December 2013

A Hazy Future for European Integration

By Nikolay Mezhevich, Doctor of Economics, Professor at Foreign Relations Department, St. Petersburg State University

While Eastern Partnership is not likely to have been originally intended by the EU as a new European watershed, by 2012-2013 it can be viewed as an inadequate response to the obvious achievements of post-Soviet integration that have led to the establishment of the Customs Union.

Azerbaijan After Vilnius Summit: More Questions than Answers

By Anar Valiyev

On November 29, Azerbaijan and the European Union signed a visa-facilitation agreement in Vilnius, Lithuania, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership summit. The agreement was signed by the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, by Linas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in his capacity (July 1–December 31, 2013) as President of the Council of the European Union, and by Stefan Fule, the EU’s commissioner with responsibility for enlargement and the European Neighborhood Policy (Contact.az, November 29). The agreement will help Azerbaijani citizens to obtain an EU visa more easily and more cheaply. 

Global recession from West to East

By Pr.Kamran Dadkhah, Senior Economist

There seems to be pessimism in the air regarding the economic prospects of the West and by extension the world. In its recent report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revised downward its estimates of growth for many countries. It lowered the overall growth rate forecast of the Euro Zone for 2013 and 2014 each by 0.5 per cent. For the entire OECD, the forecast has been lowered by 0.6 per cent for 2013 and 0.2 per cent for 2014.

Exclusive: Iran’s Foreign Minister Says Sanctions Would Kill Nuclear Deal

By Robin Wright

In a wide-ranging interview with TIME in Tehran , Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif spoke to writer and Iran expert Robin Wright about how the Geneva nuclear deal came together, how the government has to appeal to Iran’s own parliament not to undermine the interim pact, and how any new sanctions passed by the United  States Congress would kill the deal.