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Prima / Vladimir SOCOR
Vladimir SOCOR
28.06.2006
  CSTO SUMMIT: MILITARY BLOC NOT YET CEMENTED
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Alyaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus, Robert Kocharian of Armenia, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan, Imomali Rahmonov of Tajikistan, and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan met on June 23 in Minsk for a dual summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc). The two groups’ membership rosters are identical except in the case of Armenia, a member of the CSTO but not of EurAsEc.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
27.06.2006
  UZBEKISTAN JOINS RUSSIA-LED COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION
Uzbek President Islam Karimov joined the presidents of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s member countries -- Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan -- in Minsk on June 23 for a meeting of the CSTO’s top political body, the Collective Security Council. At the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Uzbekistan has become a member of the CSTO.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
23.06.2006
  TURKMEN GAS PRICE HIKE CAN HELP EMANCIPATE UKRAINE FROM ROSUKRENERGO
Turkmenistan's proposal to raise the price of gas it sells to Gazprom, from $65 per 1,000 cubic meters at present to $100 in the second half of 2006, holds potentially momentous implications for Ukraine. It can help emancipate Ukraine from the RosUkrEnergo gas deal that poses serious risks to Ukraine's sovereignty, future prosperity, and political system.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
23.06.2006
  TURKMEN GAS PRICE HIKE: CHALLENGE TO RUSSIAN MONOPOLY, OPPORTUNITY FOR EUROPE
On June 21, the government of Turkmenistan announced that it proposes to steeply raise the price of gas it sells to Gazprom: from $65 per 1,000 cubic meters at present to $100 in the second half of 2006. The volume of deliveries would remain constant at 30 billion cubic meters. Turkmenistan is giving Russia six weeks to sign a sale-purchase contract for the remainder of 2006 at the Turkmen-proposed price.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
22.06.2006
  UKRAINE’S STATE GAS COMPANY FALLING RAPIDLY INTO DEBT
The gas deals, signed by Kyiv’s envoys with Gazprom and its offshoot RosUkrEnergo in January and February, are showing their damaging impact even faster than anticipated. The state oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy is rapidly falling into arrears for gas delivered by Gazprom through RosUkrEnergo, Ukraine’s “exclusive supplier.” The growing indebtedness exposes Naftohaz and the country to the risk of losing control over the gas transit pipeline system -- Ukraine’s most valuable economic and strategic asset -- to Russian interests.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
22.06.2006
  UKRAINE’S GAS PREDICAMENT WORSENING
One year ago today (see EDM, June 22, 2005), Moscow’s preparations for a late-autumn gas attack on Ukraine could already be detected. The early alert hardly registered in official Kyiv (except with then-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was soon forced out), let alone internationally; and Moscow’s attack came as a shocking surprise.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
21.06.2006
  OIL TANKER SHIPMENTS -- SHORT-TERM DEFAULT FOR TRANS-CASPIAN SYSTEM
The agreement to connect Kazakhstan with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil transport system, signed by the Kazakh and Azeri presidents on June 19, brings the Caspian basin's eastern shore into the East-West energy corridor. This move took eight years of American political and energy diplomacy to accomplish, from the 1998 Ankara and 1999 Istanbul declarations on creating the East-West energy corridor -- signed by the then-presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, at U.S. President Bill Clinton's urging and in his presence -- before Azerbaijan's State Oil Company and KazMunayGaz began their negotiations in November 2002
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
19.06.2006
  KAZAKHSTAN-AZERBAIJAN OIL TRANSPORT AGREEMENT: NOT YET HISTORIC, BUT MIGHT BECOME SO
On June 16 in Almaty, Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan signed a framework agreement to create a trans-Caspian "Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan oil transport system" that would feed Kazakh oil into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The agreement is being described as "historic" by the signatory parties and others, including the United States, which was a driving force behind this move (Khabar, ANS, June 16).
