China and Russia deepened their strategic relationship on Thursday by vowing to support each other on core security issues.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan was officially created on June 15, 2001. At the time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, while the secular dictators of the impoverished, weak and corrupt former Soviet Central Asian “Stan” states were panicking. A radical Islamist insurgency, supported by the Talibs and (or) Osama bin Laden then resident in Kabul, could engulf one or several “Stan” states, eventually destabilizing the entire region. The SCO was formed to promote security and economic cooperation to fight the terrorist threat and poverty in the “Stan” states and make them less susceptible to Islamist Salafi agitation.
The German government announced it will shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, calling the move "definite".
During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s recent “Jubilee” summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, the leaders of its six member states pledged to expand cooperation in politics, security, economy and cultural exchanges. What does this mean for American interests?
For Kazakhstan May was full of economically and geopolitically significant developments worth exploring in the national, regional, and global contexts. The country hosted the 4th Economic Forum in Astana on May 3 – 4, designed to assess economic challenges facing the world economy and explore ways of shaping global economic development. It also held the forum of the Council of Foreign Investors, chaired by the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the annual conference of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) during May 18 – 21. It further launched an investment forum in Astana.
Russian Energy Minister, Sergei Shmatko, and Gazprom’s top hierarchy, along with their West-European business allies, advertised the South Stream project at a promotional event on May 25 in Brussels (Interfax, Euractiv, May 25, 26). The European Commission had agreed to be represented at this event, at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s insistence, during the EU-Russia energy summit in February. The Russian side used the intervening months to prepare elaborate presentations of the project and deploy an unprecedented mass of lobbying power. It hoped through this all-out effort to demonstrate South Stream’s viability, neutralize legal objections to it within the European Union, and obtain EU financial backing for the South Stream project. Meanwhile, Putin and Shmatko had cast fresh doubts on this project by proposing a switch in the transportation mode, from pipeline to LNG, across the Black Sea.
India's defense relations with Russia have hit a bit of rough weather with Moscow canceling two important bilateral military exercises in recent months.
US President Barack Obama’s major speech on the consequences of the Arab Spring is also a challenge for Europe. Only if the trans-Atlantic partnership proves effective, as it did to meet the demands of the Cold War and the end of Europe’s division, can the West contribute to realizing the hopes engendered by the Arab uprisings.
In principle, both Russia and the United States have endorsed cooperation on missile defense. Absent cooperation, the two countries are unlikely to make further progress on reducing their still bloated nuclear arsenals.
The isolated former Soviet nation of Turkmenistan is likely sitting on top of the world's second-largest gas field, British energy auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates said Wednesday.
Socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before Europeans’ eyes.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's party has won parliamentary elections. But results show that his AKP will fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to rewrite the constitution without other parties' cooperation.
Despite its vast resource base and its formal assurances of its reliability as a partner, Moscow has already proved that it is willing to hike up oil and gas prices to match the general trend of higher energy prices, engage in anti-free market practices, especially at home and in Europe, and use energy as a foreign policy tool, Ariel Cohen , a leading expert of the Heritage Foundation for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, said in his speech at U.S. Congress on June 2.
As China grows in power and influence, few countries are feeling the effects more than neighboring Kazakhstan.
The Nabucco consortium signed agreements Wednesday with transit countries for a pipeline it is building to bring natural gas to Europe via Turkey, in what it called a breakthrough for the troubled project. The group predicted that the first supply contracts would be sealed by the end of the year.