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October 2012

Governing Party Claims Victory in Ukraine Elections

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By David M. Herszenhorn

The governing party of President Viktor F. Yanukovich declared victory in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, based on preliminary exit polls that also showed opposition parties making strong gains, including an unexpectedly strong rise in support for an ultranationalist party with a leader who is known for anti-Semitic and racist views. READ MORE

Terrorism and the Taliban

By Munir Akram

The cold-blooded shooting of Malala Yousufzai, the girls’ rights activist, by a Taliban hit man has led to an unusual outcry in Pakistan against this “bestial”, “obscene” and “horrendous” act of terrorism. This commendable popular revulsion, emanating from religious and political parties, as well as the military leadership, can crystallise effective action against the perpetrators of terrorist violence in Pakistan. READ MORE

Ukraine vote ushers in new constellation of power

By Markian Ostaptschuk

In Ukraine's parliamentary elections, more radical parties saw success while the oppositional camp gained ground. Experts foresee difficult negotiations between political powers there. READ MORE

China Steps Up Rhetoric against U.S. Missile Defense

By Richard Weitz

Chinese officials are becoming increasingly vocal about U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) developments in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the newly elevated U.S. security profile in their region resulting from the U.S. “rebalancing” toward the Asia-Pacific region. READ MORE

Russia and the USA Enhance Their Presence in Central Asia

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By Arthur Dunn

Lately Russia has evidently given special focus to Central Asia. On September 19th-20th Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Kyrgyzstan, and October 4th-5th – Dushanbe. The agreements signed in course of these visits should assure stable military presence of Russia in Central Asia region for 20-30 years. On this ground the experts made a conclusion that the balance in the region established between the world powers gradually, but persistently leans to Moscow, especially at the background of withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. READ MORE

Estonian president wants to see Lithuania and Latvia in euro zone as soon as possible

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Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says he would like Lithuania and Latvia to join the euro zone as soon as possible, adding the accession would enhance the Baltic influence "in the so-called European core." READ MORE

In Russia, with love? Ukraine president meets Putin as options dwindle

By Fred Weir

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, who met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, may have no option but to warm to Russia despite being aggravated over high Russian gas prices. READ MORE

At least six non-NATO countries have agreed to support Alliance’s new mission in Afghanistan since 2015

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NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reaffirmed a new NATO led mission in Afghanistan beginning in 2015, reported Silk Road Newsline. READ MORE

Romney and Obama talk Iran, nuclear program at debates

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President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney wrapped up a series of defining debates on Monday night with a bristling exchange over America's place in the world, and other important issues, one of which was Iran and its disputed nuclear program, NY Times reported. READ MORE

Kazakh President to visit Czech Republic

Czech politicians, scientists and economists refer to Kazakhstan as a country of great opportunities, where they can reach the most ambitious goals. READ MORE

US election unlikely to change US foreign policy

As the election nears, President Obama and Governor Romney have tried to draw clear distinctions between their foreign policies. But the next president will face hard realities that leave little room for maneuver. READ MORE

The Scottish Play

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By Charles King

Edinburgh’s Quest for Independence and the Future of Separatism. READ MORE

European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs: Baltic countries should give more in development aid

EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs says that the Baltic states should be referred to as a success story in the European Union, as their policies led to considerable improvement of the economic situation in the wake of the economic crisis. READ MORE

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is missing link between Europe and Asia

By Seymur Aliyev

Along with the importance of energy and food security for every sovereign country, world countries have another important issue - transport independence. The availability of multidirectional import and export routes for goods is related to numerous pipelines and hydrocarbon sale markets. READ MORE

Swiss negotiator: Regional trade deals are good for multilateralism

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By Daniela Vincenti

Frustrated by the slow pace of multilateral trade negotiations, more countries are seeking to liberalise trade through bilateral and regional agreements. This may prepare the ground for further multilateral deals, Ambassador Didier Chambovey, the Swiss trade negotiator. READ MORE

