September 2010

Pipelines and Pipe Dreams

By Matthew Hulbert

Things are looking up for Russia. In late August, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin finally opened a new pipeline exporting East Siberian oil to China. Dubbed the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, or ESPO, the plan is to pump 1.6 million barrels per day toward the Pacific Ocean over the next few years. The rationale is clear. Diversifying supplies to Asia offers Russia the Holy Grail that all energy producers want — leverage over competing consumers in the East and West.

A Strategic Opportunity for Ukraine

By Matthew Rojansky

There are neighborhoods in Kyiv one might easily mistake for Paris, London, or New York: intricately decorated Victorian apartment buildings and townhouses mingle with sidewalk cafes, small parks and monuments, mid-century office blocks, and glass-fronted modern office towers.  And stretching skyward from the crests of Kyiv’s famous seven hills are its unmistakably Slavic monuments—the onion domes and golden crosses of St. Michael’s and St. Sophia’s cathedrals, and the Caves Monastery.

Central Asia’s Perfect Storm

By Kenneth Weisbrode

Dean Acheson, US President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, liked to quote a friend who said that being in government made him scared, but that being out of it made him worried. To those of us not privy to the hidden complexities of NATO’s military intervention in Afghanistan, the situation there – and across Central Asia -- is extremely worrisome.

EU-Russia Partnership For Modernization Has To Include The Modernization Of Russia‘s Attitude Towards Neighbours, Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister Says

At a meeting of the European Union‘s and Russia‘s foreign ministers on 22 September in New York, Lithuania‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis said that Russia‘s attitude towards it’s neighbours had be modernized. Implementation of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization was one of the topics of this meeting.

The “Persian Alliance” and Geopolitical Reconfiguration in Central Asia

By Roman Muzalevsky

August 5 marked the fourth occasion in the last four years that the leaders of the Persian-speaking countries of Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan convened, this time in Tehran, to chart the future of their trilateral cooperation. The meeting, dubbed the “Persian summit,” led to a series of agreements in the area of trade, energy, and transport, reaffirming their joint commitment to bolster regional security.