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Prima / Vladimir SOCOR
Vladimir SOCOR
11.12.2006
  MOSCOW SELF-DISQUALIFYING AS PEACEKEEPER AND MEDIATOR IN ABKHAZ, SOUTH OSSETIAN CONFLICTS
The Russian Duma’s December 6 resolutions, calling for recognition of Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s secession from Georgia and their potential incorporation into Russia, are primarily geared to short-term tactical goals of Russian policy.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
08.12.2006
  OSCE’S YEAR-END CONFERENCE: FAILURE HELPS CLARITY
Even in its failure, the OSCE year-end conference on December 4-5 in Brussels managed to highlight the fact that Russia’s conflict undertakings in Georgia and Moldova constitute the most salient problem of European security at present. This fact had been implicitly understood for some time, but the Brussels ministerial conference turned that understanding into an explicit one.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
08.12.2006
  AZERBAIJAN KEEPS SOLIDARITY WITH GEORGIA FACING RUSSIAN ENERGY SUPPLY CUTS
On December 6, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupryanov confirmed recent press reports that Gazprom will abruptly cut gas supplies to Azerbaijan to 1.5 billion cubic meters in 2007, down from 4.5 billion cubic meters in 2006; and that it would raise the price as of January 1, 2007, to between $200 and $230 (“European price”) per 1,000 cubic meters, up from $110 in 2006 (Interfax, December 6).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
05.12.2006
  OSCE: END OF YEAR BRINGS END OF ROAD AS SECURITY ACTOR
The OSCE’s year-end conference, which opened on December 4 in Brussels, foundered again as it has every year since 2001 on the main unresolved European security problem: Russian forces in Georgia and Moldova and the related status of the treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
04.12.2006
  ALTERNATIVE SOUTH OSSETIAN LEADER INAUGURATED
On December 1 Dmitry Sanakoyev was inaugurated as alternative South Ossetian leader and announced the formation of an alternative local administration in Georgian and mixed Ossetian-Georgian areas of South Ossetia. Sanakoyev and his Union for the National Salvation of Ossetians (UNSO) enjoy support also in the native villages that are currently under secessionist and Russian control.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
01.12.2006
  LUGAR URGES ACTIVE ROLE FOR NATO IN ENERGY SECURITY POLICY
In a keynote speech during NATO's summit just held in Riga, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for updating NATO's basic role to include protection of allied countries' energy security.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
27.11.2006
  OSCE'S CHAIR YIELDING TO RUSSIA ON ISTANBUL COMMITMENTS
With barely ten days remaining until the OSCE’s year-end conference in Brussels, the draft ministerial declaration (centerpiece of the conference documents) would weaken the West’s hand and strengthen Moscow’s on the most salient hard-security issue in Europe: Russia’s 1999 commitments to withdraw its forces from Georgia and Moldova.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
22.11.2006
  MOSCOW, SUKHUMI, TSKHINVALI: IRRECONCILABLE AFTER UN RESOLUTION AND OKRUASHVILI RESIGNATION
Western approval of the UN Security Council’s October 13 resolution criticizing Georgia’s return to the upper Kodori Valley, and the November 7 resignation of Irakli Okruashvili as Georgia’s defense minister, are not proving conducive to the stated goals of those moves. The United States backed those moves hoping to defuse tensions over Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to facilitate the resumption of negotiations in both cases
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
21.11.2006
  ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CONCERNED BY EUROPEAN DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN ENERGY
Interviewed in the current issue of the weekly Moskovskie Novosti (November 17), Romanian President Traian Basescu follows up on his remarks at a Jamestown Foundation conference in Washington (see Jamestown press release, August 3), calling for a Caspian-Black Sea-focused European energy supply strategy. No European head of state has yet addressed this issue publicly in such forthright terms.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
20.11.2006
  MOSCOW WELCOMES THREE EMBOLDENED SECESSIONIST LEADERS
Sergei Bagapsh, Eduard Kokoiti, and Igor Smirnov, Russian-installed leaders respectively of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria, conferred with Russian government officials in Moscow on November 16-18, held a joint news conference, and were featured extensively on Russian state television channels.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
17.11.2006
  GENUINELY OSSETIAN AUTHORITIES EMERGING IN SOUTH OSSETIA
The Tbilisi-backed Union for National Salvation of Ossetians (UNSO) conducted its own referendum and presidential election in South Ossetia on November 12, as an alternative to the referendum and election conducted that day by the Moscow-installed authorities (see EDM, November 15). Residents of villages with Georgian or mixed Ossetian-Georgian populations, as well as solidly Ossetian villages where UNSO leaders have family ties, took part in the alternative voting.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
