Rügen is best known as a popular German tourist destination. But now the Baltic Sea island has taken on a new role as staging point for an energy project that is as ambitious as it is controversial: the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Next spring the first pipeline segments will likely be dropped to the sea floor in a line that will wind through Russian, Finish, Swedish, Danish and German waters—conspicuously avoiding the Baltic states and Poland. READ MORE
Inside the European pipeline fantasy that became a real-life gas war with Russia.
When Joschka Fischer's lucrative new job as the "political communications advisor" to a consortium of European energy companies was leaked to a German business publication this summer, there was one comment that stood out. "Welcome to the club," said Gerhard Schröder, an even more highly paid advocate for the other side in Europe's increasingly politicized energy war.
Schröder's remark was short, snide -- and very much to the point. For eight years, the two men had led Germany together, with Schröder ruling as its center-left chancellor and Fischer as his foreign minister. Their long-running partnership had survived a particularly complicated era in post-Cold War Europe, and publicly Fischer had always been supportive, even telling Der Spiegel that Schröder "will go down in the history books as a great chancellor." READ MORE
The visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Poland is the most significant event in the foreign policy of Poland in 2009. The Government of Donald Tusk has a serious task to normalize Polish-Russian relations, which has lately occurred to be almost frozen. READ MORE
The true mettle of the Sino-European relationship lies in China’s bilateral relationships with the UK, Germany and France. If the European Union is to forge its own effective relationship with Beijing, it must move member-states beyond their own separate-track approaches to China. READ MORE