November 2013

To break stalemate with Armenia Turkey should resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By Lamİya Adİlgizi, İstanbul

If Turkey wants to ease the current stalemate with Armenia, it should work with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia to begin to find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, says prominent American-Armenian scholar Ronald Grigor Suny from Michigan University. READ MORE

U.S. Ambassador: we care for what goes on in Latvia

Arranging a meeting with Judith Garber, the United States of America Ambassador to Latvia, was not difficult at all. It took a single phone call to the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy and the date was set. Chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission surprised Gregory Zubarev, member of BNN Editorial Board, already from the very first moment. Having passed through three security control points, he was personally welcomed by Ms. Garber herself. Dressed elegantly, but without any pretentiousness, she was smiling openly, accompanying her speech with natural and vigorous (but feminine) gestures. The interview took place in the library. READ MORE

Construction of South Stream Pipeline’s Serbian Section Gets Under Way


The construction of the Serbian leg of the Russia-initiated South Stream gas pipeline, designed to diversify Moscow’s energy supply routes, was launched Sunday as a steel pipe was symbolically welded north of Belgrade.  READ MORE

ARTIS PABRIKS: Over more than a decade Latvia has been security exporter to the South Caucasus and Central Asia regions

Exclusive interview of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia   Dr. Artis Pabriks  READ MORE

Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov took part in the Seventh EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting

On November 20, the Seventh European Union and Central Asia Ministerial Meeting took place in Brussels. Kazakhstan was represented by Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov. READ MORE

Afghan President Delays Signing of Deal with US


By Sharon Behn

In an historic decision, Afghanistan’s assembly of tribal and community elders, the Loya Jirga, overall approved a multi-page Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States.  But it is still unclear when the deal will be signed. READ MORE

Estonian ministry: building gas pipeline to Finland is not decided yet

The Estonian Economy and Communications Ministry is not certain that the Estonian end of the Balticconnector gas pipeline, planned to be built between Estonia and Finland, should come on shore somewhere near Paldiski or whether the pipeline would even be built, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports. READ MORE

Pipelines Of Empire

By Robert D. Kaplan and Eugene Chausovsky

At this juncture in history, the fate of Europe is wound up not in ideas but in geopolitics. For millennia, eruptions from Asia have determined the fate of Europe, including invasions and migrations by Russians, Turkic tribes and Byzantine Greeks. Central and Eastern Europe, with their geographical proximity to the Asian steppe and the Anatolian land bridge, have borne the brunt of these cataclysms. Today is no different, only it is far subtler. Armies are not marching; rather, hydrocarbons are flowing. For that is the modern face of Russian influence in Europe. To understand the current pressures upon Europe from the east it is necessary to draw a map of energy pipelines. READ MORE

Iran agrees to curb nuclear activity at Geneva talks


Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for about $7bn (£4.3bn) in sanctions relief, after days of intense talks in Geneva. READ MORE

Energy security and its mysteries

By Dainius Genys

Today energy security is one of the key issues of the Lithuanian economic policy. It is usually referred to as a technological or economic  energy self-sufficiency problem, yet recently more focus is given to the impact of energy on the development of society. This aspect creates prerequisites for discussion: what are the views of social sciences with respect to the national energy security? READ MORE

Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan Economic Relations Make Progress

By Richard Weitz

On November 1, the fourth session of the Kazakhstani-Kyrgyzstani Intergovernmental Council met in Bishkek. The meeting sought to realize the agenda articulated by Kazakhstani Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, who noted “the mutual desire of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to address urgent issues on water and the energy sector, gas, transport, agriculture, environmental problems” as well as promote free trade (inform.kz, November 1). READ MORE

Margvelashvili: Our ambitious plan – signing the agreement remains the main strategy of our government

As President Giorgi Margvelashvili told journalists, Georgia is going to the Vilnius summit with extremely good results, READ MORE

Ukraine suspends preparations for EU trade agreement


A government statement said the decision had been taken to protect Ukraine's "national security". READ MORE

