July 2013

Hungary seeks a multidimensional foreign policy

In the light of a weakening European Union and a less reliable NATO, Budapest is reassessing its position in Europe. A more centralised control of domestic politics and a more independent foreign policy are key parts of this strategy, writes Stratfor. READ MORE

EU and Kazakhstan ties reach new orbit

The 13th Session of Cooperation Council - the Republic of Kazakhstan - European Union was held on Wednesday in Brussels. READ MORE

White House-Congress divide on Iran nuclear sanctions widens


By Paul Richter

Obama administration eases some sanctions in the wake of Hassan Rouhani's election. Some lawmakers want even more, fearing time is short to block a nuclear bomb. READ MORE

Plans to build a gas pipeline from Israeli to Turkey

The June decision by the Israeli Cabinet to send to foreign markets 40% of the gas from the fields further narrowed the field of maneuver for "Gazprom" READ MORE

Kazakhstan and EU discuss cooperation


The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and Kazakhstan held its

thirteenth meeting on 24 July 2013, the EU Council reported. READ MORE

Georgia is ready for Transit Provision for Coalition Forces

Georgia's transit opportunity was a key talking point of the meeting at Georgian Defence Ministry today. Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania and Commander U.S. Transportation Command, General William M. Fraser discussed ISAF reverse transit of NATO forces and cargos and alternative transit way through Georgia. READ MORE

Can Latvia be a role model for reform in Europe?


Latvia will join the eurozone on January 1, 2014. In 2009, Latvia almost went bankrupt, but recovered surprisingly quickly. Can its path to recovery serve as a blueprint for other European countries? READ MORE

Barroso declines to comment on options for NATO top job


Asked today (24 July) if he had plans to be the next NATO secretary-general, Commission President José Manuel Barroso declined to comment. The race for the job, which will become available next year, has already started, sources told EurActiv, with Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem considered the favourite. READ MORE

Greenland and the Arctic: Still a role for the EU


As the financing of major projects in Greenland will probably come from Asia and given Greenland’s characteristics, the self-ruled territory needs to strengthen its political ties with its direct neighbourhood and historical partners: the Nordic region, the European Union and the United States, writes Damien Degeorges. READ MORE

NATO Secretary General praises Italy’s NATO contributions during Rome visit


Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked Italy for its significant contributions to the Alliance during talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Rome on Thursday (25 July 2013). “Italy has been a staunch member of our Alliance since its creation and continues to demonstrate strong commitment to NATO every day in many different ways,” the Secretary General said. READ MORE

NATO to send observers to Russia-Belarus war games

NATO member-states will use Russia’s invitation to send military observers to the Russian-Belarusian war games Zapad’2013, a diplomatic source at the mission of one of the member-nations said upon the results of Wednesday’s session of the Russia-NATO Council. READ MORE

"Gazprom" will receive the gas transportation system of Kyrgyzstan for $ 1

The authorities of the Russian Federation approved the draft intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of transportation, distribution and sale of natural gas on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. The corresponding order was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Under the terms of the transaction, "KyrgyzGas" will sell for $ 1 to "Gazprom" its subsidiary, with all the property. This deal is available for repayment in Kyrgyzstan before the Russian debt, and in return for investment in the Kyrgyz Russian monopoly gas transmission system. READ MORE

U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistan

By Mark Mazzetti And Matthew Rosenberg

Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” that would leave no American troops there after next year, according to American and European officials. READ MORE


By Alina Kantor

Bushranger international scale Mukhtar Ablyazov chose the Apennines as a springboard for informational battles with their enemies.  READ MORE

Wahhabis have appeared in Georgia?

By Kama Rzayeva

Near Tbilisi, in the village of Ponichala-Soganlugi densely populated by Azerbaijanis, the construction of a new mosque has started. It has become a bone of contention between local Azerbaijanis, dividing the population into good and bad, into the Shia, Sunni or Salafi. Many believe that Wahhabis are constructing it. Why some residents are convinced that the new mosque is the abode of evil, and what is Wahhabism in their opinion? READ MORE

Visiting German Finance Minister Faces Greek Protests


Thousands of police officers lined the streets of Athens on Thursday as the German finance minister visited the Greek capital. His arrival comes as a controversial bill was passed in the Greek parliament to eliminate thousands of public sector jobs. READ MORE

Congressman: Azerbaijan is reliable trading partner and ally of Europe and US

The United States should help its European allies to diversify their energy sources, specifically natural gas, head of US delegation to the NATO parliamentary Assembly, US Congressman Michael Turner's article, posted on American media-resource The Hill said. READ MORE

