November 2012

Tajikistan is only Central Asian country identified by Afghans as providing foreign aid to Afghanistan - public opinion survey

Afghans remain largely unaware of any reconstruction project or foreign aid provided to them by the countries of Central Asia, according to a new public opinion survey conducted in Afghanistan by the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation, a major international nonprofit group, reported Silk Road Newsline. READ MORE

Baltic States share common goals

President Dalia Grybauskaitė held a meeting with Latvian President Andris Bērziņš and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Raudondvaris Castle. READ MORE

IEA Pegs U.S. as Top Oil Producer by 2020


By Benoît Faucon And Sarah Kent

A shale-oil boom will thrust the U.S. ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020, a radical shift that could profoundly transform not just the world's energy supplies but also its geopolitics, the International Energy Agency said. READ MORE

Ukraine wants to diversify energy supply routes through partnership with Caspian states

The Ukrainian government is successfully implementing a program to improve the state's energy independence by diversifying the routes and sources of energy supplies and increasing domestic production. Ukraine sees the Caspian states as important partners for the diversification of energy supply routes and sources and the implementation of joint energy projects. READ MORE

East Remains the Key Direction to Ensure National Security for Polish Policy

By Hanna Zarembo

After the year of 1990 Polish policy within eastern direction staked at the USSR collapse and establishment of the belt of free, liberal and friendly countries, a peculiar stable buffer zone protecting Poland from Russia. The slogan was the idea of Jerzy Giedroyc: “The stronger our position in East is, the more West shall take us into account”.  READ MORE

Catalan elections: What alternative to secession?


By Joan Marc Simon

The results of the Catalan elections of November 25 show that a majority of Catalans are likely to vote in favour of independence in case a referendum is organised. However, this majority is not very ample and suggests that the high expectations that were put on these elections by national and international media were exaggerated. READ MORE

Moldova ranks first on Eastern Partnership countries' European integration index

Moldova ranks first on the Eastern Partnership countries' European integration index, according to the study "European integration index for Eastern Partnership countries", carried out by experts from six countries and the EU. READ MORE

Kukan: Separatism alone cannot lead to creation of a state


By Georgi Gotev

Asked to compare Czechoslovakia's Velvet Divorce two decades ago to today's separatist tendencies in Europe, Slovak MEP Eduard Kukan says separatism alone cannot lead to the creation of a state. READ MORE

Lithuania's would-be foreign minister Linas Linkevičius wishes for reset in relations with neighbours

Candidate to head Lithuania's Foreign Ministry, Ambassador to Belarus Linas Linkevičius, says that Lithuania will benefit from resetting its relations with neighbors, emphasizing that no revolutionary changes will take place in foreign policy. READ MORE

Can Obama get Afghanistan right in second term?

By Javid Ahmad

The war in Afghanistan was largely ignored in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election. But with a second term now confirmed for President Barack Obama, Kabul is once again vying for Washington’s attention. READ MORE

EU budget summit ends without deal


The Brussels summit has ended without agreement on the 27-strong union's next seven-year budget. READ MORE

Georgian PM intends to visit Baku before his U.S. visit

Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili may pay his next visit to Azerbaijan. READ MORE

Ahmadinejad defends Iran's nuclear programme

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 in Tehran Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country has "a right" to the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent. But he insisted that it was not a step toward producing a bomb. READ MORE

Why we need to invest in defence

Defence spending is declining across the Alliance due to the economic crisis. Yet freedom, security and stability do not come for free. In fact, investing in defence underpins the stability needed for sustainable economic growth. In an uncertain security environment, NATO must have the right forces and capabilities needed to deter and defend against any threat, as well as to play an influential role in international developments. Only in this way can it continue to protect its members’ vital security interests, as well as promote and defend the values that are at the core of our Alliance. READ MORE

British court orders fugitive banker to pay $2.1 bn

A British court has ruled a former bank chairperson, who is on the run from authorities, should pay the bank $2.1 billion in compensation for damages in a fraud scheme. READ MORE

