On May 21-22 the EU and Russia met in Khabarovsk for the first summit since the war in Georgia. The summit addressed the impact of the world economic crisis and the energy relationship between Brussels and Moscow. Its outcome was disappointing, but it showed once more how it is vital that the EU rebalances its energy relationship with Moscow.
After the collapse of URSS Armenia and Georgia have chosen different political paths. While Georgia tried to leave the Russian sphere of influence and to move towards the West, Armenia has been forced by its difficult geopolitical situation to maintain close relationships with Moscow. Besides, some contrasts between these two ancient Christian countries exist, mainly but not exclusively due to the presence of a consisting Armenian minority in the Georgian territory.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the increasing geo-political competition involving Russia and China in Central Asia in order to consolidate their sphere of influence in economic, energy, political and military fields.
Energy markets are in a state of flux; oil and gas prices are unpredictable; onshore reserves are gradually shrinking; some forecast that by 2015 almost 40% of global oil and gas will be produced offshore. Moreover, most of the Arctic receding ice is taking place in Russia’s territorial waters. The legendary Northern Sea Route may be opened to commercial shipping in 2025-2030.
Against the growing debate surrounding energy security policies of main international actors, the competition for the access, exploitation and transport of the Caspian area energy resources is going through a redefinition process of the parameters on which it developed in the fifteen years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Drawing on September parliamentary elections in Belarus, this analysis argues that the West, and especially the EU, should tackle the Belarusian case jointly with Russia avoiding a new confrontation after the Georgia war. However, the EU latest decisions on Belarus seems to go in the opposite direction.
NATO 2009 Summit represented an historical occasion for celebrating the Alliance’s 60th Anniversary and for reflecting over the XXI Century’s threats and challenges that NATO has to tackle. Afghanistan remains a crucial test for NATO and recent troops increase demonstrate Alliance solidarity and long term commitment to the country. The indivisibility of Euro-Atlantic security requires the Alliance to meet the threats and challenges of the XXI century: terrorism, proliferations of weapons of mass destruction, cyber attacks.
On the first anniversary of the appointment of the Putin-Medvedev diarchy, the debate is no longer focused on its stability and endurance but rather on how it will limit social and political fallout from the economic downturn. So-called “exceptionalism” has not survived the effects of the financial markets crash, highlighting on one hand the extent of Russia’s integration into the world economy, but the weakness of the Russian economic system on the other. The country’s modernization is now at risk.
The recent Sarajevo Conference, which gathered all countries of the Balkan region, represented an occasion to reassess the situation in an area marked by the violent conflicts of the 1990s.
Legacies linked to the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia still impact on the prospects for peace, cooperation and development in the region.
In May 2009 Russia issued its new National Security Strategy up to 2020, which was welcomed as innovative, realistic and useful document clarifying domestic and foreign policy guiding principles.
Its most salient feature is the approval of a holistic approach to security, i.e. comprising both defence and socio-political priorities.