Terrorists

By Robert Nakarada

Lately in Europe a mutual terroristic threat has been growing from the side of Western and Muslim cultures. READ MORE

Saakashvili: Georgia 'should never leave path' of EU integration

By Maria Graczyk, Paul Flueckiger

Georgia remains committed to joining the European Union, said President Mikheil Saakashvili in an exclusive interview with EurActiv Poland. In a conciliatory gesture towards Moscow, the Georgian leader argued that closer ties between his country and the EU could also pave the way for more integration between Russia and the 27-nation bloc. READ MORE