May 2015

The Problems Foreign Powers Find in the Balkans

Russia, Turkey and the West all share one rival in the Balkans: political instability. Located at the confluence of three historic empires, the strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea has long been the focus of competition among global powers. Now it is just one arena in the standoff between Russia and the West. Yet, with both sides attempting to buy influence with investments and energy projects, and with Turkey struggling to keep pace, internal political challenges threaten to undermine outside efforts to develop and shape the region. As major powers use their financial and political clout to gain influence in the Balkans, weak local governments will continue to balance among competing nations. 

On Afghan Transit, NATO And Russia Part Ways -- This Time, Amicably

By Joshua Kucera

Russia announced this week that it has formally cut off the transit of NATO military cargo through Russian territory. But in theory, Moscow remains open to cooperation on Afghanistan: it annulled the agreement only after NATO quietly allowed the agreement to lapse after the formal combat mission in Afghanistan ended at the end of 2014. And the comparable military transit agreement with the United States remains in effect, though the Pentagon isn't currently using Russian territory for its Afghan transit.

Problem of Eastern Partnership policy as an interim station

By Justina Budžiūtė

Eastern Partnership states could be defined as the region of the EU and Russian neighbourhood, cooperation and competition. Although in 2009 it was highlighted that Eastern Partnership is not directed against Russia, that it will create the space for cooperation, that six post-Soviet countries will be invited to sign the association agreements with the EU and free trade agreements, Russia perceived this as a breach of its power in the region.  

Georgia in NATO - infinite aspirations


By Elmira Tariverdiyeva

The story of Georgia's NATO aspirations is not a new trend. This is evidenced by both the past and the present government while the West continues giving promises to encourage and help. However, it is namely Georgia's NATO aspirations that may indirectly affect the issue of territorial integrity of the country. The regular statements of the West that it is ready to see Georgia as a member of the alliance, postpone the return of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.