Kazakhstan and Austria to hold business forum in Vienna

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev will pay an official visit to the Republic of Austria on 22-23 October 2012 at the invitation of his counterpart Dr. Heinz Fischer, Federal President of Austria, Kazinform has learnt from the press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. READ MORE

The Emerging Doctrine of the United States

By George Friedman

Over the past weekend, rumors began to emerge that the Syrian opposition would allow elements of the al Assad regime to remain in Syria and participate in the new government. Rumors have become Syria's prime export, and as such they should not be taken too seriously. Nevertheless, what is happening in Syria is significant for a new foreign doctrine emerging in the United States -- a doctrine in which the United States does not take primary responsibility for events, but which allows regional crises to play out until a new regional balance is reached. Whether a good or bad policy -- and that is partly what the U.S. presidential race is about -- it is real, and it flows from lessons learned. READ MORE

What Does Russo–Serbian Strategic Partnership Mean?

By Stephen Blank

Serbia is the key target of Russian foreign policy in the Western Balkans, as Moscow’s main strategic objective remains forestalling the European democratic integration in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a whole. In that context, keeping Serbia out of NATO and the EU preserves a major outpost of Russian influence and perpetuates an unresolved status quo in the former Yugoslavia, most notably with respect to Kosovo. READ MORE

Swiss view partnerships as a way to curb illegal migration

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In Switzerland, many problems with illegal migration and asylum seekers from third-world countries are being solved with mobility and migration partnerships. But these partnerships have to have a long-term perspective, the Swiss say. READ MORE

Why Doesn't the United States Export More Oil?

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By Christopher Swann

America’s energy boom is spurring a clash between the realms of politics and economics. Meaningful exports of oil have been banned for almost a century. But with output surging and crude fetching a 20 percent discount at home, producers want to ship it overseas. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and four others have applied for limited licenses to do just that. Unblocking trade could benefit everyone. READ MORE

A New Initiative to Achieve a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

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By Roman Vassilenko and Martin Sieff

The ATOM Project is a new international initiative to build global support for a permanent end to nuclear weapons testing and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. It was launched at a parliamentary assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan on August 29, 2012, the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established in recognition of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on that day in 1991 by the president of Kazakhstan. READ MORE

Escaped Mayor of Almaty Lives in Switzerland

By Eric Diehn

More often lately the characters of publications and TV-programs of the European press have been the natives from Asia. And these are not worldwide famous scientists, or actors of arts and culture, as we would like them to be. More often public tribune is occupied by personalities, talking about their complicated interrelations with authorities in their motherlands. Instead of studying culture of other people more often we go deep into dirty laundry of run-away criminals, flowing to us from the whole world. And then we talk about crisis of multiculturalism… READ MORE

Central Asia: Freedom of Foreign Policy Choice

By Mikhail Agadzhanyan

Russia can’t be neutral towards the trend of “by-pass strategy” of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, their foreign policy interests and Eurasian plans  READ MORE

Kazakhstan Downplays NATO’s Role in Central Asia

By Roger McDermott

Kazakhstan has recently participated in international military exercises with its NATO partners as well as through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in what at first sight appears to confirm that its multi-vector foreign policy also strongly influences its defense and security policy. Nonetheless, the scope, intensity and seriousness attached to the country’s defense and security relations with Moscow and its involvement in the CSTO goes far above the lip service it pays to cooperation with NATO. This critical distinction in Astana’s defense policy is amply demonstrated by the country hosting the CSTO’s first peacekeeping exercises from October 8 to October 17 (Interfax, October 3; see EDM, September 11). READ MORE

NATO Defence Ministers make progress on capabilities, planning for new Afghan mission

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NATO Defence Ministers took stock of progress in improving Allied defence capabilities and endorsed the first stage of planning for the post-2014 training and assistance mission in Afghanistan, in a two-day meeting in Brussels. READ MORE