Situation with migration policy in Russia to grow worse

A growing number of migrants from Central Asia are coming to Russia to earn money. Their situation became more difficult because of growing anti-immigrant sentiments, but they don’t see a way out yet. READ MORE

China’s New Reforms in Theory and Practice

On November 12, the Third Plenary of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced a major turn to market-oriented policies: interest-rate and currency liberalization, reform of banks and state enterprises, clearer land ownership for rural inhabitants, and a better deal for urban migrants. READ MORE

Europe’s eastern future at stake at the EU Vilnius summit

By Alex Petriashvili, the Georgian state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration

The aggressive attitude of Russia towards neighbour countries seeking closer EU integration indicates a new reality which the EU’s Eastern partnership must be ready to face, writes Alex Petriashvili. READ MORE

Oligarchs at war in the British courts

By Robert Mendick

It promises to be one of the most expensive cases ever heard in a British courtroom — involving three oligarchs who have fallen out in spectacular fashion. READ MORE

Kazakh FA Minister & EU reps discuss visa regime simplification

During his visit to Brussels the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov has held a separate bilateral talks with Linus Linkevičius, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Lithuania holding the Presidency of the EU, and the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. READ MORE

Why has Putin chosen the symbolic date, December 2, for visiting Yerevan?


By Emma Gabrielyan

Armenia pays a high price for joining the Customs Union. READ MORE

Special report: The new model armies - why are Western forces being deployed across Africa?

By Kim Sengupta

The new mantra of 'muscular soft power' is designed to fight insurgencies and prepare states to defend themselves while building up infrastructure and civic institutions. READ MORE

Russian-Led Trade Bloc ‘No Soviet Union’

By Sargis Harutyunyan

Armenia will not lose its independence after joining the Russian-led customs union, Russia’s ambassador in Yerevan, Ivan Volynkin, insisted on Friday, strongly denying that Moscow is keen to recreate the former Soviet Union.  READ MORE

Wait and see’ will not help Ukraine

By Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, Ambassador of Ukraine to the EU

Sir, While expressing my deep appreciation of a profound analysis offered by the FT in the article “Which way to turn?” (November 12) I still believe it is worth adding some highlights as well as reinforcing some conclusions. READ MORE

Defence industry, Allies urged to cooperate more closely at Istanbul NATO-Industry Forum

NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow on Thursday (14 November 2013) called on senior representatives from defence industry and Allied governments to forge closer ties at this year’s NATO-Industry Forum held in Istanbul, Turkey. “We are faced with increasingly complex global security challenges and shrinking defence budgets in many of our NATO nations. These two factors combined mean that effective security today requires a new level of multinational cooperation,” Ambassador Vershbow said. READ MORE

Kazakhstan is the Most Reliable NATO Partner in Central Asia – Special Envoy

Kazakhstan is the most active and reliable partner of NATO in Central Asia, and the North Atlantic Alliance hopes to maintain the rates of cooperation with the Republic of Kazakhstan in the sphere of further stabilization in Afghanistan, fighting terrorism, drugs trafficking, as well as assurance of international security and stability, reports Kazinform. READ MORE

Linking up Europe and South Korea 'not easy'


Russian President Putin is set to arrive in Seoul with a long list of issues, including plans for a rail link that could ultimately link Europe to South Korean ports. The main stumbling block is likely to be Pyongyang. READ MORE

Germany under EU scrutiny for current account surplus


The European Commission decided to prepare an in-depth analysis of Germany's persistently high current account surplus to find out if it is a sign of a serious imbalance in Europe's biggest economy. READ MORE

Indo-Russian Summit Highlights Emerging Trends in Asian International Relations

By Stephen Blank

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh’s October 21–22 visit to Moscow not only reaffirmed traditional Indo-Russian amity, it also revealed significant trends in Asian developments that affect both parties as well as other key players like the United States, China and Pakistan. READ MORE

UK's most-wanted criminals hiding in Spain named

Thirteen of Britain's most-wanted criminals, thought to be on the run in Spain, have been named by the National Crime Agency. READ MORE

