December 2011

Grigol Vashadze: We are Concerned with the Plans of Moscow to Rebuild the USSR

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

“We are highly concerned about the plans of Moscow to rebuild the Soviet Union”, - declared the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze during the interview for DELFI. He has also assessed positively the Chairmanship of Lithuania in the OSCE. According to him, the issues of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have little progress, but it is not yet possible to solve them fundamentally.

Russia Threatens to Kill NATO War in Afghanistan

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By Alex Newman

Following the Pakistani government’s recent decision to shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan indefinitely, Russian officials upped the ante by subtly threatening to close off northern routes for the occupation if the U.S.-led military alliance refuses to back down on a proposed missile defense system in Europe. According to analysts, such a move by Russia at this point would either spark a new war or force a rapid withdrawal of supply-starved Western forces from the region.

Vilnius Ministerial Council concludes with decisions to strengthen responses to conflicts and transnational threats, engagement with Afghanistan and other Partner countries

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The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, highlighted the progress achieved at the Vilnius Ministerial Council and urged the 56 OSCE participating States to build on the decisions taken and address the challenges raised at the meeting, which concluded today.

The Polish-German Tandem

By Andrzej Turkowski

On November 8, the Polish and German foreign ministers, Radoslaw Sikorski and Guido Westerwelle, issued a joint letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and representatives of other member states calling on the EU to revamp its relationship with Russia. While hard to imagine just a few years ago, the joint penning of the letter represents a milestone in the two countries’ common policy toward Moscow.

Russian-Georgian Compromise Finally Permits Russia’s WTO Membership

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By Richard Rousseau

The last remaining hurdle to Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) now appears to have been cleared, as Russia’s chief WTO negotiator, Maxim Medvedekov, announced on November 3 that Moscow has accepted a last-minute membership compromise. Thus, Russia has taken another significant step away from the closed, Soviet type centrally planned economy and toward full integration into the international community.

Osce Ministerial Council Opens With Call To Address Transnational Threats, Protracted Conflicts, Strengthen Engagement With Partners

Ensuring security in the OSCE region requires further efforts to tackle transnational threats, prevent and resolve conflicts, and engage meaningfully with partners in the Mediterranean and Asia, foreign ministers of the 56 OSCE participating States heard at the start of the 18th OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius today. In the meeting, Ministers discussed the need to reinforce the OSCE's efforts in all of these areas, with a view to realizing the common vision of a Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community.

Interconnections with European networks – guarantee of energy security for the Baltics

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President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the meeting of Presidents of the Baltic States in Estonia. Discussing the goals and new challenges of the Baltic States the Presidents underlined that energy security and the ending of energy isolation of the region was currently a key priority for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The United States and China: friends under compulsion

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By Stanislovas Stasiulis

The United States and China could be considered the two super powers, but one is dealing with the financial crisis and seeks to keep its dominant position in global politics, and the other pursues economic growth and expands its military power. This impression occurred during the summer discussions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, when budget deficit problems were solved by raising the U.S. debt ceiling by several trillions dollars, and when the ratings agency Standard & Poor‘s downgraded the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from its top rank AAA. China criticized the economic policy pursued by the White House.