Lithuanian representative to the European Parliament Vitautas Landsbergis criticizes the communiqué of the European Commission on Eastern partnership, as this document omits the issue of member-states security. On January 20th EP Сommittee on Foreign Affairs together with authorized General Director of the EC RELEX Directorate-General Eneko Landaburu discussed a new communiqué on Eastern partnership.
Obviously, gas war in its current progress is a next knock-down of the “Putin’s Russia”.
As still there is no other political Russia, each of the kind of strike should be assessed differentially. As well it should be considered weather it damages the dead-end Putin’s model or the statehood itself?
On January 15th Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili declared to reporters, that Georgia will refuse to prolong the OSCE mission in Georgia, provided it demands to violate territorial integrity of the country. “It’s important for us to save OSCE mission in our country. But there are more significant values, fundamental principles like territorial integrity. So we’ll never accept the mandate that would ruin these principles. If Russia changes its decision and chooses the formulation, that would not violate these principles, we’ll agree on it. But we disagree with purely formal presence of the OSCE mission with another name and format”, - stated Iakobashvili.
Recent legislation to tackle religious extremism in Kyrgystan is a pretext for targetting Evangelicals and religious minorities. State propaganda has created popular hostility towards non-Muslims. Tackling this situation requires inclusive rhetoric from local leaders and the curbing of anti-westernism.
Greek OSCE Chair pledges to be honest broker, forge stronger ties among States in time of challenge.
The OSCE is well placed to address Europe's changing geopolitical challenges in a time marked by crises, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, said today in her first address to the Organization's 56 participating States.
Legal amendments bolstering the power of the Turkmen parliament went into effect January 13 after being published in the government-run newspaper, Neutralny Turkmenistan.
Widely monitored unprecedented gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia, resulting in grave energy crises in Europe, has become not only one of the most acute crises in the relations of the two former USSR states. It appeared to be an alarming sing for CIS countries, political ideology of which is primarily oriented on West European values. And economic interests above all are lying in the most receptive and solvent European market.
First Vice-President of the European Parliament Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou speaks to New Europe.
The year 2008 will be remembered for its oil price volatility. Crude prices have plunged by as much as 70 percent below USD 40 since reaching all-time highs of USD 147 a barrel. This marks the highest ever prices for oil, followed by the lowest prices in four years. OPEC ministers agreed on December 17, 2008, to remove an additional 2.2 million barrels of crude from the market starting in January 2009 the deepest single cut it has ever made to little avail. The cartel also counts on non-OPEC members Russia, Azerbaijan, Norway and Mexico to compliment the cut by lessening their output. So is two million barrels enough?
On December 3, 2008 the European Commission adopted a proposal by Poland and Sweden on establishing closer ties with six ex-Soviet countries. The new ‘Eastern Partnership’ scheme, which EU member states must yet endorse, will offer a step change in the EU’s relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, plus Belarus, if it embraces democracy.
Russia was defeated in gas game within its own territory. Major states exporting natural gas agreed on presented Russia’s propositions and measures to stabilize gas market. Nevertheless they refused to give the leading role to the Kremlin.
But let’s start from the very beginning. Ministers of Energy of 14 states, possessing 73% of world gas reserves and providing 42% of world “blue fuel” production, discussed and adopted a Charter of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). This took place on Tuesday in Moscow “President-Hotel”. Speech of the Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was one of the key events.
Last events in gas industry sphere can acutely intensify political tension around Azerbaijan. Moscow meeting of gas exporters evoked serious anxiety within Western states.
Let’s recall the events: on the 23rd of December Ministers of Energy of 14 states, possessing 73% of world gas reserves and providing 42% of world “blue fuel” production in Moscow “President-Hotel” discussed and adopted charter of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Russian mass media gladly quoted the speech of Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who, considering the fall of oil and gas costs, stated, that the time of cheap energy had past, that importing states should obtain firm guarantees of gas supply; exporting states should obtain guarantees of their “exporting sovereignty”. Referring to transiting states, i.e. still “hostile” Ukraine, Prime Minister only listed the obligations of gas transition without any problems.
In the middle of December Moscow became the stage of another discussions of a topical issue – accomplishment of the program “Kazakhstan way to Europe”.
Comments of Moscow experts on Kazakh program of cooperation with EU can be reviewed in two perspectives: on the one hand it is an attempt to explain why Kazakhstan moves to Europe instead of more conventional way in “Eurasian direction”. The second objective is to illustrate that presidential program has much more deeper and fundamental basis other than simple presidency in OSCE.
It is quite evident that Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe experiences now not the best times. Its summit did not gather for almost ten years already. Because of difficulties of principle the Organization’ Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs during last seven years is not able to adopt Joint Declaration at its annual meetings.
These disagreements are the consequence of the diametrically opposite positions of the West and Russia. In order to make current situation more clear it is expedient to consider in more details the last meeting of the aforementioned Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs that took place in the beginning of December of 2008 in Helsinki.