Commander of the Land Forces of Poland conducted a formal visit in Lithuania

On July 1-3 Commander of the Polish Land Forces Lieutenant General Zbigniew Glowienka and a delegation were conducting a formal visit in Lithuania. On July 2 the guest met with Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Major General Almantas Leika and Commander of the National Defence Volunteer Force Colonel Romualdas Moldaris, a meeting with Chief of defence Of Lithuania Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius at the Ministry of National Defence followed. The aim of the visit was to exchange information on relevant issues of the Lithuanian and the Polish Land Forces and to discuss plans and perspectives of further cooperation. READ MORE

UK court bars fugitive Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov from oral submissions

By Kirstin Ridley

An English judge has barred lawyers representing fugitive Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling $6 billion from his former bank BTA , from making oral submissions to court because he has been serially in contempt of court. READ MORE

The Caspian Sea – the arena of contracting of the world superplayers


By Viktoria Panfilova

The Caspian region has already become the area of close fucos for the countries of North and South, East and West. This region, where already today there are political, military-strategic and economic interests of many countries of the world, by this not only of Caspian states (Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), but also the most powerful world’s players – the USA, European Union, China. READ MORE

EC proposes establishing European Public Prosecutor's Office

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office. READ MORE

Armenia gets ready for a new Strategic Defense Review phase

Within the preparation of the new phase of Strategic Defense Review (SDR), the advisory group from U.S. and Great Britain paid a visit to Armenia on July 7-13. READ MORE

International experts on corruption in Lithuania: Corrupt politicians give little thought to how they will look their grandchildren in the eye

Experts on fighting corruption advise against lending too much prominence to surveys which ask people to give their subjective perceptions on corruption. More reliable are surveys where respondents share their actual experiences. Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, published this Tuesday, indicates that Lithuanians encounter bribery more often than any other nation in the European Union. READ MORE

Olli Rehn: Europe will overcome the crisis and will help Ukraine to do it

By Andriy Boyarunets

Financial consolidation in the euro zone also develops. Thus, the European Central Bank is set to take on oversight powers next year over all euro-area banks, until the formation of the single resolution mechanism (SRM). The ECB will have the right to issue and withdraw banking licenses, control recapitalization of banks, etc.  READ MORE

One Against All

According to the opinion of the Head of the Global Interests Center, a political analyst Nikolay Zlobin, the attitude towards Putin is changing although slowly. READ MORE

Why the Sahel Is Crucial to Europe’s Neighborhood — and Its Security Strategy

By Martin Michelot, Martin Quencez

The ongoing crises in Syria and Egypt have marginalized the conflict in Mali in the Western media. But the French-led military intervention in that country is facing a complex and challenging transitional period. United Nations Special Envoy for the Sahel Romano Prodi recently warned the international community to “not forget the Sahel, or you will have more Malis if you do.” That is a prospect that European countries — including France — will certainly not relish, yet they lack the political will or the capacity to ensure a favorable outcome. Transatlantic actors now, more than ever, need to rethink their cooperation in the region and strengthen their alliances with local powers. READ MORE

Trans-Atlantic trade talks not overshadowed by NSA scandal


Harsh criticism follows US-German talks on NSATrans-Atlantic trade talks not overshadowed by NSA scandal'The EU should grant Snowden the right to stay'Is the Internet too American?US data snooping ruffles German feathers'We need to protect ourselves from our friends''Stop spying, and educate people about the Internet'A call for digital disobedience EU demands explanation over surveillance claimsDoes the NSA go head-hunting at Facebook?New law allows German investigators access to PIN and passwordsOpinion: Watch out! Know your friends!Tapping the world's fiber optic cables'We had no idea about this sort of activity'British G20 espionage no big deal?'Facebook & Co. ignore fundamental rights'Metadata reveal much about what you do online Germans intercept electronic data, too - but not much. READ MORE

France's richest 500 become 25 per cent richer in one year

Despite economic crisis and the Socialist government’s austerity programme, France’s 500 richest people have seen their wealth rise by a quarter in a year, a business magazine reports. A rival journal says some of the fortunes have been overestimated but still features 47 billionaires in its top 50. READ MORE

Portuguese president calls for early elections in 2014

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva threw the bailed-out eurozone country into disarray yesterday (July 11) after rejecting a plan to heal a government rift, igniting what critics called a "time bomb" by calling for early elections next year. READ MORE

Resonance situation

By Gregori Sordi

Scandal in the Italian media about the allegedly illegally extradited citizen of Kazakhstan Alma Shalabaeva is as politically motivated. This is another subtle combination of international criminal Ablyazova. READ MORE

Tajik Foreign Minister highlights necessity to assist Afghanistan on peace establishment

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Khamrokhon Zarifi took part in the session of the Foreign Ministers Council of the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on July 13 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, the press service of the Ministry reported. READ MORE

Joint Statement of Second Kazakhstan-United States Strategic Partnership Dialogue

