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June 2012

Russia to modernize border security

By Trude Pettersen

Russia is modernizing protection of its outer border by replacing outdated protective installations like barbed wire fences with advanced surveillance and monitoring equipment. READ MORE

NATO Deputy Secretary General Vershbow visits Jordan

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Tthe Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow visited Jordan for bilateral talks in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue partnership and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Nasser Judeh, with H.R.H. Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussain and with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt.Gen. Mashal Mohammad Al-Zaben. READ MORE

EU migrants with criminal convictions get jobs denied to British workers under new criminal records regime

By Gordon Rayner

Migrants with criminal convictions will be able to get jobs denied to British workers under a new EU-wide criminal records regime being adopted this month. READ MORE

Kazakh millionaire in murder inquiry ‘hosted’ in Malta despite police objections

Maltese government gives former diplomat, deputy head of Kazakh secret service, residence status despite police objections over Interpol alert. READ MORE

Russia's role in Polish-Lithuanian tensions

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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in an interview on 4 June that Lithuania and Poland should "have a pause" in their relations, adding that such a pause would be a better choice than to mend what cannot be corrected. READ MORE

China’s Game in Central Asia

China is currently making a series of attempts to strengthen its position in Central Asia. Its primary aim is to radically change the balance of power in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization through the use of economic levers. China made the following key proposals during preparations for the organization’s last summit: creation of the SCO Development Bank based on Chinese capital; formation of an “SCO account,” also based on Chinese money, or rather a fund for supporting projects to develop the organization; and, establishment of a single free trade zone for participating countries. READ MORE

Serbia Faces the Future

By Maia Lazar

A Conversation with Branislav Radeljić, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, University of East London. READ MORE

How would NATO respond to Syria shooting down a Turkish plane?

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By Uri Friedman

Turkey made the startling announcement that it had lost contact with one of its F-4 military jets near the country's southern border with Syria, and that it had launched search-and-rescue efforts for the plane's two pilots. READ MORE

Turkmenistan to examine underwater pipeline construction technologies

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has urged the scientists of the Academy of Sciences to develop innovative pipeline-building technologies for the Caspian Sea bed, the Turkmen government said. READ MORE

President Dalia Grybauskaite: Kazakhstan and Lithuania to play important role in developing transport links between East and West

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Kazakhstan and Lithuania mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

All these years, Astana and Vilnius have maintained a regular dialogue at various levels, which promotes the development of constructive relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. READ MORE

West cuts nuclear warheads as it negotiates with Iran

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By Olga Khazan

The world’s nuclear powers will meet with Iranian diplomats this week in Moscow, where Iran will probably insist that it should have the right to enrich uranium while Western nations demand cuts in Iran’s nuclear program. READ MORE

Southeast Europe Sets 2020 EU Membership Deadline

Ministers have called for furthering regional cooperation and European Union membership by 2020. READ MORE

Croatia President: Europe, an opera with happy ending

By Daniela Vincenti

A musician and a composer,  Ivo Josipović, President of Croatia, sees Europe as an opera with a happy ending. The eurozone crisis has sidelined the fundamentals of the Union, and people take their anti-war community for granted, but it is perceived differently outside the EU borders, he said in an interview. READ MORE

Armenia and Azerbaijan: Threat of war is growing

By Arshaluys Mgdesyan

Tension at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone is growing. Frequent sabotage actions are increasing tension. Firing at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border continues. Both sides have officially confirmed the death of four Armenian soldiers and five Azerbaijani at the contact line. Later, Armenian intelligence reported that as a result of the respond by the Armenian troops that the number of victims in the Azeri armed forces had reached seven dead, which was refuted by Baku. READ MORE

When Europe Will Start to Recover

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By Rick Newman

Nobody can pinpoint the date on which Europe will start to pull out of its financial nosedive. But there's a phrase that captures the general idea: one minute to midnight. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Signs NATO Reverse Transit Agreement

By Roger McDermott

On May 22, during the NATO Summit in Chicago, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow signed an agreement on ground transport routes for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), allowing the country to actively support the complex drawdown of Alliance forces from Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry believes that the new accord with NATO is not only in the interest of stabilizing Afghanistan, but will also contribute to the future security of Central Asia. READ MORE

