May 2009

Consultations On The EU Strategy For The Baltic Sea Region Took Place In Vilnius

On 28 May, consultations on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region were held in Vilnius at the initiative of Lithuania and Sweden. Lithuania was represented by Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Žygimantas Pavilionis and Sweden by State Secretary for the European Union at the Office of the Prime Minister of Sweden Maria Asenius. Officials from the European Commission, Foreign Ministries of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Finland and Germany took part in the consultations.

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.