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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


 

Azerbaijan as gas exporter: ambitions vs. reality

...Azerbaijan, which is advertising itself as almost the only supplier of gas to Europe in the future (now via the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline and its European extension in the form of a shorter version of Nabucco), may fail to meet the expectations of the European consumers. The reliability of gas supplies from Azerbaijan is now doubtful.

Andrey ARESHEV | 22.03.2012


 

Escalation Around the Trans-Caspian Pipeline

The developments around the Trans-Caspian Pipeline project supposed to provide an undersea energy supply link between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are about to reach a critical point... An escalation is imminent if drastic steps to advance the construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline are taken. The US, which at the moment intends to shift some of its military infrastructures from Afghanistan to Central Asia, will likely intervene in the conflict...

Aleksandr SHUSTOV | 29.11.2011


 

Shaky prospects for the Eastern Partnership

The meeting in late September of the member states of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) project (initiated by Poland and Sweden and targeting six post-Soviet states – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) showed that Warsaw is still interested in the Euro-Atlantic integration of these countries, especially of the first three ones... Actually, the EaP project is aimed at breaking long cultural and historical traditions which used to unite Russia and it’s the former Soviet republics. The aim is also to let the West expand its military presence in the region, an initiative also launched by Poland...

Vladislav GULEVICH | 07.10.2011




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Valentin KATASONOV

The International Monetary Fund Might Not Live to See Its Anniversary

The latest meeting of the ministers of finance and central bank governors of the G20 countries took place April 10-11, 2014 in Washington. A key issue was the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)... Through their inaction on the issue of reforming the IMF, the United States first and foremost is discrediting itself. And second, the Fund. Third, the G20. The Fund's reputation is plummeting especially fast considering that in recent years China has been giving "third world" countries loans similar in size to those offered by the IMF and the IBRD. But Beijing, unlike the IMF, does not set political conditions in the spirit of the Washington Consensus...

19.04.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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