October 2011

China and the Eurasian Union


By David Cohen

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has thrown down the glove at China over the two countries rival interests in Central Asia, announcing plans to form a 'Eurasian Union,' whose borders will encompass much of China’s northwest and give Russia power over China’s access to Central Asian markets and energy supplies. The proposed map – which bears a suspicious resemblance to that of the former Soviet Union – has so far met with derision in China.

The ‘zero problems’ policy

By Berİl Dedeoğlu

One of the most frequently asked questions about the current state of Turkish foreign policy is “What happened to the ‘zero problems with neighbors' strategy?” It is a fact that the list of problems grows longer with every passing day, be it with Azerbaijan, Iran, Syria, Cyprus or, last but not least, with Israel.

Surreal Eastern Partnership Summit: EU Gives Ukraine Last Red Card


By Taras Kuzio

The September 29-30, Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw was another typically EU empty diplomatic soirée. The Viktor Yanukovych administration has ignored Western criticism of political repression and the EU has put all its eggs into the Ukraine basket to show success in the Eastern Partnership, while Belarus pulled out. EU leaders said the summit was “very successful” and “paves the way in many areas of our cooperation.” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk remained confident that an association agreement with Ukraine will be completed this year and talks on similar agreements with Georgia and Moldova would be launched (Interfax-Ukraine, September 29).

Money And Power And Military Might


October 10, 2011: While some of China's neighbors (Vietnam, India and South Korea) are nervous about reforms in the Chinese Army, all the neighbors are alarmed at the increasing size and assertiveness of the Chinese Navy. While the navy contains only 11 percent of China's military personnel, it is the element of the armed forces most frequently encountered by foreigners.

Uncertain World: The secure Eastern Partnership


By Fyodor Lukyanov

The summit of the Eastern Partnership that took place last week in Warsaw, Poland, turned into a bombastic event, complete with the ceremonial exchange of solemn words. The only exception was Moscow, which surprised everyone with its calm and even somewhat positive attitude. The Russian foreign ministry did not even rule out the possibility of cooperation. Compared with the passions that the Eastern Partnership elicited two or three years ago, when Russia denounced it as an expansion of the European Union, Russia's relaxed attitude this time seems out of place. What caused this change?

The West exchanges Tbilisi for Baku

By Ilona Raskolnikova

Azerbaijan differs from its neighbors in the South Caucasus very much. Despite Mikhail Saakashvili's statement about Sakartvelo's amazing development, Baku is the leader for economic growth among the former Soviet republics. While the financial crisis has walked throughout the planet, the share of the Azerbaijani economy in the region exceeded 80 percent. Its GDP became higher than in Georgia and Armenia together. Will the oil sector help to strengthen the political position of Mr. Aliyev on the international stage?

What Putin's second coming would mean for India


Defence Minister AK Antony's significant Russia [ Images ] visit was lost in the domestic political din, yet the message he brought must cheer India. It's not just the confirmation of the delivery schedule for aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly 'Admiral Gorshkov'). New Delhi [ Images ] had been concerned at the delay in its delivery resulting in the escalation of cost from $1.5 bn to $2.33 bn. They also discussed the pending lease of the K-152 Nerpa nuclear multi-purpose attack submarine and licensed production and overseas maintenance of the Su-30MKI aircraft and T-90S tanks.

West Plays Up to the Kremlin


By Alexander Kronin

The results of the last Summit of the “Eastern Partnership” member-states show that the struggle between Russia and West for a dominating influence over former Soviet republics has entered into a new stage. And it seems that Moscow captures greater initiative.

European Crisis: Precise Solutions in an Imprecise Reality


By George Friedman

An important disconnect over the discussion of the   future of the European Union exists, one that divides into three parts. First, there is the question of whether the various plans put forward in Europe plausibly could result in success given the premises they are based on. Second, there is the question of whether the premises are realistic. And third, assuming they are realistic and the plans are in fact implemented, there is the question of whether they can save the European Union as it currently exists.