January 2012

Barack Obama's state of the union address


Follow Barack Obama's 2012 state of the union address to Congress, in which he called for a fairer America and challenged Republicans not to obstruct his plans. READ MORE

Danish minister: Green growth without prophesying

By Timothy Spence

Danish Environment Minister Ida Auken has an ambitious agenda for her country's EU presidency, including global leadership on sustainable development. The Socialist politician says she sees no conflict between environmental regulation and spurring economic growth in Europe.
Ida Auken has been Denmark’s minister for environment since October. A member of the Socialist People’s Party, she was elected to the Danish Parliament in November 2007 and is a former chairwoman of the body’s environment committee.  READ MORE

Central Asian state shifts between Moscow and Washington depending on circumstances - Alexei Malashenko

In what some see as a move to secure military patronage from the United States, Uzbekistan’s president Islam Karimov has warned that the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan in 2014 will seriously threaten regional security. READ MORE

Talks with Russia on missile defence stalled - NATO

By Sebastian Moffett

Talks with Russia over NATO's planned missile defence system are failing to progress, the head of NATO said on Thursday, diminishing the likelihood of a summit with Moscow at the NATO summit in May. READ MORE

Azerbaijan develops Islamic financing

By Leyla Abdullayeva

Azerbaijan may soon become a regional Islamic financing center and play a significant role in boosting cooperation in Islamic banking with Persian Gulf and Central Asian countries. READ MORE

The Baltic Tigers after 20 years: is Russia extending a helping hand?

By Česlovas Iškauskas

On the New Year eve the Russian media started escalating the issue of Baltic countries’ future and their place in the region. The forecasts concerning future of the three Baltic States are far from promising. Yet most importantly, the efforts are made to withdraw Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the general European context by suggesting Eastern values to these countries. READ MORE

Rogozin Proposes State Body on Aerospace Defenses

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Friday proposed setting up a government body responsible for consolidating efforts aimed at the creation of an effective aerospace defense network in the country. READ MORE

EU budget pact - a major breakthrough?


By Bernd Riegert

At their summit on Monday, 26 European Union members are set to adopt a new treaty on budget discipline. The fiscal pact is aimed at cutting debt. Is it a breakthrough or just a sideshow? READ MORE

Erdogan should resign over Armenia row


By Michael Kambeck

Erdogan should have followed a rational and strategic approach regarding the French bill on Armenian genocide. Instead, he acts like a small kid in the sandbox, writes Michael Kambeck from European Friends of Armenia. READ MORE

Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to the People of Kazakhstan

Socio-Economic Modernization as Main Vector of Development of Kazakhstan. READ MORE

Atambayev Invites Turkey to Decide on US Transit Center’s Future

By Aida Kasymalieva, Erica Marat

Although the newly-elected Kyrgyz President, Almazbek Atambayev, received significant Kremlin support in the run up to last year’s elections, Turkey was his first formal destination as the head of state. During a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Atambayev invited Turkey, along with Russia and “other states,” to participate in restructuring the US Transit Center at Manas after US and NATO troops leave in 2014. READ MORE

Statement by the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the event that took place in the town of Zhanaozen on the 16th of December 2011


On the 16th of December 2011 in the town of Zhanaozen in Mangystau province during the celebration of the Independence day of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Central square a group of former (previously fired) workers of the «OzenMunaiGaz» oil producing enterprise with the support of the hooligan youngsters started mass insurgencies leading to debacles, looting, setting fire and violence against civilians and police officers. READ MORE

The Realist Prism: Iran's Nuclear Pipedream, and Washington's

By Nikolas Gvosdev

With the possibility of a clash between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program looming on the horizon, one cannot help but wonder: Is it worth it for Iran, now grappling with increasingly onerous sanctions, to continue its pursuit of a nuclear capacity, albeit an ambiguous one? READ MORE

Azerbaijan and Armenia Say They Want to Speed Things Up at Medvedev’s Last Summit


