September 2009

Placating Russia Won't Work

By David J. Kramer

Russian leaders never liked the idea that the United States, Poland and the Czech Republic were cooperating on missile defense to confront an emerging Iranian threat. The notion that two former Warsaw Pact states that Moscow used to control would be hosting 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a corresponding radar facility in the Czech Republic was unacceptable. Kremlin leaders alleged that the system was meant to target Russia, not counter Iran, and they had threatened to scuttle unrelated arms control negotiations with the United States unless Washington backed down.

War Between Russia And Ukraine – A Possibility

By George Bovt

What exactly is going on in Russian – Ukrainian politics? Nobody can give a precise answer nor can they explain what really provoked the strongly-worded statement of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on August 11th, in which he denounced the Ukrainian president for his anti-Russian policy and announced that the new Russian envoy to Ukraine would remain in Moscow for the time being.

The Great Pipeline Opera

By Daniel Freifeld

Inside the European pipeline fantasy that became a real-life gas war with Russia.

When Joschka Fischer's lucrative new job as the "political communications advisor" to a consortium of European energy companies was leaked to a German business publication this summer, there was one comment that stood out. "Welcome to the club," said Gerhard Schröder, an even more highly paid advocate for the other side in Europe's increasingly politicized energy war.

Schröder's remark was short, snide -- and very much to the point. For eight years, the two men had led Germany together, with Schröder ruling as its center-left chancellor and Fischer as his foreign minister. Their long-running partnership had survived a particularly complicated era in post-Cold War Europe, and publicly Fischer had always been supportive, even telling Der Spiegel that Schröder "will go down in the history books as a great chancellor."

Soviet Park Period

By Mikhail Korobchits

Lithuania-Belarus economic forum which will take place in the middle of September in Vilnius and the all at once coming information about Aleksandr Lukashenko possibly visiting it, can be events which will draw the attention of mass media, politicians and observers not only in Lithuania and Belarus. Obviously, the official Minsk will try to build a bridge to the West again, and this time to a very close West. The reporter of euramost.org asked the international observer Roman Yakovlevsky to comment on the forthcoming events.

The promise of emerging democracies

By Nursultan Nazarbayev

The world is remaking itself. Amid pressing economic challenges and multinational security concerns, new alliances are forming. Global commerce along with governments are bringing down borders, opening relationships and creating opportunity. Kazakhstan, like most emerging democracies, is cautiously optimistic, with a pragmatism steeped in the hard lessons of history. Policies have consequences; alliances can liberate as well as captivate. With the stroke of a pen, superpower leaders like Presidents Obama and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia can reverse a decade of tepid relations to put forces and agendas into motion that affect all of us.

Kazakhstan Approaches OSCE Chairmanship As A "National Strategic Project"

By Vladimir Socor

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has instructed the government to form a State Commission on Preparations for Kazakhstan's Chairmanship of the OSCE. Personally chairing an enlarged inter-departmental meeting on this subject, Nazarbayev described Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010 as a "national strategic project." The State Commission should coordinate all aspects of the country's effort, from policy analysis and diplomatic activity to personnel training and public outreach.