June 2010

The myth of Iran's 'isolation'

By Charles Krauthammer

In announcing the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran, President Obama stressed not once but twice Iran's increasing "isolation" from the world. This claim is not surprising considering that after 16 months of an "extended hand" policy, in response to which Iran accelerated its nuclear program -- more centrifuges, more enrichment sites, higher enrichment levels -- Iranian "isolation" is about the only achievement to which the administration can even plausibly lay claim.

Kazakhstan’s ‘Path to Europe’ Opens the West’s Bridge to Asia

By Roger N. McDermott

Kazakhstan, often perceived in western capitals in terms of its energy wealth or its close relationship with Russia, is undoubtedly an important geostrategic player in Eurasia and in early 2010 became the first former Soviet country to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has elicited speculation and controversy concerning its role and potential.

SCO Sec Gen Muratbek Imanaliev: Problem of security on Eurasian space - crucial for all SCO member states

By Ruslan Suleimenov

As earlier reported, on June 10-11, 2010 Tashkent will host a  session of the Council of Presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Muratbek Imanaliev, Secretary-General of the SCO, told about the agenda of the forthcoming sitting and the threats and challenges the Organization faces today in an interview to Kazinform.

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan study cooperation potential in energy sphere

By H.Hasanov

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, as energy powers, are studying the potential of cooperation in the energy sector, said in the Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Turkmenistan Vahdet Sultanzade's report spread by Turkmen media outlets. This report is timed to the 92nd anniversary of the declaration of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic.

Moscow Objects to Patriots in Poland

By Pavel Felgenhauer

US-Russian relations were dominated by the arrival and deployment of US soldiers with Patriot missiles in Poland near the Russian border. The Patriot deployment was agreed between Warsaw and Washington to offset possible Russian threats to station Iskander ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad in response to the deployment of US Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptor missiles in Poland and the BMD radar in the Czech Republic. Last September, US President, Barack Obama, scrapped existing BMD plans for deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic and President, Dmitry Medvedev, announced that Iskander missiles would not be deployed in Kaliningrad. However, the plans to deploy Patriots in Poland did not change, apparently in order to calm Polish irritation over the BMD reversal and fear of Russia.

The Euro Crisis Is Bigger Than You Think

By Uri Dadush, Shimelse Ali

The eight newest European Union (EU) members (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania) are committed to eventually adopting the euro. But, all already suffer from the problems that dragged the GIIPS—Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain—into crisis: lost competitiveness, widening external deficits, and deteriorating public finances. However, the “peggers”—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Bulgaria, who have fixed exchange rates—are in much worse shape than the “floaters”—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

UN prosecutor still critical of Serbia and Croatia

By Zeljko Pantelic аnd Augustin Palokaj

A highly anticipated report by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serge Brammertz, on Serbia's and Croatia's cooperation with the court appears less positive than both countries were expecting. But it might just be enough to allow them to move another half step down the path towards EU integration.