With Russian-Turkish relations bottoming out after Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet last November, Ankara is scrambling to reduce its dependency on Russian gas. But the help it needs from post-Soviet energy producers may not be swift in coming.
The Caspian Sea state of Azerbaijan, Turkey’s closest ally in the post-Soviet region, was the first place Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu [sic] visited after the November 24 downing incident. And most recently, Davuto?lu [sic] met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Davos on January 20.
“Two nations, one people” is a popular mantra that officials in both Turkey and Azerbaijan use to describe their relationship. And yet when it comes to energy, there seems to be limits to this unity. Continue reading
Isis has designs on the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem and poses a danger to Europe, Vladimir Putin has reportedly said.
The Russian President said the situation is “very serious” and that Moscow is worried trained jihadists from the group – which refers to itself as the Islamic State – plan to return to EU countries and Russia, according to Russia Today.
A statement from the Kremlin said that Putin submitted to the State Duma a draft federal law which seeks an integrated currency market in the CIS. Continue reading
Now that the Mubarak regime through political allies is back in power after restoring the country through military channels, it likely has a score to settle with Washington and how it’s going to do this is through partnering with Russia (and possibly China). Russia already has military deals in the pipeline (See also HERE) with Egypt. Once the military deals begin and the country is stabilized once more, look for further political and economic cooperation like we see here. It doesn’t look like America is heeding the call to protect its interests in Egypt and stop the spread of neo-Soviet influence.
Russia and Egypt might soon exclude the US dollar and use their national currencies in the settlement of accounts in bilateral trade, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Egyptian media ahead of his Monday visit to the country.
The issue of abandoning the dollar in trade is “being actively discussed,” Putin told Al-Ahram daily newspaper ahead of his two-day trip to Egypt. The Russian president was invited for a bilateral meeting by his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Continue reading
Russian parliament’s lower house speaker said those considering the Eurasian Economic Union a threat only confirm that a new and serious geopolitical player is indeed emerging in the world
ASTANA, November 24. /TASS/. Around 40 states have plans to establish a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, told an international conference in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Monday.
“Five countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have already made a Eurasian choice, and another 40 countries across the world have officially voiced their wish to set up a free trade zone with our integration association,” Naryshkin said. Continue reading
Is Moscow’s proposed Eurasian Union an initiative to revitalize stagnant economies, or an attempt to re-establish a Soviet Union “lite?”
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world suddenly had 15 more nation states, some of whom had not been sovereign territories since the 19th century.
Nevertheless, calls for a re-integration of the Eurasian region were soon heard, often led by Russia, according to (pdf) a Chatham House paper.
In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the fall of the USSR “a major geopolitical disaster of the century.”
There’s been a smattering of different attempts at unification, including the Commonwealth of Independent States security union, but a lack of commitment to creating the institutions have stalled efforts, Chatham House writes.
As the Vilnius summit of EU’s Eastern Partnership draws nearer, at which several former Soviet states are expected to sign association agreements with the EU, Russia appears to have stepped up efforts to pull those same former Soviet states closer and into its own Customs Union, with mixed results.
On the surface, it appears to be a simple choice between which free trade agreement would offer those countries a better economic incentive – but where the EU can wield the carrot of foreign aid, Russia leans on the stick of threatening to withhold energy resources (and, unlike the EU, could not care less about asking for lasting reforms).
In the long run, Russian president Vladimir Putin sees the Customs Union as the building block of the Eurasian Economic Union – outlining its key institutions in an article he penned for Russia’s newspaper of record, Izvestia, in October 2011. Continue reading