Russia-Belarus Oil Dispute Threatens Europe’s Supply

By Andrew E. Kramer

Russia and Belarus have failed to renew an agreement on crude oil export tariffs that expired on New Year’s Eve, raising the prospect that yet another otherwise unremarkable energy pricing dispute between Russia and a neighbor could unravel into a midwinter fuel shut-off on the Continent. READ MORE

Azerbaijan’s Gas Going East?

By Alexandros Petersen

Azerbaijan’s ongoing dispute with Turkey about transit terms and revenues for natural gas heading to Europe across Anatolia, as well as uncertainties about the Nabucco pipeline project, have compelled highest-level officials at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) to publically consider the option of exporting hydrocarbons eastward, potentially to China and other East Asian markets. However, as Baku would have to surmount significant hurdles to make that proposition a reality, it remains to be seen whether a reorientation of Azerbaijan’s energy posture is in the cards, or whether this is just rhetoric to spur the development of Western-oriented projects. READ MORE

Barack Obama: Europe Found Peace Only When It Became Free

By Andrey Pastor

On January 1, 2010 the presidency in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will be passed in rotation to Kazakhstan. In this connection during an annual Eurasian media forum, which took place in Moscow recently, there was an opinion expressed that in the close future the emphasis in OSCE activities will shift – instead of the human rights issues the priority will be given to the security issues. It is noticing that though Kazakhstan’s leader Nazarbayev is known for his authoritative methods, his country can’t impose its policy or vision of problems on other OSCE countries, even when Russia and Belarus support Kazakhstan as their Customs Union partner. READ MORE

If Gas Could Talk

By Sonia Zilberman

Can a deal struck with the EU help the plight of Turkmen – or are we only interested in their country's gas? READ MORE

GUAM And “Eastern Partnership”

By Igor Donat

The dynamics of international life of the passing year comprised a sound list of significant events, which are able to give a start for new large-scale transformations as many commentators think. They include – the launch of the “Eastern Partnership” program. This project has called different reactions among the states participating within “Eastern Partnership” as well as in neighboring capitals. The reaction was mainly emotional and unpredictable. It’s perfectly known that for example Warsaw gives a strategic meaning to this project. Moscow also sees a long-term effect, strategy but the aim of this strategy is observed in a different way. READ MORE

New Gas Pipeline From Central Asia Feeds China

By Andrew E. Kramer

With the turn of a ceremonial valve, China’s president, Hu Jintao, opened a big natural gas pipeline from central Asia to China on Monday, significantly increasing China’s access to the fuel and providing the first major alternative to exporting the region’s gas through Russia. READ MORE

Customs Union with Russia and Belarus Raises Doubts in Kazakhstan

By Farkhad Sharip

Fielding questions from viewers on state-controlled television channels on November 13 Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that on November 27 the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would gather in Minsk to sign final agreements on a Customs Union. READ MORE

Medvedev Gave the World a Phoney

Hardly Russia counts on the signing of the new European Security Treaty. Its presentation is just a well-considered step, which… should split the views within the Euro-Atlantic area. READ MORE

Bulgaria: US, Russia Relations Revisited Via Pipeline Politics

Having visited Washington and New York a couple of times in the last months Rumiana Jeleva, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister and now Europe’s potential European Commission Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, spoke to New Europe about the shifting geopolitics of gas and the South East Europe region. READ MORE

Russia Seeks To Sustain Its Energy Security

By Sergei Blagov

Moscow has reiterated pledges to improve Russian energy security by promising sizable investments to develop its hydrocarbon sector and power supply networks. However, the economic viability of such solutions appears to remain a matter of debate as Moscow’s ambitious plans require huge investments. Russian authorities have long pledged to replace obsolete and wasteful Soviet-era energy technologies and solutions by what officials describe as “energy-efficient” facilities. READ MORE