Europe's East

Experts: Lithuania Is the Only Baltic State with Ambitions

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Russia has no long-term strategy concerning Lithuania and Baltic states in general. Energy and history – these are two issues, which could become a platform for relations development. These are the ideas of the experts of Russian Center Carnegie Andrey Riabov, Lilia Shevtsova and Maria Lipman. According to the experts, among Baltic states only Lithuania has ambitions within not only regional level, but whole Europe. After the meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis, experts answered the questions of Lithuanian reporters.

USA driving a wedge between Yerevan and Baku

By Anton Krivenuk

Probably most charismatic American diplomat Matthew Bryza, who is known well in the Caucasus, arrived in Azerbaijani capital. He landed at the airport of Baku as the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. This event was preceded by a long-lasting behind-the-scenes fight between Barack Obama's administration and the U.S. Congress, which is strongly influenced by Armenian lobby. Armenians believe Bryza to be a partisan pro-Azerbaijani diplomat, while Azerbaijani are celebrating a small victory.

Azerbaijan and Eastern Partnership: partnership through empowerment

By Leila Alieva

The Eastern Partnership was only recently given a start, so it would be pre-mature to give prognosis of its future development. However, it seems that to make EaP effective, Azerbaijani civil society should be included into official negotiations at the bilateral level. Otherwise, the Eastern Partnership may transform into a purely Baku-Brussels elites’ interests based enterprise, leaving the needs of the wider population aside. In dealing with Azerbaijan, the EU should also take into account the abundant oil and gas resources which constitute a structural obstacle to democratization in Azerbaijan and contribute to a great alienation of the elite from population. The EU should also get more involved in the resolution of the Karabagh conflict to speed up regional integration in the South Caucasus.

Any changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy?

By Arūnas Spraunius

In the interview to the Latvian daily ”Diena” former Ukrainian president  V.Yushchenko said that European policy often looks like the natural merit not requiring any evidence, and that integration of Ukraine into EU is perceived as one-sided, i.e. exceptionally the Ukrainian act. Europe assigns to the candidate tasks but cannot avoid dual policy on such issues as security, energy, visa policy and defense. European Union would benefit from the accelerated integration of the country with 46 million citizens; therefore the current slow down of Ukraine’s euro integration should be treated as a bad decision. According to V.Yushchenko, his country has always been within the system of European values.

Azerbaijan Opens New Water Pipeline

By Alman Mir - Ismail

After almost four years of construction, the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline was inaugurated on December 28, 2010. Costing almost $1 billion, the pipeline is already termed by many in Azerbaijan as the “second BTC,” referring to the strategically important Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline built a decade ago to transport Caspian oil to global markets.