April 2014

Why China Prefers Europe to the United States


Not too long ago, members of the Chinese policy elite were still debating whether China’s ties with the United States would constitute their most important bilateral relationship. There was a consensus that China could become mostly trouble-free in its rapid rising to global power, as long as the U.S.-China relationship was stable. The idea that China should start pursuing a westward geopolitical strategy across the Eurasian continent toward Europe, and downgrade its heavy reliance on the geopolitical structures of the Asia-Pacific, was viewed in Beijing with much skepticism only a decade ago. But not anymore.

Russia’s accusations - setting the record straight

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has led to Russia’s international isolation, including NATO’s suspension of all practical cooperation with Russia. To divert attention away from its actions, Russia has levelled a series of accusations against NATO which are based on misrepresentations of the facts and ignore the sustained effort that NATO has put into building a partnership with Russia. Russia has also made baseless attacks on the legitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities and has used force to seize part of Ukraine’s territory. This document sets the record straight.

EU appoints new Special Envoy to Central Asia

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission appointed Janos Herman, a senior EEAS official, as Special Envoy to Central Asia with the task of ensuring continued EU high-level engagement in the region, following the recent resignation of Patricia Flow, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the press service of the EU External Action reported on April 9.

Conversation about enlargement of NATO in Vilnius and Ukraine

Vilnius finished up its two-day Conference on NATO’s open door policy. The Conference attendees not only marked the 10th anniversary of the accession of Lithuania and six other Central European countries to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but also discussed the emerging challenges facing the Alliance and its partner countries in the light of Russia’s actions against Ukraine, as MF of Lithuania reports.

Will Western Sanctions Damage Russia’s Global Nuclear Energy Business?

By John C. K. Daly

As the West prepares economic sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine, the head of the government-owned State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) nuclear complex, Sergei Kirienko, said that Russia’s nuclear industry contracts with other countries could be affected, observing, “Considering an array of comments about possible restrictions on economic cooperation, we understand that some of our [international] contracts could fall under political curbs” (RIA Novosti, March 27). Kirienko added that Rosatom is bidding on international tenders for constructing nuclear power plants (NPP) in an environment of fierce political competition from the United States, with the State Department lobbying for Westinghouse to receive contracts.