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Analyses | | Anna Górska
Ukraine is complying with EU directives in its new law concerning the gas market, but only putting them into practice will show if it is ready for the solutions proposed by EU.
In the early hours of 21 July, an attack took place on the Baksan hydroelectric power plant in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, in the Russian North Caucasus. As a result of the explosion, two of the three generators were damaged. The attackers, who killed two members of the security staff and injured two other people, succeeded in getting away. They are most likely to have been Islamist fighters under the command of Dokku Umarov. It must be expected that similar attacks will take place. As a consequence, Kabardino-Balkaria may join the least stable regions of the North Caucasus, together with Ingushetia, Dagestan and Chechnya.
On 14 July in Kyrgyzstan, the government created after the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, which was composed of leaders of the opposition, was replaced by a government of technocrats, which is intended to run the country until the parliamentary elections planned for October. It must be expected that the new government, which is made up of people with weak political positions, will be even weaker than the previous one, and real powers of government will be very limited. In this context, their most difficult task is to stabilise the still very tense situation in the south of the country.
On 16-17 July, at an informal meeting (closed to the press) of the OSCE’s foreign ministers in Almaty, it was agreed that the first in 11 years summit of the heads of states of the OSCE members will take place in Kazakhstan later this year. The agreement to organise the summit is the main result of this meeting, and a success for Kazakhstan.
Analyses | | Jakub Groszkowski
The Slovakian government has accepted the establishment of the European Financial Stability Facility but refused to contribute to the loan for Greec.
Analyses | | Justyna Gotkowska
Russia and Germany’s great expectations of the Modernisation Partnership project are being restrained by systematic limitations in both countries.
Analyses | | Tomasz Dąborowski, Ewa Paszyc
Russia and Bulgaria have drawn the framework for agreements regarding South Stream and new gas contracts, but the negotiation process is still far from over.
The International Monetary Fund and the European Union on 17 July suspended talks on the implementation of the savings programme with the Hungarian government. The financial institutions are demanding Hungary impose greater budget discipline and perform a more intensive cost cutting process. Hungary will be unable to use the last tranche of the loan and will seek the opening of a flexible credit line for 2011-2012 until an agreement is reached. Although withholding financial assistance does not pose a risk to the stability of Hungary’s budget, the dispute with the IMF is still having a detrimental effect on the opinion of the Hungarian economy among investors and markets and is causing depreciation of the forint.
On 11 July, the German press announced that Gazprom had invited the German company RWE, a strategic shareholder of the EU project Nabucco, to join the South Stream project. The proposal was probably aimed at discrediting Nabucco participants to potential gas suppliers and investors at a moment which is crucial for the enterprise.
The board of the foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation was appointed on 8 July. The Bundestag approved its composition by the votes of the Christian Democrats and Liberals. For the government coalition politicians this means success, which in their opinion will enable the launch of essential work on the expulsions museum project. However, some candidates’ statements regarding, for example, the causes of the outbreak of World War II, have raised strong controversy among representatives of the opposition.