Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara has visited Kazakhstan and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov went to Belarus earlier this month to assure Russia’s Customs Union partners that Ukraine’s plans to sign an association and free trade agreement with the European Union in November will do them no harm. Judging by statements made during and after the visits, attitudes to Ukraine’s plans in Astana and Minsk are more pragmatic than in Moscow, which keeps threatening Kyiv with sanctions for preferring the EU to its own regional bloc (see EDM, October 10).
The worst, the better – this is what, probably, can be said when analyzing the hysteria which has been raised for the last several weeks in European, and especially, American newspapers regarding hardening of the Russian line towards the states willing to join the European Union. The more clearly Moscow imagines russophobic attitudes of a significant segment of Western elites, the more rational, cold and efficient shall be Russian foreign policy within post-Soviet space.
Railway officials of Russia, Belarus and Lithuania discussed tariff policy.
Many countries consider the Customs Union (CU) of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as a "plum", the place where you can deliver the goods as well as export raw materials from it. Taking into account the new tariff rates of this "triple" the last option is much more profitable. Integration association that was set up in record short time, learns the lessons of the EU, and therefore, following the beaten track, is developing a tremendous success.
Belarus has expelled Sweden’s ambassador over his actions to support democracy, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Friday, as the European Union’s foreign policy chief said the bloc would consider responding with “appropriate” measures.
Formally Russian Eurasian idea occurred in 1921 when there was issued an assembly of articles “Exodus to the West” and united emigrants-intellectuals (N.S. Trubetskoj, G.V. Frolovski, P.P.Suvchinski). In this assembly the thinkers suggested the concept of Eurasia.
The presidential election is still two weeks away and the inauguration of the next president more than two months off, but we can already analyze the results of Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency. The current focus is on his mentor and most likely successor, Vladimir Putin, who has made a number of policy statements as part of his tireless campaign efforts, including on foreign policy, which was not part of his brief as prime minister.
For China is not enough to conquer all of the Far East and Asia’s neighbors. According to the Russian journal Vlast, China seeks to consolidate its influence in the countries which are considered by Moscow as the zones of its influence: Ukraine and Belarus. Beijing started investing to the economies of the above post-soviet countries.
After the declarations of Alexander Lukashenko in Astana about the prospects of Kazakh oil supplies to Belarus experts close to Belarusian authorities started to persuade people that Kazakhstan is evidently interested in cooperation with our country as it opens a direct access to European market. The situation is represented in such a way that state of unsettlement of some issues of the CU impedes to involve Kazakhstan into the new way of hydro carbons supply to Europe. However, the reaction of Kazakhstan on these songs of Belarusian alarms looks pragmatically reserved.
The Russian-led security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, has pledged to face security challenges in Central Asia by boosting military cooperation.