June 2015

Defence Ministers decide to bolster the NATO Response Force, reinforce collective defence

Defence Ministers on Wednesday (24 June 2015) took key decisions on strengthening the Alliance’s collective defence, including by increasing the strength and capability of the NATO Response Force. “We have just taken another step forward in adapting NATO to our changed and more challenging security environment,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, adding “we are clearly making a lot of progress”.

Tajik Experts Worried by Imbalances in Eurasian Economic Union

Speaking at the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Dushanbe on April 2, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon stressed his readiness to strengthen strategic partnership with Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that Moscow would continue to bolster Tajikistan’s defense potential, both on a bilateral basis and via the CSTO. In years to come, Russia has pledged to provide Dushanbe with military-technical aid worth 70 billion rubles – a timely move due to the looming threat of Islamic State infiltration and snowballing instability in Afghanistan.

Investment into Kazakhstani military personnel will pay off in the future - Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Kelley

Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Kelley, the command sergeant major for U.S. Army Central, arrived in Kazakhstan at the official invitation of the Defense Ministry of the country. On the 12th of June 2015 hel traveled to Schuchinsk to participate in the NCO conference at the Kazakhstani Cadet Corps. The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Kazakhstan organized a press conference with Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Kelley where he highlighted the cooperation between the armed forces of the U.S. and Kazakhstan, participation in the Steppe Eagle 2015 exercise and development of the NCO in Kazakhstan. Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation of the U.S. Embassy Justin Colbert was in attendance as well.

Russia and the Iranian Nuclear Issue

By Nikolay Kozhanov

Growing confrontation between Russia and the West has led some experts to think that Moscow may become less interested in finding a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. According to them, resolving the nuclear issue no longer seems to be in Russia’s interests: a deal between Tehran and the West could entail easing sanctions against Iran and returning Western companies to the Iranian market. This would, in turn, create additional difficulties for Russian businesses in the Islamic Republic: in most areas, the Russians are ill-prepared to compete with European and U.S. companies.27 Further, some analysts have said that settling the nuclear issue would deprive the Kremlin of its status as a counterbalance to the United States and the EU in Iran. Consequently, authorities in the Islamic Republic would lose interest in political dialogue with Russia.

Russia Shutters Northern Distribution Network

By John C. K. Daly

On May 15, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued a resolution closing the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a network of rail and road links across Russia and the post-Soviet space that had provided logistical transit to Afghanistan for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military equipment and weapons since 2008 (Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 19). Given the drawdown of ISAF’s presence in Afghanistan, the closure is less of a logistical problem than it once was. The forces supporting ISAF’s successor—Operation Resolute Support, numbering roughly 12,500 troops from 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and 14 partner countries building up the sustainability of the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF)—have reverted to southern rail routes bypassing Russia, truck convoys through Pakistan and aerial flights for logistical support.

Islamic Development Bank to support Turkmenistan in construction of roads

IDBInformation about the results of the meeting of representatives of Islamic Development Bank on May 18-23 held in Ashgabat was announced by Turkmen government at the session. According to the given information, the participation of IDB in the financing of eight projects on transport sector and support of small and medium businesses for 2016-2018 was considered, reports National News Agency.