February 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Visits Bishkek

By Erica Marat

During his visit to Bishkek on February 2, Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with Kyrgyz President, Roza Otunbayeva, and the head of government, Almazbek Atambayev. The meeting yielded a number of important political and economic results. By the end of 2011, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey will have a visa-free regime. Erdogan promised the funds will be transferred as early as next month. Erdogan will also encourage up to $450 million in investment.

The euro crisis shows starkly that power in the European Union has shifted from France to Germany

When the financial crisis erupted in September 2008 President Nicolas Sarkozy was quick to seize the European lead. He summoned Britain’s Gordon Brown to emergency talks in Paris. He urged Europeans to stimulate their economies. He taunted Germany’s Angela Merkel for hesitating over a stimulus plan, declaring that “France is working on it; Germany is thinking about it.” The French counted at least as much as the Germans—indeed, they were setting the pace (in part fortuitously, as France held the European Union presidency at the time).

Experts: Lithuania Is the Only Baltic State with Ambitions

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Russia has no long-term strategy concerning Lithuania and Baltic states in general. Energy and history – these are two issues, which could become a platform for relations development. These are the ideas of the experts of Russian Center Carnegie Andrey Riabov, Lilia Shevtsova and Maria Lipman. According to the experts, among Baltic states only Lithuania has ambitions within not only regional level, but whole Europe. After the meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis, experts answered the questions of Lithuanian reporters.

Will the new US-Russian arms treaty blunt the nuclear threat?

By David E Hoffman

On 15 January 1986, the Soviet Union's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, introduced Kremlin plans to eliminate all of the superpower's nuclear weapons by the year 2000. The proposal was visionary, but also a bit of a propaganda ploy. One that immediately caught Ronald Reagan's attention. Later that day, when Secretary of State George Shultz went to the White House, Reagan asked him: "Why wait until the end of the century for a world without nuclear weapons?"

U.S. Blocking NATO-CSTO Cooperation

By Joshua Kucera

NATO's General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen was ready to propose new cooperation between NATO and the Russia-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) -- until the U.S. intervened to thwart Rasmussen's initiative. That's the suggestion of a U.S. State Department cable, released by WikiLeaks via the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

Easing EU Dependence on Russia

By Alessandro Torello

After a trip to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan just a few weeks ago to boost support from those governments for the “Southern Corridor” to bring gas to Europe (while avoiding Russia),  José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, is organizing a dinner in Brussels on Thursday to promote the “North-South Corridor.” That’s a day ahead of a European Union summit on which the bloc’s energy strategy is the first thing on the agenda.

Transformation in Egypt: With or Without Mubarak? – Middle East Quartet Meets in Munich

By Adrian Oroz

It is one thing if the Tunisian dictator flees. It is quite another if the regime in Egypt is shaking. The implications of the transformation in Egypt for the entire Middle East and beyond can hardly be overestimated, the participants of the conference panel held on Saturday evening agreed.