September 2015

Italian-Russian Business Relations: Problems, Cooperation and Perspectives for the Future

By Enrico Cattabiani

During this period of economic crisis and international tensions, Russia is struggling to find a way to emerge from recession and looming isolation. Yet, business relations with Italy, though with some setbacks in bilateral exchanges, are still promising. In this context, Russia could achieve greater benefits from these relations and strengthen external ties with one of its European partners. Ernesto Ferlenghi, President of Confindustria Russia, the association of Italian businesses operating in the Russian Federation shares his views on current events and the future of Russian-Italian relations with RIAC. 

NATO Secretary General praises Slovakia’s contributions to shared security


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Bratislava on Thursday (10 September 2015) for discussions on new security challenges to the east and the south. In Bratislava, Mr Stoltenberg met with President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico, State Secretary Igor Slobodník and other high level officials, thanking them for Slovakia’s “continued commitment” to the Alliance’s shared security.

The EU Global Strategy: going beyond “Aussitzen”

By Dominik P Jankowski

Since a European Council meeting on defence in December 2013 many decision-makers, security policy pundits and opinion shapers have prepared themselves for a next defence-focused Council meeting as an essential stopover in the process of strengthening of European defence. Yet, a well-known truth (especially in the EU) is that even the best plan (especially if it concerns defence) can get overshadowed by events. Indeed, the European Council of June 25-26 – initially scheduled to extensively debate European defence – was ultimately monopolised by “Grexit” and the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Unfortunately, only in the margins of the meeting was the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy given a mandate to formulate, by June 2016, in close cooperation with the Member States, an EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy.

North-South Railroad Competitions Reordering Geopolitics of the Caucasus

By Paul Goble

For most of the post-Soviet period, politicians and pundits have focused on east-west transportation corridors in the southern Caucasus. But today, two north-south railway projects—one that would link Azerbaijan and Iran, and a second that would connect Armenia and Iran (see EDM, September 25, 2014; June 24, 2015)—have the potential to reorder the geopolitical map of the region. Besides increasing the influence of Iran and Russia, as well as decreasing the influence of Turkey, Georgia, and the United States, these transit corridor projects could further complicate any resolution of the Karabakh dispute between Baku and Yerevan.