Le Pen, Wilders hope to unite Europe-wide eurosceptic alliance

The leaders of the Dutch and French far right launched an alliance to fight the European Union from within at a meeting on Wednesday in The Hague. Marine Le Pen of France's Front National and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands Party for Freedom (PVV) hope to attract other parties to a Europe-wide alliance of far-right parties ahead of next year's European elections. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan informs US ambassador about shutting down Manas air base

The Kyrgyz foreign ministry has notified the US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan it is going to shut down the US Manas air base in July 2014, media say. READ MORE

Final Adventure In Europe Of One Oligarch

By Pierre Elzas

Thanks to the criminal oligarchy , the thesis who owns the information, owns the world has undergone major changes. One of the PR people can be called an international scale Mukhtar Ablyazov . It uses media tool lies. This person actively interested in law enforcement Great Britain, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece , Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. READ MORE

Vytis Jurkonis: Foundation Of The Nato Energy Security Center In Vilnus A Long Term Strategic Decision

Exclusive interview of the lecturer Institute of International Relations and Political Science (Vilnius University) Mr. Vytis Jurkonis. READ MORE

Russia–Azerbaijan: an ambivalent partnership


By Sergei Markedonov, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., USA, 2013

Following the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of newly independent states, the Caucasus region, which for years had stayed at the periphery of world affairs, has found itself the focus of attention from influential international players as well as neighboring countries. Former Soviet Transcaucasia republics, which became subject to international law overnight, began to formulate their own national interests and foreign policy priorities. The emergence of independent states in the South Caucasus went hand-in-hand with attempts to advance new regional security mechanisms and new forms of international cooperation. READ MORE

Rar: No one Knows What the Situation with Gas in Europe Will Be

The Research Director of the German-Russian Forum Alexandr Rar during his conversation with the Telegraph doubted the feasibility of construction of terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery in the Baltic region. At the moment Qatar gas from tankers is more expensive in Europe that Russian gas from the pipeline. READ MORE

Minister: Moldova is the frontrunner for visa liberalisation

Moldova expects to become the frontrunner of the EU's Eastern partner states vying for visa liberalisation with the 28-country bloc, if it signs its mooted association agreement at a 28-29 November summit in Vilnius, Moldova’s Foreign and European Integration Minister Natalia Gherman told EurActiv Slovakia in an exclusive interview. READ MORE

Kyrgyzstan Mulling Nationalization of Key Gold Mine – President

Kyrgyzstan is considering nationalizing a controversial foreign-controlled gold mine that has been at the heart of destabilizing political tensions, the country’s president has told the BBC in an interview. READ MORE

North Atlantic Council observes Steadfast Jazz live military demonstration in Poland


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen together with the Presidents of Poland and Latvia, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, the Ambassadors of the North Atlantic Council, and senior Allied military commanders watched a live-fire training demonstration involving forces from across the Alliance and NATO partner Ukraine at a military base in northwestern Poland on Thursday (7 November 2013). READ MORE

Syria's shadow lurks behind Iran nuclear talks

The optimism over nuclear diplomacy with Iran has led to speculation that the West could also come to an agreement with Tehran on Syria. But analysts are cautious about such deals. READ MORE

NATO collective defence will ensure Lithuania’s security

By Dž. G. Barysaitė

Wednesday, November 6, Adazi, Latvia - President Dalia Grybauskaitė, together with Latvian President Andris Bērziņš, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, attended NATO Response Force Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 at the Adazi Base in Latvia - the first such exercise in the region. It is the largest NATO exercise since 2006. READ MORE

Interview with USAK Expert Ali Bakeer on the Geneva II talks

By Tibor Hargitai, a visiting researcher at USAK

In light of the international efforts to convene the Geneva II meeting next month – aimed at getting all the political actors in Syria, including opposition elements and the Assad government, to the table – USAK's Middle East expert Ali Bakeer was asked about the course that political developments surrounding Syria could take, who are the actors involved, and what roles do they play. READ MORE

