September 2011

Kyrgyzstan and China Move Closer to Joint Railroad Construction

By Erica Marat

Bishkek and Beijing may soon sign a long-anticipated agreement on the construction of the “China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan” railroad. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev will travel to China to discuss the project’s details. The Kyrgyz government considers the railroad to be an important component in the country’s economic strategy during the next few years.

Is Ukraine alone against Russia in the renewed pipeline wars?

By Steve LeVine

Most places ignore the inauguration of new energy pipelines, but most places are not Russia, where the control of the flow of hydrocarbons means raw power. Yesterday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inaugurated Nord Stream, a huge gas pipeline linking his country to Germany. It ought to have been an ordinary event, but this 760-mile, $12.5 billion line is steeped in politics -- from Putin's explicitly stated perspective, Nord Stream at last allows Russia to bypass pesky former Soviet Bloc countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine that resist Moscow's will.

Taking the Reset to the Oil Rigs

By Anders Aslund

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson concluded a big oil and gas deal with Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov in the Russian seaside resort of Sochi. The world’s largest private energy company had made the biggest deal in Russian history between any foreign energy company and the largest state-dominated oil company. The signing ceremony was overseen by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who acts as the real chairman of “Russia Energy Inc.,” and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, suggesting that it has Moscow’s full political support. This is a huge success for both ExxonMobil and Rosneft.

«Le Monde»: Our Dear Kazakhstan

By Anna Stroganova

“Le Monde” writes about another visit of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to France – the visit which has not been officially scheduled within the visits of foreign leaders to the Elysee. On Monday September 19th Kazakh President was also received in Paris by the President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Gas Dispute between Russia and Ukraine: in Expectation of the “Hot Phase”

By Oleg Gorbunov

Moscow and Kiev can’t agree on changes of the “blue fuel” supply contracts into this country and gas transit to Europe. Russia suggested Ukraine to enter the Customs Union and lease or sell its gas transporting system in exchange on price reduction. Ukraine doesn’t agree and tries to attract the European Union on its side. Ukrainian political analysts helped us to deal with the cobwebs of the established situation, having answered the questions: which are the chances for mutually beneficial conflict resolution between Russia and Ukraine on revision of the contracts in force for supply and transit of gas? Is Ukraine able to apply to the Stockholm court? Which are the consequences for the kind of step for Ukraine and gas supply to Europe?

One Step Forward


By Konstatin Eggert

The relationship between Russia and NATO will forever be defined by encouraging steps forward hampered by regular setbacks. But soon, other regional factors may become even more important.