April 2012

Innokentij Adyasov: Does Turkmenistan Have Enough Resources for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline?

By actual freezing of NABUCCO project the attempts (starting from mid of 2011) to rehabilitate already forgotten (for the first time the idea of such gas pipeline was announced in 1996) project of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have intensified. In March 2012 the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov visited Ukraine.  In Kiev for uncovered joy of Ukrainian authorities Berdymukhamedov announced the idea of construction of the pipeline Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia (with optional branch to Ukraine) – Turkey – the European Union (EU) for supplies of gas to Europe by-passing Russia. The capacity of planned gas pipeline should comprise up to 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

The Situation with Investors for Baltic Region NPP Remains Unclear

By Daniil Rozanov

Recently the situation over  the projects of construction of nuclear power plants in Baltic region – Kaliningrad region of Russia, Belarus and Lithuania hasn’t become more clear. Only Lithuania can boast with some successes of its project regarding investments, which in the beginning of April initialed the wording of treaty with Japanese concern Hitachi.

NATO wants to include Central Asian countries in alliance deliberations on future development in Afghanistan - NATO Secretary General

CA-NEWS (CA) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Alliance wants to include a number of Central Asian countries in NATO deliberations on the future development in Afghanistan, reported the Silk Road Newsline.

The Coming War With China

By Mark Thompson

Is China a peaceful nation that only wants to turn out Apple iPads and iPhones? Or is the Middle Kingdom bent on attacking the U.S.? Beijing is the long, and strong, pole in the tent for the U.S. military – and they know it. China is the new Soviet Union, and perhaps it should be.

Ilves in Warsaw: Democratic World Needs Strong NATO

“We, devoted allies in the very meaning of this word, have common interests and common concerns, as well as common actions to settle them.  The last is proved, in particular, by firm support from Poland of the prolongation of NATO mission on Baltic States Air Policing", -- said the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves during yesterday’s and today’s meeting of the Heads of states of Estonia, Latvia and Poland held in Warsaw.

EU Parliament Divided on Shale Gas and Oil

By Margarita Assenova

Potential large shale gas deposits in Europe have raised hopes that the old continent may in the future rely less on oil and natural gas imports from Russia. However, fears of potential environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing and the lack of a clear policy by the European Union have led to the suspension of shale gas exploration in France and Bulgaria in the past year. In April, environmental protests spread to Romania raising concerns that shale gas exploration could be stalled in yet another EU state.

Europe’s Cold War Over Shale

video

The environmental group Food & Water Europe has accused the Polish author of a European Parliament report on shale gas extraction of resorting to “Cold War” rhetoric against Russia to support the industry’s development. In a statement released on Monday, Food & Water Europe blasted the draft report by MEP Bogusław Sonik (European People’s Party) on the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Europe, also accuses the report’s author of anti-Russian bias.—EurActiv, 18 April 2012

Time to get U.S. nukes out of Europe

By Stephen M. Walt

One of the more pernicious obstacles to rational policy-making is the "ratchet effect": the tendency for policies, once adopted, to acquire a life of their own and to become resistant to change, even when they have ceased to be useful. For example, you can be confident that we will all be wasting time in airport security lines decades from now, long after Osama bin Laden's death. Existing security measures may not pass a simple cost-benefit test, but what political leader would dare relax them?

The New Russian Empire

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

In his last major address as Russia's prime minister before retaking the presidency, Vladimir Putin outlined "five priorities" for his third presidential term. His fifth task is to boost cooperation across the Eurasian space, enhancing Russia's global position by having it lead a new effort towards integrating the states of the former Soviet Union. Speaking before the Duma last Wednesday, Putin said, "Creation of a common economic space is the most important event in post-Soviet space since the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Iran's Strategy

By George Friedman

For centuries, the dilemma facing Iran (and before it, Persia) has been guaranteeing national survival and autonomy in the face of stronger regional powers like Ottoman Turkey and the Russian Empire. Though always weaker than these larger empires, Iran survived for three reasons: geography, resources and diplomacy. Iran's size and mountainous terrain made military forays into the country difficult and dangerous. Iran also was able to field sufficient force to deter attacks while permitting occasional assertions of power. At the same time, Tehran engaged in clever diplomatic efforts, playing threatening powers off each other.