Europe's East

GUAM And “Eastern Partnership”

By Igor Donat

The dynamics of international life of the passing year comprised a sound list of significant events, which are able to give a start for new large-scale transformations as many commentators think. They include – the launch of the “Eastern Partnership” program. This project has called different reactions among the states participating within “Eastern Partnership” as well as in neighboring capitals. The reaction was mainly emotional and unpredictable. It’s perfectly known that for example Warsaw gives a strategic meaning to this project. Moscow also sees a long-term effect, strategy but the aim of this strategy is observed in a different way.

Ukrainian Presidential Candidate Arseniy Yatseniuk’s Foreign Policy

By Taras Kuzio

In 2008-2009 Arseniy Yatseniuk grew rapidly in popularity and was seen as the rising star of a “new generation of Ukrainian politicians,” with some even touting him as “Ukraine’s Obama” who would inevitably prove “pro-Western.” Evidence of Yatseniuk’s pro-Western stance was seen when he promoted Ukraine’s trans-Atlantic integration as foreign minister in 2007-2008, his election in the first five candidates of the pro-Western Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defense bloc in the 2007 elections and his signature (together with President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko) on a January 2008 letter to NATO requesting a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine.

Azerbaijan Seeks Alternative Gas Export Routes: Sending a Signal to Ankara

By Fariz Ismailzade

“We are interested in exporting our resources through different routes,” Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev stated during his visit to Bulgaria on November 13. On the same day, he paid a short working visit to Sofia to meet his counterpart Georgi Parvanov and to sign an inter-governmental agreement on the transit of Azeri gas to Europe though the Black Sea. This was the third agreement signed with a foreign country during the past month. Previous agreements were signed with Russia and Iran. Analysts believe that these latest developments hint at Baku’s plans to diversify its export options and reduce its dependence on the so-called “Turkish route”.

Bridge on the Dnieper

By David S. Plotz

Ukraine is in the news again, this time for its panicked response to a flu epidemic that has claimed over three hundred lives. In many countries, this would simply be a matter of public health, but in Ukraine, where politics is polarized by culture and region, an epidemic is another excuse for partisan wrangling. President Viktor Yushchenko is engaged in an escalating verbal battle with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a onetime ally now angling for his job. A presidential election is scheduled for January 17.