On July 8-10, Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov paid an official visit to the United States and held meetings with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser and Assistant to the President Anthony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. In his talks with high ranking U.S. officals the two sides highlighted the robust and growing bilateral ties between Kazakhstan and the United States and reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership. It was agreed that Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will co-chair the Strategic Partnership Dialogue. READ MORE

Logisticians in ''Fairyland''

NATO forces were deployed to the fictitious country of “Fairyland” to put logistic systems, equipment and procedures to the test in what was the Alliance’s largest-ever logistics exercise. Held in Slovakia from 8 to 26 June, Capable Logistician 2013 involved NATO member and partner countries in a simulated crisis involving inter-ethnic conflict and floods of refugees. READ MORE

The EU brings its first WTO case against Russia

European Commission's Press release

Brussels, 9 July 2013 READ MORE

Welcome to Europe’s Painful New Normal

By Jan Techau

In case you haven’t noticed, the great European crisis is the biggest political game changer in postwar history. READ MORE

Lithuania’s strategic partnership with Germany is for the benefit of Europe

President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, who arrived on a state visit to Lithuania. READ MORE

Luxembourg PM resigns over spying scandal


Luxembourg’s long-serving Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker officially announced he would resign following a spying scandal involving illegal phone-taps and other illicit activities. READ MORE

Baku Declaration On The Oic Donor Conference In Support Of The City Of Al-Quds Al-Sharif Baku, Republic Of Azerbaijan 11 June, 2013

Having taken cognizance of the Israeli violations against the land, the inhabitants, the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries and the historic landmarks in the City of AlQuds. READ MORE

The Curtain Falls on Nabucco’s Last Act


By Vladimir Socor

Nabucco-West, the pipeline project that was to have carried Azerbaijani gas from Turkey to the Central European Gas Hub near Vienna, is exiting from the stage. There will be no encore: “The Nabucco project is over for us. Our goal now is European gas for European customers,” Gerhard Roiss, CEO of Austrian OMV, the Nabucco consortium’s lead player, told the audience (Die Presse, June 27; and see accompanying article). READ MORE

Secretary General stresses value of defence cooperation on visit to Hungary

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed the importance of multinational cooperation to improve defence capabilities during his visit to Hungary on Monday (1 July 2013), which included talks with top Hungarian officials and a visit to the Strategic Airlift Capability at the NATO airbase in Pápa. “This is a perfect example of smart cooperation: nations working together to provide a capability which they could not afford on their own,” the Secretary General said. READ MORE

Wahhabi Underground in Central Asia

By Alina Kantor

No one shall deny that exactly oil-bearing regions of the planet most frequently face the threats of terrorist organizations. Even stable states of Central Asia are involved into a deadly turnover of criminal oil money, international crime and alien ideological ideas. And here we can evidently trace the skillful arm of a puppeteer, who patiently for dozens of years has been trained new stuff for Wahhabi movement, engaging into this process criminal and the power bodies. And this all has the purpose to repeat  Benghazi scenario in the day X, to proclaim a total hunt on terrorism, in order to capture the fields reach with oil and gas eventually.  READ MORE



Exclusive interview of the Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Linas Linkevičius READ MORE

Iranian envoy opposes Turkmen gas delivery to Turkey via Caspian Sea

By Sinem Cengiz

Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Alireza Bikdeli has opposed the idea of delivering Turkmen gas to Turkey through the Caspian Sea, adding that if Turkey wants to do serious business, it should do it with Iran. READ MORE

Commission says EU-China energy efficiency links are ‘deepening’

Brussels and Beijing are quietly but increasingly cultivating contacts and exchanging expertise aimed at enhancing energy-saving practices in the building sector.  READ MORE

Meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed topical bilateral and international issues. READ MORE

Unjustified developments of renewable energy sources: the danger to be lured into a trap (I)

By Antanas Šutas

Some of the EU Member States decided to pursue the so called nuclear phase-out policy aiming to end nuclear power generation. All this points towards an energy policy which puts renewable energy sources for electricity production into the foreground. Although Germany takes the lead role in this plan, it has already faced serious problems which have been anticipated by experts.


Istanbul hosts next round of Georgian-Russian expert talks

International Centre for Research on Conflict and Negotiation held in Istanbul the next round of Russian-Georgian negotiations. 11 experts from Georgia and Russia came together for the tenth round of negotiations. READ MORE

Lithuanian President: Spying scandal should not affect EU-US free trade talks

After discussing the Lithuanian EU presidency's priorities with her French counterpart Francois Hollande in Paris, she told BNS that media reports on the US agencies spying on EU institutions raise concern and that the EU expects explanations from Washington. READ MORE

Egyptian Army Can Choose Turkish or Algerian Path

By Omar Ashour

In September 2011, I was part of a diverse group of Egyptian activists, from liberals to Salafis, which we set up for a single purpose: To persuade all candidates running in the presidential elections to commit to keeping the military out of politics for good. READ MORE

