The United States, the European Union and Russia don’t seem to agree on much these days. But in the volatile South Caucasus, they concur that Armenia and Azerbaijan need to sign an agreement on Friday if they are serious about finding a peaceful solution to the decades-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is frustrated with the failure of his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts to reach a framework agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh and could refrain from organizing more talks between them, one of his senior aides has reportedly said.
Enough talking: for the sake of credibility, countries have to start real negotiations to reform the United Nations Security Council, said Joseph Deiss, president of the UN General Assembly, in an exclusive interview with EurActiv.
Many Austrian businesspeople are questioning investigations indicating that bribery is rampant in the country, a new survey shows.
US President Barack Obama has confirmed that 33,000 troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by 2012, as NATO begins to wind down its presence in the country. France has announced plans to follow suit.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates must want Iran to build nuclear weapons. He didn’t say that directly. But how else should one interpret his latest threat against the embattled Persian Gulf state?
The People’s Republic of China turns to Germany for nuclear expertise as the EU tightens nuclear regulations and the German government votes for a nuclear phase-out by the year 2022.
In a wide range of foreign policy interests of Kazakhstan and assurance of its national interests, special place is taken by the cooperation of the country with Muslim world. This June Kazakhstan takes up the post of the Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), uniting 57 states of Islamic world being the second biggest Organization after the UNO considering the number of participants.
Long-standing “gas” talks between Moscow and Kiev, another round of which shall be held in Ukrainian capital on June 29th is the most significant issue in the agenda of bilateral relations. Ukrainian Government faces a sad prospect – to cover multiple holes in the budget is only possible by reducing gas price, as neither Europe, nor the USA, IMF, World Bank wish to credit Ukraine ”just as that“. Partners demand a real respond and progress at least in reduction of budget deficit. And this again is not possible without re-conclusion of gas contracts. As in January of 2012 the “blue fuel” price has chances to grow up to $400 or even $500 per thousand cubic meters.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won Parliamentary elections June 12, which means it will remain in power for a third term. The popular vote, divided among a number of parties, made the AKP the most popular party by far, although nearly half of the electorate voted for other parties, mainly the opposition and largely secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP). More important, the AKP failed to win a super-majority, which would have given it the power to unilaterally alter Turkey’s constitution. This was one of the major issues in the election, with the AKP hoping for the super-majority and others trying to block it. The failure of the AKP to achieve the super-majority leaves the status quo largely intact. While the AKP remains the most powerful party in Turkey, able to form governments without coalition partners, it cannot rewrite the constitution without accommodating its rivals.
Russia and Qatar are under growing pressure from Europe’s biggest utilities to scrap a 40-year-old system that links natural-gas prices to oil after Brent crude’s 23 percent surge this year.
As Russian and EU leaders met on 9-10 June in Nizhny Novgorod for the twice-yearly summit, avoiding the risk for another winter gas dispute with Ukraine was likely to be discussed between Brussels and Moscow. It’s no secret that Kiev wants to re-negotiate the terms of the gas formula agreed by Ukraine’s previous administration. However, earlier last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that Moscow will not change the gas agreement it has with Kiev. The problem for Ukraine is that the deal linked the gas price to the oil market and, based on the current oil price trend, it’s facing a possible price of $500 per 1,000 cubic meters in the fourth quarter, said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Moscow’s Uralsib bank. The first quarter average price was $264.30.
The presidents of Estonia and Lithuania met this weekend to discuss cyber and energy security.
Created for the purely practical purpose of settling border disputes between China and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has evolved into a major regional and global political player since its founding 10 years ago.
“It is certain that Poland is one of the most pro-American countries in Europe, only that the temperature of that pro-Americanism has fallen,” said Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, in an interview with the Rzeczpospolita newspaper this week.