Two anniversaries mark milestones in NATO-Russia relations

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Fifteen years ago, on 27 May 1997, the signature of the NATO-Russia Founding Act provided the formal basis for bilateral cooperation. And ten years ago, on 28 May 2002, the creation of the NATO-Russia Council provided a forum for the Allies and Russia to meet as equals to discuss and cooperate on issues of common interest. Driven by a spirit of pragmatism in the face of shared security challenges, the relationship has come a long way since these milestones, though it has yet to live up to its strategic potential. READ MORE

In Nuclear Gripe

By Daniil Rozanov

The main recent event, connected with the project of construction of new Visaginas NPP in Lithuania, can be considered that the Commission of Lithuanian Parliament on Nuclear Energy unexpectedly hasn’t approved a bill on nuclear power plant. READ MORE

Socialists set to form next French government but Front National may enter parliament

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By Tony Cross

France’s newly elected President François Hollande can count on a Socialist-led government being elected next weekend, judging by results in the weekend’s first round of the French parliamentary election. But, for the first time for 24 years, there may be MPs from the far-right Front National (FN) in the National Assembly. READ MORE

Cameron, Merkel: fiscal pact not enough to solve crisis

By Richard Carter

Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Thursday that the EU's fiscal pact was not a sufficient step in itself to resolve the crippling eurozone debt crisis. READ MORE

Turkey: Cyprus Gas Drilling Could be Geopolitical Accident Waiting to Happen

By Justin Vela

Energy exploration is adding a new wrinkle to the Turkish-Greek rivalry over the island of Cyprus. READ MORE

New Serbian President Favors Putin, Opposes NATO and Independent Kosovo

By Stephen Schwartz

On May 20, Tomislav Nikolic was elected president of Serbia in a second-round runoff against incumbent Boris Tadic. Tadic, who sought a third term, and his Democratic party, have been described as victims of Serbian populist opposition to European Union financial austerity. Nikolic, candidate of the Serbian Progressive Party (SPS), calls for Serbia to join the EU but favors economic coordination with Russia instead of Western Europe. Tadic now seeks the prime minister’s post. READ MORE

Three Months to Save the Euro: George Soros

By Catherine Boyle

Euro-zone governments have around three months to ensure the survival of the single currency, billionaire investor George Soros said in a speech on Saturday. READ MORE

Putin's Evolving Strategy in Europe

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By George Friedman

Putin's return to the presidency was not unexpected; he was never really unseated as Russia's leader, even during Dmitri Medvedev's presidency. But it comes as an anti-incumbent trend is developing in Europe, most recently demonstrated when socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in France's presidential elections. In response to these changes, Putin will have to adjust Russia's approach in Europe. READ MORE

Saakashvili Speaks of Three 'Very Important Messages' from Clinton Visit

President Saakashvili said in televised remarks shortly after his joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that there had been three “very important messages” from the United States. READ MORE

Peace and Harmony as the Choice of Humankind

The speech of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the opening of the IV Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions READ MORE

Russia Stays Home

By Javier Solana

Just three days before his return to the Kremlin as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin met behind closed doors at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, with US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who was there to transmit President Barack Obama’s renewed determination to strengthen cooperation with Russia. But Donilon returned home empty-handed: Putin will attend neither the G-8 summit on May 18-19 at Camp David, nor the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, despite Obama’s effort to accommodate Russia by moving the G-8 summit from Chicago. READ MORE

Islam’s European Hope

Mohamed Merah’s killing spree in and around Toulouse in March, like the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 suicide attacks in London’s Underground, has highlighted once again the dilemmas that Europe faces with regard to its growing Muslim minority. No social-integration model has proven to be free of flaws. But is the picture really so bleak as those who despair of an emerging “Eurabia” would have us believe? READ MORE

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: EU needs political courage to condemn Armenian aggression

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The European Union (EU) must evaluate the facts and the fact that we have - it's aggression, and it should be judged just as aggression, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev told reporters on Saturday, commenting on statements by EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Philippe Lefort in Yerevan. READ MORE

The Secretary's Daunting Agenda

By Ariel Cohen

Late last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her tour of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. In Scandinavia, she was to address several forums on climate change and green energy. While in Sweden, she also planned to discuss Internet freedom, Afghanistan and the Middle East. But it is in the mountains of the Caucasus and Turkey where Hillary will face the red meat of geopolitics: bloody ethnic conflicts over turf; religiously motivated massacres; and threshold nuclear states with global reach. READ MORE

Is Russia at a dead end on Syria?

