April 2010

Georgian President On U.S. Aid, Nuclear Summit

Mikhail Saakashvili, the president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, is in Washington this week for the Nuclear Security Summit. After Georgia's 2008 war with Russia, the U.S. pledged a billion dollars in humanitarian aid to Georgia, which has sent troops both to Afghanistan and Iraq. Robert Siegel talks to Saakashvili about the nuclear summit, and about U.S. aid to his country.

Lithuanian And Norwegian Foreign Ministers Discussed Bilateral And Regional Cooperation At A Teleconference

Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis and Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre, who could not come to Lithuania due to the cancelled flights in Europe, discussed issues of bilateral relations, cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, economy and international security during a teleconference that was held on 19 April.

Is A U.S. Strategy For Central Asia Emerging?

By Stephen Blank

The U.S. has started to formulate and implement more comprehensive policies for Central Asia. The deepening involvement in the war in Afghanistan is the principal, but not sole cause for this policy initiative. Russia’s attempts to impose its hegemony upon Central Asia and oblige the U.S. to recognize it have triggered a reaction in Washington. Likewise, China’s completion of the pipeline to Turkmenistan and major investment projects in Central Asia forced the U.S. to devise new ways to enhance its energy and economic profile there as well. As a result, in early 2010, we now see the elements of a new and stronger policy initiative towards Central Asia.

Ukraine's Energy Reform Opportunity

By Alexandros Petersen and Tamerlan Vahabov

The 2010 Ukrainian elections have been consigned to history books.  The election season and the winter passed without a major Ukrainian natural gas crisis, and a major gas cutoff, such as occurred in 2009, was avoided.  However, the ingredients for future crises remain. Energy reforms, in particular those in line with European Union recommendations, have yet to be enacted.

Russia’s Role in Kyrgyzstan Change

By Erica Marat

Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, was the first foreign political official to recognize the legitimacy of Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government. In stark contrast to the US State Department’s awkward statements about Washington’s intention to continue to cooperate with the Kurmanbek Bakiyev government that has not yet resigned, Putin scored credit among most Kyrgyz who were shocked by the recent violence in Bishkek. Putin’s recognition provided crucial support for the bravery and efforts of all those who stood against Bakiyev’s regime and dared to challenge the armed police.