Terça-feira, 28 de Setembro de 2010

IPRIS Viewpoints 20

Russia's energy strategy: Between keeping the grip on the European Union and diversifying into Asia

 

Philippe Conde

 

If as agreed Russia is able to enter the Chinese gas market by 2015, it will get the ultimate weapon that any energy exporter could dream of: great leverage over two big markets. Then, almost nothing would prevent Russia from setting energy volumes and prices, depending on its political will, in Europe and in Asia.

 

Download Full Text: Here.

Do you wish to subscribe our publications, free of charge?

publicado por IPRIS às 15:37
link do post | favorito
partilhar
Terça-feira, 14 de Setembro de 2010

PJIA 3: Abkhazia and Russia

Vasco Martins, "The geopolitics of Abkhazia's sovereignty" (Portuguese Journal of International Affairs, No. 3, Spring/Summer 2010): 3-14.

 

Download Full Text: Here.

Do you wish to subscribe our publications, free of charge?

publicado por IPRIS às 19:52
link do post | favorito
partilhar
Quarta-feira, 28 de Julho de 2010

EU foreign policy: More harm than good

By Vasco Martins

 

The European Union approved a fresh new wave of sanctions targeting Iran’s foreign trade, banking and energy sectors. Russia has already reacted to the unilateral row of sanctions, considering them not only to undermine joint efforts to seek a political and diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, but also to show disdain for the co-ordinated provisions of the UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member.

Russia has frequently shown uneasiness in imposing sanctions on Iran. Although it approved the last UN resolution, in part due to unprecedented rapprochement with the US, Russia has always been trying to minimize the impact on its relations with the Islamic Republic.

Russia, lost in its own Eurasian/Western orientation, shares several interests with Iran. Firstly, both Russia and Iran see Turkey’s aspirations in the wider Middle East and Europe with caution and contempt; both understand the presence of US military bases on Central Asia as a threat to their national security; and both realize that China, although cooperative, is a force to be reckoned with in the coming future. Secondly, regarding military cooperation, due to the imposition of sanctions Russia has been one of the only countries to sell military equipment, especially aircraft, to Iran, although it halted the delivery of surface-to-air S-300 missiles. Lastly, concerning trade relations, and although substantially small, trade between the two countries accounts for approximately US$3.7 billion, which makes Russia a top trading partner with Iran.

Hence, it is not difficult to understand Russia’s harsh criticism to the unilateral EU imposed sanctions on Iran. Moreover, Russia feels its position was not taken into account in such an important decision. Russia has always felt like a ‘second tier power’ when international decisions are made outside the centers of powers it can control - i.e. the UN Security Council - a factor which has always promoted contempt between the Federation and the western powers.

This unilateral adoption of sanctions targeting Iran is a move that will surely anger Moscow, which will feel alienated and will further support Tehran in response. The incredibly counter-productive imposition of sanctions by the EU will also cast a shadow between Russia-US relations, as the US is an active supporter of sanctions against Iran.

The EU managed to antagonize its most important partner in dealing with Iran. This position only reveals the EU’s desire to quickly achieve concrete results in its foreign policy prism in order to justify the need for such a common action. However, it failed to include Moscow in the equation, which only proves the EU is not ready to become an independent foreign policy actor.

 

Do you wish to subscribe our publications, free of charge?

publicado por IPRIS às 00:01
link do post | favorito
partilhar
Quarta-feira, 14 de Julho de 2010

Why poking the ‘bear’ in the summer will freeze Georgia in the winter

By Vasco Martins

 

Konstantin Rozhnov, a business analyst at the BBC reports the Georgian parliament is approving a draft law to privatize a gas pipeline carrying Russian gas to Armenia. According to Pavle Kubashvili, the pipeline "will not be sold to the Russian Federation", a move which will certainly anger Russian gas tycoons. Georgia already pays more for 1000 cubic meters of gas than any other Gazprom client. This decision will only significantly increase the already enormous price Georgia already pays for gas supply.

