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European Leadership Program
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In calea spre Parlament
Prima / Vladimir SOCOR
Vladimir SOCOR
19.04.2006
  ARMENIA'S GIVEAWAYS TO RUSSIA: FROM PROPERTY-FOR-DEBT TO PROPERTY-FOR-GAS
Armenian critics describe the government's new agreement with Russia, giving up infrastructure property for moderately priced gas, as equivalent to giving up the family's milch cow -- or at least selling the cow for the price of milk.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
18.04.2006
  KAZMUNAYGAZ CAN BE THE OPTIMAL CHOICE FOR MAZEIKIAI
Moscow seeks to block the sale of Yukos' majority stake in Lithuania's oil industry to that country's government. The Moscow court-appointed administrator of the Yukos residual assets, Eduard Rebgun, filed suit in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on April 13. The suit ostensibly protects the interests of Yukos' creditors, which include the Russian state based on retroactive tax claims.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
13.04.2006
  KOSOVO AND THE POST-SOVIET CONFLICTS: NO ANALOGY MEANS NO "PRECEDENT"
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and other officials have shifted their tactics regarding the negotiations on the status of Kosovo. The new theme of their statements and approach to the negotiations is: "No Haste." According to them, the negotiations must prepare a settlement "acceptable to all parties" -- translation: hand Serbia blocking rights -- even if it means delaying the final outcome.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
10.04.2006
  TURKMENISTAN-CHINA GAS AGREEMENT: A VERY LONG SHOT
Visiting China on April 2-7, President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan signed with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao a "general agreement" on Turkmen gas deliveries to China and construction of a pipeline to link the two countries. Turkmen state media have published the agreement's text, and Niyazov summarized it on television upon his return to the country (Neytralnyy Turkmenistan, April 4; Interfax, April 4; Turkmen Television Channel One, April 8). Some discrepancies between the text and Niyazov's presentation notwithstanding, the agreement is unrealistically ambitious in its scope and the timetable of implementation.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
06.04.2006
  BLESSING ARMENIA'S DEBT SERVITUDE
On March 31 in Moscow, the Foundation for the Orthodox Peoples' Unity bestowed its annual award on Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Russia's Gazprom company, purportedly for their support to Russian spiritual and religious values (Noyan Tapan, March 31). By fortuitous coincidence, Gazprom doubled the price of gas to Armenia, effective April 1. The price hike will deepen Armenia's economic dependence and structural indebtedness to Russia
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
05.04.2006
  NATIONAL SECURITY A NECESSARY FACTOR IN LITHUANIA-YUKOS NEGOTIATIONS
Russia's court-appointed temporary administrator of the Yukos oil company, Eduard Rebgun, announced on April 3 that he would invalidate any sale of the Yukos assets in Lithuania to any party. Rebgun claims to hold "full legal rights" to authorize or block transactions involving Yukos property or shares, whether in Russia or abroad.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
04.04.2006
  AGREEMENTS SIGNED ON RUSSIAN MILITARY WITHDRAWAL FROM GEORGIA
On Friday, March 31, Georgia's First Deputy Defense Minister, Mamuka Kudava, and Russia's Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief, Colonel-General Alexei Maslov, signed a set of agreements on the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Batumi and Akhalkalaki bases and other Russian military installations in Georgia.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
03.04.2006
  LITHUANIA MAY NATIONALIZE MAZEIKIAI OIL COMPLEX
While Gazprom is rapidly making inroads into Europe's gas infrastructure (see EDM, March 13, 21), Russian authorities are now targeting oil assets on EU territory in Lithuania for takeover by a Kremlin-approved company. The Mazeikiai oil refinery and associated enterprises in Lithuania are among the last remaining major assets of the Kremlin-destroyed Yukos company.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
30.03.2006
  AZERBAIJAN SPEARHEADING INITIATIVE ON TRANS-CASPIAN GAS PIPELINE
Addressing an international energy conference in progress in Baku, Azerbaijan's Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev outlined the advantages of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan via Azerbaijan and Georgia to European markets. Natig Aliyev underscored the project's value for diversifying supplies and restraining prices in Europe.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
29.03.2006
  UN SECURITY COUNCIL SHUTS EYES AND EARS TO GEORGIA
At Moscow's request, the United Nations Security Council excluded Georgia from the March 28 session that discussed prolonging the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Georgia. UNOMIG has been stationed in Abkhazia since 1994 as a passive, largely irrelevant bystander that never dented the Russian military's "peacekeeping" monopoly and unlawful activities, which are now intensifying in Abkhazia.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
28.03.2006
  RUSSIA BANS GEORGIAN, MOLDOVAN WINES AND OTHER PRODUCTS
As of March 27, Russian authorities have banned the import of all wines from Moldova and Georgia, traditionally the leading suppliers to Russia's market. In addition, as of March 21 Russia's authorities banned the entry of plants and vegetable products from Georgia. It seems that the measure does not apply to products from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian government had already banned the import of Moldovan meat, meat products, and plants since April 2005.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
