December 2017

Latest Astana Process Syria talks result in documents on confidence-building measures

By Dmitry Lee

The Dec. 22 8th rounds of Astana Process talks in the Kazakh capital to help de-escalate the conflict in Syria resulted in the adoption of a number of documents in the area of confidence building, as well as saw the reaffirmation of commitment of their participants to seek full elimination of terrorism and strengthen the political process in that country.

"Turkish Stream": Ankara and Europe

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By Arthur Dunn

Negotiations with Turkey on the "Turkish Stream" are not easy - but it is clear that for Russia this project is so priority that it is ready to make various concessions on other issues. In particular, she unofficially agreed with the Turkish army's operation in the Syrian province of Idlib - in order not only to expand its sphere of influence in the north of Syria, but also to prevent the creation of Kurdish autonomy on Syrian territory. Since December 1, the Turkish tomatoes are returning to the Russian market.

HUNGARIAN JUSTICE MINISTER SAYS EUROPEAN COMMISSION EMPLOYING DOUBLE STANDARDS ON QUOTAS

The European Commission is employing double standards against Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland with the procedure it plans to initiate before the European Court on the issue of the mandatory migrant quotas, said László Trócsányi, Minister of Justice, after meeting his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Ziobro, in Warsaw.

Yang Jiechi: Xi Jinping’s Top Diplomat Back in His Element

By Yi Wang

In the new leadership line-up following the recent 19th Party Congress, Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪), deserves special attention as the new arbiter of China’s foreign affairs. His promotion to the Politburo, with the prospect of becoming Vice-Premier taking overall charge of foreign affairs across multiple portfolios, restores the top diplomat’s status to the level once enjoyed by his former mentor Qian Qichen (钱其琛). Yang also paved the way for a more dynamic and open public diplomacy that has been used to great effect, particularly by Xi Jinping.

Beijing games in the gas market

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By D. Rozanov

China, does not intend to limit itself to deliveries only from Russia. In China, the first batch of Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) was delivered in container tanks. Suppliers and buyers consider this export model to be very promising. Over the next two years, Gazprom will create its own gas liquefaction technology, the head of the Russian Ministry of Energy announced after the meeting of the interdepartmental working group on import substitution in the fuel and energy sector.