March 2011

London agreement sends strong message, says NATO Secretary General

Today’s creation in London of an international Contact Group on Libya is a strong expression of international community support for the Libyan people’s wish for freedom, democracy and human rights, says NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The group will give political guidance to the international community's actions in response to the Libyan crisis.

Visa Regime for “South Stream”

By Tatjana Stanovskaya

The negotiations between the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Erdogan took place in Moscow, the most important result of which was the abolishment of visa regime. However the main subject covered energy relations: the Kremlin specified clearly, that it is ready to refuse of the “South Stream” piping, if Turkey won’t give the permission on it in favor of the condensed natural gas production plant. It’s hardly worth to take the kind of intentions seriously: Moscow has already used the kind of pressure tactics in order to force the partner-state to choose more flexible line.

Tripoli and the Russian Rift

By Ariel Cohen

U.S. President Barack Obama’s “reset” with Russia is looking flimsy in the wake of vitriolic rhetoric from Moscow. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has had harsh words about U.S. military action against Libya. He and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov have gone so far as to repeat Muammar Qaddafi's canards about exorbitant civilian casualties and Western “crusades.”

Chinese threat to the former son-in-law of Kazakh President

The situation on the eve of the snap Presidential elections in Kazakhstan to be held on April 3rd can’t be called trivial. Voters are being attracted with various curious statements. A disgraced ex-son-in-law of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev attempts to gain the most attention. Sometime influential Rakhat Shorazov-Aliyev undertook another informational attack from Vienna, where he hides from justice. Snap elections for him became a surprise, having broken the plans to ballot for the post of the Head of the state in 2012. He expressly tries to destabilize the situation around Kazakhstan and inside of it. After the announcement of the date of the snap Presidential elections, Rakhat Aliyev extraordinarily commented on the last state visit of Nazarbayev to China.

Building Bridges Between Baltic and Central Asia states

By Arthur Dunn

The European Union has been engaged with the five countries in Central Asia from the very moment they gained their independence in the early 1990s. At the beginning of the 21st century, the globalization process has required a new partnership to be established between them, and Central Asia became one of the objectives of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Kazakhstan plays active role in promotion of SCO development - Chinese expert Qu Xing

By Ruslan Suleimenov

As is known, in June 2011 Astana will host the jubilee Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Yang Jiechi, Chinese side gives special attention to this regional event and intends to contribute to this meeting and promote regional interaction.

Recognizing Palestine: Estonia’s Iceland Moment

By Oliver Loode

Estonia will mark the 20th anniversary of the restoration of its independence in August of this year. It will be a major milestone in a remarkable year – one that brought the European Capital of Culture to Tallinn and the euro to Estonia. It will also be an occasion for numerous speeches and newspaper articles on how our independence was won back, whether this is “the Estonia that we wanted,” and what it means for Estonia to be an independent country in a globalized world.