By Andrew Roth

For the tenth time during his presidency, Dmitry Medvedev met with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to settle the frozen conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The meeting, which took place yesterday in Sochi, once again failed to secure a breakthrough in the negotiations. As Russia turns inward to focus on recent political protests and Medvedev plans a speedy exit from the limelight, there is still no end in sight to what he has called possibly the only conflict in the post-Soviet space that can be settled today. READ MORE

NATO Military Officers honoured by Russian Chief of Defence

Following the NATO-Russia Council meeting with Military Representatives, Army General Nikolay E. Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, awarded Lieutenant General Jürgen Bornemann, Director General of the International Military Staff (IMS), Colonel Karl Hanevik, Chief of the Special Partnership Branch of the IMS Cooperation & Regional Security Division, and Lieutenant Colonel Peter Van den Broeck, Staff Officer of the same Division, with the medal of the Russian Ministry of Defence "For the Strengthening of Combat Cooperation". READ MORE

New Stage in the History of Kazakhstan

Early Parliamentary elections took place in Kazakhstan. Beforehand the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev underlined that “the elections to Majilis are to become a new step of democratization of Kazakh society and our political system”. And already now we can positively declare that this stage has come. READ MORE

Azerbaijan police foil Iran plot to assassinate Israel ambassador

By Adrian Blomfield

Police in Azerbaijan have foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate Israel's ambassador and other prominent Jews in apparent revenge for the killing of nuclear scientists in Tehran, officials in the former Soviet state claimed. READ MORE

Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle in Washington: "Euro and the Future of Europe"


I am honoured to be the guest of the Brookings Institution today. And I am especially pleased to see so many friends of Europe in the audience.

The famous line from Mark Twain's memoirs about Wagner is also true for Europe: "The music is better than it sounds". And I say that as a great fan of both Richard Wagner and of European integration. READ MORE

Davutoğlu in Moscow: new era in Turkish-Russian relations

By Hasan Kanbolat

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will pay a one-day visit to Moscow on Jan 25. Davutoğlu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will participate in the second meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group, part of the High Level Cooperation Council (ÜDİK) maintained by the two countries. READ MORE

The Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan to Visit the USA in the End of January

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kh. Kazykhanov  makes his first official visit to the USA in the end of January – beginning of February this year, reported on Mondayan official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Altaj Abibullayev. READ MORE

EU imposes embargo on Iranian oil


By Mark Hallam, Joanna Impey, Chuck Penfold

European Union foreign ministers have announced a ban on the import of Iranian oil. The new oil sanction against Iran prohibits any new deals and calls for existing contracts to be stopped by July this year. READ MORE

Croatians vote on EU entry


By Gregg Benzow

Polls opened in Croatia this Sunday in a key nationwide vote to decide whether the Balkan country should join the European Union. Surveys show that some 60 percent of voters back EU membership. READ MORE

National Review's Latest Attack On Obama's Russia Policy: Grasping at Straws


By Mark Adomanis

Writing in National Review, Daniel Vajdic of the American Enterprise Institute mounts a confused and almost incoherent attack on the Obama administration’s Russia policy. Having read Vajdic’s piece several times, I am genuinely unsure of what his actual substantive criticism is. He seems not to be presenting a structured critique of either the formulation or execution of the administration’s policy. Rather, he lays a number of inconvenient and undesirable Russian policies at the feet of “the reset” despite the fact that many of the policies in question actually predate the Obama administration (or even dear Barack’s election to the US senate). READ MORE

What May Come

By Dan Peleschuk

Russia’s Tough Talk on Foreign Policy Suggests Fear of Internal Revolts. READ MORE

Past Year of Priorities in the European Union

By Arthur Dunn

In 2011 Chairmanship in the European Union for the first time was trapped in the arms of two East European states. For the first time Hungary and Poland did it and it has become a significant event for each of the country. READ MORE

