Main

Conflict & Security Archives

March 1, 1997

Integration Within and Without the CIS

One periodically encounters critical evaluations of the CIS, but a more nuanced analysis is motivated by bringing into the open some hidden assumptions and by shedding light on some blind spots in Western analysts' predictions of the CIS's imminent demise. Such predictions we may call the "Goldilocks model" of CIS (dis)integration: where the main thing that Goldilocks is attempting to do is escape the embrace of the Russian Bear by getting out of the house. Different variants of the Goldilocks model contain as many as three related fallacies that misunderstand the meaning of integration in the present-day international system.

Continue reading "Integration Within and Without the CIS" »

January 16, 1998

Москва рискует изоляцию от Кавказа

Корреспондент "НГ" Игорь Ротарь в своей статье "Чеченские проекты получают международную поддержку" обратил внимание на новые аспекты кавказской политики, значение которых трудно переоценить. Речь идет об инициативах одного из чеченских лидеров Хожахмеда Нухаева по созданию "Общего рынка Кавказ - Евразия", способного лишить Россию монополии на транспортировку каспийской нефти. Дело в том, что и самому мне неоднократно доводилось выступать с аналогичными предложениями - например, в январе 1995 г. на международной конференции, организованной администрацией президента Финляндии совместно с Институтом мировой политики (Нью-Йорк) и МГИМО, собравшей представителей высокого уровня из почти всех новых государств Евразии, в октябре этого года - в Вашингтоне, на международной конференции, поддержанной IREX и неправительственным Национальным бюро азиатских исследований. В 1996 г. в Tбилиси вышла моя статья на ту же тему в научно-политическом журнале "Кавказские рeгиoнaль-ныe исследования". В ней я защищал проект создания евроазиатской нефтяной и газовой ассоциации, или EAOGA.

Continue reading "Москва рискует изоляцию от Кавказа" »

March 21, 1998

Energy Resources, Human Resources, and Co-operative Energy Security

Invited Speech to the Plenary Session "Caspian Sea Resources", Monaco Summit on Energy (Crans Montana Forum in Monaco sponsored by UNIDO).

Continue reading "Energy Resources, Human Resources, and Co-operative Energy Security" »

March 30, 1999

Kosovo, International Security, and Caspian Energy

The military operations in the Balkans affect the calculations concerning export routes for Caspian oil. The near-term regional effect of the hostilities in Kosovo is to make the Baku-Ceyhan line slightly more likely.

Continue reading "Kosovo, International Security, and Caspian Energy" »

May 11, 1999

Baku Continues at the Center of Negotiations

Transit of oil through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline continues to be a problematic affair. Since the beginning of the month, the pipeline has been shut down three times. The reasons given are the age of the Russian section of the pipeline and defects in its reconstruction as well as theft of oil along the Chechen part of the route. Although the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) says it intends to continue cooperation with the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft to use the route, the decision to seek other routes such as Baku-Supsa seems now well justified. However, it is clear that Baku-Supsa can only be a temporary bypass in its present state and that the early oil pipeline is unlikely to satisfy all export needs even if upgraded and expanded.

Continue reading "Baku Continues at the Center of Negotiations" »

June 1, 1999

The Changing Nature of the Caspian Oil Game

In the early 1990s, the Caspian oil exploration was like a high-ante, high-stakes game of poker with several rounds of draw and a large (but unknown) number of wild cards. A lot of the players frankly acted like cowboys shooting from the hip, and there was a lot of bluffing as well. It was, moreover, a "table stakes" game: if you couldn't meet the level of the bet when it came your turn to call, you had to clear out or find some kind of collateral, usually by signing an IOU to another player who would back you and split any winnings. This is why consortia were established: to pool resources and intelligence.

Continue reading "The Changing Nature of the Caspian Oil Game" »

June 15, 1999

The AIOC Has a Problem but Not the One You Think

The problem the AIOC has in the short term is the opposite of the one that everyone has been talking about in the long term. In the long term, the general opinion is that there will be a problem is finding enough oil to fill the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if it is built. In the short term, the problem is finding enough pipelines to take its oil production exported from Baku.

Continue reading "The AIOC Has a Problem but Not the One You Think" »

September 28, 1999

Kazakhstan and International Energy Development (2/4)

Three weeks ago, the first article in this series discussed how the economic and physical geography of Kazakhstan has constrained and conditioned President Nursultan Nazarbaev's choices for export routes for Tengiz oil. It gave a series of reasons why the once highly-touted route to Xinjiang province in western China was unlikely to be constructed. It also observed that although earlier this year Almaty set this autumn as a time by which a definitive choice of an export route should be made, it was just as likely that no such decision would be in fact taken. Events over the last three weeks appear to confirm that no definitive choice will soon be made. The principal reason is the opening of new possible export routes. The present article discuses these developments and why have occurred.

Continue reading "Kazakhstan and International Energy Development (2/4)" »

October 19, 1999

Kazakhstan and International Energy Development (4/4)

The last article in this series distilled three central problems that have impeded the development and export of Caspian energy resources. From those three problems, three lessons were drawn. In turn, it was shown that those three lessons are directly analogous to the lessons from research on the effectiveness of international environmental institutions.

Continue reading "Kazakhstan and International Energy Development (4/4)" »

November 16, 1999

Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (3/7)

Part one of this series, published after BP-Amoco made an announcement in support of the Baku-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline (MEP), reviewed the background to that decision and its implications with regard to the four agreements being negotiated between Turkey and Azerbaijan. It also discussed what the MEP agreement and the cost guarantee agreement might look like. Part two began the discussion of the agreement between investors and transit states. This week's column is being written on the weekend preceding the November 18-19 meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Istanbul. It is expected that a set of framework agreements will be signed at that meeting, at least by Turkey and Azerbaijan. In anticipation of that event, the discussion of the agreement between investors and transit states will continue here, with special attention to Georgia. First, however, will come a few necessary preliminary remarks about BP-Amoco and the Istanbul conference.

Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (3/7)" »

November 24, 1999

Instability in the Balance: The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

The signing of the Istanbul Protocol on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline at the recent OSCE meeting was highly important politically to the leaders who signed it. But the project will in the long run be more important to the peoples of the region than to those leaders who expended so much effort bringing it about. The pipeline deal presents regional leaders with a fateful decision. Should they fail to use local suppliers and train local labor for its construction, current disparities in income distribution will become aggravated. This could create civil unrest, leading to political instability that would threaten the pipeline project itself. But by using local NGOs to train a capable workforce, individual workers would experience the decision-making autonomy necessary to foster democratic institutions, build civil society, and perhaps also lead to civil unrest.

Continue reading "Instability in the Balance: The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline" »

December 6, 1999

Javakhetia: Flashpoint or Bottleneck?

This commentary provides background on Javakhetia, the ethnically Armenian region in southern Georgia, in order to establish that is not the next Karabakh and not another Abkhazia, and therefore neither flashpoint nor bottleneck for oil pipelines crossing the Caucasus from the Caspian to the Black Sea. Stability in Javakhetia is likely to continue, although in the long term there is a wild card: the Meskhetian Turks, a people deported by Stalin whose has been mandated to their homeland, which lies west of Javakhetia proper and east of Ajaria.

Continue reading "Javakhetia: Flashpoint or Bottleneck?" »

December 8, 1999

Kazakhstan's Ethnic Mix: Recipe for a Shatterbelt In Central Eurasia

Nearly two weeks ago, twenty-two individuals (twelve citizens of Russia and ten ethnic-Russian citizens of Kazakhstan) were arrested in Ust-Kamenogorsk in East Kazakhstan province. They were charged with planning an uprising to seize political power in the province and proclaim a republic called "Russian Land," autonomous of both Russia and Kazakhstan. The deeper significance of this group's arrest is not limited to only inter-ethnic relations in Kazakhstan or even problems of democratization in the country; it more importantly concerns relations between Russia and Kazakhstan and the future geopolitical configuration of Central Eurasia itself.

Continue reading "Kazakhstan's Ethnic Mix: Recipe for a Shatterbelt In Central Eurasia" »

January 11, 2000

Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (5/7)

This week's column continues the discussion, begun last year, of the Baku-Ceyhan main export pipeline (MEP) accords initialled in Istanbul during the November OSCE summit. Although none of these agreements has yet been published, their outline and some of their details have already been analyzed here from available information. Of the four agreements initialled, previous columns this series looked at the MEP agreement itself and the cost guarantee agreement. As suggested earlier in this series, it turns out that the agreement between the investors and the transit states is complex and still subject to further clarification, as a precondition for establishing the definitive terms of the construction contract itself.

Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (5/7)" »

January 19, 2000

Azerbaijan vs. Turkmenistan: The Caspian Offshore Oil and Gas Conflict

[Note: This article was written after Turkmenistan had agreed to resolve a territorial dispute, before it subsequently reversed that decision.]

The territorial dispute over the Kyapaz/Serdar offshore oilfield that was a major stumbling block to the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline agreement, no longer is an impediment to Caspian energy development or a barrier to cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Now, however, a more important question confronts the region. Will Azerbaijan be permitted to put natural gas from its newly proven Shah-Deniz gas-and-condensate field into the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) that is planned to bring Turkmenistani gas to Turkey via Azerbaijan and Georgia? This crucial issue may well influence whether, when and how the Baku-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline (MEP) for Azerbaijani oil is built. In the new scenario, it is possible that negotiations over TCGP implementation will set the logistical precedents for the MEP to follow.