Gazprom Promotes the “South Stream” Intensively

By Mikhail Agadzanyan

The visit of the Russian President in Bulgaria, which was planned on the first decade this month, has been postponed. Nevertheless, it is expected that Vladimir Putin shall visit Sofia right after Turkey. Yet instead of the Head of Russian State Bulgaria shall be visited by “Gazprom” Chairman Alexey Miller who shall proceed with signing of the series of final investment treaties with East European partners of Russia on the “South Stream”. READ MORE

Fuss over nuclear issues in the region and possible threats

By Vaiva Sapetkaitė

„We are fighting. You know that today nobody uses weapons or tanks in these latitudes. The struggle is for energy, through energy and via propaganda. Remember, when Lithuania started developing Visaginas nuclear power plant (NPP) project, immediately the two new nuclear power plant projects emerged in the neighborhood of Lithuania“, said Rokas Žilinskas, Chairman of the Parliamentary Nuclear Energy Commission during the conference „Lithuania-Belarus: Nuclear Neighborhood“. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Elected Member of UN Human Rights Council

By Richard Weitz

On November 12, the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected Kazakhstan for the first time to the UN Human Rights Council, for the 2013–2015 term, with 183 of 193 member states voting affirmatively. Various international human rights groups openly lobbied against the election of several countries, including Kazakhstan, but their campaigns proved ineffective. Kazakhstan received the fifth highest vote total of the 20 candidates competing for the 18 available seats for this round. READ MORE

China and the U.S., Frenemies Forever

By Clive Crook

This week China’s ruling elite appoints new leaders for the next decade. The incoming president, Xi Jinping, and his colleagues face such fearsome challenges that, in their moment of victory, one almost sympathizes. Understanding their difficulties and calibrating U.S. policy accordingly will be among the biggest tests for the new Obama administration. For everybody’s sake, Beijing and Washington both need to do some rethinking. READ MORE

U.S., Afghanistan launch negotiations on legal authority for U.S. armed forces to continue post-2014 presence in Afghanistan

The Governments of Afghanistan and the U.S. officially launched their negotiations on a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that will determine how many American military personnel stay in Afghanistan after 2014, according to the U.S. Department of State. READ MORE

Panetta says US supports Patriot deployment in Turkey

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the United States supports the deployment of Patriot missiles along Turkey's border with Syria. READ MORE

'Have to come up with convincing foreign policy'

Horst Teltschik, the former national security advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former chair of the Munich Security Council, sees a need for action in Germany following Obama's re-election. READ MORE

Food security: an unfashionable subject often taken for granted


Food insecurity still blights some areas of the world. But the main problem is not the overall amount of food. It is its correct distribution. Just changing this could save millions of lives and reduce conflict. READ MORE

As Merkel Heads For Russia, Moscow Is In For A Schockenhoff


By Robert Coalson

Has Russia's special relationship with Germany hit the rocks?  READ MORE

French President Hollande visits Poland amid EU budget discussion

By Thomas Whittle

French President Francois Hollande was officially greeted by Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski here on Friday, during the discussion of the 2014-2020 European Union (EU) budget. READ MORE

Ermukhamet Ertysbayev: Peoples of Russia and Kazakhstan Wish to Integrate


The prospects of Russia and Kazakhstan within Eurasian integrational project were discussed in Moscow State University. The Counselor of the President of Kazakhstan Ermukhamet  Ertysbayev expressed his opinion on this issue during the interview for the TV-channel “Russia-24”. READ MORE

Integrating Russia’s Post-Imperium

By Dmitri Trenin

With Russia’s 2012 presidential elections effectively over since Vladimir Putin’s decision to reclaim his old Kremlin office, it is time to turn from personalities to policies. Putin plans to stay in the Kremlin for two more presidential terms, another 12 years, as he is enabled to do by the recently-amended constitution. So who will be Russia’s next president is now a certainty; less obvious is what he hopes to achieve. READ MORE

Estonia wary of Nord Stream expansion

Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu sent a letter to Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on Oct. 23 urging the government to refuse to allow the third and fourth lines of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline project to run through Estonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Reinsalu’s letter comes just a month after the Russo-German project requested permission to perform studies on Estonia’s seabed. Estonia rejected a similar request in 2007 for environmental and safety reasons and on the grounds that hosting a strategic Russian asset could create a security threat for the Baltic country. READ MORE

