September 2012

Around Zhanaozen

By Alina Kantor

On the 21th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, debates around Kazakhstan have become one of the topics that attracted keen interest of human rights defenders. Some MPs proposed to adopt a tough resolution to this country in connection with events in Zhanaozen. READ MORE

As the EU falters a new “empire” could rise in eastern Europe

By Przemek Skwirczynski

One pact which seemed firmly consigned to the history books as recently as five years ago suddenly looks like a good idea again. I am referring to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, originally created over six hundred years ago to counter the threat of a rogue «crusader» state of Teutonic Knights based on the Southern Baltic coast. READ MORE

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger: Gas Prices Must Be The Same In All EU Countries

President Dalia Grybauskaitė and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger discussed the progress made by Lithuania and all Baltic countries in integrating themselves into the EU's energy system and the creation of regional gas and electricity markets during their meeting in Vilnius on Friday. READ MORE

Soft Power with an Iron Fist: Putin Administration to Change the Face of Russia’s Foreign Policy Toward Its Neighbors

By Dumitru Minzarari

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s talk at the Russian Foreign Ministry on September 3, when he powerfully stressed the need for his country to strengthen and consolidate its “soft power” (mid.ru, September 3), may look to an outside observer like an optimistic signal and a long-awaited change in Russia’s foreign policy. This benign view, however, could not be more wrong. Rather, the Kremlin is seeking to exploit the Western concept of “soft power”—which basically implies the power of attraction—and reframing it as a euphemism for coercive policy and economic arm-twisting. READ MORE

Slovenia Puts €172mn Price Tag On Croatia's EU Entry

By Andrew Rettman

EU leaders in December signed Croatia's accession treaty, trumpeting the move as a sign the EU's enlargement programme is alive and well despite the euro crisis. READ MORE

Uncertain World: China-Japan Tensions – Who Stands to Gain?


By Fyodor Lukyanov

The Asia-Pacific Region’s growing global economic and political importance was a clear priority for all those attending APEC 2012 in Vladivostok. Representatives from economies across the globe gathered to discuss its promising future. But recent events in the region have reaffirmed the axiom that great opportunities tend to be accompanied by equally great risks. READ MORE

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban Praises Lithuania For Debt Management

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is visiting Vilnius, praised Lithuania for its fast economic growth and the way the Baltic country dealt with its debt. READ MORE

Where Does NATO’s Turkey Go?

By Arthur Dunn

This October it’s the 60th anniversary of joining Turkey to NATO. In the heat of the “cold war” it was extremely important part of strategic planning of the North Atlantic Alliance. Those times its task was about counteracting to the extension of geopolitical influence of the Soviet Union. Except for that, together with Greece simultaneously joining the Alliance it was a natural barrier on the way of direct approach of the USSR to an oil-wealthy Near East. READ MORE

Strategic and Tactical Decisions

By Oleg Nikoforov

The Problem of Development of Shtokman Field has Many Components. READ MORE

Armenia Is Scaring NATO?

By Arthur Khachatryan

Armenia has launched military exercises "Interaction-2012". Collective Rapid Reaction Forces will respond the conventional enemy aggression. For this, all the CSTO states have gathered military units near Armenia. At the landfill "Baghramyan", located 50 km from Yerevan, there are deployed around 2 thousand troops. The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen military cooperation and achieve mutual understanding within the CSTO. As well as to show NATO military capabilities. READ MORE

Russia Bolsters Influence In Kyrgyzstan As US Nears Airbase Exit


By Fred Weir

Vladimir Putin is getting most of what he wants out Kyrgyzstan, including a lease extension on a Russian airbase and part ownership of a torpedo plant, while America's star there is on the wane. READ MORE

Czech President Rejects Commission Proposal For Deeper EU Integration

By Daniel Mclaughlin

The dream of European Commission president José Manuel Barroso of turning the European Union into a “federation of nation states” has already fallen foul of one of the most trenchant sceptics of deeper integration – Czech president Vaclav Klaus. READ MORE

Paradox Of Multiculturalism: Tolerance For The Intolerant?