Continue reading "Azerbaijan vs. Turkmenistan: The Caspian Offshore Oil and Gas Conflict" »

January 31, 2000

Ajaria, the Russian Military in Georgia, and Stability in the South Caucasus

Recent initiatives aimed at fostering a multilateral security system in the South Caucasus potentially represent an historic shift in how Russia relates to the region. These initiatives would lead Russia to view the South Caucasus as an area for common co-operation rather than to treat it as a private preserve. The effectively autonomous province of Ajaria in southwest Georgia, and the Russian military base at its capital Batumi, are auspicious for the political integrity of the Georgian state and for South Caucasus regional stability. The ramifications for Georgia are especially profound. The ongoing [late 1999 and early 2000] fighting in Chechnya has strained relations between Russia and Georgia, as Moscow has repeatedly accused Tbilisi of providing tacit assistance to Chechen separatists. Georgian officials deny the accusations and assert that Russia's "special services" (as distinct from the Russian government itself) have been acting as agents provocateurs.

Continue reading "Ajaria, the Russian Military in Georgia, and Stability in the South Caucasus" »

April 12, 2000

Russia Slouches towards Central Asia

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrives April 14 in Kazakhstan, on the first leg of a week-long tour of Central Asia that will also take her to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The visit occurs against a backdrop of increasing Russian diplomatic activity in the region in the period since Vladimir Putin's appointment as Acting President by Boris Yeltsin and subsequent election in his own right. This coincidence opens speculation about United States-Russian relations in Central Asia and the directions Central Asian countries themselves will choose to chart their futures.

Continue reading "Russia Slouches towards Central Asia" »

April 25, 2000

Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (1/2)

This week I begin a new, short series on an issue that few people talk about and fewer people do anything about. This is the industrial infrastructure problem. It is already clear that problems of energy development in the Caspian are unique. Over the last 10 years, companies have devised new organizational methods of work to deal with human-resource issues. In international-legal and project-structuring terms, the Baku-Ceyhan agreement is apparently the first instance ever of a trilateral intergovernmental project that includes a transit country and that was concluded through intergovernmental accords, with industry consortia representing strategic alliances sitting at the table during negotiations and concluding side agreements to facilitate and implement the overall plan. However, infrastructure limitations add themselves to other idiosyncratic factors, political and economic, that slowed Caspian energy development in the 1990s.

Continue reading "Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (1/2)" »

May 10, 2000

Ajaria’s New Federal Status: Implications For Georgia’s Territorial Integrity

Ceded by Turkey under the 1921 Treaty of Kars, Ajaria under the Soviet regime enjoyed the status of Autonomous Republic inside Georgia. As the USSR withered away, the modern Georgian state was established as a unitary political entity without autonomous sub-units, but Ajaria retained de facto autonomy after 1991. After Eduard Shevardnadze was re-elected President of Georgia last month [April 2000], the parliament in Tbilisi voted to change the constitution, transforming the administrative region of Ajaria into the Ajarian Republic. This federal precedent may help resolve the status of South Ossetia, but it will not satisfy Abkhazian demands. To establish Javakhetia as a federal entity could create more problems than it solves.

Continue reading "Ajaria’s New Federal Status: Implications For Georgia’s Territorial Integrity" »

May 23, 2000

Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (2/2)

Three weeks ago I began describing part of the industrial infrastructure problem in the Caspian region. Limitations of physical geography require relative self-sufficiency in the development of basic infrastructure and installation of production facilities. The amount of investment required to build up the infrastructure capacity also limits the pace of the region's development. Steel fabrication capacity is especially key.

Continue reading "Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (2/2)" »

May 24, 2000

Russia and Central Asia: Playing the Turkmenistan Card

Russian President Vladimir Putin just spent the weekend of May 19-21 in Ashgabat where he reached an agreement in principle to increase Russian gas purchases from Turkmenistan. It is yet another indicator of Russia's renewed interest in Central Asia since Putin assumed control. Russia and Turkmenistan have reached an agreement in principle to renew and expand their December 1999 agreement to export 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) for calendar year 2000 and increase this figure by 10 bcm per year for three to four years until import levels reach 50-60 bcm per year. But Russia's real target in Central Asia is neither Turkmenistan nor Uzbekistan but Kazakhstan.

Continue reading "Russia and Central Asia: Playing the Turkmenistan Card" »

June 6, 2000

Caspian energy pipelines: Towards a self-organizing network?

One of the properties of increasingly networked relationships is that they seem to begin to take on a life of their own. The word "self-organization" is used for describing this. In the evolution of networks, events can occur that seem insignificant at the time but which, in retrospect, stand out as crucial markers of qualitative development. (The technical name for this phenomenon is a "bifurcation point.") In this column, I will explore—without using the technical jargon—the question of whether we are approaching such a bifurcation point in the self-organization of the emerging network of Caspian energy pipelines.

Continue reading "Caspian energy pipelines: Towards a self-organizing network?" »

June 20, 2000

How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (1/9)

On the natural gas front, all signs are "go" for Azerbaijani gas from the offshore Shah-Deniz deposit to find purchasers in Europe. The head of the European Union's TACIS (Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States) program, visiting Baku, declared earlier this month that anticipated industrial growth in southwestern Europe would assure a stable long-term market for this gas. Norway's Statoil, which owns a 25.5 per cent share in the Shah-Deniz consortium and has experience with deep-water gas development in the North Sea, is proposing a strategic partnership to the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). In particular, it seeks to organize and operate, together with SOCAR, the country's midstream gas development. Significant investment in Azerbaijan's Soviet-era gas infrastructure would be necessary.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (1/9)" »

June 21, 2000

Russia Reactivates Its Caspian Policy with a New Demarcation Approach

In a series of public statements last month including a May 17 seminar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Andrei Urnov, head of the Caspian Sea working group of the Russian Foreign Ministry, suggested a new approach to the demarcation of national sectors in the Caspian Sea. His announcement followed a decision by the Security Council of the Russian Federation to re-activate Russian policy in the region through sea-bed delineation for the purpose of subsoil use which may thus signal a qualitatively new development in the stalled negotiations over the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.

Continue reading "Russia Reactivates Its Caspian Policy with a New Demarcation Approach" »

July 5, 2000

Russia, Turkey and Iran: An Eternal Triangle

The one formal organization is the Central Asian Economic Union which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The leaders of these countries have concluded several agreements on expanding economic cooperation, but these will remain a dead letter until the Uzbek som is made fully convertible. The two multilateral formations are not embodied in formal organizations. One is a coalescence of energy-related issues bringing together Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, in a geo-strategic sense, as a north-south axis along the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea. The other is a coalescence of counterinsurgency-related issues bringing together Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, also in a geo-strategic sense, as an east-west axis along the southern border of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Continue reading "Russia, Turkey and Iran: An Eternal Triangle" »

July 11, 2000

How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (2/9)

Fall-out continues from the Shah-Deniz gas find offshore from Azerbaijan. Several weeks ago, part one of this series examined developments around the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan, and Iran's problems with Turkmenistani gas imports. The evident withdrawal of PSG from the TCGP has brought to the surface many subterranean possibilities that have been silently percolating. Whereas a few weeks ago, it was generally thought that Turkmenistan would be left only with Gazprom as a gas-buyer and would have to take whatever price it was offered, other suitors have presented themselves.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (2/9)" »

July 25, 2000

How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (3/9)

China has declared ownership of its planned pipeline from Xinjiang to Shanghai open to foreign entities. This follows President Jiang Zemin's visit to Turkmenistan, where he discussed the possibility of a pipeline to carry natural gas from that country across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Xinjiang. The announcement comes three weeks after Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, whose companies recently bought a stake in PetroChina, reportedly made the suggestion to Chinese officials at a June 23 meeting.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (3/9)" »

August 1, 2000

How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (4/9)

This week I continue my analysis of the fall-out from the gas discovery in the Shah-Deniz deposit offshore on Azerbaijan, which, as explained earlier in this series, has led Turkmenistan to turn away from the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) project.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (4/9)" »

August 16, 2000

China’s "Go West" Pipeline Projects: A "Great Leap Westward"?

The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) asserts that Xinjiang has 17.4 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. However, it is not clear that they are all recoverable. The geology is frequently difficult and the depths are often extreme. It is more likely that this figure is for potential or estimated reserves. Indeed, several years ago western energy companies, encouraged by Beijing's touting of Xinjiang's natural energy resources, paid high fees to test-drill for oil, and they came up dry. Now, the 2,600-mile-long "West-East" pipeline is projected to carry gas from Xinjiang to Shanghai at a construction cost of $5 billion and to open in 2003.

Continue reading "China’s "Go West" Pipeline Projects: A "Great Leap Westward"?" »

September 26, 2000

How Shah-Deniz is changing the equation (7/9)

The article examines once more the results of the Shah-Deniz find for the Russia-Turkmenistan-Ukraine triangle. It first dissects the most recent developments in their interactions over energy supplies and policy. It then examines the question of what the Russian contract for an additional 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) means for Turkmenistan, for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, for the Shah-Deniz project and for the TCGP itself.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz is changing the equation (7/9)" »

September 27, 2000

The CIS Is Dead, Long Live the CIS!

