March 2011

Russian Energy Projects in the Black Sea Reach End of an Era

By Vladimir Socor

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s, March 16-17 Russia visit capped a four-week period of spectacular changes to Russian energy transit projects, in the Black Sea and beyond. During these critical weeks, Russia abandoned the Trans-Balkan  oil pipeline project, which it had planned for more than a decade to form a transcontinental oil corridor, stretching from Kazakhstan to the Aegean Sea. The Kremlin also abandoned (in all but name) the South Stream gas pipeline project, designed to have stretched from the Black Sea into eight European countries. Moscow also had to register the stagnation of the Trans-Anatolian oil pipeline project, designed to connect Kazakhstan via Russia, the Black Sea, and Turkey with the Mediterranean.

The Libyan War of 2011

By George Friedman

The Libyan war has now begun. It pits a coalition of European powers plus the United States, a handful of Arab states and rebels in Libya against the Libyan government. The long-term goal, unspoken but well understood, is regime change — displacing the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and replacing it with a new regime built around the rebels.

Solutions for Russian-Ukrainian Gas Brinksmanship

By RICHARD B. ANDRES, MICHAEL KOFMAN AND MICAH J. LOUDERMILK

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia are not new, but their resurgence bodes ill for European energy security. This latest dispute between Europe’s largest natural gas supplying state and its key gas transit state should be a warning flag to Europe that, despite efforts by the IMF and other countries, the underlying causes of the dispute that left Europe without gas for heating and electricity in 2009 remain unresolved and require European intervention. Below we describe the nature of the problem and propose an approach for addressing one of Europe’s most important energy security problems.

Sinan Ogan on visit of Recep Tayiip Erdogan in Moscow

By Eugene Krishtalyov

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan arrives in Moscow on March 15 on an official visit-This event is to become historic, because the visit will coincide with the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the renewed Russia and Turkey after WWI. The director of the Turkish Centre for International Relations and Strategic Analysis, Sinan Ogan, told the VK correspondent about the visit and its context.

U.S. Helping Build Caspian Navies

By Joshua Kucera

The U.S. is planning to help Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan develop their navies, emphasizing the increasing importance of Caspian Sea security and the possibility of the sea's militarization, with all five bordering countries (including Iran and Russia) planning to build up their strength in the oil- and gas-rich sea.

Building a NATO-SCO dialogue

By Richard Weitz

Since late 2001, NATO has emerged as a major institutional player in Central Asian security affairs. This development resulted from the increased Alliance interest and involvement in Central Asia following the September 11 terrorist attacks and NATO's takeover of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in August 2003. However, the Uzbek government's May 2005 crackdown in Andijan revealed the fragility of the Alliance's relations with the countries of the region. Consequently, NATO needs a new initiative to enhance its position in Central Asia.

Poland’s New Nuclear Ambitions

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski arrived in the United States on Monday for a six-day visit including meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday and with Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman and other officials. The visit is meant to promote the U.S.-Polish alliance and reaffirm Warsaw’s commitment to a close relationship with Washington after lukewarm visits from Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in December 2010 and Defense Minister Bogdan Klich in October 2010, during which Washington refused to give concrete military commitments to Poland.