2011 - 2020 z 2261
Analyses |
On 6 September the German chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to Lithuania. Vilnius had hoped for quite a lot from this visit: it was expected that Germany would back Lithuania’s energy policy, particularly Lithuania’s efforts to integrate the energy markets of the Baltic states and the EU states and to decrease the dominance of Gazprom in the Lithuanian gas sector (in which Lithuania is cooperating with the German company E.ON.).
Analyses |
On 8 September the Ministry of Development announced negotiations with the Russian authorities regarding the purchase of over 21% of shares in the company MOL from Surgutneftegaz. Budapest has also announced that it will seek to increase the state’s presence in all strategic sectors, particularly in the energy area. A possible sale of shares in MOL could be part of a package deal between Budapest and Moscow which would also encompass Hungarian support for the South Stream gas pipeline and the participation of Russian companies in the extension of the nuclear power plant, Paks.
Analyses |
On 7 September, at the annual meeting of German ambassadors, the German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle announced a plan to establish a state-owned Resources Agency (RA). The new agency will be responsible for providing information and analyses that will support German companies in securing resources. The creation of an RA is another signal that the focus on securing German industry’s necessary resources will be one of the top priorities of German foreign policy.
Analyses |
On 7 September President Vaclav Klaus appeared before the Czech Chamber of Members of Parliament for the first time in seven years. In his speech he endorsed the plans for the reform of public finance proposed by the centre-right government, and called on MPs to weaken the position of the Constitutional Court. The speech of the president constituted an offer of cooperation made to the MPs of the ruling coalition. As Vaclav Klaus sees the current government as his political ally, he is backing the governmental reform programme and at the same time trying to persuade the government to adopt his vision of the division of power in the country.
Analyses |
On 10 September the German stabilisation fund of the financial sector (SoFFin) announced that it had granted the Hypo Real Estate (HRE) bank, one of the largest mortgage banks in Germany, further loan guarantees from public funds. At the time of the recent crisis this institution was the largest bank in Germany threatened with bankruptcy and in 2009 its shares were taken over by the state which provided guarantees for the sum of EUR 102 billion. The government expects that further guarantees worth EUR 40 billion will improve the solvency of HRE and that after remedying its finance the bank will be privatised again. 
Analyses | | Sławomir Matuszak
President Viktor Yanukovych paid an official visit to China between 2 and 5 September, during which a range of bilateral agreements was signed, mainly concerning the economy. Their implementation will mean the first large-scale appearance of Chinese investments in Ukraine. The government in Kyiv declared that improvement in bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China is one of the main aims of its foreign policy, seeing therein a way of guaranteeing sources of credit and investment. However, the final shape of these relations will depend on China’s strategic interests in the region.
Analyses | | Witold Rodkiewicz
In Moldova the ruling pro-European coalition’s attempt to break through the constitutional-political deadlock did not succeed.
Analyses |
On 2 September, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the extension of the ban on exporting cereal from Russia until at least September 2011; furthermore, the introduction of preferential rail tariffs to transport cereal to regions of Russia hit by crop failures is planned. The government’s actions are intended to stabilise the prices of agricultural food products on the internal market. Rising prices are becoming a potential source of social discontent.
Analyses |
On 31 August and 4 September, Azerbaijan fired shots at and made sorties towards the forces of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. The limited character of the clashes and the personnel losses, which were mainly borne by Azerbaijan, seem to be part of a political offensive by Baku aimed at publicising the Karabakh conflict and showing its determination in attempts to regain control over the separatist republic.
Analyses |
On 3 September, the deputy head of Gazprom, Andrei Kruglov, stated that from next year the price of gas for Belarus, Moldova and Armenia will be raised to European levels. If this comes about, this would be the final stage in the Russian company’s departure from its policy of giving price discounts to some CIS states. It remains possible that the plan to raise gas prices for Belarus, in connection with the expected resistance from Minsk, may lead to another Russian/Belarusian gas crisis, even more so as relations between both countries have already been tense for several months.