Xi Jinping: the compromise candidate

 The political direction of China's new party chief, Xi Jinping, remains unclear even after serving as the party's vice president for five years. Maybe that is what qualified him for the job as president and party head. READ MORE

Afghan security forces on track to take full security responsibility

"Our national security forces continue to grow on a daily basis. I am confident that we will complete the process of transition to full Afghan security responsibility by the end of 2014, as previously agreed," said Major General Asadullah Akramyar, Deputy Assistant Minister for Policy and Strategy at the Afghan Ministry of Defence while visiting NATO Headquarters on 9 November. READ MORE

Merkel ready to sign Ukraine-EU Association Agreement when prerequisites created

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that the conditions for signing the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine are currently unavailable. READ MORE

Borg lambasts ‘gross calumny’ raised during EC briefing over Aliyev residence


During European Commission press briefing, press asks whether EC is aware of MEPs looking into claims of a bribe to foreign minister to award residence permit to Kazakh billionaire Rakhat Aliyev. READ MORE

New Kazakhstan-US Energy Partnership Plan Adopted

By Richard Weitz

The latest meeting of the Kazakhstani-US Energy Partnership Commission took place in Washington on October 15–16, 2012. The two delegation heads, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev and the US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, signed a Joint Action Plan for 2012–2013 that promotes cooperation in four broad categories: Nuclear Security and Nuclear Power, Hydrocarbon Resources, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and Electric Power. READ MORE

Turkey Concerns New Authorities of Georgia to Limit Turkish Assets Flow

In Turkey they are concerned that new authorities in Georgia shall limit to some extent Turkish assets flow into this country. This was stated by the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Science Academy of Armenia, orientalist Ruben Safrastyan in course of the panel discussion in Yerevan on the subject “Elections in Georgia and their Effect in the Region”. READ MORE

Obama victory - what now for Europe?


Poland's foreign minister has said that he expects President Obama to be more active in the Middle East after his win in the US elections on Tuesday. READ MORE

Oil and Gas Factor in Karabakh Conflict: New Trends

By Sergey Minasyan

It’s not a secret that today the main financial-economic and partially geographic resource of Azerbaijan within its policy in Karabakh conflict – are particularly significant incomes from Caspian energy sources production (oil and gas). They give hope to military-political leaders of Azerbaijan to achieve cardinal advantage in military-technical sphere and activation of armament race, to finance big regional projects around Armenia, to invest or even open corruption financial aid in third countries, and undertake other steps with the target to achieve favorable change of processes within Karabakh conflict, to force Armenia to make one-side concessions. Simultaneously oil factor also increases geopolitical significance of Azerbaijan per estimations of regional and even world actors. READ MORE

The Curse of Corruption in Europe's East

By Dan Bilefsky, George Calin

This summer, after the police arrived at the handsome villa of the former Romanian prime minister Adrian Nastase to arrest him on corruption charges, he apparently pulled out a revolver and tried to kill himself. Millions of Romanians watched on television as Mr. Nastase, 62, was carried off on a stretcher, a Burberry scarf wrapped around his neck. He survived, and one week later was behind bars. READ MORE

Former East German prime minister dubs Malta’s handling of Aliyev case ‘scandalous’

Tonio Borg thrust into the limelight of hunt for Kazakh billionaire over Maltese residence permit. READ MORE

NATO Must Monitor Central Asia, Reach Out To Pakistan As Afghan Mission Ends

Afghanistan’s neighbours have conflicting aims for the strife-torn country’s future and NATO should keep a wary eye on Central Asia while reaching out to Pakistan as international troops prepare to withdraw in 2014, members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly were told Sunday. READ MORE

Gazprom gets a boost from Asia as EU sales decline

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom reported sales declines in Europe and its home market, showing the importance of its strategy to expand into Asia. READ MORE

Violence mars Independence Day celebrations in Poland


Police used tear gas and arrested over 100 on the streets of Warsaw, Sunday, to control a nationalist demonstration during Polish Independence Day celebrations. READ MORE