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
16.06.2006
  THREE SECESSIONIST LEADERSHIPS MEET, ANNOUNCE JOINT AGENDA
The de facto leaders of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria met in Sukhumi on June 12-14. The guest delegations reached Sukhumi via Russia, thus nullifying any deniability of Russia's sponsorship of this exercise. The three leaderships had agreed in December 2005 in Moscow to hold the Sukhumi meeting with a view to creating a quasi-alliance among the three territories.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
16.06.2006
  PUTIN-SAAKASHVILI MIDNIGHT MEETING: FUTILE BUT NECESSARY
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia held a three-hour meeting and joint news conference in St. Petersburg during the night of June 13-14. Saakashvili, who had solicited this meeting, succeeded in demonstrating Georgia's mature approach to the contentious issues beyond Western skeptics' doubt. Such doubts had probably contributed to Tbilisi's decision to initiate the meeting with Putin, so as to improve the atmosphere ahead of the G-8 summit and preclude any possible show-spoiling incidents during the run-up. Putin undoubtedly shares that short-term goal as G-8 summit host.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
15.06.2006
  NATO MEMBERSHIP ACTION PLAN STILL WITHIN UKRAINE'S REACH IN 2006
Notwithstanding the compromised military exercises and internal political paralysis, Ukraine can still qualify for obtaining a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the alliance's summit in Riga in November 2006. Technically, MAP status would only imply a relatively small advance from Ukraine's present status under the Action Plan and the Intensified Dialogue on membership aspirations, which Ukraine obtained in 2002 and 2005, respectively
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
14.06.2006
  PROTESTS IN CRIMEA, INCITEMENT FROM MOSCOW, PARALYSIS IN KYIV THWART MILITARY EXERCISES
Kyiv authorities mishandled legal, political, and security aspects of the Sea Breeze and Tight Knot planned exercises, giving the local pro-Russia forces and Moscow an unexpected opportunity to derail this track of Ukraine-U.S. and Ukraine-NATO relations. By starting preparations for the exercises under deadline pressure without parliamentary authorization, official Kyiv allowed the protesters to seize and misuse the legal high ground. Kyiv did not seem to anticipate local resistance in the Crimea, a known stronghold of pro-Russia sentiment; and it failed to cope with the disorders over a two-week period before giving up.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
13.06.2006
  BUSH VISIT, MILITARY EXERCISES SCRAPPED IN UKRAINE
The U.S. White House announced on June 8 that President George W. Bush would not go ahead with his tentatively planned visit to Ukraine. The announcement termed the decision a postponement, rather than cancellation, of the visit, and tactfully refrained from citing the reasons behind it. The White House had considered two possible dates for the visit to Kyiv: in mid-July shortly before the G-8 summit, or in the fourth week of June on the heels of the United States-European Union summit.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
12.06.2006
  NATO AND GUAM COUNTRIES HOLD FIRM AT CFE TREATY REVIEW CONFERENCE
The OSCE's Conference to Review the Operation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) ended on June 2 in Vienna with a tactical success for the West and its de facto allies. The NATO and GUAM countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) thwarted Russia's goal to trigger the ratification of the 1999-adapted CFE treaty at the expense of several countries in Europe's East. However, the consensus among NATO countries' delegations was less than iron-clad.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
09.06.2006
  MOSCOW, ANKARA RELUCTANT TO WELCOME NEW BLACK SEA FORUM
When the presidents of Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan gathered in Bucharest on June 4-5 for the first session of the Black Sea Forum for Partnership and Dialogue, Russia's minimal presence was notable.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
08.06.2006
  BLACK SEA FORUM SEEKING ITS RATIONALE
Presidents Traian Basescu of Romania, Vladimir Voronin of Moldova, Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, Robert Kocharian of Armenia, and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan were joined by senior officials from the United States, Turkey, Bulgaria, and international organizations at the inaugural session of the Black Sea Forum for Partnership and Dialogue on June 4-6 in Bucharest.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
05.06.2006
  KYRGYZSTAN RELENTING ON U.S. AIR BASE
On May 31-June 2 in Bishkek, American and Kyrgyz negotiators made some progress toward a possible agreement to prolong the use of the Manas air base by U.S. and allied forces. Kyrgyzstan no longer seeks a "hundredfold" increase in U.S. annual rent payments, as President Kurmanbek Bakiyev had asked for since last year; and it has given up the June 1 deadline, which Bakiyev had named on April 16 for the U.S. base to close unless Washington agreed to Bishkek's financial terms.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
05.06.2006
  KYIV POLITICAL STALEMATE COMPLICATES RELATIONS WITH NATO
The ongoing anti-NATO protests in the Crimean city of Feodosiya and their political impact in Kyiv could have been avoided or quickly defused had the parliament moved in time to authorize the entry of troops from NATO countries for joint exercises in Ukraine. President Viktor Yushchenko submitted the necessary bill in February
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
02.06.2006
  WEAK AUTHORITY EMBOLDENS ANTI-NATO PROTESTS IN UKRAINE
The post-election crisis of Ukrainian state institutions may undermine President Viktor Yushchenko's and the Orange forces' goal to bring Ukraine into NATO during their term of office. Amid a growing deficit of effective governance, pro-Russia groups find unprecedented leeway to frustrate Kyiv's policies on this and other issues affecting Ukraine's overall orientation.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
01.06.2006
  POLISH COMPANY ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN LITHUANIA'S OIL INDUSTRY
Lithuania's oil industry holding, Mazeikiai Nafta, seems finally to be safe from takeover by Russian state-connected interests. The holding's centerpiece, the Mazeikiai refinery, is the only refinery in the three Baltic states and the single most lucrative business entity in the three states. The Russian government and its company Rosneft sought (and, in all likelihood, will not soon desist from attempting) to take over the majority stake in Mazeikiai, held by the Yukos company until now as one of the last remaining major assets of Yukos. The Russian government laid claim to Mazeikiai under the guise of collecting on Yukos' alleged tax arrears.
by Vladimir Socor
 
Detalii
 
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