A new survey shows that Americans view Asian countries, not European ones, as the most important partners for the US.
Bishkek and Beijing may soon sign a long-anticipated agreement on the construction of the “China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan” railroad. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev will travel to China to discuss the project’s details. The Kyrgyz government considers the railroad to be an important component in the country’s economic strategy during the next few years.
Most places ignore the inauguration of new energy pipelines, but most places are not Russia, where the control of the flow of hydrocarbons means raw power. Yesterday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inaugurated Nord Stream, a huge gas pipeline linking his country to Germany. It ought to have been an ordinary event, but this 760-mile, $12.5 billion line is steeped in politics -- from Putin's explicitly stated perspective, Nord Stream at last allows Russia to bypass pesky former Soviet Bloc countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine that resist Moscow's will.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson concluded a big oil and gas deal with Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov in the Russian seaside resort of Sochi. The world’s largest private energy company had made the biggest deal in Russian history between any foreign energy company and the largest state-dominated oil company. The signing ceremony was overseen by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who acts as the real chairman of “Russia Energy Inc.,” and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, suggesting that it has Moscow’s full political support. This is a huge success for both ExxonMobil and Rosneft.
“Le Monde” writes about another visit of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to France – the visit which has not been officially scheduled within the visits of foreign leaders to the Elysee. On Monday September 19th Kazakh President was also received in Paris by the President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has proposed building one more gas pipeline across his country instead of the planned South Stream project bypassing it. Analysts say Russia is unlikely to support the idea because its goal is to minimize transit risks for its gas deliveries to Europe.
Moscow and Kiev can’t agree on changes of the “blue fuel” supply contracts into this country and gas transit to Europe. Russia suggested Ukraine to enter the Customs Union and lease or sell its gas transporting system in exchange on price reduction. Ukraine doesn’t agree and tries to attract the European Union on its side. Ukrainian political analysts helped us to deal with the cobwebs of the established situation, having answered the questions: which are the chances for mutually beneficial conflict resolution between Russia and Ukraine on revision of the contracts in force for supply and transit of gas? Is Ukraine able to apply to the Stockholm court? Which are the consequences for the kind of step for Ukraine and gas supply to Europe?
The relationship between Russia and NATO will forever be defined by encouraging steps forward hampered by regular setbacks. But soon, other regional factors may become even more important.
In Latvia, a party backed by the large Russian minority, has won almost a third of votes in a snap election. But its more nationalist rivals may unite to keep the Harmony Party from power.
Japan has been slow to admit the scale of the meltdown. But now the truth is coming out. Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters.
Strategic plans of the representatives of the Euro-Atlantic space "to fasten" raw material base of Central Asian countries to Europe cause negative reactions from neighbors - Russia and Iran, who consider such a scenario inconsistent with their national interests.
The past week’s attacks by the Taliban on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul may not yet have had a psychological impact on the United States, but it does cast doubt on the Obama administration’s claims of progress in the war. STRATFOR CEO Dr. George Friedman suggests the well-planned strike was aimed at improving the Taliban’s negotiating position.
Kazakhstan and Italy are developing a major strategic partnership that is rapidly altering ties between the two countries. For Italy, one of the main and constant aims of Italian foreign policy – regardless of the political orientation of its government – is to guarantee the stability of its energy supplies. Italy imports about 85 percent of its energy.
The region of Central Asia has turned into the crossing of interests of not only regional leaders, but also leading entities of world policy. Contradictorily developing regional system of affairs is observed here. Interesting is the analysis of dynamics and originality of events and processes in Central Asia.
When we reflect on September 11th and other terrorist attacks, whether in London or Madrid or Mumbai, we have to recognise that this is a global issue that affects all of us, making the anniversary of 9/11 "an international day of reflection," US Ambassador to the EU William E. Kennard told in an exclusive interview.