February 2009

Europe should unite against Russia

Maria Ordzhonikidze, Secretary-General, EU-Russia Centre

"The EU should review its perception of what Russian outward-looking economic policies stand for," argues Maria Ordzhonikidze, secretary-general of the EU-Russia Centre.

Historically, Russia's gas monopoly has always been in "perpetual conflict with [European] transit countries for its commodities," the author states. However, she laments that the EU seems yet again "to have been unprepared for what was a predictable sequel to an old conflict".

Will the Atomic Multi-Vector Course of Ukraine Influence the International Uranium Enrichment Centre?

Yana Zausaeva

After much thought Ukraine has finally decided to join the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC), established in 2007 by Russia and Kazakhstan on the basis of the Angarsk Electrolytic Chemical Combine in Irkutsk region. On February 9th Vladimir Putin authorized Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to exchange notes between Governments of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the participation of Ukraine within the IUEC. For Russia this is a start of an important project that promotes its regional and international significance within energy sphere, as the IUEC should assure dual objective: to strengthen the regime of nuclear weapon nonproliferation and to guarantee the availability of the “peaceful” nuclear fuel cycle to the consuming countries. The success of this project mainly depends on the ability of its participants to combine their interest in harmony and proportion.

EU, Russia quietly battle for Eastern Europe influence

A low-key tug of war is developing between the EU and Russia as both sides battle for the long-term allegiances of Eastern European states, according to the president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

 

Central and Eastern European/South Eastern European (CEE/SEE) countries are a major trading and financial partner for the euro zone. The annual surplus in the balance of payments with eurozone countries is estimated at €60 billion.

The European Union, Kazakhstan and the 2010 OSCE Chairmanship

Neil J. Melvin

In the last decade, developing good relations with Kazakhstan has become an ever more important priority for the European Union — driven by Kazakhstan's growth as an energy supplier and the country's rising profile on the international scene. At the same time, Europe has become increasingly significant for Kazakhstan as a leading economic partner and a source of inspiration in terms of providing potential models for the economic, social and political modernization of the country that is advocated by President Nazarbaev.

Astana Chess

Serik Maleev

“Yegemen Kazakhstan” newspaper writes in its front page article “Collective Security Treaty Proved Its Viability”: “Four issues were reviewed during an extended Session of the Leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization member-states in Moscow last week. The first issue referred to the establishment of Collective Rapid Reaction Force …”

Eastern Partnership: The West's Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union

by Rick Rozoff

At a meeting of the European Union's General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on May 26 of last year, Poland, seconded by Sweden, first proposed what has come to be known as the Eastern Partnership, a program to 'integrate' all the European and South Caucasus former Soviet nations - except for Russia - not already in the EU and NATO; that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Norway: Providing Energy Security for Europe

By Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen

Norway will contribute to providing energy security for Europe also in the future. However, we cannot escape the fact that currently there are challenges tied to this statement. This is not least due to the low oil price, high cost levels and the need for technical innovations in the context of a decline scenario.

2008 is the year when oil prices spiked then collapsed, and the world went into recession. What awaits us in 2009? Today, I will say it is a very unpredictable year. But this can to some extent be compensated through careful planning and actions from governments and industry – both separately and combined.

Javier Solana: We tend to believe that security inside Europe is largely "completed"

Dr. Javier Solana Madariaga

"There are many urgent problems that demand our attention. They are captured in the rather ambitious title of our session: NATO, Russia, Oil and Gas and the Middle East: the future of European security. That is rather a lot to cover in a short intervention. Let me first focus on the last element: European security as such".

Biden: A New Era of Cooperation

By Ernst Hebeker

The American vice president starts to outline Barack Obama's new foreign policy in Munich.

The new foreign policy of the United States under President Barack Obama is characterized by the willingness to enter into dialog on the one hand and a consistent call for international cooperation on the other hand. While Biden repeatedly stressed the willingness of the new Administration in Washington to enter into dialog, he warned Iran quite bluntly against continuing with its nuclear course.

Glance at Europe

Ajgul TULEMBAEVA

Just recently many European mass media presented Kazakh program “The way to Europe”, developed in accordance with the Letter of Kazakhstan President “Improvement of the well-being of Kazakhstan people – is the main objective of the state policy”. In respect with the Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan foreign policy, the development of comprehensive cooperation with European countries is a strategic interest of Kazakhstan. We intend to integrate into the process of European cooperation and development, to use to the maximum the potential of technologic, energy, trade and transport cooperation.

«Nabucco»: Struggle Escalates

Energy issues are one of the main subjects of the discussion within plenary session of the European Parliament set on February 2nd in Strasburg. Parliament members focused on general problems of the EU energy policy and the outcomes of gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Speaking to the session, EC Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs stated: “The agreement between Ukraine and Russia was concluded for 10 years and we can expect that it would guarantee prevention of the kind of situations in future. But still I’d like to underline that EU observers remain on the positions to monitor gas supplies”.