By Rimvydas Ragauskas

In October 2010 the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel announced that multiculturalism in Germany has “utterly failed”. This announcement reflected general moods in the crisis-driven EU, but the most important thing was that these words were said by the leader of Germany– she always tried to avoid sharp statements toward foreign-born people. READ MORE

Will Iran become part of Azerbaijan?


By Nadir Shafiev

Unification of South and North Azerbaijan is an irreversible process that should not be forced. Residents on both sides of the border (the Azerbaijan Republic and the northern province of Iran) understand and want it, but none of them wants this process was accompanied by war, which would inevitably lead to a large death toll. This is the opinion of the Azerbaijani political scientist Fikret Sadikhov, who has commented information about the possible accession of South Azerbaijan into the Republic of Azerbaijan. And this issue arose on the background of broad discussion of a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. READ MORE

Turkey & Ukraine: strengthening relations

By Amanda Paul

While sitting drinking a coffee, catching up with friends in a Kiev hotel last week, I suddenly heard Turkish voices. Turning around, I was taken aback to see a sea of Turks taking over the lobby. Then I remembered that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was due to speak at the annual Yalta Security Conference the following day. It seems the preceding days were full of other meetings with representatives of the Ukrainian government and Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, and a number of other ministers that Erdoğan had brought with him in his large delegation. This included Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Economy Minister Zafer Cağlayan, Minister of Transport and Communication Binali Yıldırım and Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız. READ MORE

Gazprom and EU to meet face to face

By Alexander Kilyakov

The EU was not set on levying fines, but rather was interested in establishing a dialogue, European Parliament representative Bela Kovacs announced this week. READ MORE

Morningstar mission in the Caucasus

By Orkhan Sattarov

In early September, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev accepted the credentials of the new US ambassador Richard Morningstar. Thus, the period of instability in the work of the US embassy in Baku was finished. After the mission of Ann Dercy came to an end in July 2009, the position of the American ambassador was free for more than a year. Later the president of the US Barack Obama appointed to the position an experienced diplomat, the former co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Mathew Brayza by-passing the Senate. However, due to an active resistance of the Armenian lobby in the Senate Brayza’s career ended sooner than it should: he managed to work only for a year, after which his functions were not prolonged. READ MORE

’Gap between Europe and US must not get wider’


By Christina Bergmann

The General Secretary of the German Social Democrats, Andrea Nahles, was at the Democratic National Convention. She’s rooting for Obama and warns that a President Romney could drive Europe and the US apart. READ MORE

Rice: EU should be more open to Ukraine and Turkey

Fencing off the EU from neighboring countries such as Ukraine and Turkey would lead to a loss for Europe, 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) has said. READ MORE

In Interview, Putin Defends Policies and Offers Warnings to the World


By Dan Peleschuk

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed his most controversial policies in a whirlwind interview with the RT television news network on Thursday, defending what his critics say is his crackdown on dissent, repeating the Kremlin’s warnings against foreign intervention in Syria, and engaging foreign rivals over contested issues. READ MORE

Nazarbayev-Karimov Summit Imparts New Momentum to Kazakhstani-Uzbekistani Relations

By Richard Weitz

In his first official bilateral visit to Kazakhstan since April 2008, President Islam Karimov and other senior Uzbekistani officials discussed a range of important bilateral, regional and international issues with their Kazakhstani counterparts in Astana on September 6–7, 2012. These topics included boosting two-way economic ties, discouraging other Central Asian countries from taking actions that threatened their water supplies, and discussing how to manage the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan. READ MORE

CICA became stable factor of regional policy in security

Progress is not possible without trust within countries of Asian region — Nazarbaev. READ MORE

Dutch election: Pro-Europe VVD and Labour parties win


Voters in the Netherlands have backed two pro-European centrist parties, while the anti-immigrant Geert Wilders’ Eurosceptic party took heavy losses. READ MORE

