March 2012

State Secretary: U.S. strongly supports idea of TAPI gas pipeline construction

The United States strongly supports the idea of construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. At the same time, Washington strongly opposes meeting of Pakistan's needs in energy resources by constructing pipeline to purchase "blue fuel" from Iran, ITAR-TASS quotes U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying on Wednesday.

Ablyazov Sentenced to Prison in UK for Contempt of Court

By Margarita Assenova

The fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling $5 billion from Kazakhstan’s BTA bank, was sentenced on February 16 to 22 months in prison for failing to disclose his assets and lying under oath to the High Court of England and Wales. Justice Nigel Teare concluded that Ablyazov had breached a court-ordered freeze on his assets, presented “untrue” evidence about property ownership and provided evidence “with the intention of interfering with or impeding the course of justice.” The Justice qualified Ablyazov’s breaches as “deliberate” and “substantial,” describing his conduct as “brazen.” The court has issued arrest warrants, but lawyers of BTA bank believe that Ablyazov, who failed to appear at the hearing in London, may have already fled England (Financial Times, The Guardian, Press Association, February 16).

Rejecting Russia's reality

During his report to Parliament, President Mikheil Saakashvili announced that Georgia is unilaterally ending its visa regime with Russia. Moscow responded to this act of goodwill on March 2, by offering to restore diplomatic relations. The Russian government may believe that Saakashvili's decision is a sign that Tbilisi is accepting the "new reality" of the region, but Georgia is still standing firm behind its demand to see the de-occupation process started before relations with Russia can be normalized.

Georgi Baramidze: “It’s Not Easy to Admit Georgia into NATO. But It Shall Be Worse if it’s not Admitted”

By Vladimir Kravchenko

Mikheil Saakashvili has not that many associates, with whom he started reforms in 2003. Fellows-in-arms leave Georgian President for opposition. They turn from friends into rivals. And often into irreconcilable enemies. Georgi Baramidze – is an exception of this rule of Georgian policy.

Kremlin Seeks to Alarm Southern Neighbors About Cooperating with the Pentagon

video

By Richard Weitz

It is well-known that the aggressive foreign policy of Iran’s clerical regime makes Central Asian governments uneasy. Most obviously, Iran and its Caspian neighbors have a longstanding dispute over Tehran’s expansive claims to offshore energy resources. In addition, the Central Asian states have repeatedly rejected Tehran’s application to elevate its observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to that of a full member. Furthermore, they have limited educational and cultural exchanges with Iranians that could give Tehran opportunities to proselytize radical versions of Islam in Central Asia.

President of Tajikistan and Minister of Armed Forces of United Kingdom discuss withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan

The use of the territory of Tajikistan for the withdrawal of British troops in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) in 2014 was discussed in Dushanbe on Friday by President of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon and State Minister for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom Nick Harvey.