16.11.2006
  KYIV CHANGING IDEAS, MIXING SIGNALS ON ODESSA-BRODY OIL PIPELINE
On November 15, Prime Ministers Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine and Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland announced that they would support building an extension of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline westward, to carry Caspian oil to the Kralupy refinery in the Czech Republic. The announcement implicitly changes the original intention to extend the pipeline from Brody northward, for pumping Caspian oil to Polish refineries at Plock and potentially Gdansk.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
10.11.2006
  BUCKING THE WTO, RUSSIA ADDS ECONOMIC MEASURES AGAINST GEORGIA AND MOLDOVA
Russia’s Inspectorate for Consumer Protection (RosPotrebNadzor) has emerged as a proxy implementer of the Russian government’s foreign policy in conflict situations, a development paralleling the Kremlin’s larger-scale moves against foreign energy companies through environmental inspectorates
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
08.11.2006
  OFFICIAL MINSK OUTRAGED BY MOSCOW’S POLITICAL USE OF THE ENERGY LEVERAGE
Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s visit to the Kremlin, scheduled for November 10, “will obviously be a rather difficult meeting,” according to Russia’s Ambassador in Minsk, Aleksandr Surikov, at a stage-setting news conference. Russia will not offer low-priced energy to Belarus, he warned, because “Russia and Belarus are two different states today….When we become a Union State, all these issues would be resolved.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
08.11.2006
  GAZPROM’S “PURE COMMERCE“ IN GEORGIA
Gazprom’s deputy chairman and head of Gazexport, Aleksandr Medvedev, confirmed on November 7 the price hike to $230 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas to Georgia in 2007, up from $110 in 2006. Gazprom will stop deliveries to Georgia on January 1, 2007, unless the new contract is signed before that date, Medvedev warned. At the same time, he proposed that Georgia pay the higher price by handing national assets over to Gazprom.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
07.11.2006
  TRANS-BLACK SEA PIPELINE CAN BRING CASPIAN GAS TO EUROPE
A New York-based consortium of several independent parties is completing the pre-feasibility study for a Georgia-Ukraine-European Union (GUEU) gas pipeline project. Led by the London-based Pipeline Systems Engineering (PSE) and the New-York-based Radon-Ishizumi consulting firms, the project envisages bringing Caspian gas to EU territory by pipeline via Georgia and the seabed of the Black Sea in the first phase, and connecting that line to a trans-Caspian pipeline in a follow-up phase to focus on eastern-shore Caspian gas.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
07.11.2006
  ARMENIA SELLING MORE INFRASTRUCTURE, INDUSTRY TO RUSSIA
In his November 6 news conference, Armenia’s de facto strongman and presidential aspirant Serge Sarkisian welcomed the just-consummated purchase of the Armentel telecommunications company by the Russian Vympelcom. Sarkisian is defense minister as well as secretary of the national security council (supervising the security agencies), concurrently heading the Armenian side in the Armenia-Russia Economic Cooperation Commission, thus also in charge of Armenia’s economic relations with Russia.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
02.11.2006
  MOSCOW SHOWING BELARUS THE ENERGY WHIP
Gazprom’s threat to quadruple the price of gas to Belarus after December 31 to $200 per 1,000 cubic meters was meant to force Minsk into ceding 50% ownership of the state gas transport company Beltransgas to Gazprom. However, the threat seems to have the opposite effect thus far. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is publicly expressing an anger bordering on defiance, and the Economics Ministry is ruling out selling any share in Beltransgas to Gazprom unless the price of Russian gas is what Minsk officials describe as a normal price (Interfax, October 31).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
01.11.2006
  PUTIN'S BLACK SEA FLEET PROPOSAL TESTING UKRAINE
Official Kyiv seems divided in its initial response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to prolong the basing of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine’s Crimea (see EDM, October 30). Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is clearly not opposed to the idea while officials loyal to the president are firmly opposed.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
18.08.2006
  IT LOOKS, SOUNDS, FEELS LIKE A BLOCKADE: RUSSIAN OIL BLOCKADE OF LITHUANIA
Ignored by Western believers in Russia’s reliability as an energy supplier, the Russian government is attempting to either bankrupt or capture the oil concern Mazeikiai in Lithuania. The holding’s centerpiece, the Mazeikiai refinery, is the only refinery in the three Baltic states and largest economic entity there.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
 
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