The Nightmare Scenario: A U.S.-China War

By James R. Holmes

Our great and powerful editor has requested—nay, demanded!—a series of posts exploring how a U.S.-China war might unfold. That sounds like a request for prophecy. But making predictions is a dicey business, as the equally great and powerful sage Yogi Berra reportedly observed—especially when they’re about the future. The Naval Diplomat is no clairvoyant. Undeterred, we nonetheless commence a five-post cycle exploring some of the big ideas likely to shape each phase of a Far Eastern maelstrom. READ MORE

Lithuania's three opposition parties agree to hold talks on ruling majority

Lithuania's three opposition parties – the Labor Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Order and Justice Party – agreed to set up a working group in the early hours of Monday for talks on a ruling coalition and agreed to support each other's candidates in the run-off ballot for the Seimas in single-member constituencies. READ MORE

Dmitry Salamatin: Ukraine will contribute to the creation of safe Afghanistan

 Today in Brussels, chaired by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was held the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with countries - contributors to the operation of the International Security Assistance Force in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This is reported in the press service of the Defense Ministry, for UNN. READ MORE

Ex-Kyrgyz President’s Son Arrested in London

Ex-Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s son Maxim has been arrested in London, the Kyrgyz presidential press service said. READ MORE

Russia “cements” relations with Central Asian states

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent visits to the Central Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, demonstrates the country's willing to "cement" its relations with them, the U.S. expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier believes. READ MORE

We can't allow Germany and France to run our defence industry

By Con Coughlin

With BAE Systems and EADS locked in frantic negotiations to save their proposed £28 billion merger, the key issue for the British government comes down to one simple question: are we about to surrender control of Britain's largest defence contractor to the French and Germans? READ MORE

Political Analyst: Eurasian Project Threats Sovereignty and Integrity of Ukraine

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Ukraine is the country divided in two, here coexist sympathy to West and East, states Ukrainian political analyst Kost’ Bondarenko. According to him, Ukrainian politicians up till now have observed only two variants of the course of events  - to give Ukraine for rent to Russia or Europe. READ MORE

Romney foreign policy: How different from Obama's?

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By Peter Grier

Under President Obama, the US has 'led from behind,' Mitt Romney said Monday. He vowed that as president he would use US power to shape world events, instead of simply reacting to them. READ MORE

Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Latvian And Romanian Foreign Ministers Believe That Georgian Elections Mark Progress Towards Democracy

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Romania sent letters to President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition that won the parliamentary elections, expressing belief that Georgia took an important step in consolidating democracy. READ MORE

French police continue searches following nationwide anti-terror operation

French police have continued searches in the southern city of Cannes following simultaneous anti-terrorism raids across the country on Saturday. READ MORE

Court hears Canadian navy officer shared secrets with Russia

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A former Canadian navy officer who pleaded guilty to three espionage-related charges Wednesday was paid $3,000 a month to share classified information with Russia’s intelligence community, court heard. READ MORE

Nord Stream - supply without demand

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The controversial Nord Stream pipeline provides Russian gas directly to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine. But despite the opening of a new second line, it is running far below capacity. READ MORE

“New Silk Road”: Connecting Center and South of Asia with One Thread

By Mikhail Agadzhanyan

Withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and related with it regrouping of military forces of the USA made the initiative of promotion of plans on new interstate configurations within the area from Central to South Asia topical in Washington. Since the middle of 2011, when the terms of troop’s withdrawal from Afghanistan were finally confirmed, the Department of State has started objective lobbying of the project “New Silk Road”. The given project claims to be conceptual in the issue of the future of the region through the prism of strategic interests of the USA. READ MORE

Kazakhstan, Russia to develop new agreement on good neighborhood and strategic partnership in 2013

Kazakhstan and Russia will develop new agreement on good neighborhood and strategic partnership in 2013. Such decision was taken at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Moscow on Tuesday, Kazakh presidential press-service reported. READ MORE

Asylum for Escaped Speculators

By Alina Kantor

How many escaped criminals, who are not subjected to extradition, from the former USSR states hide in London? Even if there is the slightest hint on that wanted criminals can follow noble objectives of democratic development, they are announced dissidents , and criminal cases become politically motivated pursuit. But not everyone can be protected by British democracy and gain precious indulgence. This way wasn’t lucky a famous journalist, the founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange. Chasing of this person has turned into farce, vulgar performance, where spectators are observed as naïve simpletons. READ MORE

A Nuclear South Korea?

