As a man who has been watching NATO’s evolution for several decades now, I feel profoundly, although not completely, satisfied with the Alliance’s latest summit in Lisbon.
With the EU struggling to avert economic meltdown, China has a dream opportunity to hammer out some good business deals.
After almost four years of construction, the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline was inaugurated on December 28, 2010. Costing almost $1 billion, the pipeline is already termed by many in Azerbaijan as the “second BTC,” referring to the strategically important Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline built a decade ago to transport Caspian oil to global markets.
Though Armenia is a CSTO member, it successfully cooperates also with NATO. Armenia, represented by the Foreign Minister and Defense Minister, participated in the Lisbon NATO summit in November 2010, as part of which opinions were exchanged with respect to the bilateral relations. Newly appointed NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai commented to PanARMENIAN.Net on the current level of NATO-Armenia relations, outlooks for boosting the relations within the framework of IPAP, as well as the organization’s position on the Karabakh conflict settlement and the Armenian-Turkish normalization.
It looks like a relatively calm year for Eurasia, the area encompassing the former Soviet successor states at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. For the most part, the region is politically stable and countries will continue to see slow but steady economic growth. Russia and Kazakhstan face elections in 2012, but both are governed by well entrenched soft-authoritarian regimes. Ukraine is stabilizing, but risks remain in Georgia.
Kazakhstan has increased the oil Export Customs Fee (ECF) to $40 per ton. The order was signed by the Prime Minister Karim Massimov on December 30, 2010, and published in the official press on Thursday, KazTAG reports.
The world's largest regional security organization must close its doors in Minsk, after the Belarusian government refused to extend its mandate. The OSCE had criticized the election of President Alexander Lukashenko.
In theory NATO is still supposed to protect Europe from untold dangers. The list of likely aggressors is small--whatever their neighbors say about Germany, Serbia, Iran, and China, none look to be would-be conquerers of Europe. Which leaves Russia.