The CIS was originally a sleight-of-hand trick by which the presidents of the RSFSR and Ukrainian and Belorussian union-republics conjured the disappearance of the USSR. It is generally conceded now that Yeltsin's wish for revenge against Gorbachev was a sine qua non of this remarkable, and successful, performance. The creators of the CIS never intended it to be the continuation of the USSR by other means.

Continue reading "The CIS Is Dead, Long Live the CIS!" »

October 11, 2000

Russia and Europe's Energy Strategy

Reports have recently circulated of an agreement between Russia and the European Union (EU) for long-term energy sales. Europe wants more Russian oil and gas, but this does not mean that it will not continue to seek oil and gas from other Caspian countries. However, for Europe to take more oil and gas from Russia, new pipelines would have to be constructed, and this in turn would require a clear legal framework. The best step Russia can make right now in that direction is to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

Continue reading "Russia and Europe's Energy Strategy" »

November 1, 2000

Как России завоевать Европу

[This edited translation by of "Russia and Europe's Energy Strategy," published by Нефтегазовая Вертикаль, contains all the main points of the original text but re-arranges some of them and includes additional explanatory material for a more general Russophone readership.]

Между Россией и Европейским Союзом (ЕС) идет серия переговоров о новых соглашениях на долгосрочные поставки российских энергоносителей. Европа хочет заручиться гарантией значительного увеличения поставок нефти и газа из России на длительную перспективу. Имеющиеся транспортные магистрали справиться с дополнительным потоком энергоносителей не смогут. Строительство новых трубопроводов, в которых заинтересованы и Россия, и Европа, потребует значительного финансирования. Оно должно придти из Европы. Обсуждаемая формула "энергоносители за инвестиции" сможет работать только при наличии в стране ясной законодательной базы. Первым эффективным шагом России в этом направлении может стать ратификация Договора к Энергетической Хартии.

Continue reading "Как России завоевать Европу" »

November 8, 2000

Uzbekistan's Foreign Policy and Its Domestic Effects

The lack of economic momentum in Uzbekistan has led to a general decline of great-power interest in the country. In a vicious circle, Uzbekistan's profile in international and regional diplomacy has fallen in turn. Its response could be called an "all directions" strategy, after France's General De Gaulle's "tous azimuts" nuclear doctrine of the 1960s. But whereas De Gaulle targeted the source of every possible threat, even from allies, for President Karimov "all directions" means looking for help from whatever direction of the compass he can find it. This policy on the part of the government risks manifesting as an "every man for himself" policy for Uzbekistani individuals in their everyday lives.

Continue reading "Uzbekistan's Foreign Policy and Its Domestic Effects" »

December 1, 2000

A First Glance at the New [U.S.] Administration’s Policy toward Russia

It is difficult to say what any new administration's policy will be by the end of the president's term of office. However, there are some clear indications of the broad outlines of U.S. policy toward Russia under the Bush administration as it prepares to take office. This policy will not seek to present a cooperative image of the relationship, as has been so under the outgoing administration. Instead it will have a more overtly "realist" or "realpolitik" approach and will concentrate in the first instance upon European security and controlling arms proliferation.

Continue reading "A First Glance at the New [U.S.] Administration’s Policy toward Russia" »

December 6, 2000

How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (8/9)

In my most recent installment in this series, I indicated that recent developments pointed towards the need to review Turkmenistan's options for export of its natural gas. That is the subject of this article.

Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (8/9)" »

December 13, 2000

How Shah Deniz Is Changing the Equation (9/9)

The Shah Deniz gas discovery had the effect of decreasing the volume of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) allocated to Turkmenistan, whose President Saparmurad Niyazov consequently sought other new routes. However, he has so far failed to conclude any agreement other than his fallback plan, which is to sell more gas to Russia, which, because of the absence of signficant pipelines for export to other countries, remains his only big customer. In this context, Iran has again come forward as a potential consumer of Turkmenistan's gas.

Continue reading "How Shah Deniz Is Changing the Equation (9/9)" »

January 1, 2001

The Unanticipated Consequences of Policy Blindness: Why Even Belarus Matters

A dangerous blind spot in the incoming administration's view of Russian affairs is its inadequate understanding of the significance of the newly independent states (NIS). The unanticipated consequences of such policy blindness are exemplified by developments in the 1990s in Belarus, formerly called Byelorussia—a country sandwiched between Russia and Poland—sharing a border with Ukraine to the south and with Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.

Continue reading "The Unanticipated Consequences of Policy Blindness: Why Even Belarus Matters" »

January 15, 2001

U.S. Policy Must Be Sensitive to Ukraine's Balancing Act

Ukraine's positioning makes it a natural bridge between East and West. A wise U.S. foreign policy would be one that is sensitive to Ukraine's function as a bridge between Russia and the Western military alliance.

Continue reading "U.S. Policy Must Be Sensitive to Ukraine's Balancing Act" »

January 31, 2001

Putin’s Caspian Diplomacy

The results of the recent visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin to Baku have received different interpretations in different media. This week’s column focuses on figuring out exactly what those results are, and what they mean, for the aspects of Russian-Azerbaijani relations that are most pertinent to Caspian Sea division and related issues.

Continue reading "Putin’s Caspian Diplomacy" »

February 1, 2001

Just What Is "GUUAM" Anyway?

The GUAM formation (Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova) had its origin in the 1996 round of talks implementing the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. The four countries found they had a common opposition to the stationing of Russian weapons on their territory. GUAM became GUUAM when Uzbekistan joined in April 1999. According to recent reports, the GUUAM countries intend, in spring 2001, to institutionalize their cooperation by forming a permanent international organization. This organization will have its own secretariat (probably in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine) and a small number of ancillary bodies but will have principally a coordinative function with no supranational authority. In response to this prospect, three schools of thought regarding GUUAM have begun to appear in Western, principally U.S., commentary and analysis.

Continue reading "Just What Is "GUUAM" Anyway?" »

February 22, 2001

New Configurations around the Caspian (1/4)

In an official announcement, the government of Turkmenistan put its cards on the table concerning the diplomatic position that it plans to take on the demarcation of the Caspian Sea and the division of its resources at the summit meeting that will take place on March 8-9 in the port city of Turkmenbashi. This column analyses the content and significance of that announcement in the context of new developments in the region.

Continue reading "New Configurations around the Caspian (1/4)" »

March 1, 2001

Islamic Militancy in Central Asia: What Is To Be Done? (1/2)

A new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) helps answer the question about what the appropriate responses are to Islamic militancy in Central Asia. The ICG is a highly respected, well connected, expert, private, multinational organization that describes itself as "committed to strengthening the capacity of the international community to anticipate, understand, and act to prevent and contain conflict." In its new report titled "Central Asia: Islamist Mobilisation and Regional Stability," ICG makes recommendations to Central Asian governments, external powers, and international organizations.

Continue reading "Islamic Militancy in Central Asia: What Is To Be Done? (1/2)" »

March 21, 2001

New Configurations around the Caspian Sea (3/4)

The current, contradictory phase of events around the Caspian is captured by the difficult realism of Viktor Kalyuzhnyi, Russia's deputy foreign minister, who also serves as President Vladimir Putin's special envoy on Caspian affairs. As developments continue to accelerate, Russia is seeking to trace a course between the Scylla of hardball Realpolitik, which could alienate neighboring states, and the Charybdis of exclusively economic gain to the possible detriment of state interests. This contradiction is clearest in Russian policy towards Iran, which includes the question of influence over the choice of export pipelines for Kazakhstan's now undeniably significant energy resources.

Continue reading "New Configurations around the Caspian Sea (3/4)" »

March 28, 2001

New Configurations around the Caspian Sea (4/4)

The selection several weeks ago of Italy's ENI as operator of the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC), which is exploring the vast Kashagan deposit offshore from Kazakhstan, came as a surprise to most observers. Eni was a dark horse in OKIOC and not one of the front-runners to become operator.

Continue reading "New Configurations around the Caspian Sea (4/4)" »

April 15, 2001

The Key West Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh: Preparing Peace In the South Caucasus?

In early April the United States is hosting a nearly week-long meeting in Key West, Florida, bringing together President Robert Kocharian of Armenia and President Heydar Aliev of Azerbaijan. This meeting is part of a continuing attempt to settle the conflict between the two countries over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. This region is an enclave in Azerbaijan settled by Armenians since the early nineteenth century, and from which the resident Azerbaijanis were chased during a war in the late 1980s.

Continue reading "The Key West Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh: Preparing Peace In the South Caucasus?" »

April 25, 2001

Geo-economics and Energy Development in Central Asia

The opening, or at least the beginning of the filling, of the oil pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), from the Tengiz field in northwest Kazakhstan to Novorossiisk on the Russian Black Sea coast, received deserved if extended—indeed sensational—publicity several weeks ago. The CPC line is, after all, the first new pipeline to be built from the Caspian region since the demise of the Soviet Union. The pumping of oil into the pipeline began belatedly, but it is now expected that the first tanker will be filled in Novorossiisk in June.

All the attention paid to western Kazakhstan makes it difficult for most observers to gain an understanding of the overall energy balance in Central Asia. For example, sight is often lost of Uzbekistan's regional role as an energy producer because of its two better-endowed neighbors, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Yet as explained below, Turkmenistan does not really come into play although it is certainly a regional actor; rather, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are the main players on the scene. This article calls attention to overlooked aspects of the Central Asian energy balance, with special attention paid to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and the contrasts between them and the significance of those contrasts.

