March 2014

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

By George Friedman

As I discussed last week, the fundamental problem that Ukraine poses for Russia, beyond a long-term geographical threat, is a crisis in internal legitimacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent his time in power rebuilding the authority of the Russian state within Russia and the authority of Russia within the former Soviet Union. The events in Ukraine undermine the second strategy and potentially the first. If Putin cannot maintain at least Ukrainian neutrality, then the world's perception of him as a master strategist is shattered, and the legitimacy and authority he has built for the Russian state is, at best, shaken. 

Frontline NATO: Energy, Science and the Warfighter

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) acknowledged the potential impact of energy security issues in the 2010 Strategic Concept and, more recently, in the Chicago Summit Declaration, which underlined the need to integrate, as appropriate, energy security considerations in NATO’s policies and activities, concentrating on areas where the Alliance can add value and make a difference. Efforts directed towards a significant improvement of the energy efficiency of NATO’s military forces (and at the same time reducing their impact on the environment) were identified as areas to explore.

Publisher: what should Armenians learn from Erdogan

Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took two bold actions: first, he blocked Twitter, a social media site with 12 million users in Turkey, to cover up revelations of corruption about himself and his inner circle; and second, he aided and abetted the Jihadist fighters’ invasion of Kessab, located in the Northwest corner of Syria, bordering Turkey, The California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian writes in his article titled “What Should Armenians learn from Prime Minister Erdogan?”

The Future of Eastern Partnership

By Daria Khaspekova Maria Gurova

The Ukraine crisis has ruptured the talks on Eastern Partnership. We have met Vladislav Belov (RAS Institute for European Studies), Nikolay Kaveshnikov (MGIMO-University), Olga Potyomkina (RAS Institute for European Studies), Kyrill Entin (Higher School of Economics) and András Rácz (Peter Pazmany Catholic University, Hungary) who shared their views on the project's future, EU interests in Ukraine and prospects for Ukraine-Europe cooperation.

Lithuanian Governament’s deal with E.ON could give boost to talks with Gazprom

With the West imposing sanctions on Russia amid the Crimea crisis, the Lithuanian government’s negotiations with Gazprom on gas prices and other supply terms have stalled again, but experts interviewed by BNS underlined the importance of the talks for both sides and some of them said that a deal with Germany’s E.ON to buy its stakes in Amber Grid and Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) would give a fresh impetus to the talks with the Russian gas monopoly.

Ukraine crisis could strengthen Russia-Iran-China ties

By Seyed Hossein Mousavian

Tensions between Russia and the West have simmered since Ukraine’s Russian-leaning president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted on Feb. 21. The crisis culminated when the Crimean Peninsula’s local government, with 60% of its inhabitants identifying themselves as ethnic Russians, called for a referendum on seceding the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. While observers view the current Ukraine standoff as the gravest post-Cold War between the West and Moscow, the impasse over Iran’s nuclear crisis is also considered the greatest challenge to Iran-West relations.