July 2012

The U.S. and EU Participate in Trans-border Field Training Exercise with Armenia

The United States Departments of State, Defense, and Energy and the European Commission participated in a series of field training exercises with Armenia and Georgia from July 9-12.  The exercises used realistic scenarios to demonstrate and strengthen notification and response procedures in the event of illicit movement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials.

Ukraine Is Falling Behind Moldova, Georgia and Armenia in European Integration

By Taras Kuzio

In the European Union’s second Eastern Partnership Integration Index (EPII) report, trends evident already last year are continuing. Ukraine is moving “away from its one-time status as the ENP [European Neighborhood Policy] poster child.” This report confirms the EU’s assessment of the first year of the new ENP. “The area of deep and sustainable democracy experienced a further deterioration in 2011,” and “several leading opposition figures, including former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, were subjected to selective justice, characterized by un-transparent judicial processes,” the EPII proclaims.

Afghan and Central Asian Members of Parliament work to strengthen cooperation

A group of 14 parliamentarians from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The visit - organised by NATO Public Diplomacy Division - was part of a long-standing programme of cooperation in the field of public diplomacy between the Alliance and these countries. The group met with representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as with members of the International Staff, including Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy.

NATO nixes Syria action plan

NATO rejected Turkey’s request for the adoption of a contingency plan to include the establishment a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace, which was made during a meeting last week in Brussels after Turkey invoked Article Four of the NATO Treaty in response to Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet in international airspace.

Russia in the Islamic World

By Sergey Markedonov

Why does Russia so stubbornly support the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad? This question is frequently discussed in Western media and political circles. Many American and European analysts consider Moscow’s policy a “phantom of the Cold War” or some kind of dictatorial solidarity. But realism plays a more important role in Moscow’s reasoning than anti-American hostility.