The European Crisis in 2012


For much of the fourth quarter of 2011, it appeared the eurozone was doomed. Debt was piling up for several key states, and those with the ability to assist lacked the political will to do so. But the European Central Bank (ECB) stepped in in December with measures that have postponed -- not solved -- the European crisis. READ MORE

Uncertain World: The war of nerves around Iran


By Fyodor Lukyanov

The January/February 2012 issue of the magazine Foreign Affairs features an article with the shocking title: Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option. It is indicative of the current mood and may set the tone for the rest of the year. READ MORE

CSTO Agreement on Foreign Bases Frustrates Tajikistan’s Ambitions

By Alexander Sodiqov

On December 20, 2011, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) reached an agreement that makes it impossible for any individual country in the group to host a foreign military base on its territory without the full consent of all other members of the organization. The initiative empowers Russia to veto any foreign basing plans in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Hence, the move serves as a continuation of Russia’s efforts to counteract the influence of the US military and reassert its own role in its immediate neighborhood (Interfax, December 21). READ MORE

Armed UAV Operations 10 Years On

One of the most iconic images of the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as well as global U.S. counterterrorism efforts -- has been the armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), specifically the MQ-1 "Predator" and the MQ-9 "Reaper." Unarmed RQ-1 Predators (which first flew in 1994) were flying over Afghanistan well before the 9/11 attacks. Less than a month after the attacks, an armed variant already in development was deployed for the first time. READ MORE

Traditional Meeting Of Security Experts In Trakai Discussed The Ways Of Strengthening The Integration Of Nordic-Baltic Region

Nordic-Baltic cooperation was the focus of this year’s traditional informal Snow Meeting of experts in international and security politics from Europe and North America in Trakai on June 11-12. The discussions were opened by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis, who highlighted the strengthening of economic ties and shared cultural identity regionally. READ MORE

U.S. Warns Israel on Strike


By Adam Entous, Julian E. Barnes, Jay Solomon

Officials Lobby Against Attack on Iran as Military Leaders Bolster Defenses. READ MORE

Will a remote Kazakhstan become closer?


By Vaidotas Šernius

The economy of Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia (CA). Soon the country will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Independence (16 December 1991). What happened in the country during these years and what does Lithuania and Kazakhstan have in common? READ MORE


By Tom Taylor

Today, a real information war has been waged around the events in the Kazakhstan city of Zhanaozen. The strike of oilers that turned into clashes with the police and resulted in casualties is attracting the attention of the world, because instability in this region may be unpredictable. As a consequence – real "armed clashes" in pages of electronic media, where facts and fiction intersect with versions: one is more fantastic than the other. Without claiming to be the final truth, we still try below to clear up this heap of scattered facts in order to answer the main question: who is behind the turmoil, staged in this oil city? READ MORE

Europe’s Foreign Policy Challenges


By Laurence Norman

In a year when the survival of the euro is at stake, European Union foreign policy is unlikely to be the top priority in Brussels. READ MORE

Turkey’s Balancing Act

By Mohammed Ayoob

Turkey has over the past few weeks become the spearhead of a joint Western-Arab-Turkish policy aimed at forcing President Bashar al-Assad to cede power in Syria. This is quite a turnaround in Turkish policy, because over the past two years the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had gone out of its way to cultivate good relations with neighboring Syria, with whom it shares a long land border. READ MORE

Direct Road to Europe: Azerbaijan’s Trans-Anatolia Gas Pipeline


By Vladimir Socor

On December 26 in Ankara, the Energy Ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build a Trans-Anatolia Gas Pipeline to Europe. Crucially, Azerbaijan would be the main owner of this line in Turkish territory. Azerbaijan regards this gas project’s significance as equal to that of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline for Azerbaijan’s national development. The Europe-bound gas pipeline, if built, would mark Azerbaijan’s emergence as a significant gas exporter in its own right, adding to the country’s oil-exporter role. READ MORE

A Changing NATO for a Changing World


By John Adams

NATO can expect success if its goals and efforts reflect NATO nations' common purpose, as they did during the Cold War, and failure if they do not. READ MORE