By Lee Byong-chul

South Korean officials have recently realized that the United States is likely to try to forbid them from enriching uranium and expanding their country’s missile range, rather than leave these issues on the diplomatic back burner. Indeed, recent discreet talks, in which the US has disregarded South Korean efforts to supplement the controversial US-South Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which expires in March 2014, suggest that there are reasons to be deeply worried about the alliance’s future. READ MORE

Lithuania’s Energy Security Center gets approval from NATO Military Committee

NATO Military Committee endorsed the decision to transform the Energy Security Center in Lithuania into a NATO centre of excellence, President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s adviser informs. READ MORE

Ivanishvili, Saakashvili: Foreign Policy Views Coincide Despite Fundamental Differences

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Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition and candidate for Georgian prime minister, said Oct. 9 after a meeting with the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that their views on foreign policy and Georgia’s integration into NATO and EU coincide. READ MORE

Gabor Iklodi: «NATO Needs Ukraine, Your Country Needs the Alliance»

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By Vladimir Kravchenko

In modern world of developed technologies NATO attempts to find adequate replies for non-conventional security threats for its members. As in XXI century some of them don’t require implementation of the fifth article of the Washington Treaty, and it’s not obligatory to react with military means. For example in case with cyber-attacks at governmental or corporate networks of energy companies. Reaction on these new threats demands coordinated actions of all NATO members. Exactly that is why after the Lisbon Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty they created in the structure of the organization a special department and the position of the Secretary’s General Assistant. READ MORE

New Georgia: How everything begins

Tbilisi these days is full of rumors. Supporters of the defeated ruling party argue that the cases of robbery in the city and the country as a whole have become more frequent, and the return of thieves in law is inevitable. The victorious opposition claims that the police is engaged in sabotage, using the criminals to intentionally worsen the crime situation. But the main topic of discussion today — how the system of government will be arranged in the transition period. READ MORE

Back the EU or risk isolation, Poland warns UK

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski has called on Britain to abandon its «false consciousness» of euroscepticism and take the lead in EU decision-making. READ MORE

Armenia and Azerbaijan in the European leash?

By Arshaluys Mgdesyan

Neither Yerevan nor Baku can wait for a definitive nod from the European institutions, but can always count on the coolness and calm interaction. READ MORE

Scotland leader Alex Salmond’s dream: The death of modern Britain

By Henry Chu

One of Britain’s savviest politicians, who visited the U.S. , hypothesizes on success when discussing possible independence for Scotland. READ MORE

Turkey, Syria exchange artillery fire for fifth-straight day

Turkish artillery fired toward Syria for a fifth day in a row on Sunday, minutes after a Syrian shell landed on Turkish territory. READ MORE

Rogun damage to Uzbekistan estimated at $600 million — US experts

Expert studies of the University of North Dakota State University in the United States estimated that the annual expense of Rogun HPP in Tajikistan evaluated for Uzbekistan in the amount of $ 600 million. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Struggles to Contain Salafist-Inspired Terrorism

By Jacob Zenn

Kazakhstan has experienced a rise in militant activity carried out by Salafist groups on its territory and periphery since late 2011. READ MORE

Latvian delegation to attend Turkmenbashi port to exchange experience

Latvian Transport Minister Aivis Ronis and the administrator of the major Riga free port Leonid Loginov have planned an official visit to Turkmenistan to get acquainted with work of the Turkmenbashi port, Russian media report. READ MORE