Lithuania and Romania share common goals in EU and NATO

President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on a reciprocal official visit in Romania, met with the Romanian President of the Senate Crin Antonescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta to discuss the bilateral relations, the negotiations on EU’s new financial framework, the economic situation in Europe, the energy security issues and cooperation within NATO. READ MORE

China and the USA Started Armament Race

By Alexey Koval

Washington and Beijing have given the start to the armament race, which most probably, shall turn into confrontation of the Cold War times between the USA and the USSR. Literally for last several weeks it has become evident: the both parties adopt decisions which inevitably take them to the course of a long-standing confrontation not only in diplomatic but also in military sphere. By this within confrontation the rivals are ready again to make a stake at the power of nuclear weapon, which is fraught with global consequences. READ MORE

Dushanbe, Moscow reach agreement on military base

Dushanbe and Moscow have reached an agreement on the terms and conditions of a further stay of the 201st Russian military base in Tajikistan, sources close to the negotiations told CA-News. READ MORE

Independent Gas Producers Were Left without Sales

By Ksenia Dokukina, Timofey Dziadko, Elena Mazneva

«Gazprom» Figured Out the Way to Prevent Gas Production Reduction. It became known to Vedomosti that gas purchases from independent producers have been suspended for indefinite period. READ MORE

Voyage to South Caucasus NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary General commends strong partnership with Armenia. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Revises Agreements on Russian Military Bases

The Kyrgyz parliament has started hearings on the revision of agreements determining the status and maintenance of Russian military facilities located on the territory of the Central Asian state. READ MORE

German diplomat: Turkey has no illusions about its EU bid


Turkey is not moving away from Europe but it is diversifying its international relations, Wolf-Ruthart Born, a former German ambassador to Turkey, tells in an exclusive interview. READ MORE

India’s Prospects in the Area of Ballistic Missile Defense: A Regional Security Perspective

By Peter Topychkanov

«‘In 2012, the unequal relationship between India and Pakistan is spinning sharply out of control. Terrorists attack the Indian parliament and kill two ministers and 12 MPs. There is no doubt that Pakistan had a hand in this, and in a month India goes to war. Pakistan threatens to use nuclear weapons if India does not stop the invasion. Indian troops close in on Lahore, and Pakistan launches Ghauri missiles with nuclear warheads aimed at Delhi... A long-range radar for missile defense detects the Ghauri missiles 30 seconds after their launch. Five minutes later... the missile defense system launches interceptor missiles. Four Pakistani Ghauri missiles explode in the sky and fall harmlessly to the ground in pieces... The city of Delhi is saved. India carries out a nuclear counterattack that, in the words of one military officer, ‘will put an end to Pakistan once and for all.’ Science fiction? Not entirely.» READ MORE

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan sign joint statement

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Presidents signed a joint statement on strengthening contacts and coordinating joint efforts in international and regional organizations. READ MORE

Poland’s Strategy

By George Friedman

Polish national strategy pivots around a single, existential issue: how to preserve its national identity and independence. Located on the oft-invaded North European Plain, Poland’s existence is heavily susceptible to the moves of major Eurasian powers. Therefore, Polish history has been erratic, with Poland moving from independence — even regional dominance — to simply disappearing from the map, surviving only in language and memory before emerging once again. READ MORE

The Baltic air policing mission changes command

On 1 September, Poland handed over command of NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics to the Czech Republic. READ MORE

Poland must expand economic reforms to best weather EU crisis — President Komorowski

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has a five-point plan for economic reforms to help Poland better endure the European crisis as Poland must still fight to improve its own competitiveness within the EU while relying on deeper integration to aid the EU as a whole. READ MORE

Vladivostok Shifts Into High Gear to Attract Asian Investors


Leaders from 20 nations around the Pacific Basin are gathering for their annual meeting on economic cooperation, held this year in Russia, a nation not often seen as a Pacific power. READ MORE

Tensions simmer after axe murderer’s pardon

Hungary’s recent extradition of a convicted axe murderer to Azerbaijan has caused a scandal. At home, the killer was pardoned and celebrated. It’s rumored that Hungary and Azerbaijan brokered a deal for the extradition. READ MORE