Continue reading "Geo-economics and Energy Development in Central Asia" »

Five States (Still) in Search of a Caspian Sea Legal Regime

Following meetings with Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov in Ashgabat, Viktor Kaluzhnyi, President Vladimir Putin's special envoy on Caspian affairs, announced earlier this month that the five-way summit to define the Caspian Sea's legal status and the question of its division into national sectors, planned for early April (and postponed from early March at Iran's request), would take place in the middle of the current month. He was contradicted a few days later by an announcement from Putin's own office that the summit would be indefinitely postponed, which turned out to be the case.

Continue reading "Five States (Still) in Search of a Caspian Sea Legal Regime" »

May 8, 2001

Do all roads lead to Ashgabat?

The recent summit of Turkic-language countries in Ankara provided Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov with the opportunity to insist yet again that his country and his person are central, if not key, to the resolution of major problems in the region. His suggestion that the next Turkic summit be held in Ashgabat inevitably recalls his plan for a summit of the Caspian Sea states in the port city of Turkmenbashi.

Continue reading "Do all roads lead to Ashgabat?" »

May 23, 2001

Turkmenistani natural gas: The key to Ukraine's economy?

Two weeks ago, in the context of Turkmenistani President Saparmurad Niyazov's visit to Ankara for the Turkic-speaking countries' summit, this writer discussed how Ashgabat is currently situated in the "great game" over Caspian Sea energy resources, especially with respect to relations with Azerbaijan, the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) project and Caspian Sea demarcation. The discussion of Turkmenistan's position continues in light of Niyazov's subsequent visit to Ukraine.

Continue reading "Turkmenistani natural gas: The key to Ukraine's economy?" »

June 1, 2001

The Slovenia Summit: Bush Meets Putin

The first Bush-Putin meeting will not take place in a vacuum. Their one-day summit in Slovenia will come after Bush concludes a swing through Spain, Belgium, Poland, and Sweden (which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union). President Vladimir Putin will have already assessed the new U.S. president personally through psychological profiling and consultations with European leaders who have met him. He already has his agenda, which is to use the meeting to influence European elite and public opinion, which is already skeptical about Washington's plans for National Missile Defense (NMD).

Continue reading "The Slovenia Summit: Bush Meets Putin" »

July 4, 2001

Did Putin Shanghai Bush?

Only days before the Putin-Bush meeting in Ljubljana, an even more significant meeting took place in Shanghai between Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin, within the framework of the mechanism known until recently as the "Shanghai Five" or "Shanghai Forum". At the Shanghai meeting, Uzbekistan was welcomed as the institution's sixth full member. Documents were adopted bearing the titles, "Declaration of the Establishment of the 'Shanghai Cooperation Organization'" and the "Shanghai Covenant on the Suppression of Terrorism, Separatism and [Religious] Extremism". The name-change signals a move to establish a formal structure with a permanent secretariat in Shanghai, and to promote multilateral interministerial cooperation across a wide range of issue areas. It also signals, if one takes Beijing at its word, the incipient coalescence of a Sino-Russocentric geopolitical bloc in Asia. China's vision for such a bloc is to countervail any strategic vision that puts the United States at the forefront of twenty-first century global politics.

Continue reading "Did Putin Shanghai Bush?" »

August 13, 2001

Renewed conflicts in the Caspian

A good deal of attention has been devoted in recent days to the incident in the south Caspian on July 23, when Iranian military airplanes buzzed vessels that had been chartered by BP to begin exploring the Alov deposit, a component of the Araz-Sharg-Alov offshore block. Iranian ships subsequently intervened that evening, to dispute ownership of the block (which Iran calls "Alborz") and warn these exploratory vessels off. Almost paradoxically, this show of military force came only a day after Hassan Rouhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, signed an agreement in Baku with Ramiz Mehdiev, the head of the analogous Azerbaijani body, concerning security cooperation and covering drugs, crime and terrorism. Indeed, it came only a few weeks before a long-planned visit by Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev to Tehran.

Continue reading "Renewed conflicts in the Caspian" »

August 30, 2001

Moldova/Transdnistria: Conflict Profile

History

In the late fifteenth century, what is now known as the Transdnistria--the region on the eastern bank of the Dnistr River and with the border of today's Ukraine for its eastern limit--was part of the Kingdom of Lithuania. By the mid-sixteenth century it had passed into the Ottoman Empire, of which it remained a part until the late eighteenth century, when the whole western coast of the Black Sea from Odessa to Varna (now in Bulgaria) became embroiled in military conflicts among the Ottoman, Russian, and Austrian Empires. From that era it emerged as part of the Russian Empire. After the Bolshevik Revolution and First World War, it became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, until Stalin redrew the internal borders of Moldavia and Ukraine in 1940, when it was attached to a remnant of the former Romanian province of Bessarabia to form the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic. There it remained until 1991, when it became part of independent Moldova.

Continue reading "Moldova/Transdnistria: Conflict Profile" »

September 1, 2001

What Bin Laden and Global Warming Have in Common

Toward the end of President Bush's September 24[, 2001] statement about freezing terrorists' assets, one finds the overlooked but no less remarkable assertion that the U.S. is "working closely with the United Nations, the EU and through the G− 7/G−8 structure to limit the ability of terrorist organizations to take advantage of the international financial systems."

Continue reading "What Bin Laden and Global Warming Have in Common" »

September 10, 2001

Chechnya: Conflict Profile

History

Russia's entry into the North Caucasus dates from the military campaign begun in 1783. The resistance was led by Sheik Mansur, a Chechen captured in 1791. From 1824 to 1859, the Muslim peoples of the North Caucasus led by Imam Shamil fought a long, bloody war of resistance, but the Russians won through overwhelming numbers and a policy of total war. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Stalin's collectivization campaign in 1929 led to new rebellion and repression. During 1936-38 the purges led to the imprisonment and execution of thousands of Chechens.

Continue reading "Chechnya: Conflict Profile" »

October 4, 2001

Cozying up to Karimov?

In its new war on terrorism, Washington is quickly moving to put its "strategic partnership" with Uzbekistan to work. It has already turned to Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, who has spent the past decade cracking down so hard in his own country that he has driven the possibility of loyal Islamic dissent out of the political arena, and is now targeted by the Taliban-backed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), with which there have been military clashes over the past two years.

Continue reading "Cozying up to Karimov?" »

October 10, 2001

Central Asian energy and security in light of the Afghanistan crisis

The effect of events in Afghanistan on public opinion in Central Asia is difficult to gauge. Yet this public opinion is already in general either exhausted by economic hardship or increasingly discontent with political repression. That very situation is what presents the danger that the U.S. rapprochement with Central Asian regimes will negatively affect its long-term interests.

Continue reading "Central Asian energy and security in light of the Afghanistan crisis" »

October 16, 2001

Abkhazia Again: The UN Helicopter Shootdown

Earlier this month, a helicopter carrying members of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) was shot down after taking off from Sukhumi, capital of the secessionist region of Abkhazia. It crashed, killing all nine on board. At first glance, it might seem that some party to the secessionist conflict whether Georgian, Russian, or Abkhaz--was trying to take advantage of the world's attention being focused on Afghanistan, in order to pursue tactical, strategic, or political aims in Georgia. However, the situation is more complicated than that.

Continue reading "Abkhazia Again: The UN Helicopter Shootdown" »

October 19, 2001

Islamic Militancy in Central Asia: What Is To Be Done? (2/2)

The air strikes on Afghanistan put U.S. policy in Central Asia in a delicate position. On the one hand, Central Asian governments will be tempted to harden further their authoritarian domestic policies toward dissent and opposition, driving people further toward Islamic-based protest. If popular opinion in the region comes to identify the U.S. too directly with those policies, then the post-authoritarian transitions could see widespread Islamic militancy, tied to anti-Americanism, come to the fore.

Continue reading "Islamic Militancy in Central Asia: What Is To Be Done? (2/2)" »

October 24, 2001

Georgia/Abkhazia: Conflict Profile

HISTORY

Roughly three millennia ago, two unions among tribes then inhabiting present-day Georgia established the political structures that survive in the written historical record. One of these unions was that of the Colchis, whose land Greek legend depicts in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts as the origin of the Golden Fleece. After the Colchis' kingdom weakened and fell, its eastern provinces constituted themselves a new kingdom called Kartli. At the same time, roughly about the time of Rome's founding according to the legend of Romulus and Remus (753 BC), the Greeks began colonizing the Black Sea coast in the west of the land. The cities they founded still survive. In the Abkhazia region, for example, Dioskuras is the forerunner of present-day Sukhumi, which the Abkhaz call "Sukhum" (the terminal "-i" being a syntactical Georgianization.)

Continue reading "Georgia/Abkhazia: Conflict Profile" »

October 25, 2001

The Anti-Terrorist Coalition: A "New World Order" Redux?

Just as the post-cold war transition to a new international system seemed to be ending, the terrorist acts of September 11 and the U.S. responses have re-opened the question of Central Asia's strategic orientation and, through that, the structure of the entire international system. Does the universal international endorsement of Washington's war on terrorism signify the rebirth of the "new world order" heralded in U.S. policy ten years ago? In particular, does it render irrelevant the Sino-Russian entente that has evolved over the past decade, including economic and military cooperation, and diplomatic coordination?

