February 2013

Something About CU

By Mark Rubin

Many countries consider the Customs Union (CU) of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as a "plum", the place where you can deliver the goods as well as export raw materials from it. Taking into account the new tariff rates of this "triple" the last option is much more profitable. Integration association that was set up in record short time, learns the lessons of the EU, and therefore, following the beaten track, is developing a tremendous success.

Turkey Debates SCO as an Alternative to the EU

By Emrullah Uslu

Turkey–European Union relations were frozen while Cyprus held the rotating EU presidency during the second half of 2012. In those six months, no progress was made in Turkey’s European integration, and very few official visits took place between Turkish and EU delegations. Signifying the tense relationship, in November, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy, Professor Burhan Kuzu, the head of the parliamentary Constitution Commission, harshly criticized the EU progress report on Turkey. He dramatically threw it into a trashcan on national television to show his government’s disappointment with the EU and with Cyprus’s presidency (CNNTurk, November 11, 2012).

VIP-Refugees and the Strategy of Washington

By Оleg Bychkov

Hardly the second Presidential term of Obama shall force the USA to revise radically its line in the issue of desirable (and not really) guests from the CIS states. However, growing activity of Washington in Central Asia region, related with the oncoming withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan, gives ground to suggest that now the USA hardly shall welcome the persecuted by “criminal power” opposers from the states of this region. Moreover that in the USA, contrary to common views, not at all everybody is delighted with the growing number of VIP-refugees from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, other post-Soviet republics. According to a number of experts, now American authorities shall less decisively give positive replies for the kind of asylum claimers – it’s too serious challenge for the urgent dialogue with the official power in Astana, Tashkent, other capitals. Too serious is the challenge from the side of Afghanistan for everybody. 

Baptism by Fire of Francois Hollande

By Anton Ramov

The year of 2013 has started with an acute escalation of the situation in Mali. After a military coup in March 2012 the North of the country was captured by Toureg-separatists from the National Liberation Movement of Azawad (NLMA). Having used disorganization and weakness of governmental troops, the rebels proclaimed an independent state of Azawad along the territory, comparable in sizes with France. Already in summer 2012 contradictions between moderate separatists and radical Islamists among rebelled Toureg escalated. As a result the power was transferred to the Islamists from the groupings of  Ansar al-Din (“Faith defenders”) and Al-Qaeda of Islamic Magrheb.