August 2012

Polish Missile Defense Plan Puts Poland First

In an August 6, 2012 interview in the Polish weekly Wprost, President Bronislaw Komorowski stated that Poland is prepared to create its own  anti-aircraft and missile defense system as part of a NATO shield. While some saw the statement as a rejection of U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed missile defense system, others viewed it as a sign of  Poland’s weakening military alliance with the United States. Both arguments are misleading.

«We Intend to Proceed Enhancing Close Cooperation with Kazakhstan» — the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Kazakhstan Norbert Jousten

By Muratbek Makulbekov

The European Union is the most important partner of Kazakhstan on provision of financial and technical granting aid. This year it is 15 years since the Delegation of the European Commission had been opened in Kazakhstan. On the eve of the anniversary the Head of the Delegation Norbert Jousten during the talk to our reporter told about their achievements and about their future plans

Gabala radar station is not worth a brass farthing?

By Arthur Pryjmak

In late 2012, the lease term of Gabala radar station expires. Azerbaijan insists on inherently disadvantageous for Russia conditions of the contract extension. Previously Moscow paid Baku $ 7.5 million per year, but now Baku demands $ 300 million. At the same time, the lease term reduces from 49 to 7 years. Russian Defense Ministry, in order to optimize costs, has decided to close the Russian sector of the school and hospital, sending families of the officers away from Azerbaijan. The officers' wives took it as a disaster and began to appeal to all authorities. One of the recipients was the military commentator of "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" Viktor Litovkin. GTimes reporter spoke with him on the problems of the Gabala radar station.

Turkish interests in the Caucasus

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By Andrey Barinov

In recent times, the role of Turkey is growing in the Middle East due to the Syrian events increasing the general tension in the region. It is no secret that Turkey has an interest in spreading its political influence on neighboring sub-regions, for example in the South Caucasus or Central Asia. Such directions of Turkish geopolitical development are not new in the history of the country. At the same time, and it is very important, motives and reasons for them are different. In the early 20th century political development of the Ottoman Empire was defined by a difficult complex of internal contradictions and external disability; but today revival of old ideas is initiated by the economically, politically and military strong country.

New Foreign Policy Strategy Paper Codifies Uzbekistan’s Reluctance Toward Restrictive Alliances

By Zabikhulla S. Saipov

The Lower Chamber of Uzbekistan’s Parliament – the Oliy Majlis – approved the country’s own national security strategy, “The Concept Paper on the Foreign Policy Activity of Uzbekistan.” One of the essential elements in this articulated strategy is the position not to take part in any politico-military blocs (News.olam.uz, Mir24.tv, August 1). In light of Tashkent’s earlier decision to suspend its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) (see EDM, July 11, 18), Uzbekistan is sending a clear signal to the parties concerned that it is not going to restrict itself to an alignment with any single great power. It may also underline Tashkent’s long-term desire to eventually assume a regional leadership role in Central Asia.

Partners or rivals? Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe

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Today China holds 1/3rd of the world’s currency reserves. By 2030, the Chinese economy will surpass the United States, becoming the world’s largest market.  Between 2007 and 2012, the Chinese economy grew by close to 60 percent; emerging Asia as a whole by almost 50%. Over the same period, economies of high income countries have grown by a mere 3%. Clearly the world is undergoing profound changes.

Major initiator of a nuclear-free world

By Alina Kantor

On August 29 the world celebrates the International Day against nuclear testing. Exactly 20 years ago there was an event, which overturned the course of modern history - the largest nuclear test site – Semipalatinsk test site was closed. For the first time Kazakhstan, a nation possessing the world’s fourth largest nuclear capacity - abandoned it. August 29 should remind the world about the threat to the existence of mankind.