Continue reading "The Anti-Terrorist Coalition: A "New World Order" Redux?" »

October 28, 2001

Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), Georgia: Conflict Profile

History

The Russian Empire annexed Ossetia in the first decade of the nineteenth century. After the Bolshevik Revolution, this became in March 1918 the Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, renamed the Mountain Autonomous Republic in January 1920. In 1922, the section of this region south of the mountains became the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1989 it declared itself to be part of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, then declared itself sovereign in August 1990. In response, Georgia abolished South Ossetia's autonomous status within Georgia in December 1990. After South Ossetia declared independence (not internationally recognized, and as distinct from sovereignty) on November 28, 1991, Georgia in April 1992 reestablished the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.

Continue reading "Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), Georgia: Conflict Profile" »

November 21, 2001

The Shattering of the Sino-Russian Entente over the Shape of Central Asia?

Before the terrorist acts in New York City, the U.S. looked to be largely absent diplomatically and militarily, while limiting its economic presence to Caspian energy development in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Yet the formation of a U.S.-sponsored ‘global anti-terrorist coalition’ has not undercut the basis for the Sino-Russian rapprochement signaled by the institutionalization of the SCO and the signing of the first bilateral Sino-Russian treaty in fifty years.

Continue reading "The Shattering of the Sino-Russian Entente over the Shape of Central Asia?" »

U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan: Implications for Central Asia

Just when it looked the Central Asian countries were facing the growing joint political hegemony of Russia and China in the region, the events of September 11 opened the door to an increased and indefinite-term U.S. military presence.

Continue reading "U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan: Implications for Central Asia" »

February 27, 2002

Redrawing the Architecture of Central Asian Security

Washington has not only blocked the impending closure of Sino-Russian hegemony over Central Asia, but also finessed Russian strategic opposition to the American project for deploying a space-based defense. The new U.S. presence in Central Asia has reinforced the emerging post-Cold War reconnection of Central Asia with South and Southwest Asia. In geopolitical terms, Uzbekistan remains the "pivot" of the region. However, within the larger "shatterbelt" that Central Asia represents for the broader Eurasian landmass, the post-Nazarbaev future of Kazakhstan looms large.

Continue reading "Redrawing the Architecture of Central Asian Security" »

May 1, 2002

Self-Determination Issues in Central Eurasia

Central Eurasia, which is what specialists have taken to calling most of the geographic area once covered by the Soviet Union, has a long history of ethnopolitical complications and related struggles focused on collective identities. Tsarist Russia had moderate success in keeping these within bounds, partly because it was willing to tolerate such collective identities as social constructions autonomous of its own political rule.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had a more insistently penetrative ideology that left little room for cultural, ethnic, or religious autonomy. The Soviet regime tapped the mass communications technologies of the twentieth century to pursue its control over all populations and to implement its program of political socialization. All ethnically based opposition to Moscow’s rule was driven underground. The all-pervasive nature of the Soviet political and security apparatus made calls for any significant sort of self-determination extremely difficult to sustain. When Gorbachev combined economic reform (leading to economic disruption and attendant problems of supply) with political empowerment (permitting Soviet citizens to voice complaints publicly without the fear of repression), he unwittingly unleashed two elements necessary for a political explosion. Long discussed (but little understood) in Soviet political writings, the so-called ‘national question” became the fuse igniting the internal conflicts that burst forth across the Soviet regions in the late 1980s, as the USSR collapsed, and into the 1990s.

Continue reading "Self-Determination Issues in Central Eurasia" »

November 2, 2002

Interview on Chechen Terrorism

Transcript of radio interview, evening of 2 November 2002, with John Batchelor on "Batchelor & Alexander", WABC (New York).

Continue reading "Interview on Chechen Terrorism" »

February 20, 2003

The Turkish Military and Northern Iraq

Press reports have indicated that what separates the United States and Turkey in their negotiations [over conditions for American access to Turkish territory and facilities for military action against Iraq in 2003] the size and nature of the economic package wanted by Ankara. This is partly true, but it is not the whole story, and not even necessarily the most important part of the story. Military aspects of any Turkish incursion into northern Iraq and political aspects of northern Iraq's future are, rather, the more significant sticking points. Before discussing the latter, it is nevertheless useful background to review how the level of the economic package has recently increased.

Continue reading "The Turkish Military and Northern Iraq" »

March 5, 2003

The Turkish Parliament's Double-Fisted Knockout

Press reports, especially in North America, suggested that a deal between Ankara and Washington was just a question of money, using the metaphor of the bazaar to explain Turkish negotiating behavior. In the end, this description was shown to be ill-conceived and inaccurate. More was at stake than just the amount of money. Turkish leaders consistently said so, but no one in Washington seemed to hear them. The American administration also appeared to assume that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara could make its parliamentary deputies fall into line as easily as the Republican Party in the US can whip its congressmen and senators into supporting administration policy.

Continue reading "The Turkish Parliament's Double-Fisted Knockout" »

March 7, 2003

Out With the US, In With the Turks

The Turkish Grand National Assembly, in failing to approve the economic assistance package to be provided to Turkey by the US in return for American troops using Turkish soil for an attack on Iraq, also failed to authorize Turkey's army to enter northern Iraq. The Turkish constitution requires a parliamentary vote to send the country's armed forces outside its own borders. With this not being approved, the dynamics of the impending war have changed.

Continue reading "Out With the US, In With the Turks" »

March 12, 2003

Russia Begins Oil Swaps with Iran

Iran has been seeking since the mid-1990s to undertake oil swaps with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as a way to increase its own exports. Such swaps involve Iran’s importing oil in the north on its Caspian Sea coast for domestic refining and consumption, while exporting compensatory quantities to the world market from its southern ports on the Persian Gulf. This has been part and parcel of Iran’s strategy not only for developing its own energy sector but also for situating itself as an important transit country for international trade flows in general.

Continue reading "Russia Begins Oil Swaps with Iran" »

July 23, 2003

Turks, Kurds and the US-Turkish relationship

The recent detention of Turkish soldiers by US troops in northern Iraq is only a symptom of the divergence of interests between erstwhile Cold War allies. The vote of the Turkish Grand National Assembly this year against allowing the United States to use Turkey's territory for transit of military forces in the run-up to Gulf War II is likewise only a symptom of that divergence of interests.

Continue reading "Turks, Kurds and the US-Turkish relationship" »

January 15, 2004

Emerging triangles: Russia-Kazakhstan-China

The significance of the agreements on energy cooperation achieved during Russian President Vladimir Putin's recently completed visit to Kazakhstan is only an indicator of the consolidation of deeper tectonic shifts in Eurasian security and economic affairs. A new triangle is emerging in East Central Eurasian geo-economics among Russia, Kazakhstan and China. (It is being complemented by the emergence of another such triangle in West Central Eurasia among Russia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.) Energy cooperation is a linchpin of each of the emerging triangular ententes, but the ententes themselves go far beyond energy.

Continue reading "Emerging triangles: Russia-Kazakhstan-China" »

January 16, 2004

Новый треугольник Россия-Казахстан-Китай

В Евразии происходят глубинные тектонические сдвиги в области обеспечения безопасности и экономического сотрудничества.

Continue reading "Новый треугольник Россия-Казахстан-Китай" »

January 19, 2004

Из-за чего страдает рыба в Балхаше и океанариуме Астаны

На минувшей неделе пресса продолжила комментировать итоги недавнего визита президента Путина в Казахстан.

Continue reading "Из-за чего страдает рыба в Балхаше и океанариуме Астаны" »

March 24, 2004

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Moves into First Gear

After a slow start in 2002, the SCO's St.-Petersburg summit in May 2003 approved development of a military arm to assist SCO anti-terrorist cooperation. The organization’s first multilateral military exercise (called “Interaction-2003”) took place that August in Kazakhstan and China, although without Uzbekistan’s participation. In September of that year, the prime ministers of the member states agreed in Beijing to fund the SCO in the amount of $4 million during 2004, establishing its secretariat in Beijing (moved from Shanghai in accordance with a September 2002 decision) and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in Tashkent (rather than Bishkek, and beginning operations in January 2004).

Continue reading "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Moves into First Gear" »

May 27, 2004

The Sources and Regions of Crisis in the Caucasus

Public speech invited at the International Symposium Examination of the Regions of Crisis from the Perspectives of Turkey, NATO and the European Union, and the Impacts of These Crises on the Security of Turkey, organized by the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), Turkish General Staff, Istanbul, 27–28 May 2004.

Continue reading "The Sources and Regions of Crisis in the Caucasus" »

December 22, 2004

The Complexity of Central Eurasia

Since the end of the Cold War, global international relations are more clearly a "complex system," a self-organizing network rather than a top-down hierarchy. Superpowers (or at least one), great powers, and regional powers still exist, but middle-level phenomena have become important drivers in a world that now self-organizes from bottom up.

Continue reading "The Complexity of Central Eurasia" »

October 7, 2005

CACO integrate EurAsEc

The Central Asian Co-operation Organization (CACO, comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and since October 2004 Russia) has taken a decision to meld itself into the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc, which includes also Belarus and has until now excluded Uzbekistan). CACO, established in February 2002, started out in 1994 as the Central Asian Union (Kazakhstan+Kyrgyzstan+Uzbekistan) and changed its name to the Central Asian Economic Community when Tajikistan joined in 1998.