27.03.2006
  MOSCOW HINTS IT MAY FORMALIZE INCORPORATION OF SOUTH OSSETIA
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov's aide, Gennady Bukayev, told a joint session of North Ossetia's and South Ossetia's leaderships in Vladikavkaz on March 22 that Moscow has "decided in principle" to merge the two entities into a single one within Russia. The question is not whether, but when, Bukayev declared, indicating that "a united republic would soon appear" under the name Alania as a unit of the Russian Federation.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
27.03.2006
  EUROPEAN UNION‘S ENERGY PAPER: A MUFFLED CALL TO A SLOW WAKEUP
"A wakeup call to Europe" is how commentators on both sides of the Atlantic describe the political effect of three rounds of man-made interruptions in Russian energy deliveries in January and February. The timing seemed ideal for the European Union‘s eagerly awaited Green Paper on Energy to sound the call loud and clear to a now-receptive public about the urgency of reducing overdependence on Russian deliveries (see EDM, March 3).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
24.03.2006
  RUSSIA-WEST STANDOFF IN TRANSNISTRIA: OVERALL POST-SOVIET ORDER AT STAKE
Russia has chosen Transnistria as the scene of an unprecedented, head-on confrontation with the European Union. Moscow wants to force a reversal of the border and trade regulations corresponding to international law and norms that were introduced on March 3 on the Ukraine-Moldova border. The new regulations aim to close Europe's largest black hole, the 460-kilometer Transnistria segment of that border. The EU had insisted that Ukraine cooperate with that move and is monitoring its implementation through its recently deployed EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
23.03.2006
  UKRAINE MAY BREAK RANKS WITH EUROPE AND MOLDOVA ON TRANSNISTRIA
Kyiv's March 3 decision to cooperate with the European Union and Moldova on Transnistria may prove to be short-lived. On that date, at the EU's insistence, Ukraine began enforcing a new border and customs regime agreed with Moldova on the Transnistria sector of the Ukraine-Moldova border, thus closing Europe's largest "black hole" of contraband and illicit trafficking. However, the March 15 meeting in Moscow of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Secretary (NSDC), Anatoly Kinakh, with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, marked another turning point in Ukraine's policy (if decisions reversible every few weeks amount to a policy).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
23.03.2006
  GEORGIA EXTRICATING FROM GAZPROM'S BEAR HUG
The winter now ending was probably the last one during which Georgia had to face Gazprom's commercial blackmail and supply cutoffs. Within the coming months, Georgia will begin receiving Azerbaijani gas through the Shah Deniz-Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (Turkey) transit pipeline and will also have an opportunity to receive small volumes of Iranian gas. This new situation should finally end Georgia's dependence on Gazprom and constant risk of losing the country's gas transport and distribution systems to the Russian state monopoly.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
21.03.2006
  GAZPROM BROADENS, DEEPENS INROADS INTO EUROPEAN UNION'S INTERNAL MARKETS, TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
Even as some European Union authorities in Brussels attempt to formulate a common EU energy policy, major European players seem to be vying for bilateral deals with Gazprom that could lock their countries into long-term dependence before any common policy is in place.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
20.03.2006
  UKRAINE DEBT REPAYMENT CAN REACTIVATE GAS TALKS WITH TURKMENISTAN
The vision of a gas pipeline from the eastern Caspian basin via Azerbaijan and Georgia, bypassing Russia, to Ukraine and farther into Europe was a topic of discussion at Georgia's international conference on oil and gas infrastructure (GIOGIE 2006) on March 16 in Tbilisi. A project now being drafted by a working group from five engineering firms envisages laying the pipeline from Georgia on the seabed of the Black Sea to Ukraine.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
17.03.2006
  BIDDING FOR YUKOS ASSETS IN LITHUANIA
The bidding is officially on for the Yukos company's last remaining major asset -- the Mazeikiai oil refinery and associated enterprises in Lithuania. Those enterprises, including the Butinge oil loading maritime terminal and Birzai supply pipeline, together form the largest business entity in Lithuania. On March 15, the Lithuanian government announced that it has made an official bid for Yukos' 53.7% stake and operating rights in the Mazeikiai complex.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
16.03.2006
  TRANS-CASPIAN EXPORT OPTION TO BE AVAILABLE TO CPC COMPANIES IN KAZAKHSTAN
Visiting Kazakhstan on March 14, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman announced that he was conveying to President Nursultan Nazarbayev "the desire of the United States" to expedite the signing of the agreement on trans-Caspian oil transport from Kazakhstan through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (press release, March 14). Under discussion for years, the agreement has been delayed by Moscow's behind-the-scenes pressure on Nazarbayev.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
 
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