«Gazprom» Exiled from the Caspian Region

The balance of powers has started changing expressly. In the middle of September the EU Council approved the mandate of the talks of the EU with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on conclusion of legally binding treaty on Transcaspian gas pipeline construction. As Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger declared, the access of the EU to the pre-Caspian region and Central Asia becomes a key issue from now on. Transcaspian gas pipeline is considered to be a part of NABUCCO gas pipeline which is represented by West as an alternative to the “South Stream”. In this respect Brussels declared that it is ready to get down to the operations on preparing the countries of Caspian region and Transcaucasia to the reality of negotiations, and to start specific talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. In this respect Iran has reminded: “Development of transport infrastructure in Caspian region, as well as hydrocarbons transportation is the exclusive prerogative of only pre-Caspian states”. READ MORE

A jump of the Asian “tiger” to Eastern Europe

By Česlovas Iškauskas

For China is not enough to conquer all of the Far East and Asia’s neighbors. According to the Russian journal Vlast, China seeks to consolidate its influence in the countries which are considered by Moscow as the zones of its influence: Ukraine and Belarus. Beijing started investing to the economies of the above post-soviet countries. READ MORE

Russian, German leaders launch Nord Stream gas pipeline


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched the Nord Stream gas pipeline on Tuesday, starting delivery of Russian natural gas to Germany bypassing existing transit countries. READ MORE

China, India, Iran and Pakistan Crowd Russia in Today’s Great Game in Central Asia


By James Brooke

When I was in Dushanbe, India’s defense minister just happened to be in the neighborhood, and popped in for a visit. READ MORE

Putin trip to Beijing signals troubled partnership


By Reuben F. Johnson

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Beijing followed disclosure of a crackdown on Chinese spying and produced signs that Russia is now becoming the junior partner in its relationship with China, with fewer areas of agreement or cooperation, according to analysts in Moscow and Beijing. READ MORE

Global Insights: Dim Prospects for Putin's Eurasian Union

By Richard Weitz

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin followed up his unsurprising Sept. 24 declaration that he would again seek the presidency with a more surprising call: to create what he called a "Eurasian Union." In a rare and lengthy newspaper piece published on Oct. 4, Putin announced his desire for Russia to again lead a multinational bloc of tightly bound, former Soviet republics. But major obstacles stand in the way of Putin's project, and the prospects of a new Eurasian Union emerging anytime soon in the former Soviet space are small. READ MORE

A Latvian Government for Latvia

By Vladimir Socor

Latvia’s government approved the country’s new government, a three-party center-right coalition that does not include the leftist Russian party Harmony Center (BNS, LETA, October 25). This outcome was in doubt until almost the last moment. Western-oriented Latvia came close to being governed by a hybrid coalition that would have included Harmony, an openly Russia-oriented party, signatory to a cooperation agreement with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, and allied to certain local Latvian oligarchs. Harmony is also Latvia’s single largest party as a legacy of Soviet-era migration from Russia’s interior, followed by monolithic Russian voting in today’s Latvia. READ MORE

Central Asia: Russia Grapples with a Security Dilemma


By Joshua Kucera

CSTO Countries NATO Countries Russia EurasiaNet's Weekly Digest Geopolitics War in Afghanistan READ MORE

The State and Prospects of the Russia-EU-Ukraine Triangle

An interview with Andreas Umland, DAAD lecturer in political science, National University of Kiev – Mohyla Academy, Ukraine (since 2010). READ MORE

China and the Eurasian Union


By David Cohen

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has thrown down the glove at China over the two countries rival interests in Central Asia, announcing plans to form a 'Eurasian Union,' whose borders will encompass much of China’s northwest and give Russia power over China’s access to Central Asian markets and energy supplies. The proposed map – which bears a suspicious resemblance to that of the former Soviet Union – has so far met with derision in China. READ MORE