The Political Sources Of Kyrgyzstan's Recent Unrest Featured

By Johan Engvall

Recent protests in Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad regions demanding the nationalization of Kumtor gold mine and the release of jailed members of parliament have demonstrated the limited ability of Kyrgyzstan’s central government to enforce law and order throughout the country. There are political sources of this social and economic instability, notably, Kyrgyzstan’s transformation to a semi-parliamentary system of government in 2010 has rooted out corrupt one-family rule but instituted a system of coalition-based corruption, where the country’s major economic, political and territorial assets are divided among political parties with a detrimental impact on their ability to govern the country. READ MORE

U.S : Pipeline decision makes great contribution to Southern Gas Corridor development

The United States sees the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor, said in statement of Acting Deputy Spokesperson of Department of State Patrick Ventrell. READ MORE

Nazarbaev Defends Kazakhstan's Rights Record To Visiting British PM

British Prime Minister David Cameron has held talks with President Nursultan Nazarbaev and other senior officials during the first visit by a serving British prime minister to Kazakhstan. 


NATO praises Georgia and encourages further reforms

On the second day of a visit to Georgia, the North Atlantic Council met with President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi and praised Georgia’s role as a special partner of the Alliance. READ MORE

NATO and Europeans

By Arthur Dunn

Back in 2011 the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a public warning, noting that the aggregate reductions in military spending in Europe totaled USD 45 billion, which is jeopardizing the viability of the Alliance and the US-European relations. Since then, bogged down in the Afghan war and faced with the economic downturn and the need to reduce budget deficits, military spending of the EU countries decreased even more. The U.S. share of total expenditures NATO has grown from 63% in 2001 to almost 75% today. Military budgets of the Alliance from 2009 to 2013 declined by about 8.5%, and tend to decrease in the future. If in 2009 the total level of defense spending in Europe amounted to USD 256 billion, in 2013 - USD 234,3 billion of the 28 NATO countries only the United States, Britain and Greece held its own requirements on the amount of military spending at 2% of GDP. Even Britain and France were forced to go on ways to reduce defense appropriations. As a result, last year for the first time Asian military spending exceeded European. READ MORE

Financial Markets in Central Asia: the Light in the Middle of the Tunnel

By Edward Dzhagityan

The widely discussed post-crisis settlement in the financial sector, the European sovereign debt situation and the Cypriot banking crisis have experts of all kinds riveted to financial issues, while the new Grand Game in Asia is attracting attention from all over. A relatively mature banking sector in Kazakhstan, attempts to overcome uncertainty in Kyrgyzstan and isolationism in Turkmenistan, the obvious dependence of credit institutions in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on administrative interference – these are part of the diverse set of characteristics that inevitably undermine the strategic initiatives of Russian banks, driving them to clusterization in capital and caution. Are there any opportunities being overlooked and are the market risks really that high? READ MORE

EU politicians call Brussels summit a success

Latvia joins the euro. Croatia joins the European Union. Serbia enters EU accession talks and Kosovo expands its ties with the bloc. A sense of optimism ruled at the two-day EU leaders summit. READ MORE

Gazprom Tries to Discourage Europe to Use Ukrainian Underground Gas Storage Facilities

Gazprom’s Head Miller stated that Russia will never pump gas from into Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities (UGSF) whatever beneficial terms Kiev would suggest. It’s noteworthy that on the eve Gazprom decided to grant Ukraine 1 billion USD as the advance payment for the transit which shall be used to purchase gas for UGSF. READ MORE

Lithuania: Small country with a big job

As of July 1, the affairs of the European Union will be in Lithuania's hands. It's the first time that the small Baltic nation takes over the presidency of the European Council, and major tasks await. READ MORE

Ilham Aliyev: Europe to become main market for Azerbaijani gas

The cooperation in energy sphere is one of the most important parts of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday at the joint press conference in Brussels, with the president of European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU official website reported. READ MORE

Why the Absence of Climate Change at the G8 Summit is No Big Deal

By Thomas Legge

The G8 Summit agenda is as good a snapshot as any of the preoccupations of the global elite. Over the past few years, the summits offered opportunities for the leaders of world’s largest industrialized economies to reflect — and occasionally even to commit to new actions — on international terrorism, the global financial crisis, and other issues of the moment. So what does it mean when an important topic is dropped from the official agenda, as happened last week in Northern Ireland when climate change failed to make the cut? READ MORE

Irish minister: Presidency restored Ireland's reputation in Europe


By Henriette Jacobsen

The public in Ireland is proud of what has been achieved under Ireland's presidency of the EU Council after some tough years. For the Irish people, the presidency has given them a newfound sense of pride and restored a tarnished reputation, says Lucinda Creighton. READ MORE