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Russia’s Parity Policy in the South Caucasus and Azerbaijan’s Eurasian Prospects

The attention of outside forces to the largest South Caucasus republic is growing steadily, with the US, the European Union and Russia all seeking to win over Azerbaijan. Events in Ukraine and the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) have raised the stakes in the game codenamed «winning the sympathy of Baku». Among the noted players targeting Azerbaijan, the US is the least consistent, and the political elite in the Caspian republic continue to regard its American partners with suspicion... 

Vyacheslav MIKHAILOV | 05.07.2014


 

Why Richard Morningstar Is Threatening Azerbaijan with a Maidan

Several days ago Richard Morningstar, the U.S. Ambassador in Baku, made a statement in an interview with the Azerbaijani office of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty of a sort which diplomats do not usually dare to make. The American suggested that one of the lessons Baku should learn from the events in Ukraine is that the Maidan could repeat itself in Azerbaijan... The American diplomat's statement regarding the possibility of an «Azerbaijani Maidan» should be considered together with the previous speech of James Warlick, the U.S. Co-Chair of the Minsk Group on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The speech took place May 7 at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington. The ideas expressed by Warlick - and he unambiguously suggested retuning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the situation at the end of the 1980s - was received very frostily in Yerevan...

Vyacheslav MIKHAILOV | 30.05.2014


 

The ‘Eastern Partnership’ is fading away before our very eyes

The EU’s Eastern Partnership summit that took place in Prague on 24-25 April was called to solve the Hamlet question of whether the programme itself is to be or not to be. It was unable to do so, however... Of late, finance and energy have increasingly been coming to the fore in the foreign policy priorities of the eastern European countries of Eastern European and the post-Soviet world, as well as post-Soviet states... The real financial and economic cost of the Ukrainian issue is well understood by many in the European Union itself, especially in the Czech Republic and Slovakia...

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 02.05.2014


 

The Caspian Dispute

The president of Russia, when speaking at the last big press conference of the year, praised the achievements of Russian foreign policy highly... Given the growth of Russia's international authority, one might expect it to come closer to resolving the problems which have accumulated over the years in the Caspian Basin... The five Caspian states have not been able to sign a Convention on the status of the Caspian Sea for 17 years; they are still just trying to work out principles based on which all the countries would agree to jointly administer the common body of water... It has already been announced that the Fourth Caspian Summit will be held in Astrakhan in 2014...

Nikolai BOBKIN | 29.12.2013


 

EU Goes East: Political Offer for Economic Colonisation

...In the case of six Eastern member states of the EaP the integration idea gives priority to the strong Western Global players over relatively week Eastern competitors... What can Kyiv expect from signing the Association Agreement with Brussels? 27 pages of the written agenda of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in June 2013 make it evident: the preparations for the Association Agreement do not function at eye level, the text shows a clear submission of Ukraine’s whole legislation and a political, social and military adaption to EU’s guidelines... The chapter «Economic cooperation» shows that Brussels also wants to interfere in inner politics from financial to social affairs... In ordinary language: monetary policy is going to be controlled by the ECB, and social policy is submitted to the restrictive regime of austerity packages... Energy co-operation in Brussels’ words consists of two main points: abolishment of state subsidies for electricity and gas «to ensure full payments» and «integration of the united power system of the Ukraine into the Union of Central European electricity networks»... These are the corner pillars of the EU enlargement project, interfering in all possible spheres of national and local politics and economics...

Hannes HOFBAUER | 08.11.2013


 

Brussels Indulges in Trans-Caspian Pipe Dream Again

After the European Commission has finally realized that major investors (RWE) and transit countries (Hungary) are leaving Nabucco, bureaucrats in Brussels are now trying to revitalize a distressed project – the so-called Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. Their goal is obvious - to find the lacking resources for a shorter version of Nabucco (the so-called Nabucco-West) and prevent its complete failure. Even in Europe many specialists in energy policy understand that without the gas of five Caspian littoral states including Iran, Nabucco will be a mere show of empty pipeline...

Igor ALEXEEV | 14.03.2013


 

Turkey and EU Try to Bring Life into Nabucco

 The stakes are high in the big game around the Caspian hydrocarbons. The main goal of the West is to separate the countries of South Caucasus and Central Asia from Russia, to avoid the integration of post-Soviet states within the framework of common economic space, to make the energy routes bypass the territory of the Russian Federation. Supposedly, as a result, the geopolitical former Soviet Union space would acquire a new shape described in the concepts of New Silk Road and Greater Middle East...

Aleksandr SHUSTOV | 09.09.2012


 

Geopolitical Context of South Stream

The South Stream project, along with the twin North Stream, are key to Russia’s strategy of maintaining completely secure energy supply to Europe, the point being to insulate the Russian gas export from the risks generated by policy swings in transit countries... The West’s heightened activity vis-à-vis Azerbaijan would bear significant impact on the Karabakh settlement, echo with shifts in the EU interactions with Turkey, and have geopolitical repercussions across the region strategically important to Russia.

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 16.06.2012


 

Non-aligned Movement as a Conflict-Resolution Mechanism

The Foreign Ministerial meeting of Non-aligned Movement last week and its pronouncements particularly in the context of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has revived the old debate whether the body can actually play an effective role in international politics or pass into oblivion as an antediluvian body that emerged as an alternate to bloc politics during the cold war...

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA | 18.05.2012


 

Brussels Continues to Plan Ahead Though Nabucco Faces Major Downscaling

The Nabucco pipeline originally supposed to emerge as a rival to Russia's South Stream and as the first ever direct energy link between Europe and the resourceful Central Asia is about to face a major downscaling. The news immediately grabbed the headlines, but it would be naive to expect that Brussels will altogether abandon its ambitious plan for a southern energy corridor with a gas pipeline traversing the Caspian Sea as the key part...

Aleksandr SHUSTOV | 03.04.2012




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Finian CUNNINGHAM

US ‘Joke’ Intel Belies Knowledge of Real Culprits in Downed Jet

Seriously, is that it? US national intelligence presented its «evidence» this week on the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. Anyone waiting to see a «smoking gun» implicating Russia and pro-Russian militia in eastern Ukraine in the disaster should have been left underwhelmed by the supposed American «killer evidence». Less smoking gun and more like one of those circus pistols that pop out a joke flag emblazoned with the word «Bang!»... So, on one hand, Russia is implicated, while on the other hand «there is no direct link»...  It seems incredible that the US does not have any images of what really happened on that horrific Thursday afternoon. Unless of course, the US is deliberately suppressing that information  to suit a preordained narrative, aimed precisely at trying to implicate Russia over the disaster...

24.07.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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