Ansip: Kazakhstan is the Closest Partner of Estonia in Central Asia

The Prime Minister Andrus Ansip noted that Kazakhstan is the closest partner of Estonia in Central Asia. READ MORE

France and Germany moving towards closer political union


After the election of French President Francois Hollande in May, it seemed thatviews of the EU’s foremost political duo could not be further apart. READ MORE

Nordic and Baltic ministers discuss closer partnership perspectives in Vilnius

The Vilnius meeting of foreign ministers of the Nordic and Baltic states (NB8) focused on perspectives of closer partnership and achievements of shared activities this year, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said. READ MORE

‘Big Game’ heating up on Caspian gas with Turkey’s Turkmen move

Top ranking representatives from Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerarbaijan and the European Union sat at the table yesterday to discuss adding Turkmenistan, reportedly the holder of world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, to a $7 billion project that will carry the Azeri gas to Turkey. READ MORE

Kazakh Senate speaker met with NATO PA President

Kazakh Senate Chairman Kairat Mami met with the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Karl Lamers, the press service of the Senate reported. READ MORE

War in Iran may turn Caspian Sea region into arena of military operations


By Arzu Naghiyev

If the U.S. and Israel begin massive air attacks on Iran, Tehran can clearly respond to these actions. Border countries can be the target of some missiles, which it will use in the conflict. That is why, it is necessary to place modern radar systems in the countries bordering with Armenia and Iran, as well as along the coast of the Caspian Sea. READ MORE

Georgia against Abkhazia: The intelligence war

Law enforcement agencies of Abkhazia have reported arrests and criminal charges against people suspected of collaborating with the Georgian special services. Judging by all the previous events, the situation on the border between Georgia and Abkhazia is again heating up. READ MORE

Crisis Shall Lead to China

By Alexander Golubov

The statements of Chinese Prime Minister Wēn Jiābǎo sounded after the meeting with the Head of German Government Angela Merkel, should give some optimism regarding the destiny of eurozone. China is ready to proceed investing into state bonds of European countries that have become the victims of debt crisis. The words of Wēn Jiābǎo that the People’s Republic of China shall coordinate its actions with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, to help the eurozone to «solve the dilemma it has faced», should be the relief for Mrs. Merkel, provided there wouldn’t be one little «no». For the help to become real, European partners should follow some conditions. READ MORE

At The E-Pine Discussion, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Stresses The Importance Of Regional Energy And Transport Projects And Calls For Support To Eastern Partnership Countries

On August 3 at the Nordic-Baltic-U.S. academic meeting in the framework of the Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE) in Vilnius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis stressed the importance of energy and transport projects in the Nordic and Baltic region and called for continued unanimous support of the process of democratisation in Eastern Partnership countries. READ MORE

Common Ground in Energy Policy

By John P. Banks

A divisive energy policy debate is playing an increasingly prominent role in the presidential election campaign, reflecting long-simmering themes that emerged in the 1970s. READ MORE

Gazprom Completes Nord Stream’s 2nd Pipeline


Russian gas giant Gazprom has completed the welding of the last joint on the second leg of the Nord Stream pipeline intended to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe bypassing existing transit countries, the company said on Wednesday. READ MORE

How Central Europe dealt with the global crisis

Like many other regions around the world, Central Europe (CE) was profoundly affected by the global economic crisis. This article discusses the way CE countries have been handling the effects of the global crisis in the region by looking into changes in the macroeconomic indicators over the past 2 years. READ MORE

IAEA establishes special working group on Iranian nuclear issue

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced the establishment of an ’Iran Task Force’ which will implement the agreements reached in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Associated Press reported. READ MORE

One of the most serious and large-scale problems of the XXI century

By Daniil Rozanov

This year marks 67 years since the end of World War II. Each year the quantity of witnesses of this horror is becoming less and less, and for most of our contemporaries the events of the past years are forgotten at all and only one day in a year recalls so terrible period of history. But we should not forget about that, because the difference between history and modernity, as it was said by former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale, is that "we will have no veterans of World War III". READ MORE