Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Russia

The implosion of the Soviet Union has in many ways adversely affected the stability of the Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. Since 1991, a loose alliance of 11 former Soviet republics, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), was formed in order to preserve, at least in part, the Soviet-era heritage in… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

International military analysts have recently pointed out that military spending in Asia has increased to 262 billion euros in 2012. The amount could overtake the EU’s own military spending in the near future, possibly as early as next year. Smaller military budgets, however, are consistent with the EU’s new focus on soft power and diplomacy,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

It is a well-known geopolitical fact that from 1914 to this day, Serbia has received military support or security guarantees from Russia. The latest such support was in evidence during NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, when Russian troops were present in the province in order to make sure Serbian interests were being respected by the Western… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The OSCE December summit

This fall’s Deauville summit between Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Dimitri Medvedev has highlighted the need to include Russia in a pan-European security architecture, distinct from the decaying and confrontational-type North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Fortunately since 1975 European nations, regardless of EU membership, have had one of the most advanced regional co-operative security structures… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Slowly but surely, EU leaders are waking up to the fact that they should take regional security into their own hands and promote a neighbourhood diplomacy which would eventually have to exclude NATO or the United States, but would be inclusive of Russia and Turkey. This is the new geostrategic context in which the Sarkozy-Merkel-Medvedev… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

US: “reset of the reset”

Whilst the German and French leaders have initiated at Deauville the resetting of their countries’ relationship with Russia, the United States is, according to Robert Kagan, in the process of “resetting the reset”. In a Washington Post article on the subject published on October 1st (“America: once engaged, now ready to lead”), Kagan claims that… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The project of the century

In the 19th century, the Suez Canal was the main engineering project meant to facilitate international trade between continents. In the 20th century, the honour went to the US, for building the Panama Canal and thus shortening trade routes by leaps and bounds. In our century, we’re about to witness the launch of the Eurasia… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Over the past few years, China has become a major player in Central Asia’s oil & gas and in Afghanistan’s mining sector. Its investments in the region are an important part of its worldwide FDI strategy. To date, China’s biggest purchases of gas come from Turkmenistan. In 2009 the Chinese president inaugurated a gas pipeline… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Last Saturday and Sunday the citizens of two small European countries, Latvia and Bosnia, went to the polls to elect new parliamentary and presidential leaders, respectively. Both countries are experiencing severe ethnic tensions that could, if unchecked, drag into the fray larger neighbouring federations, such as the EU or Russia. Parliamentary elections in Latvia Latvians… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The diplomatic tensions between Japan and China concerning the fishing boat incident in the East China Sea would have passed unnoticed a short while ago. Not this time. Judging by the latest developments, the US State Department seems determined to prevent the formation of an Asian trade bloc in the region at any cost. Mrs.Clinton’s… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi