May 2009

The Nabucco Carrot and U.S.-Iran Engagement

By Joshua Kucera

For years, analysts have argued that the Nabucco natural gas pipeline -- a U.S.-backed effort to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, thus bypassing Russia -- needed to accept gas from Iran if it was to be economically viable. But Iranian involvement in the project, which is intended to reduce European energy dependence on Russian gas exports, has been anathema for U.S. policymakers: Washington's efforts to thwart Iran's ambitions have so far overridden its desire to thwart Russia's.

Manas at the Center of Kyrgyzstan's Complex Foreign Policy

By Erica Marat

As Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is seeking re-election in July, he is balancing foreign policy between promises made to Russia and maintaining relations with the United States. Any decision on foreign policy is made with the idea of retaining his power, despite his low approval rating within the country. Thus far, Bakiyev has successfully balanced Bishkek's cooperation with both Russia and the United States.

Zagorski: Tough task ahead for EU-Russia talks

Energy, trade, investment and security will be at the heart of EU-Russia partnership negotiations, Andrei V. Zagorski told EurActiv Slovakia in an interview. The Russian expert predicts that negotiations will be difficult as the EU-Russia relationship is "not going through the best time". But the Russian academic is hopeful that agreement can be struck, citing substantial "mutual interests".