February 2009

Diplomatic Negligence of Moscow

Ivan Preobrazhenskij

Latest achievements of Russian within Central Asia are so significant, that should be widely discussed. This has been the greatest absurdity of Russian diplomacy since its assistance to American colleagues to change the political regime in Georgia, leading Mihail Saakashvili. Just in a month Russia lost its positions in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan that had been gained in recent years due to support, including financial support of these regimes. Instead, Moscow has gained ephemeral victory in Kirgizia in the issue of American military base withdrawal. Thus total Russian influence will remain only in the poorest Central Asian Republic, despite the Kremlin had other plans. Of course, there is Kazakhstan left and the relations in this sphere are firm – but this is not a merit of Russian policymakers, but of the president Nursultan Nazarbaev, who has developed and followed strict international policy course.

Energy security blueprint for the EU's future energy strategy

Drawing on lessons from the recent gas supply crisis, the Industry Committee set out wide-ranging recommendations for the EU's future energy policy in an own-initiative report . It advocated emergency action plans, more grid interconnections among Member States and new climate targets to be achieved by 2050, including raising the share of renewables to 60% of total consumption.

President Soares in interview: A year of great challenges

OSCE PA President Joao Soares (Portugal) recently discussed his priorities for the coming year and his hopes for the new Greek Chairmanship of the OSCE. In an interview for the OSCE PA website, Mr. Soares described what he sees as the greatest challenges facing the Organization and the role of the Parliamentary Assembly in addressing these challenges, particularly when it comes to so-called 'frozen conflicts.'

Other issues discussed in the interview included the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute, the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposal for a 'new European security architecture.'

Here follows the full transcript of the interview.

Russia Approves Belarusian Participation within “Eastern Partnership”

Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the EU stated that Minsk participation within “Eastern Partnership” program won’t disturb close relations between Russia and Belarus. In addition, Russian diplomat stipulated that Moscow “keeps watch over the program thoroughly”. The EU offered six post-Soviet states to join this program.

Сo-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group Issued a Statement on Karabakh Conflict Settlement

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen Yury Merzlyakov (Russia), Bernard Fassier (France) and Matthew Bryza (USA) issued a statement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

The statement notes that the meeting of Presidents Serge Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev in Zurich on January 28th resulted from the Co-Chairs visit to Yerevan and Baku and their meeting with Armenian and Azerbaijani Ministers of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mamedyarov. During the meeting the Co-Chairmen were informed by the Presidents on the basic principles of the conflict resolution.

EU-Ukraine Foreign Minister Troika meeting to confirm ambitious agenda for future relationship

On 5 February 2009 Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner will participate in the EU-Ukraine Foreign Ministers' Troika in Prague. The Ukrainian side will be represented by Foreign Minister, Volodomyr Ohryzko. The Troika will cover a range of bilateral issues and issues of common concern including developments in the region, the Eastern Partnership, the state of play on negotiations towards an Association Agreement as well as energy.