Publications

On 12 May, Ukraine’s first deputy PM Andriy Kluyev presented parliament with information concerning five Ukrainian-Russian agreements on co-operation, which have been prepared for signing during Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s visit to Kyiv, planned for 17 May. None of them concern energy or any sensitive questions concerning co-operation in other sectors. This confirms the assumption that Ukrainian negotiators have taken a tough stance on questions concerning the economic interests of Ukraine and Ukrainian business.
Analyses
2010-05-12

On 30 April, during a press conference after a session of the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental committee in Sochi, PM Vladimir Putin put forward a surprising proposal to merge the Russian company Gazprom with the Ukrainian Naftohaz. Its implementation would mean the de facto full takeover by Russia of Ukraine’s gas sector and its gas transit pipelines. Despite the current Ukrainian government’s pro-Russian attitude, the proposal has little chance of being implemented, as it would mean a loss of sovereignty in the strategically important energy sphere.
Analyses
2010-05-12

On 12 May, the Majilis of Kazakhstan (that country’s lower house of parliament) put forward a plan to award Nursultan Nazarbayev the title of ‘leader of the nation’. If the Senate and the president himself confirm this plan, it would mean granting Nazarbayev political powers for life, even if he retires. This would be tantamount to a formal change in Kazakhstan’s political system.
Analyses
2010-05-12

 

One person died and over 20 were injured in a bomb explosion on 1 May in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in the Russian North Caucasus. This was a further symptom of the worsening of the situation over the last few weeks in the republic. The local authorities even considered cancelling the local commemoration of Victory Day. It cannot be ruled out that the republic, which until now had appeared relatively peaceful, will undergo destabilisation, similar to that which in recent years has engulfed Ingushetia and Dagestan.
The attack took place in the stands of a racetrack; the bomb exploded over the VIP box. Among the injured were the republic’s culture minister and the former head of the republic’s interior ministry. The bombers’ target may have been the republic’s president, Arsen Kanokov, who however did not arrive at the racetrack.

 

Analyses
2010-05-12

On 2 May, the first instalment of 80,000 tons of crude oil from Venezuela reached the refinery in Mazyr, Belarus. In accordance with the contract signed in March by Presidents Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Hugo Chávez, by the end of this year Belarus should receive a total of 4 million tons of crude. Although the Belarusian government has presented this project as a profitable undertaking, for the time being this is principally a demonstration, whose aim is to obtain more favourable conditions from Moscow for co-operation in the oil sector.
Analyses
2010-05-12

During the night of 8-9 May, one of the most tragic disasters of Russian mining in recent years occurred at Raspadskaya in Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo oblast), the biggest coal mine in Russia. According to the currently available information, at least 49 miners and 17 rescue workers died, 24 people are formally listed as missing, and 83 were injured. Despite the scale of the tragedy, the political reaction of the Russian government in the immediate aftermath was limited, and in the media the disaster was overshadowed by the parade on Red Square in Moscow and other ceremonies connected with the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Analyses
2010-05-12

The region’s economic problems may deteriorate as money is withdrawn by Greek banks who play a major role in the financial sector of some Balkan countries. The problem with Athens’ vast debt and the expected long-term stagnation in Greece will slow down the economic development of the entire region.

Analyses
2010-05-12
Tomasz Dąborowski
Marta Szpala

Russia is modifying its historical policy; it is giving up its vindications of Stalin, while at the same time defending the concept of the USSR’s role as liberator during the Second World War.

Analyses
2010-05-12
Marcin Kaczmarski
Jadwiga Rogoża

Militant Islam is the greatest threat to stability in the North Caucasus. However, it is merely a symptom of a much wider process, namely the widening civilisational gap between Russia and the North Caucasus. As a result, the North Caucasus is turning into an enclave separated from the rest of the Russian Federation by a growing civilisational gap.

OSW Studies
2010-04-14
Maciej Falkowski
Nord Stream increases Gazprom’s flexibility as far its export routes are concerned; it enables them to be changed with regard to the market or political situation. Nevertheless, this expensive pipeline may contribute to a further drop in the price competitiveness of Russian gas.
Point of View
2010-03-29
Łukasz Antas
Agata Łoskot-Strachota

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