August 2013

Azerbaijan Earns Deferential Treatment from Moscow

By Vladimir Socor

Among the six countries in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, Azerbaijan under its President Ilham Aliyev seems uniquely impervious to Russian forms of leverage and, consequently, unique in receiving respectful treatment from the Kremlin. These two factors are closely connected in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s view of international relations, derived from his own social milieu. Like a neighborhood bully, Putin respects strength while intimidating those more vulnerable.

Bulgarian and Romanian migration: “An imaginary fear”

By Fatma Yılmaz Elmas

The eastern enlargement of the EU in 2004 is acclaimed by many, especially the elites, as the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries “returning to Europe”. Enlargement is encouraged by ambitions of forming Pan-European unity, extending its influence, promulgating the ideas of the free market economy, pluralistic democracy, and democratic values, and preventing conflict between newly-independent countries. However, searching for stability inside and greater effectiveness outside of European elites via Eastern enlargement is in contradiction with that the expansion will be cause of massive influx of migrants. Since, this was the first time in EU’s history that many countries and people in this size would have joined the EU at the same time via 2004 enlargement. In the eyes of the “old Europeans”, the wealth disparity between the old and new members and the more dynamic demographic structure of Eastern Europe might cause massive migration. It’s for this reason that Eurobarometer surveys in the late 1990s repeatedly showed that many Europeans opposed to “big-bang enlargement” feared losing their jobs.

A NEW ROUND OF RUSSIAN POLICY IN SOUTH CAUCASUS

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By Nana Gegelashvili

Held on August 13, 2013 visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of the key countries of the South Caucasus - Azerbaijan and accompanied the President respectable Russian delegation, which included representatives of the first echelon of the government and big business, has once again demonstrated what a tremendous value that this the region continues to be for Moscow. And it is directly related to the extremely favorable geopolitical location of the South Caucasus, especially in periods of high volatility around its perimeter.

DECISION REMAINS FOR FRANCE

By Alina Kantor

In the case around the former head of BTA Bank Ablyazova new twist. Investigation Chamber of the Court of Appeal the French city of Aix-en-Provence refused to meet his request for release from custody. Decisions on extradition, he will wait in detention. According to the lawyer of ex-banker, the court "found insufficient" ensure that the former head of BTA Bank, if released, will not leave the territory of France. In addition, the court "is not sure that the security Ablyazova will be better ensured if he would be released."

A Successful Vilnius Summit: Mission Possible

By Olga Shumylo-Tapiola

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit that will take place in November in Vilnius, Lithuania, is already generating buzz. Set to be a major milestone in the EU’s relations with the Eastern Partnership states, the summit is expected to reach a crescendo with the signing of an Association Agreement with Ukraine. The announcement of the end of talks on or even the initialing of similar agreements with Moldova and Georgia may be additional high notes.