Play of Positions in Central Asia

By Mikhail Agadzhanyan

The play of positions gradually deploys between Russia, China and the USA in Central Asia. The rules of this game in general are not defined, they are still at the stage of development. But no matter what shape shall these rule take in future, now it is already clear, that three pointed foreign forces are not prone to limit their actions in this region and make them dependent from policy of counterpartners. Positionality of Central Asian play is determined with several unbiased factors. First of all, it’s necessary to note, that all five Republics of the region differ with specificity of the niches taken in general Central Asian composition of interstate preferences and configurations. READ MORE

Pentagon has resources to implement Asia strategy: Carter

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By David Alexander

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday offered a broad defense of the U.S. military’s shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific region, insisting the Pentagon had the resources to implement the new strategy despite concerns about tight budgets. READ MORE

Ukraine to Keep Cutting Russian Gas Import in 2013

By Oleg Varfolomeyev

Ukraine haas indicated that a cut in Russian natural gas purchases will be deeper next year than expected thus far, to 24.5 billion cubic meters (bcm). This means that Ukrainian gas imports from Russia will be below contractual volumes for the third year in a row, for which Ukraine may be punished according to the take-or-pay clause in the 2009 contract between Gazprom and the national oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy. Ukraine cuts gas imports saying that it cannot afford to pay the prices set by Russia, but Moscow insists that Kyiv can expect price cuts only if it joins the Russian-led customs union. READ MORE

A European diplomatic service in quest of a foreign policy

The Lisbon Treaty introduced a major institutional innovation in the field of external relations by creating a common diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS). During the past 20 months this service has progressively been set up. With some 3,000 officials and an annual budget of around €500 million, it is still small but unique in its talents and language skills. READ MORE

Instead of establishing a dialogue

Journalism is not accidentally called the second oldest profession. Introduction to the so called creative work of some representatives of the creative department causes a strong feeling that all the readers are held for rednecks that do not understand anything. With the certain didactic tone of a press gang at times they write about the events, which either they do not understand, or still taking into account their professionalism, they intentionally and most likely not gratuitously distort the truth. READ MORE

Perspectives on Poland: A Polish Civil War?

By Jamie Stokes

The shooting of a Law and Justice (PiS) party functionary together with the stabbing of another in Łódź last month prompted at least one newspaper to raise the spectre of a Polish civil war, an analogy that was already being bandied around in the run-up to the elections. The attacks are the latest and most shocking events in a string of increasingly hysterical clashes between conservative traditionalists and modernising liberals. The seismic shock of the Smolensk disaster in April seems to have jarred opened a vault of dark national feelings that nobody suspected was there. READ MORE

U.S. Secretary of State cites findings of report by Office of Director of National Intelligence about possible increased regional tension over water in Central Asia

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries around the world to make water a priority in their foreign policy and find cooperative solutions to shared water challenges. READ MORE

Election shakes Georgia’s political landscape

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Both the opposition coalition Georgian Dream and the ruling United National Movement (UNM) of President Mikheil Saakashvili claimed victory in the parliamentary elections held yesterday (1 October). Regardless of the final results, the poll appears to mark the end of the single-party rule in the Western-backed nation. READ MORE

Why NATO matters for you

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Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the City College of New York. READ MORE

Hollande slumps in polls ... and it could get worse

By Tony Cross

After four months in power President François Hollande has suffered a massive drop in popularity, his government is split over the eurozone fiscal pact and companies continue to lay workers off. This week is unlikely to see a turnaround — new unemployment figures will be announced on Wednesday and the cabinet will discuss a widely dreaded budget on Friday. READ MORE

Goldilocks Missile Defense

By Yousaf Butt

The current trajectory of U.S. missile defense will not make the nation safer. In fact, it may waste money on flawed technology while promoting further escalation. READ MORE