November 2009

Ukrainian Presidential Candidate Arseniy Yatseniuk’s Foreign Policy

By Taras Kuzio

In 2008-2009 Arseniy Yatseniuk grew rapidly in popularity and was seen as the rising star of a “new generation of Ukrainian politicians,” with some even touting him as “Ukraine’s Obama” who would inevitably prove “pro-Western.” Evidence of Yatseniuk’s pro-Western stance was seen when he promoted Ukraine’s trans-Atlantic integration as foreign minister in 2007-2008, his election in the first five candidates of the pro-Western Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defense bloc in the 2007 elections and his signature (together with President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko) on a January 2008 letter to NATO requesting a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine.

The USA Sets Conditions for OSCE Summit

By Igor Donat

During the hot line, held simultaneously in the Internet, via phone and mobile, replying to the question of the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Yevgeny Primakov about the work within the framework of Kazakhstan Presidency in OSCE in 2010, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev declared about the intention to call the Summit of the member-states of the organization.

Who is going to be the next?

Who is going to be the first to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Belarus or Peru? The delegation from Minsk has studied the situation in Tbilisi, Sukhum and Tskhinval to submit its conclusions to the parliament. At the same time, it became known that the opposition of Peru put forward a proposal to recognize the independence of the two Caucasian republics following the example of Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Azerbaijan Seeks Alternative Gas Export Routes: Sending a Signal to Ankara

By Fariz Ismailzade

“We are interested in exporting our resources through different routes,” Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev stated during his visit to Bulgaria on November 13. On the same day, he paid a short working visit to Sofia to meet his counterpart Georgi Parvanov and to sign an inter-governmental agreement on the transit of Azeri gas to Europe though the Black Sea. This was the third agreement signed with a foreign country during the past month. Previous agreements were signed with Russia and Iran. Analysts believe that these latest developments hint at Baku’s plans to diversify its export options and reduce its dependence on the so-called “Turkish route”.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pipeline

By Alexandros Petersen

Rügen is best known as a popular German tourist destination. But now the Baltic Sea island has taken on a new role as staging point for an energy project that is as ambitious as it is controversial: the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Next spring the first pipeline segments will likely be dropped to the sea floor in a line that will wind through Russian, Finish, Swedish, Danish and German waters—conspicuously avoiding the Baltic states and Poland.

Bridge on the Dnieper

By David S. Plotz

Ukraine is in the news again, this time for its panicked response to a flu epidemic that has claimed over three hundred lives. In many countries, this would simply be a matter of public health, but in Ukraine, where politics is polarized by culture and region, an epidemic is another excuse for partisan wrangling. President Viktor Yushchenko is engaged in an escalating verbal battle with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a onetime ally now angling for his job. A presidential election is scheduled for January 17.