Continue reading "CACO integrate EurAsEc" »

November 1, 2005

Russia and Iran's nuclear program

Takeyh and Gvosdev are right on target when they write: "It should be abundantly clear that Moscow and Washington do not see eye-to-eye on the Iranian question. When [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice declared last Saturday that Iran had no need for even a civilian nuclear program, [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov countered that Iran had a full right to possess a nuclear fuel cycle."

Continue reading "Russia and Iran's nuclear program" »

February 12, 2006

Energy Security for Turkey Is Energy Security for Others

A geopolitical and geo-economic inventory of Turkey's assets in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century reveals such strengths, beyond its military capa-bilities and other state institutions, as industry, population, and, above all, geographic lo-cation. These are foremost among the instruments of the country’s national power that may be mobilized or put to the projection of national power and defense of national inter-est. The territory of the Turkish Republic, in comparison with that of its neighbors, does not hold vast quantities of energy resources (with the exception of coal). However, the country’s well-known geographic situation as a crossroads of continents makes it espe-cially well suited to pursue a policy as a facilitator of energy transport. This strategic di-mension of Turkey's new geopolitical environment provides unique opportunities for en-gagement in response to new policy challenges. It should become a central, indeed defin-ing feature of Turkish diplomacy in years to come.

The key issue identified in this essay, relating to the changes in Turkey's neighborhood and how Turkey might respond to them, is therefore energy security, both national and international. The “change in Turkey's neighborhood” (to adopt the lan-guage of the Call) that make this issue especially salient for Turkey is the increased sig-nificance of Eurasian energy resources towards the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, when world energy demand is growing faster than expected and prices have risen as a reflection of tighter supplies. This change holds implications for the whole of Turkey's immediate as well as extended neighborhood. It has already affected and will only affect more deeply Turkey's relations with the European Union, Russia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Middle Eastern neighbors, and Central Asia, as well as Turkey's potential role in transatlantic relations.

Just as neighboring states are the regional international environment for the for-eign conduct of the Turkish Republic, so is Turkey a component of the international environment of other states in the neighborhood. The discussion here, of how Turkey might respond to these changes, sets out Turkey not just as a reactive but pro-active agent in both its immediate and extended neighborhood, an international actor not only respond-ing to changes but also capable of influencing their development by creating trends based upon Turkey's own elements of national power and its capacity to employ them not only for Turkey's benefit but also for that of its partners.

The first section of this essay reviews the evolution of Turkey's geo-economic situation in the changing regional and international environment over the past fifteen years, i.e., since the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The second section examines in greater detail Turkey's situation at the center of the compass of the Eurasian geo-economic envi-ronment. The third section draws policy recommendations on the basis of the preceding analysis. The concluding section of the essay ties the threads together and summarizes the argument.

Continue reading "Energy Security for Turkey Is Energy Security for Others" »

June 26, 2006

Playing Oil Politics in the Caspian Sea

Robert Cutler, a senior fellow at the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, agrees that Russia’s political and economic strength is growing. He says it was clearly demonstrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his recent response to the European Union's call to sign on to a multilateral commerce treaty.

Continue reading "Playing Oil Politics in the Caspian Sea" »

November 6, 2006

Europe and the Future of NATO

It's not going to happen in Riga next month, but in five to ten years Europe (by which I mean "Europe" and not only the European Union, i.e., including the European countries as members of NATO) may have digested its 1989-1991 revolutions enough to be able to play a cooperative partnership role within NATO (by which I mean "NATO" and not only the U.S., not excluding in the end some EU capabilities).

Continue reading "Europe and the Future of NATO" »

February 28, 2007

A New Chance for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline?

A significant indicator of Turkmenistan's future diplomatic and economic course is whether new President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov will undertake a rapprochement with Azerbaijan.

Continue reading "A New Chance for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline?" »

April 8, 2007

Interview on Iraqi Kurdistan and the Situation in Iraq

Question: What is your point of view on Iraq's near-term future? Will U.S. policy fail? And if so, will Iraq be divided?

Answer: The U.S. policy succeeded in removing Saddam Hussein, which was very important to the Kurds in Iraq. But further U.S. policy will fail if it seeks to destroy the secular and socially progressive aspects of the Iraqi culture, which include health care delivery, high literacy rates, education for girls as well as boys, etc.

Continue reading "Interview on Iraqi Kurdistan and the Situation in Iraq" »

October 24, 2007

Another trans-Caspian pipe dream

Recent weeks have seen increasing United States activity in favor of constructing the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. But what are the chances of anything really happening? From the technical standpoint, there is no obstacle.

Continue reading "Another trans-Caspian pipe dream" »

July 18, 2008

EU's Central Asia partnership, one year on

The one-year anniversary of the EU's Partnership Strategy with Central Asia gets off to a slow start but is not without potential.

Continue reading "EU's Central Asia partnership, one year on" »

August 1, 2008

Azərbaycan Dağlıq Qarabağ üzrə danışıqlar prosesində əvvəlki davranış xəttini saxlamalıdır

[News article (Interview) first published (in Azeri translation from English) by Trend News Agency (Baku), 1 August 2008, under the by-line of N. Boqdanova.]

Continue reading "Azərbaycan Dağlıq Qarabağ üzrə danışıqlar prosesində əvvəlki davranış xəttini saxlamalıdır" »

August 13, 2008

Oil in troubled mountains

The armed conflict between Russian and Georgia has further exposed the fragile position of the energy links running through the smaller country from the Caspian Sea to developed market economies

Continue reading "Oil in troubled mountains" »

August 20, 2008

Russia’s Disinformation Campaign over South Ossetia

With Georgian government websites shut down by cyber-attacks in the days immediately preceding hostilities, the Russian story of its army coming to the defense of South Ossetia in the face of Georgian assault gained currency. This script is still often invoked as a preface to any commentary or reportage on current developments. However, as facts begin to surface, it is increasingly revealed as a propaganda strategy planned in advance and contradicted by evidence on the ground, by the testimony of neutral observers, and by the increasingly transparent cynicism of its purveyors.

Continue reading "Russia’s Disinformation Campaign over South Ossetia" »

August 22, 2008

Georgian invasion worsens Russian downturn

Moscow's equity markets, whose benchmark measure has declined with increasing rapidity since the start of the year, have turned worse with Russia's invasion of Georgia. The dollar-denominated RTS index is down 33% in three months and the ruble-denominated MICEX is nearly as much off at 28% in the same period.

Continue reading "Georgian invasion worsens Russian downturn" »

August 28, 2008

Turkey has a rough road ahead

The realities of Turkey's economy and politics would alone have killed off the summer revival in the country's stock markets. Russia's invasion of Georgia, on Turkey's back doorstep, made sure.

Continue reading "Turkey has a rough road ahead" »

Türkiye’nin İşi Zor

Türkiye’nin ekonomik ve siyasi gerçekleri tek başına, piyasalardaki yaz canlanmasının canına okurdu. Rusya’nın Türkiye’nin arka kapısı Gürcistan’ı işgali de bunu kesinleştirdi.

Continue reading "Türkiye’nin İşi Zor" »

Թուրքիան դժվարին ճանապարհ ունի անցնելու

Թուրքիայի տնտեսական և քաղաքական իրողությունները միայն բավական կլինեին երկրի արժեթղթերի շուկայում ամռանը գրանցված աշխուժությունը սպանելու համար: Իսկ Ռուսաստանի ներխուժումը Թուրքիայի դրկից Վրաստան դրան թափ հաղորդեց:

Continue reading "Թուրքիան դժվարին ճանապարհ ունի անցնելու" »

January 8, 2009

Reality wins over energy grand design

The re-eruption of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia over payments for gas deliveries illustrates that developments in Eurasian energy geo-economics do not take vacations, even over the New Year holidays. The Ukrainian-Russian dispute, for example, takes place in circumstances (economic, financial, political, military, even cultural) that are different from those surrounding their last tiff three years ago. Its significance and its dynamics differ accordingly.

Continue reading "Reality wins over energy grand design" »

February 9, 2009

Meltdown in Iceland

Popular unrest and government collapse in Reykjavik in the wake of the ongoing global financial crisis are only the tip of the iceberg.

Continue reading "Meltdown in Iceland" »

April 16, 2009

Turkish magic

A sparkling performance by the Turkish stock market is defying gloom across the country's economy, which has shown little sign of lightening since a disillusioned public reined in support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in municipal elections on March 29.

Continue reading "Turkish magic" »

May 8, 2009

Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону

Более ста лет назад сэр Халфорд Макиндер (Halford Mackinder) произнес знаменитые слова о том, что территории к востоку и северу от Каспийского моря могут стать "географической осью истории", выдвигая свою геополитическую теорию о евразийском "центре мира". Этот термин сейчас в равной мере применим и к Азербайджану, учитывая его роль на южном Кавказе. И вызвано это не только тем, что он обеспечивает самый надежный и самый эффективный транзит каспийских энергоресурсов на запад в Европу и за ее пределы.

Continue reading "Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону" »

Azerbaijan can look the other way

Over 100 years ago, Sir Halford Mackinder famously identified territories to the east and north of the Caspian Sea as the "geographical pivot of history" in his Heartland Theory of geopolitics. Much of that territory corresponds to modern-day Uzbekistan, whose importance was rediscovered in the wake of the disintegration of the multinational Soviet state. The term could now equally apply to Azerbaijan's role in the South Caucasus, and not only because it provides the most secure and efficient transit of Caspian Sea energy resources westward to Europe and beyond.