Ukraine minimizes purchases of Russian gas

The government and NAK Naftogaz Ukraine have accomplished the task set by President Viktor Yanukovych to minimize purchases of expensive fuel from Russian OAO Gazprom. READ MORE

France keeps former Georgian police chief in custody

A French court yesterday rejected a former Georgian defence minister's plea to be freed from custody but did not rule on his extradition to his homeland, where he is wanted on corruption charges. READ MORE

Major war games come to Baltics


Thousands of troops are taking part in some of the regions biggest war games on the Baltics’ eastern shores from Nov. 2-7. The NATO-backed Steadfast Jazz exercises involve over 6,000 soldiers from 20 countries, as well as 40 aircraft and 15 vessels.Troops will be training at the Adazi base in Latvia, just north of Riga, and in Poland. READ MORE

e-Estonia: the leader of timely and appropriate strategies

By Vaiva Sapetkaitė, Institute of International Relations and Political Science Vilnius University

It is said that Estonia’s position at the beginning of the race was better than that of Lithuania and Latvia – the support of the Scandinavian countries had a significant impact on the advancement of Estonia’s welfare. Currently Estonia is independent energy producer thanks to existing oil shale deposits. Yet, the constant tension raised by the Russian-speaking citizens (they account for about 25 percent of Estonia‘s population) partially aggravates the situation in the country.  READ MORE


By Anna Reachi

According to the most conservative estimates, trade turnover of Asia and Europe will grow annually by an average of 2-3 percent. Thus, 7 years later, in 2020, it is estimated at 240 million tonnes in the physical terms and 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars in monetary terms. Even today there is a struggle for such a tidbit between countries that are expanding their transit potential, and between different modes of transport


Poland's ruling party in 'tape scandal'

Poland's ruling Civic Platform has ruled out another internal election for the leadership of Lower Silesia in spite of vote-fixing allegations in connection with illicitly recorded material. READ MORE

Turkey’s Undersea Marmaray Railway Tunnel Unites Europe, Asia

By John C. K. Daly

Inaugurated on October 29, 2013, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul’s undersea Marmaray railway tunnel is the world’s first connecting two continents and is designed to withstand earthquakes up to 9.0 on the Richter scale.  READ MORE

The Lawyer of Mukhtar Ablyazov Has His Residence Permit in Pretrial Detention Facility Extended

By Konstantin Voronov

The Person Involved into the BTA-Bank Case Has Remained Under Arrest READ MORE

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Russia's Nuclear Forces

By James M. Acton

On June 19, 2013—just hours before President Barack Obama called for further nuclear reductions in Berlin—President Vladimir Putin issued a preemptive rebuttal, stating that we see that work is active around the world on developing high‐precision conventional weapons systems that in their strike capabilities come close to strategic nuclear weapons. Countries that have such weapons substantially increase their offensive capability. READ MORE

Russian-Polish Relations Need A Shot In the Arm


Several years after the Polish presidential plane crash and the initial Russian-Polish rapprochement, the process of reconciliation has visibly stagnated. The Polish opposition accused the government, and the Russians, of having engineered the crash at Smolensk. Prime Minister Tusk got scared and preferred to stay passive in front of the absurd accusations. Moscow rejected even minimal responsibility of the Russian ground controllers in the affair. Apparently trying to keep the investigation suspended so as not to give more ammunition to the Polish opposition, Russia has still not returned the wreckage of the Polish presidential plane to Warsaw. True, there still have been notable achievements such as the agreement allowing for visa-free travel in the border areas, which include Kaliningrad and Gdansk, as well as regular trilateral meetings among the foreign ministers of Russia, Poland, and Germany. Yet, with the Civic Platform doing now badly in the polls, a return of PiS to government after the election two years from now is a distinct possibility.  READ MORE

Political reboot postponed in Czech Republic after election


It should have been the end of the political crisis. Instead, the Czechs chose a protest vote. Following an early election with no clear winner, a new political crisis looms. READ MORE