August 2012

Poland in “Baltic Dimension” of European Integration

By Jan Nalepa

In the end of this March the Minister of Foreign Affairs reported to the Sejm on the program “Priorities of Polish Foreign Policy for 2012-2016”. The list of the main principles, Warsaw is going to follow in its international activity, included a higher level integration into the bodies of the European Union, strengthening of Poland by determination of the common defense policy and accomplishment of the program “Eastern Partnership”, privileged relations with Germany. Among other specified priorities – the liability to maintain own line inside the EU in the number of decision-making countries, enhancement of common defense policy and partnership with the states of Eastern Europe.

Tajikistan – a New Energy Actor

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By Aygul Hanova

Until recently, a solution for the future of economic sustainability in Tajikistan was thought to be dependent on Rogun hydropower plant. However, future of the power plant is still challenged by Uzbekistan’s claim that it will reduce water in this country. The World Bank has not yet confirmed its support in the construction of the power plant. The Tajik government is looking for other investors to proceed with construction of Rogun. The project is crucial for the country where due to an energy deficit, population receives only 2-3 hours of electricity daily.

Terror, coercion and foreign policy

More than ten years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, counterterrorism practitioners, academics and policymakers are still struggling to understand what motivates men who have spent their formative and early adult years in Western urban settings – like London, Toronto, Copenhagen, New York or Madrid – to turn against the countries of their citizenship or residence and attack them.

Kazakhstan Expands Gas Transit Pipeline Capacities and Own Exports to China

By Vladimir Socor

The longest section of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China transit pipeline passes through Kazakhstan’s territory: it measures 1,115 kilometers in length, of the total 1,830-kilometer Turkmenistan-China distance. Kazakhstan is adding a dedicated export pipeline for its own gas exports to China. In combination, these developments (alongside planned oil exports) confer to Kazakhstan a major role in China’s energy security calculations.

Hijabs Democracy

By Ivan Preobrazhenski

The President of Tatarstan signed amendments to the law on the freedom of conscience earlier grandiosely adopted by the State Council of this entity of the Russian Federation. In particular, foreigners are forbidden to found religious organizations in the republic. However, all the decisions made by the power were late. It’s senseless to issue a ban on the way of penetration of “foes” to Tatarstan, when in the environment of local population already occurred people, calling themselves “Mujahideens”, able to take the responsibility for the terrorist attack against the leaders of Spiritual Department of the Muslims of the Republic.

Competitive Caucasus Elections

By Thomas de Waal

A curious election took place recently in the Caucasus. It attracted very little notice but deserved more. In the tiny, unrecognized territory of Nagorny Karabakh—entirely Armenian but still regarded by the world as de jure part of Azerbaijan—an opposition candidate for president did extremely well.