The EU Common Security and Defence Policy. Interests of Latvia

Latvia continues its engagement in the development of the EU Security and Defence Policy by actively participating in the elaboration of the Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy. Latvia is convinced that the EU at this moment should concentrate more on its strategic interests and new types of threats, and devote special attention to raising the implementation effectiveness of the security strategy. READ MORE

A Climate Vision for Russia: From Rhetoric to Action


By Adnan Vatansever, Anna Korppoo

Regardless of many benefits available to Russia from adopting a more practical approach to climate mitigation, the country remains on the outskirts of the international climate policy debate—an important element of foreign policy in this decade. Russian leaders tend to point to the post-Soviet decline of Russia’s greenhouse gas emissions as a major contribution to global climate mitigation efforts. Yet, because the country’s carbon intensity remains very high, that stance undermines Russia’s role as a serious global climate actor. READ MORE

Russia's Putin fires top general amid corruption scandal

President Vladimir Putin dismissed the chief of staff of Russia's armed forces on Friday in a reshuffle of the military top brass, three days after sacking his defense minister following a corruption scandal. READ MORE

NATO obliged to defend all its members, Turkish FM says

Foreign Ministry: Implementation of TANAP jointly with Azerbaijan – important step for Turkey READ MORE

Absolutely different phenomenon


By Robert Jan

At the dawn of Kazakhstan’s independence only few Europeans could show this country on a map - the exotic country as it seemed to everyone at that time. Today, the republic has received wide acclaim. Along with it – all that is attached to fame, including black PR of detractors.  READ MORE

No easy task for Obama


After winning re-election, Barack Obama once again called for greater cross-party cooperation. But there are serious doubts that the president will be able to overcome the deadlock that grips Washington. READ MORE

Serbia rocked by phone-tapping scandal

Serbian minister accuses local police of "eavesdropping on top state officials" including President Tomislav Nikolic. READ MORE

Escaped Oligarch Lost the Opposition Game

By Alina Kantor

Off-system opposition of Kazakhstan has suffered crushing fiasco. This is underlined by the refusal of definite lobbying forces of West to support the main opposer of the country Mukhtar Ablyazov.  READ MORE

Russia not Obama's 'No. 1 foe,' but Moscow doubts a fresh 'reset'

By Fred Weir

Obama promised 'more flexibility' with Russia after his reelection. But President Putin is pursuing a foreign policy agenda that is increasingly critical of the US. READ MORE

Ivanishvili on Foreign Policy, Territorial Integrity


'We won't be able to be a neutral state'; NATO was the best option for our security; ‘I hope chance to join NATO, wasted by Saakashvili, is not lost forever'; Georgia should become attractive for Abkhazians, Ossetians; ‘Restoring territorial integrity possible, but not in nearest future” READ MORE

Greek Cyprus ignores Turkey’s gas resistance

Greek Cyprus says it will continue natural gas talks with large companies despite Turkey’s strong opposition, blaming it with ‘showing its true face’ READ MORE

Serbia strengthens ties with Azerbaijan

By Elshan Rustamov

The interview with the  Serbian ambassador to Azerbaijan Zoran Vayovich. READ MORE

Teare J refuses to recuse himself from Ablyazov case


By Katy Dowell

Addleshaw Goddard has failed in its bid to have Mr Justice Teare recuse himself from a $6bn dispute between Kazakh billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov and JSC BTA Bank. READ MORE

Energy security and NATO: a view from Washington

By Dan Milstein

What you see depends on where you are standing…and the view of energy security from here on the banks of the Potomac River, is surely quite different from that on the banks of the Seine, the Thames, the Vistula, or of Faxafloi Bay. READ MORE

Budapest Challenges West

By Gabor Stier

Having announced the policy of openness towards East, Hungary leads “free war” with the IMF and the EU. READ MORE

Russia rooting for Obama in US election


Moscow is closely following the build-up to the US elections and has made no secret about its preference for Obama, though ties between the two countries haven’t been without problems during his presidency. READ MORE