Publications

A small gas debt that Belarus owes is a pretext for Russia to pursue its political and economic goals oriented towards both Minsk and the West.
Analyses
2010-06-23
Kamil Kłysiński
Wojciech Konończuk
Germany has set its own bilateral cooperation with partner countries in the east above the joint projects of the Eastern Partnership. In doing so, Berlin's guiding principle is that German money allocated for the projects on development cooperation in the east should bring political and economic benefits first of all to Germany.
OSW Commentary
2010-06-18
Justyna Gotkowska
The government’s proposal to introduce a tax on fuel used in nuclear power plants, presented on 7 June, was met with sharp criticism from many CDU politicians who fear an increase in energy prices and are calling for an extension of the period of operation for nuclear reactors. Angela Merkel’s support for the tax that heavily impacts on the sector of nuclear energy can be a signal that the chancellor is giving priority to the development of renewable sources of energy. This will determine the shape of the energy strategy for Germany that is currently being prepared.
Analyses
2010-06-16
On 12 June in Riga a foundation congress of the union For a Better Latvia was held. The union is made up of parties run by Latvian oligarchs and a host of business people that support them. The reason behind the establishment of a new coalition is the poor results of these parties, blamed to a large degree by society on Latvia's economic crisis. The new name and populist slogans backed by strong financial and media resources will probably allow the unpopular new parties of oligarchs to maintain representation in parliament after the parliamentary election scheduled for 2 October 2010.
Analyses
2010-06-16
On 7 June Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced an offensive against corruption and appealed to all citizens and international institutions for cooperation. The declaration of the prime minister is a reaction to accelerating investigations into cases that involve two ministers from Thaci’s government, conducted by the EU mission EULEX operating in Kosovo.
Analyses
2010-06-16
On 9 June the Ministry of Economy announced that it had rejected the motion presented by General Motors about loan guarantees worth EUR 1.1 billion for restructuring Opel. The Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle (FDP) justified this decision citing GM’s good financial condition and the fact that Opel does not fulfil the formal criteria for receiving aid. Chancellor Merkel distanced herself from the decision to reject GM’s motion concerning assistance.
Analyses
2010-06-16

The Bulgarian authorities are pointing to the possibility of withdrawing from important energy investments, in which Sofia's partner is Russia. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has announced the withdrawal from the construction of the Burgas–Aleksandroupolis oil pipeline intended for the transit of Russian oil and freezing the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belene. Also the implementation of the Nabucco project was identified as Sofia's priority, at the expense of the support for the South Stream gas pipeline. Borisov's statements may indicate a progressive correction of the premises of Bulgaria's energy policy but they are above all an element of Sofia's negotiating tactic for the future of supplies of Russian energy resources.

Analyses
2010-06-16
On 8 June, at a conference in Istanbul, Ukraine’s energy minister Yuri Boyko criticised Russian plans to build the South Stream gas pipeline, claiming that they strike at the national interests of Ukraine. Earlier, the government in Kyiv linked a possible agreement to create a Russian-Ukrainian gas consortium with a demand that Moscow give up its plans to build this pipeline. This demonstrates Kyiv’s growing concern over the prospect that it may lose the status of a transit state for Russian gas. At the same time, Ukraine’s position is too weak to block this project, while the very possibility that the South Stream would be constructed is a convenient tool for Russia to put pressure on Ukraine.
Analyses
2010-06-16
On 8 June, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance received a US$2bn loan from the Russian bank Vneshtorgbank (VTB). The nature of the loan indicates that it will be used to support the Ukrainian budget. The loan has a favourable interest rate, but it is unclear whether Moscow has placed any additional conditions on its support for the Ukrainian government, and if so, what those might be.
Analyses
2010-06-16
On 13 June, by a decree of President Dmitri Medvedev, the head of the federal agency for the provision of arms, equipment and materials (Rosoboronpostavka), Viktor Cherkesov, was fired. A month earlier, the agency he directed, which hitherto had been subordinate to the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was subjected to the defence ministry. This decision has strengthened the position of the defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov; now he has taken exclusive control over state defence procurement, the independence which the other departments of force had had in this field will now be curtailed.
Analyses
2010-06-16

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