Gazprom has in the past increased gas prices as an attempt to control foreign pipelines and energy companies in the former Soviet space, as it did with Belarus and the Ukraine. This draft law will be deserving of Russian response, which will most likely increase the price Georgia pays for gas. Consequently, as the country is unable to pay the ‘new’ bill, Russia will propose to trade its gas debt for stakes in Georgia’s energy industry and pipeline matrix, at the peril of cutting the entire flow of gas.

Georgia continues to rely on the US to protect its interests from Russia. Proof of this is the fact that the draft law was discussed by the time US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the country, assuring Georgia and other former Soviet states the US will not cease to support their plight. Nevertheless, the US is not in a position, nor has it been in the last 10 years, to meddle in Russian-Georgian energy issues.

This draft law will certainly spark another energy conflict between the two countries, which makes the result all too obvious.

 

Do you wish to subscribe our publications, free of charge?

publicado por IPRIS às 20:25
link do post | favorito
partilhar
Sábado, 10 de Julho de 2010

Um percalço no 'reset'

Por Pedro Seabra

 

Uma rede de espionagem confortavelmente implantada no coração dos EUA, passwords e troca de informações, uma detenção mediática e por último, o recurso à neutral Viena para uma discreta troca de 10 ‘ilegais’ russos por outros quatro, acusados de trabalhar para o Ocidente. Todos os elementos de um policial de John Le Carré, por um lado, mas também o reflexo do legado da Guerra Fria, por outro, que ameaçou momentaneamente os esforços de melhoria de relações entre as duas (ainda) grandes potências.

Com efeito, é irrealista supor que após a queda do muro de Berlim, a espionagem mútua que caracterizou a segunda metade do século XX, simplesmente cessasse. Frequentemente, tais actividades decorrem de forma paralela e autónoma das iniciativas diplomáticas e são assim independentes de qualquer manifestação de boa vontade de parte a parte.

No entanto, este episódio interessa precisamente por causa do actual timing político escolhido. Numa altura em que tanto Barack Obama e Dmitry Medvedev demonstram empenho em reparar e renovar os laços bilaterais – mediaticamente simbolizado pelo chamado reset –, qualquer hesitação ou contrariedade pontual pode servir para arrepiar caminho.

Desde o acordo relativo a novas reduções do armamento nuclear, à aprovação das últimas sanções ao Irão, a estabilização futura do Afeganistão ou até mesmo o apoio norte-americano à entrada da Rússia na OMC, as duas partes encontram-se de momento demasiado comprometidas em iniciativas conjuntas, ou de mútuo interesse, para permitirem que ‘meros’ percalços ponham todo o processo em risco. O pragmatismo e a rapidez na resolução deste episódio evidenciam assim a visão e vontade política comuns de seguir em frente.

 

(Artigo publicado hoje no Diário Económico.)

tags: ,
publicado por IPRIS às 14:55
link do post | favorito
partilhar

More about IPRIS


ver perfil

seguir perfil

. 1 seguidor

Search

Outubro 2013

Dom
Seg
Ter
Qua
Qui
Sex
Sab
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Subscrever por e-mail

A subscrição é anónima e gera, no máximo, um e-mail por dia.

Recent Posts

IPRIS Viewpoints 128

IPRIS Viewpoints 127

IPRIS Occasional Paper 7

IPRIS Viewpoints 120

PJIA 7: BRICS and South A...

IPRIS Viewpoints 79

IPRIS Occasional Paper 4

IPRIS Viewpoints 68

IPRIS Viewpoints 37

IPRIS Viewpoints 25

Archives

Outubro 2013

Setembro 2013

Agosto 2013

Julho 2013

Junho 2013

Maio 2013

Abril 2013

Março 2013

Fevereiro 2013

Janeiro 2013

Dezembro 2012

Novembro 2012

Agosto 2012

Julho 2012

Junho 2012

Maio 2012

Abril 2012

Março 2012

Fevereiro 2012

Janeiro 2012

Dezembro 2011

Novembro 2011

Outubro 2011

Setembro 2011

Agosto 2011

Julho 2011

Junho 2011

Maio 2011

Abril 2011

Março 2011

Fevereiro 2011

Janeiro 2011

Dezembro 2010

Novembro 2010

Outubro 2010

Setembro 2010

Agosto 2010

Julho 2010

Junho 2010

tags

todas as tags

blogs SAPO

subscrever feeds