The decision by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to award Kazakhstan the chairmanship of the organization for 2010 underscores a growing recognition of the country’s regional and continental importance. Kazakhstan is a strategic linchpin in the vast Central Asian-Caspian Basin zone, a region rich in energy resources and a potential gateway for commerce and communications between Europe and Asia.
Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported further progress toward a resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict after a fresh meeting of their presidents held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
During their bilateral meeting held within the framework of the meeting of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) foreign ministers in Elsinore, Denmark, the ministers discussed the state of Estonia-Russia relations and developments since their last meeting in December 2008. They also addressed bilateral economic relations, visa policy, and the status of many agreements that are currently being worked out.
Russia no longer needs to veto the U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) resolution on the mandate of U.N. observers in Georgia, which expires on June 15. Intimidated by Moscow's veto threats, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and some key UNSC members have bowed to Russian demands and agreed to change key wording in the Secretary-General's report that recommends a new mandate for the observers.
On 1 June in Vienna, Lithuanian and Kazakh diplomats started a two-week long training, thus preparing to chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The training is organised by the Centre for OSCE Research, which is part of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg.
The end of the “five-days war” and Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence gave a new powerful impulse for the discussion of the Caucasian region future. International summits, conferences, official visits and informal consultations go on almost non-stop. And sometimes it is pretty difficult tell progress from “diplomatic tourism”.
Belarus`s president declared an end on May 29 to "begging" to Russia and told his government to ignore Moscow`s decision to shelve a $500 million loan and turn elsewhere to find credits. Alyaksandr Lukashenka made his comments a day after Russia`s finance minister said the funds were no longer on offer as its smaller Western neighbor -- linked by a "union treaty" since the 1990s -- could be insolvent by the end of the year.
The Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, Greek Ambassador Mara Marinaki, said the OSCE Chairmanship had suspended negotiations on a continued OSCE presence in Georgia until further notice.
Despite the tensions in their relationship over the years, the US and Serbia have agreed to disagree in order to move their relationship forward.
In a visit to Belgrade on Wednesday, US Vice President Joe Biden told the Serbian government that Washington wants a fresh start in its relationship with the country.