February 2014

Kazakhstan delegation presents the country's anti-nuclear initiatives at an international conference in Mexico

A Kazakhstan delegation presented the country's position on the need for further coordinated efforts of the international community to reduce nuclear weapons during the 2nd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, held in Nayarit, Mexico on February 13-14.

NATO Secretary General praises Georgia’s reform efforts

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Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visited NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (5. February) for the first meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission this year. The NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, thanked Georgia for the outstanding role in NATO operations and praised Georgia’s efforts in implementing important reforms. “Georgia is a strong and committed NATO partner. You play an outstanding role in our operations. You are implementing important reforms. And today we see a more mature democracy in your country, after free and fair presidential elections last year”, the Secretary General said. 

Political analyst – Failure of the Eastern Partnership Forces the European Union to Maneuver

With the help of the “European Package” the European Union is trying to make a field for maneuvers after the failure of the Eastern Partnership program. This was stated for the IA REGNUM reporter by the leading expert of the Military and Political Studies Center of the Moscow State International Affairs Institute Mikhail Aleksandrov.

Time for Natural Gas Diplomacy

By Brittney Lenard, Yevgen Sautin

The United States is undergoing one of the quietest economic revolutions in history. Unthinkable only a few years ago, the shale gas revolution has drastically reduced domestic natural gas prices, making it possible for the U.S. to shutter heavily polluting coal plants, reduce the overall carbon intensiveness of our economy, and spur domestic manufacturing and petrochemicals industries. While the domestic benefits—and possible environmental costs—of this revolution have been the subject of vigorous public debate, relatively little attention has been paid to the immense geopolitical and economic potential for the United States if it were to ease its stringent rules that effectively prevent liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to countries without free trade agreements with the United States.

Hostages of Dayton

By Aleksandr Golubev

The end of the last week was marked for Bosnia and Herzegovina with unprecedented flash of street violence. All commentators note that the kind of situation has not been suffered through in the country since the end of the war in 1995. During protest actions hundreds of people were injured – police as well as those who came out to reveal their anger in the street. During those several days of confrontation several regional administrations were crushed, and the Presidential palace was set on fire. As one of the activists Darko Brkan smartly noted, Bosnia and Herzegovina “collective mental breakdown”.

No Olympic truce: Obama, Hollande rip Russian policy

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By Ben Wolfgang

President Obama and French counterpart Francois Hollande said Tuesday that they are united in backing rebel forces in Syria’s civil war and charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the blood of Syrian people on his hands. The unusually pointed criticism comes in the midst of the Sochi Winter Olympics, a pet project of the Russian leader and a gathering that traditionally has muted international disputes while the Olympic torch was lit. 

Kazakhstan Looking to the West to Ease Dependence on Russia

By Georgiy Voloshin

On January 22, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived in Davos to attend the 44th session of the World Economic Forum and held a number of bilateral meetings. These included, among others, private conversations with high-level officials of the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) (Tengrinews.kz, January 22).

A More Assertive German Foreign Policy

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By George Friedman and Marc Lanthemann

The Ukrainian crisis is important in itself, but the behavior it has elicited from Germany is perhaps more important. Berlin directly challenged Ukraine's elected president for refusing to tighten relations with the European Union and for mistreating Ukrainians who protested his decision. In challenging President Viktor Yanukovich, Berlin also challenged Russia, a reflection of Germany's recent brazen foreign policy.

Ukraine’s Ongoing Trial by Fire

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The situation in Kiev is tenser than ever, made no better by foundering talks between President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the opposition. These refused to accept offers he made on January 25, dismissing them as delaying tactics. They continue to demand his resignation and new elections. But Yanukovych remains intractable. Fronts have hardened completely. Violence has escalated. DGAP expert Maria Davydchyk comments on Ukrainian power relations and the EU’s potential as mediator.