February 2012

EU's geopolitical improvidence towards Turkey and Ukraine

By Maksym Khylko

European bureaucrats are clearly not keeping pace with the geopolitical dynamics of the modern world. While the U.S. and China are expanding their spheres of influence in the Pacific, and Russia is working to create a Eurasian bloc, the EU actually fell out of big geopolitical games, limiting the expansion of its own influence and being fully concentrated on the internal redistribution of political and economic powers. Ignoring the European aspirations and foreign policy ambitions of Turkey and Ukraine, the EU shows geopolitical improvidence, limiting its own ability to conduct more effective policy in the Middle East and former Soviet space.

Dialogue of the deaf between Vilnius and Warsaw

Outsiders find the polish-lithuanian spat the most incomprehensible in europe. How come two countries with so much common history and so many common interests get on so badly? Is it just the appalling personal chemistry between some senior officials? Or is it, absurdly, about spelling? Poles in Lithuania want to spell their names using letters like ł and ę in official documents. (We can't use them, or most other diacritics, in the print edition of the Economist because our typeface doesn't have those characters).

EU-Russian Gas Relations in Perspective: Challenges and Opportunities

While the Arctic region represents a seminal opportunity to move closer to a Euro-Atlantic Security Community, other aspects of the energy equation are more open-ended. Given the elaborate interdependence of European gas and oil consumers and Russian and Caspian gas and oil suppliers, if these issues are addressed constructively, a basis should exist for cooperation here as well. Still, in contrast to the four decades before, over the last ten years, the tension stirred by gas cutoffs and the jousting over pipeline routes demonstrate energy’s potential role to impede efforts to draw the countries of the Euro-Atlantic region together. Hence, in contemplating  a path to the larger goal, a minimum, first-order objective must be to minimize the possibility of energy relations adding obstacles to what inevitably will be a difficult road.

Yevgeni Satanovski: “Line of Russia in the Context Syria Situation Corresponds its Interests, which Go much Further Syria Conflict Itself”

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The line of Russia in the context of Syria situation, particularly, the intention to block another resolution of the UN Security Council is defined by its interests, which go much further then Syria itself. One of them is for the “rules of game” to be observed in world policy.