July 2013

Unjustified developments of renewable energy sources: the danger to be lured into a trap (I)

By Antanas Šutas

Some of the EU Member States decided to pursue the so called nuclear phase-out policy aiming to end nuclear power generation. All this points towards an energy policy which puts renewable energy sources for electricity production into the foreground. Although Germany takes the lead role in this plan, it has already faced serious problems which have been anticipated by experts.

 

The Political Sources Of Kyrgyzstan's Recent Unrest Featured

By Johan Engvall

Recent protests in Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad regions demanding the nationalization of Kumtor gold mine and the release of jailed members of parliament have demonstrated the limited ability of Kyrgyzstan’s central government to enforce law and order throughout the country. There are political sources of this social and economic instability, notably, Kyrgyzstan’s transformation to a semi-parliamentary system of government in 2010 has rooted out corrupt one-family rule but instituted a system of coalition-based corruption, where the country’s major economic, political and territorial assets are divided among political parties with a detrimental impact on their ability to govern the country.

NATO and Europeans

By Arthur Dunn

Back in 2011 the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a public warning, noting that the aggregate reductions in military spending in Europe totaled USD 45 billion, which is jeopardizing the viability of the Alliance and the US-European relations. Since then, bogged down in the Afghan war and faced with the economic downturn and the need to reduce budget deficits, military spending of the EU countries decreased even more. The U.S. share of total expenditures NATO has grown from 63% in 2001 to almost 75% today. Military budgets of the Alliance from 2009 to 2013 declined by about 8.5%, and tend to decrease in the future. If in 2009 the total level of defense spending in Europe amounted to USD 256 billion, in 2013 - USD 234,3 billion of the 28 NATO countries only the United States, Britain and Greece held its own requirements on the amount of military spending at 2% of GDP. Even Britain and France were forced to go on ways to reduce defense appropriations. As a result, last year for the first time Asian military spending exceeded European.

Financial Markets in Central Asia: the Light in the Middle of the Tunnel

By Edward Dzhagityan

The widely discussed post-crisis settlement in the financial sector, the European sovereign debt situation and the Cypriot banking crisis have experts of all kinds riveted to financial issues, while the new Grand Game in Asia is attracting attention from all over. A relatively mature banking sector in Kazakhstan, attempts to overcome uncertainty in Kyrgyzstan and isolationism in Turkmenistan, the obvious dependence of credit institutions in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on administrative interference – these are part of the diverse set of characteristics that inevitably undermine the strategic initiatives of Russian banks, driving them to clusterization in capital and caution. Are there any opportunities being overlooked and are the market risks really that high?

Gazprom Tries to Discourage Europe to Use Ukrainian Underground Gas Storage Facilities

Gazprom’s Head Miller stated that Russia will never pump gas from into Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities (UGSF) whatever beneficial terms Kiev would suggest. It’s noteworthy that on the eve Gazprom decided to grant Ukraine 1 billion USD as the advance payment for the transit which shall be used to purchase gas for UGSF.