Having visited Washington and New York a couple of times in the last months Rumiana Jeleva, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister and now Europe’s potential European Commission Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, spoke to New Europe about the shifting geopolitics of gas and the South East Europe region.
Moscow has reiterated pledges to improve Russian energy security by promising sizable investments to develop its hydrocarbon sector and power supply networks. However, the economic viability of such solutions appears to remain a matter of debate as Moscow’s ambitious plans require huge investments. Russian authorities have long pledged to replace obsolete and wasteful Soviet-era energy technologies and solutions by what officials describe as “energy-efficient” facilities.
After a walkout by opposition Communists, Moldova's parliament failed to elect a president in its second try since November, plunging Europe's poorest country further into uncertainty.
President Traian Basescu has been re-elected in a neck-and-neck runoff against challenger Mircea Geoana. But his rival's party says there has been election rigging and will contest the result.
Serbia is one step closer to its goal of EU membership after the Netherlands agreed on Monday to unfreeze a trade agreement with the former Yugoslav republic, which has improved cooperation with the UN war crimes court.
Climate-change skeptics are barking up the wrong smokestack. The shell game being played isn't with the science, it's with the solutions -- specifically, the carbon emissions targets that enlightened world leaders are pledging to meet. That's where the numbers don't add up.
Considering the rapprochement of Russia and Uzbekistan observed in the middle of the first decade of the ХХIst century, the number of Russian companies, and first of all Gazprom and LUKOIL, managed to become leaders within Uzbekistani oil and gas industry and to “book” a number of biggest gas fields in the Republic being supported by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Sometimes even a symbolic gesture carries a lot of weight, and the US’ decision to station troops and Patriot missiles in Poland, however minimal, is meant to stave off Polish defense fears and save political face.
Foreign policy and political experts assess the president's speech. Below are responses from Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, Matthew Dowd, Meghan O'Sullivan, Gilles Dorronsoro, Douglas E. Schoen, Andrew J. Bacevich, Ed Rogers and Dennis Kucinich.
Foreign ministers from Europe's main security organization met in Athens to try to work out a response to Russia's proposal for a new Euro-Atlantic security pact.
An agreement easing the terms under which Russia supplies gas to Ukraine, reached on 19 November between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine colleague Yulia Tymoshenko, appears to alleviate fears of another gas crisis this winter.
Next year, in accordance with a decision made at the 15th OSCE Ministerial Council in November 2007, Kazakhstan will preside over the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Thus, a former Soviet republic will occupy this position for the first time. Under the circumstances, it would be natural to expect Kazakhstan to do all it can to consolidate its positions on the world arena. Its officials have already announced their intentions to include illegal immigration and drug trafficking on the OSCE agenda, problems that are particularly relevant for all CIS countries.
As the UN Copenhagen climate change summit will hold in December.
Ron Asmus is currently executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center. He is also responsible for strategic planning at the German Marshall Fund of the US.
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko declared on November 16 that the Nord Stream pipeline on the Baltic seabed would not be used for diverting gas volumes away from Ukraine’s transit pipelines to Europe. In effect, this statement acknowledges that the Nord Stream pipeline, from Russia directly to Germany, is not a Ukraine-bypass project.