Continue reading "Azerbaijan can look the other way" »

July 10, 2009

Xinjiang: China's energy gateway

The unrest in China's far-west region of Xinjiang, notably in the local capital of Urumqi, comes after 15 years of development and transformation of the area to be a geo-economic springboard for projecting influence into Central Asia and the Caspian region in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Continue reading "Xinjiang: China's energy gateway" »

July 16, 2009

Nabucco ink starts to flow

The signing this week of a transit agreement to govern the Nabucco natural gas pipeline marks an important staging post in bringing to reality the long-touted energy route, which is projected to run 3,300 kilometers from the Caspian Sea region to Europe. Yet it is important to understand what such a transit agreement is intended to do - and what it is not intended to do.

Continue reading "Nabucco ink starts to flow" »

July 17, 2009

Синьцзян - энергетические ворота Китая

Волнения в Синьцзян-Уйгурском районе разразились спустя 15 лет после начала масштабной трансформации этого региона в геоэкономический трамплин для китайского прыжка в бывшие советские республики.

Continue reading "Синьцзян - энергетические ворота Китая" »

July 31, 2009

The Kurds and the Constitutional Crisis in Iraq

Question: The future of Iraq is related to the success of the political process and national reconciliation among Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. To avoid dictatorship of the majority, consensus democracy has been pursued in Iraq. What is your opinion as how this process will succeed and how these three main components of Iraq may unite?

Continue reading "The Kurds and the Constitutional Crisis in Iraq" »

Azərbayjan İran və Rusiyanın Xəzərdəki təlimlərini diqqətlə izləyir

İran və Rusiya arasında Xəzər dənizində başlayan ikigünlük birgə təlimlər digər Xəzəryanı dövlətlər - Azərbayjan, Türkmənistan və Qazaxıstan tərəfindən diqqətlə izlənilir. Bu barədə "Asiya Times" qəzetində Robert Katler yazıbdır.

Continue reading "Azərbayjan İran və Rusiyanın Xəzərdəki təlimlərini diqqətlə izləyir" »

August 1, 2009

Азербайджану стоит придерживаться прежней линии поведения в переговорном процессе по Нагорному Карабаху

Для мирного разрешения нагорно-карабахского конфликта Азербайджану стоит продолжать придерживаться той же стратегической линии, считает ведущий эксперт по странам Евразии, доктор Роберт Катлер (Robert Cutler).

Continue reading "Азербайджану стоит придерживаться прежней линии поведения в переговорном процессе по Нагорному Карабаху" »

Azerbaijan should adhere to principled strategic line in Nagorno-Karabakh talks: expert of Carleton University

Azerbaijan should adhere to the principled strategic line to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, leading expert on Eurasian countries, Doctor Robert Cutler believes.

Continue reading "Azerbaijan should adhere to principled strategic line in Nagorno-Karabakh talks: expert of Carleton University" »

Эксперт по странам Евразии: «Азербайджану стоит придерживаться прежней линии в переговорном процессе по Нагорному Карабаху»

Для мирного разрешения нагорно-карабахского конфликта Азербайджану стоит продолжать придерживаться той же стратегической линии, считает ведущий эксперт по странам Евразии, доктор Роберт Катлер.

Continue reading "Эксперт по странам Евразии: «Азербайджану стоит придерживаться прежней линии в переговорном процессе по Нагорному Карабаху»" »

September 12, 2009

Four-way Caspian Summit in Aqtau

Question:  There's an opinion, that during the Aqtau summit, the questions concerning Caspian sea were discussed, without Iran. What is your opinion on this? If, for example its true, how would it affect the future talks with all five Caspian littoral states?

Continue reading "Four-way Caspian Summit in Aqtau" »

September 16, 2009

Узбекистан будет стараться сохранять членство в ОДКБ как можно дольше

Несмотря на пассивность Узбекистана в качестве члена Организации Договора о коллективной безопасности (ОДКБ), Ташкент будет стараться сохранить членство в организации как можно дольше, считают эксперты.

Continue reading "Узбекистан будет стараться сохранять членство в ОДКБ как можно дольше" »

Uzbekistan and the CSTO

Question:  Uzbekistan refused to take part in the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) within Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of the CIS. How long will Uzbekistan stay in this organization taking into consideration that the country ignores organization's projects? Why do you think so?

Continue reading "Uzbekistan and the CSTO" »

«У Азербайджана ключевая роль»

Интервью Т. Теймурa (Day.Az) с канадским ученым, исследователем Института европейских, российских и евразийских учений Карлтонского университета, Робертом Катлером.

Continue reading "«У Азербайджана ключевая роль»" »

Azerbaijan has a key role to play in Nabucco project

Robert Cutler, Senior Research Fellow at Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University spoke to Day.Az in an interview. Published under by-line of T. Teymur.

Continue reading "Azerbaijan has a key role to play in Nabucco project" »

September 29, 2009

««Nabucco» mübahisəli yataqlara görə ertələndi»

[Interview on Caspian energy security, broadcast in Azeri translation from the original English, and also published in Azeri by Azadlıq Radiosu (Baku), 29 September 2009, under the by-line of Arifə Kazımova.]

Continue reading "««Nabucco» mübahisəli yataqlara görə ertələndi»" »

Канадский эксперт: «Набукко» - более реалистичный проект, чем «Южный поток»

«Набукко» нужно воспринимать как реальный проект. Об этом в Центре стратегических исследований при Президенте Азербайджана во время «круглого стола» на тему «Влияние геополитических факторов на энергетическую стратегию Азербайджана в Каспийско-Черноморском регионе» заявил научный сотрудник института исследований Европы, России и Евразии канадского университета Карлтон Роберт Катлер.

Continue reading "Канадский эксперт: «Набукко» - более реалистичный проект, чем «Южный поток»" »

Обозреватель “Asia Times” Роберт Катлер считает

В 2002 году Тегеран негативно отреагировал на военные маневры России на Каспии и отказался направить на них военных наблюдателей. Теперь ситуация иная. Россия с большими сомнениями относится к энергетическим проектам в регионе, поддерживаемым США. Кроме того, Москва не удовлетворена тем, что администрация Обамы не пошла на компромисс по системе ПРО.

Continue reading "Обозреватель “Asia Times” Роберт Катлер считает" »

Ekspert Robert Katler: “Azərbaycana kənardan baxan zaman, onun tam inkişaf etmiş ölkə olduğu aydın müşahidə olunur”

Bakıda səfərdə olan ABŞ-ın enerji sahəsində eksperti Robert Katler (Kanadanın “Karleton” Unversitetinin Avropaşünaslıq, Rusiyaşünaslıq və Avrasiyaşünaslıq İnstitutunda Baş Elmi işçi vəzifəsində çalışır) “Trend” Mətbuat Mərkəzində Dəyirmi masa keçirib. SİA-nın məlumatına görə, tədbirdə R. Katler Avropa və Asiya regionunda, o cümlədən Azərbaycanda mövcud olan enerji layihələrindən söz açıb. R. Katler Azərbaycanda ilk dəfə olduğunu bildirib.

Continue reading "Ekspert Robert Katler: “Azərbaycana kənardan baxan zaman, onun tam inkişaf etmiş ölkə olduğu aydın müşahidə olunur”" »

September 30, 2009

Azərbaycan müstəqil enerji diplomatiyası yürüdür

[News article (interview) first published in Yeni Azərbaycan (Baku), 30 September 2009.]

Continue reading "Azərbaycan müstəqil enerji diplomatiyası yürüdür" »

Роберт Катлер: 'Очень многое зависит от погоды'

[This article is the Russian translation (from http://www.inosmi.ru) of the Bulgarian translation (from the newspaper 24 Часа [Sofia]) of the Georgian translation (from the newspaper 24 Ⴑაათი [Tbilisi]) of an interview originally conducted in English, on Caspian and Caucasus region energy security, in Tbilisi on 30 September 2009.]

Continue reading "Роберт Катлер: 'Очень многое зависит от погоды'" »

October 1, 2009

Серьёзные ставки в переговорах о газопроводах

Фридрих Энгельс писал, что исторические события зачастую представляют собой «нежелательный результат» различных импульсов в «параллелограмме сил».

Continue reading "Серьёзные ставки в переговорах о газопроводах" »

October 16, 2009

Price limit on China's Russian friendship

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to China this week is the latest indicator that the rapprochement in Russian-Chinese relations, initiated through the 2001 bilateral "Treaty on Good-Neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation", which provided for increased Russian arms sales to China and the training of Chinese officers at Russian military schools, is developing steadily into closer strategic cooperation. Burgeoning cooperation in the energy sphere dates from Putin's December 2002 visit to China, as president, when it was agreed that a project for a gas export pipeline to China would be elaborated, with the Kovytka gas field being the most likely candidate for supply.

