October 2012

Play of Positions in Central Asia

By Mikhail Agadzhanyan

The play of positions gradually deploys between Russia, China and the USA in Central Asia. The rules of this game in general are not defined, they are still at the stage of development. But no matter what shape shall these rule take in future, now it is already clear, that three pointed foreign forces are not prone to limit their actions in this region and make them dependent from policy of counterpartners. Positionality of Central Asian play is determined with several unbiased factors. First of all, it’s necessary to note, that all five Republics of the region differ with specificity of the niches taken in general Central Asian composition of interstate preferences and configurations.

Ukraine to Keep Cutting Russian Gas Import in 2013

By Oleg Varfolomeyev

Ukraine haas indicated that a cut in Russian natural gas purchases will be deeper next year than expected thus far, to 24.5 billion cubic meters (bcm). This means that Ukrainian gas imports from Russia will be below contractual volumes for the third year in a row, for which Ukraine may be punished according to the take-or-pay clause in the 2009 contract between Gazprom and the national oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy. Ukraine cuts gas imports saying that it cannot afford to pay the prices set by Russia, but Moscow insists that Kyiv can expect price cuts only if it joins the Russian-led customs union.

A European diplomatic service in quest of a foreign policy

The Lisbon Treaty introduced a major institutional innovation in the field of external relations by creating a common diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS). During the past 20 months this service has progressively been set up. With some 3,000 officials and an annual budget of around €500 million, it is still small but unique in its talents and language skills.

Instead of establishing a dialogue

Journalism is not accidentally called the second oldest profession. Introduction to the so called creative work of some representatives of the creative department causes a strong feeling that all the readers are held for rednecks that do not understand anything. With the certain didactic tone of a press gang at times they write about the events, which either they do not understand, or still taking into account their professionalism, they intentionally and most likely not gratuitously distort the truth.

Perspectives on Poland: A Polish Civil War?

By Jamie Stokes

The shooting of a Law and Justice (PiS) party functionary together with the stabbing of another in Łódź last month prompted at least one newspaper to raise the spectre of a Polish civil war, an analogy that was already being bandied around in the run-up to the elections. The attacks are the latest and most shocking events in a string of increasingly hysterical clashes between conservative traditionalists and modernising liberals. The seismic shock of the Smolensk disaster in April seems to have jarred opened a vault of dark national feelings that nobody suspected was there.