August 2015

Southern Gas Corridor’s Advances Cool off Energy Cooperation Between Italy and Russia

By Emanuele Scimia

The European Union–backed Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project continues to gain traction against the Moscow-led Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline initiative. The game-changer in the Euro-Russian “battle” for pipelines and energy hubs could be the participation of the major oil and gas producers Iran and Turkmenistan in the planned European energy infrastructure scheme. In this fast-changing scenario, Italy may be prompted to expand its engagement in the SGC and sacrifice part of its long-standing business cooperation with Russia.

Enhanced cyber defence cooperation in the South Caucasus and Black Sea region

Critical infrastructures and government services rely increasingly on Information Technology (IT) and this dependence has raised concerns about the vulnerability of such infrastructures to cyber threats. As cyber attacks become more prominent and conventionally used, new defence strategies, adaptive approaches and enhanced cooperation are required.

Dangerous developments on Turkey's southern border

By İhsan Bal

Ending in complete failure, the Arab uprisings that broke out in 2010 throughout the Middle East gave place to a new wave of resistance. With the defeat of the massive movement that sought to bring authoritarian governments of the region to account, harmless street demonstrators initially mobilized in pursuit of justified demands were gradually replaced by wild and unruly organizations expressing themselves with extreme rage and enmity. These violent organizations attracted sympathizers and recruited numerous militants by hijacking the dreams of a segment of the people who previously lost their hopes as a result of their failed attempt at revolution. In the process, dozens of unconventional entities which capitalized on irregular forces and emphasized different ethnic and sectarian identities, among them some “mutated” versions of Al-Qaeda first and foremost, came to prominence in the field. At this stage, we see that these groups have been drawn into a serious power struggle, also among themselves.

Information security – New Challenges and Georgia

By Levan Avalishvili

By one of its definitions, hybrid war involves classical military actions, as well as undermining activities, energy, economic and finance warfare and, most importantly, information warfare. This is the kind of hybrid war that Russian Federation is waging  against Ukraine. However, in one of his articles, the Russian expert, Andrey Ilarionov mentioned, that rather from being just a conflict between two countries, the war between Russia and Ukraine is a full-scale confrontation between the West and Russia. Unfortunately, Georgia found itself on the front line of this fierce confrontation between civilizations and has hence become one of the hotspots of information warfare.

COURTS WITH RARE SENTENCES

By Mélissa Ellenberg

At the site of the Swiss authorities, it is high time to reflect on the main domain confederation - its image. The gradual transformation of the center of the laundering of criminal proceeds entails the transformation of Geneva to the capital of the underworld.

European Energy Security Should Remain a U.S. Priority

By Douglas Hengel

Why does the United States care so much about Europe’s energy security? This question comes up regularly on both sides of the Atlantic, at times with a feeling that U.S. policymakers worry more about energy security in Europe than even the Europeans do. The standard Washington response is that the United States and Europe share a mutual energy challenge. As NATO allies, energy security affects collective security; and a Europe that is not energy secure will be a weaker U.S. partner in addressing global challenges. Do these arguments hold water, however?

All Alone: Russia near Europe

By Viktor Denisenko

In the current political discourse everything is measured in geopolitical victories. Such an approach also correlates with a mythologized concept of victory in the Great Patriotic War. Seven years ago Russia celebrated victory against Georgia, and later geopolitical victory against the Western world which swallowed in silence the fact that Russia ignored the Medvedev – Sarkozy plan and recognised the ”independence” of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. One year ago Moscow celebrated even more important victory – the occupation of Crimea. Later efforts have been made to promote the project ”Novorussia”, but the Kremlin didn’t manage to fully realise this idea. It seems that the period of Russia’s geopolitical victories has expired, and without new victories it will eventually experience the abstinence syndrome.