March 2012

The Dead-end of “Carrot and Stick”

By Roman Larionov

The story of nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea demonstratively shows that the course of a nuclear bomb development is more significant for North Korea elite than its use for blackmailing of international community. It is explained with routed and regenerated idea with power transition of that in modern world nuclear weapon is the only comprehensive guarantee of non-intervention of foreign forces into domestic political processes in the country. And the stories of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have probably only deepened North Korean authorities within this idea.

See you in Sukhumi

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By Diana Zadura

Viewed from the side it would seem that the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is now closed for business, and what happened cannot be undone. Georgians however did not abandon hope. In the New Year message, President Saakashvili proposed to his fellow countrymen to greet with a greeting ”See you in Sukhumi,” following the model of ancient Israeli, greeting with the New Year greeting, ”See you in Jerusalem.”

The Way Forward: Sixty years from the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO

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By Marina Skordeli

The 60th anniversary of the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO comes at a critical juncture that once again underscores their strategic importance for the Alliance. At the peak of the Cold War, both countries’ geographical position at the underbelly of the Soviet Union rendered them an indispensable part of NATO’s strategic planning, a fact that had dictated their accession in the first place. Together they operated as a natural embankment against any possible Soviet advancement towards the Eastern Mediterranean and the oil rich Middle East, safeguarding at the same time unhindered maritime communication lines. NATO Headquarters and allied installations located there, in close proximity to the USSR, enhanced the reliability of the Alliance’s response to a possible Soviet threat.

Armenia Gears Up for New Nuclear Plant Construction

By Emil Danielyan

Armenia’s government seems to be pressing ahead with its ambitious plans to replace the aging nuclear power station at Metsamor, with a new plant meeting modern safety standards. Having secured Moscow’s support for and participation in the project, the government is now actively looking for other foreign investors that would finance at least half of its construction worth an estimated $4.5 billion.

Kazakhstan’s Socio-Economic Modernization Strategy: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Decade

By Roman Muzalevsky

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the people of Kazakhstan with a statement titled “Socio-economic Modernization: the Main Vector of Kazakhstan’s Development.” In what now resembles an American state-of-the-union address, Nazarbayev outlined ten main priorities that will shape the country’s development in the next decade. Some of these priorities feed on the long-standing agenda of promoting a more diversified, innovative and industrialized economy able to compete in the globalizing world. Others reflect the lessons learned from recent events and the need to better tackle domestic socio-economic challenges that are also increasingly a function of fragile global conditions.

Eastern Partnership Policy

By Živilė Marija Vaicekauskaitė

The Eastern Partnership Policy was officially launched in 2009 following the initiative of the Swedish and Polish foreign ministers Carl Bildt and Radoslaw Sikorski, and was supposed to become the main factor shaping the relationship between the EU and its Eastern neighbors, and contribute to the establishment of a sound EU neighborhood space. However, the 2010 disorders in Belarus, political events in Ukraine and misunderstandings between the EU and Eastern neighbors not only displayed the unbalanced approach of the EU toward Eastern Partnership Policy but also different interpretation of the concept of partnership in both sides. Inconsiderable EU’s economic potential, ineffective democracy in ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the problem of the cost/benefit ratio of Eastern Partnership Policy – all the above issues have raised serious doubts on whether this policy could be considered a true partnership.

Countries of Central Asia deserve reparations from Russia and international community for damage to water resources during the Soviet times, U.S. scholar says

As a legal heir to the former Soviet Union, Russia should feel responsible for the serious damage to the water resources in Central Asia inflicted by huge irrigation projects during the Soviet era, according to a renowned U.S. expert on the region, reported Silk Road Newsline.

The Coming Mediterranean Energy War

By Julia Damianova

A significant gas find offshore has propelled hopes for brighter future in the Mediterranean. For the Republic of Cyprus, it came as a blessing amid the deteriorating Eurozone crisis. The rating agencies had downgraded the Greek-populated southern part of the island four times in 2011 to its current Standard & Poor's rating of BB- because of unhealthy links with the defaulting Greek financial system.