Continue reading "Price limit on China's Russian friendship" »

October 17, 2009

ราคายังเป็นตัวจำกัดมิตรภาพจีน-รัสเซีย

การไปเยือนจีนของนายกรัฐมนตรี วลาดิมีร์ ปูติน แห่งรัสเซียในสัปดาห์นี้ บ่งบอกให้ทราบว่าความร่วมมือในระดับยุทธศาสตร์ระหว่างประเทศทั้งสองกำลังมี การพัฒนาขยับเข้าใกล้ชิดกันมากยิ่งขึ้น อย่างไรก็ดี การที่ปักกิ่งตกลงใจที่จะใช้วิธีต่อรองอย่างเต็มเหนี่ยว สำหรับราคาก๊าซที่จะนำเข้าจากแดนหมีขาว อันเป็นท่าทีที่เปลี่ยนแปลงไปจากความอะลุ้มอะล่วยด้วยการเสนอให้เงินกู้แบบ ผ่อนปรนในโครงการเกี่ยวกับน้ำมันของมอสโกเมื่อต้นปีนี้ ก็เป็นเครื่องบ่งชี้ว่าความร่วมมือกันดังกล่าวนี้มีข้อจำกัดของมันอยู่

Continue reading "ราคายังเป็นตัวจำกัดมิตรภาพจีน-รัสเซีย" »

October 18, 2009

Предел цены для китайской дружбы с Россией

Визит российского премьер-министра Владимира Путина в Китай на этой неделе является последним показателем того, что сближение в российско-китайских отношениях, начатое в рамках двустороннего «Договора о добрососедстве, дружбе и сотрудничестве» 2001 г., который предусматривал увеличение поставок российского оружия в Китай и подготовку китайских офицеров в российских военных ВУЗах, стабильно перерастает в более тесное стратегическое сотрудничество.

Continue reading "Предел цены для китайской дружбы с Россией" »

October 27, 2009

Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону

Более ста лет назад сэр Халфорд Макиндер (Halford Mackinder) произнес знаменитые слова о том, что территории к востоку и северу от Каспийского моря могут стать “географической осью истории”, выдвигая свою геополитическую теорию о евразийском “центре мира”. Значительная часть этой территории соответствует месту расположения современного Узбекистана, чья значимость вновь дала о себе знать после распада многонационального советского государства.

Continue reading "Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону" »

November 13, 2009

The Rise of the Rimland?

Recent energy and other developments in Southwest Asia, particularly involving Turkey, Iran and Iraq, sketch the outline of an imminent reorganization of international relations in the region. This will have knock-on effects for Eurasia as a whole and the shape of the international system in coming decades. At the same time, it suggests new and unexpected relevance of the mid-20th century geopolitical theorist Nicolas Spykman.

Continue reading "The Rise of the Rimland?" »

March 4, 2010

Europe Focuses on Southern Energy Corridor

Various diplomats appear to be questioning the supposed competition between the Nabucco and the South Stream natural gas pipelines. In fact, Russia and Turkey are collaborating to block the full implementation of the EU’s Southern Corridor energy strategy so as to assert a duopoly over natural gas supplies to Europe.

Continue reading "Europe Focuses on Southern Energy Corridor" »

March 19, 2010

Stocks ride out Erdogan offensive

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent moves to weaken institutionally the two principal centers of resistance to the conservative-populist rule of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have met with little resistance from the country's stock markets, buoyed by positive trade figures and upgrades in Turkey's sovereign debt ratings.

Continue reading "Stocks ride out Erdogan offensive" »

March 25, 2010

Turkey strengthens Iraqi energy ties

Turkey last week strengthened its energy ties with Iraq by renewing a contract to import Iraqi oil to the Turkish Mediterranean Sea port of Ceyhan, where Azerbaijani oil also arrives via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. Earlier this year, it was announced that Iraq will export between 5 billion and 10 billion cubic meters per year of natural gas to Turkey for inclusion in the Nabucco pipeline carrying the fuel to Europe.

Continue reading "Turkey strengthens Iraqi energy ties" »

March 30, 2010

Белые пятна в отношениях ЕС и Украины

Евросоюзу не следует спешить и поздравлять себя с тем, как он поступил в ситуации, связанной с проведением президентских выборов на Украине. Будущее, а не прошлое, покажет, что произойдет дальше. И будущее должно отличаться от прошлого.

Continue reading "Белые пятна в отношениях ЕС и Украины" »

Blind Spots in EU-Ukraine Relations

The EU should not be too quick to congratulate itself for its handling of the situation surrounding Ukrainian presidential elections. The future, not the past, will tell the story, and the future has to be different from the past.

Continue reading "Blind Spots in EU-Ukraine Relations" »

April 13, 2010

EU Uncritical of Turkish Constitution Plan

The EU should recall Talleyrand’s dictum that “the devil is in the details” when evaluating Turkish constitutional amendments proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, writes Robert M Cutler for ISN Security Watch.

Continue reading "EU Uncritical of Turkish Constitution Plan" »

April 21, 2010

Complicating Cyprus

The election of Derviş Eroğlu as president in northern Cyprus complicates Turkey’s EU accession negotiations, as well as the already thorny negotiations over the island republic’s reunification.

Continue reading "Complicating Cyprus" »

April 22, 2010

Komplikacja na Cyprze

Wybór Dervisa Eroglu na prezydenta w północnym Cyprze komplikuje negocjacje akcesyjne Turcji z UE jak również już wcześniej trudne negocjacje na temat zjednoczenia wyspiarskiej republiki.

Continue reading "Komplikacja na Cyprze" »

April 28, 2010

India Seeks to Re-enter New Iran-Pakistan Gas Deal

Last month, after years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement for a bilateral natural gas pipeline to be sourced from the South Pars deposit. India has since asked to reopen negotiations, from which it had earlier withdrawn, to make the project trilateral. While pricing issues between Iran and Pakistan appear to be resolved, questions about pipeline security in Pakistan, pricing with India, and the role or non-role of China, are only three of the sets of problems still awaiting resolution.

Continue reading "India Seeks to Re-enter New Iran-Pakistan Gas Deal" »

May 20, 2010

Naxalites drill away at India's wealth

The murder by Naxalite insurgents of 35 civilians and police in a landmine attack on a bus in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, a month after another attack killed at least 75 policemen, barely registered among investors seeking to tap into the country's burgeoning economy.

Continue reading "Naxalites drill away at India's wealth" »

May 21, 2010

Robert Katler: “Demokrat Partiyasının erməni lobbisinin fikirlərini nəzərə alması ABŞ dövlətinin Azərbaycanla bağlı enerji siyasətinə təsir edir”

“ABŞ doqquz aydan çoxdur ki, Bakıda müvəqqəti işlər vəkili səviyyəsində təmsil olunur. Bu, 1992-ci ildə yaranmış ABŞ-Azərbaycan münasibətlərinin tarixində ABŞ-ın Azərbaycan paytaxtında səfirsiz təmsil olunduğu ən üzün dövrdür. Bu cür vəziyyət isə istənilən halda ikitərəfli münasibətlərdə çətinlik yaradır”. Karlton Universitetinin (Carleton University) Avropa, Rusiya və Avrasiya Tədqiqatları İnstitutunun baş elmi işçisi Robert Katler (Robert M. Cutler) APA-nın Vaşinqtondakı müxbirinə belə deyib.

Continue reading "Robert Katler: “Demokrat Partiyasının erməni lobbisinin fikirlərini nəzərə alması ABŞ dövlətinin Azərbaycanla bağlı enerji siyasətinə təsir edir”" »

Роберт Катлер: «То, что Демократическая партия учитывает мнения армянского лобби, влияет на энергетическую политику США»

«Уже больше девяти месяцев США представлены в Баку временным поверенным в делах.» Со времени установления отношений между США и Азербайджаном в 1992 году, это самый долгий период представления интересов США в Баку без назначения посла. А такое положение, в любом случае, создает трудности в двусторонних отношениях». Об этом вашингтонскому корреспонденту АПА сказал главный научный сотрудник Исследовательского института Европы, России и Евразии Карлтонского Университета (Carleton University) Роберт Катлер.

Continue reading "Роберт Катлер: «То, что Демократическая партия учитывает мнения армянского лобби, влияет на энергетическую политику США»" »

June 22, 2010

Nekünk Azerbajdzsán kell

Robert M. Cutler amerikai politológus-tanácsadó szerint a közép-európai országoknak muszáj együttműködniük az orosz befolyás csökkentéséért. Az oroszok a gázt politikai fegyverként használják, és a nagy nemzetközi vezetékekért folyó küzdelem akár fegyveres konfliktusok kitörésében is szerepet játszik. Az azeri gázmezők válthatják meg térségünket a moszkvai nyomástól.

Continue reading "Nekünk Azerbajdzsán kell" »

August 19, 2010

The Black Sea’s West Coast Weighs In On Caspian Sea Basin Pipelines

Bulgaria and Romania have over the course of the summer been setting down their markers as regards the Nabucco and South Stream pipeline projects in an on-again, off-again manner. What they finally decide may determine which pipelines from the South Caucasus and Turkey get built where in Southeast Europe. Major investment decisions are also on the line in coming months. It is consequently little exaggeration to say that the next year, if not the next half-year, will set the main lines of the blueprint for Caspian/Black Sea hydrocarbon development for the better part of the oncoming decade.

Continue reading "The Black Sea’s West Coast Weighs In On Caspian Sea Basin Pipelines" »


RSS feed Atom feed Follow Facebook Networked Blog Twitter
notification

About Conflict & Security

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Robert M. Cutler on Energy and Eurasia in the Conflict & Security category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Domestic & Reform is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33