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By Klaus Dahmann

Russia is sticking to its position on Syria, although its objective is unclear. Agreement within the United Nations Security Council seems impossible to broker, but diplomatic wrangling continues. READ MORE

Komorovsky afraid Ukraine go east

President of Poland Bronislav Komorovsky considers it necessary to conduct pragmatic policy towards Ukrainian authorities to bring Ukraine nearer to the EU integration, not to push away to Russian integration. READ MORE

The whole truth about Zhanaozen

By Alina Kantor

Kazakhstan nowadays has become the target of an enlightened democratic society, trainer for verbal exercises of liberals, socialists, trade unionists. The events that took place last year in the west of the republic - in a provincial town Zhanaozen attracted global attention to this country, because for such a peaceful, calm and tolerant state, which avoided shocks and revolutions during the first years of independence, these riots that led to bloodshed are truly bolt from the blue. READ MORE

Terrorist Attack Prevented on the Eve of “Eurovision” Song Contest

Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security (MNS) prevented an attempt of terror-provocative actions on the eve of “Eurovision” Song Contest held in Baku, reported MNS to the agency “Interfax-Azerbaijan”. READ MORE

Lithuania and Poland need to think about ”resetting” relations

By Vadim Volovoj, expert of the Centre for Geopolitical Studies, Doctor in Political Sciences

Today Lithuania and Poland experience notable crisis in their relationship. Therefore it is strange to hear the words of Laurynas Jonavičius, adviser to the Lithuanian President on foreign policy issues, that „bilateral relations are not bad in general“ and that Lithuanian-Polish relations are „working relations“. What is the real situation? READ MORE

Russian Foreign Ministry misinterpreted Ambassador McFaul's statements about Manas - U.S. State Department Spokesperson

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs misunderstood or misinterpreted the statements made by U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at the meeting with a group of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, said Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson of U.S. Department of State, at the daily press briefing in Washington on May 29. READ MORE

Putin to tackle "unpredictable" Uzbekistan - NBCA

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Uzbekistan reflects the Central Asian republic’s importance to the Kremlin. READ MORE

Countering Terrorism

The fight against terrorism is high on NATO’s agenda. Both the Strategic Concept¹ and the Lisbon Summit Declaration² make clear that terrorism poses a real and serious threat to the security and safety of the Alliance and its members. NATO will continue to fight this scourge, individually and collectively, in accordance with international law and the principles of the UN Charter. NATO’s new Policy Guidelines for Alliance work on counter-terrorism focus on improved threat awareness, adequate capabilities and enhanced engagement with partner countries and other international actors. READ MORE

Terrorist Attack with Hands of Oligarch

In the end of April 2012 in the biggest and greenest city of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Almaty a terrorist attack was prevented. According to official statement of the General Prosecutor’s Office the terrorist attack was prevented by the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan at its preparatory stage. READ MORE

The Danish Minister of Justice aims to strengthen the fight against terrorism in Europe

The Danish Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, chairs the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting and he has chosen to put the fight against terrorism on the top of the agenda. READ MORE

Non-participation of Armenian President in NATO summit shows unwillingness to resolve Karabakh conflict

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Non-participation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in the NATO summit has proven his unwillingness to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told Trend. READ MORE

Uncertain World: Will Russia Become Part of the West?

By Fyodor Lukyanov

In early 2003, during Vladimir Putin’s first term as president, Russia found itself in a political alliance with the West for the first time since World War I. Siding with Paris and Berlin, Moscow resolutely opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Many analysts considered this triangle to be the onset of a new European political geometry, but it did not lead to anything serious. READ MORE

Turkish Military Electronics Company Grows in Kazakhstan

The Turkish Military Electronics Company (ASELSAN) signed an agreement yesterday with Kazakhstan Engineering (KE) to broaden the strategic partnership between the two companies, at the Kazakhstan-Turkey Business Forum in Astana. READ MORE