February 2010

Yanukovych Faces Uphill Struggle for Control of Ukraine, Despite Victory in Presidential Election

As expected, opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych has won the February 7 presidential election runoff. Unlike in 2004, when Yanukovych lost a controversial poll to Viktor Yushchenko and his supporters were accused of large-scale election fraud, this time international observers said the election was free and fair. However, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has not recognized her defeat. If Yanukovych fails to form a new coalition in parliament on the spur of the moment in order to oust Tymoshenko from the government, Ukraine will face several months of uncertainty and probably early parliamentary polls.

New Russian Military Doctrine Opposes NATO Enlargement

By Roger McDermott

After several delays, the long-awaited new Russian military doctrine was finally approved by President Dmitry Medvedev on February 5. The document did not include the rumored lowering of the nuclear threshold, despite recent public comments on the issue to the contrary made by the Secretary and Deputy Secretary respectively of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev and Yuri Baluyevskiy.

Kazakhstan Offers to Hold Joint Military Exercises With Turkey

By Roman Muzalevsky

On January 20, the Turkish Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Atilla Gunay, met the Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Zhaksybekov in Astana as part of a series of recent meetings to foster bilateral dialogue. Centered on military cooperation, it came three months after Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Ankara to sign a strategic partnership agreement that emphasized closer military collaboration between the two countries.

M or M (Modernization or Marginalization): Which Future for Russia?

By Dmitri Trenin

Russia’s present dilemma could be described as modernization or marginalization (“M or M”). This is more or less clear to Russia’s leaders. Putin evoked it in his “millennium article” in December 1999; Medvedev’s current speeches and articles echo some of the themes raised by Putin early in his presidency. One can also mention “Putin’s plan” (2007-8), also known as Strategy-2020, as a blueprint for modernization. 

Interview: McFaul On U.S., Russian Stereotypes And His Controversial Co-Chair

The first meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Civil Society Working Group was held in Washington on January 27. The group is part of a larger effort begun last summer by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to reset relations between the two countries and explore new opportunities for partnership. The two co-chairs of the group are Michael McFaul, special assistant to Obama and senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council, and Vladislav Surkov, first deputy chairman of the Russian presidential administration.

Nazarbayev: “Economy first, then politics”

Nursultan Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan as the oil-rich central Asian nation’s president since its independence in 1991. The world’s largest land-locked state is taking a heightened interest in the turbulent region’s problems since it has taken up the chairmanship of the intergovernmental Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Euronews spoke to President Nazarbayev in Almaty.

Javier Solana Receives Ewald-von-Kleist Award of the Munich Security Conference for His Lifetime Achievements

For his outstanding leadership advancing the cause of peace Javier Solana, former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and Secretary General of NATO, will receive the Ewald-von-Kleist Award of the Munich Security Conference this coming Saturday, February 6th. The prize will be awarded for the second time this year. Last year’s laureate was the former US-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

The Russian Factor in Ukraine’s 2010 Presidential Elections

By Taras Kuzio

The Russian factor in this year’s Ukrainian presidential elections is essentially a straw man and far less important key than five years ago. Russian political technologists openly worked for one candidate (Viktor Yanukovych), while Moscow allegedly sought to poison the opposition candidate (Viktor Yushchenko) and President Vladimir Putin visited Kyiv on the eve of the first and second rounds to endorse Yanukovych. Putin congratulated Yanukovych on his “victory” two days after the second round –and one day before the central election commission had released the official results.

Davos: New ways of global co-operation

By Klaus Schwab

The economic and financial crisis of the past year underscored the extent to which, after experiencing the ‘globalisation of opportunities’, we are now facing the ‘globalisation of problems.’ This shift reflects the transformation of a world which has become much more interconnected, interdependent and complex, characterized by many new state and non-state players.