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Tuesday Shorts

by Alexander MelikishviliFormer Presidents, High-Ranking Officials and Dissident Intellectuals from Central and Eastern Europe Present Their List of Grievances to Obama Administration in an Open LetterFormer presidents, defense and foreign ministers, ambassadors and dissident intellectuals from Central and Eastern Europe (including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia,... MORE

Who is Behind the Murder of Natalia Estemirova?

Kadyrov and Putin at Mosque in Grozny (Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)by Roman KupchinskyAfter the July 15 murder of Natalia Estemirova, a Chechen human rights activist on a deserted rural road in the Russian region of Ingushetia, human rights organizations in Moscow began to point to Ramzen... MORE

New Russian Ambassador to Ukraine

Published by Kommersant, photo by Dmitry Dykhanin by Roman KupchinskyIn 2009 two new ambassadors will present their credentials to the president of Ukraine – one will be from the United States the other from Russia, two states who are vitally interested in Ukraine through which... MORE

Russia’s Energy Strategy Suffers a Major Setback

Courtesy European Dialogue by Roman KupchinskyHas the European Union at long last found the wherewithal to stand up and draw the line on Vladimir Putin’s use of energy as a political weapon? At this week’s Ankara conference about the Nabucco pipeline, the EU displayed unusual... MORE

Medvedev Visits South Ossetia

[Photo Credit: President Dmitry Medvedev is greeted by traditionally dressed Ossetians in Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, July 13, 2009. Photo courtesy of Ezhednevniy Zhurnal,] by Alexander MelikishviliRussian President Dmitry Medvedev's stealthy visit to Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's... MORE

Eurasian Energy Briefs

By Roman KupchinskyUkraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftohaz met the July 7 deadline and paid Russia’s Gazprom some $280 million for June gas deliveries. As has been the case every month since February 2009, Gazprom officials had been predicting that Ukraine would be unable... MORE

China and Russia Compete for African Riches

by Roman KupchinskyOn June 30, 2009 China agreed to extend Zimbabwe a loan of $950 million to help the country weather the global economic crisis, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told the press. The recently formed Tsvangirai government is a makeshift coalition between two bitter... MORE

As Russian Gas Production Drops Poland Turns to Qatari LNG

by Roman KupchinskyIn June 2009 gas production by Russia’s Gazprom fell by 35.9 percent compared to June 2008. In May the drop was 34.5 percent. Gazprom officials told the Russian newspaper Vedomosti they remain optimistic and by year’s end the fall of production would only... MORE

EU and Ukraine Discuss Gas Loan

by Roman KupchinskyConsultations between Ukraine and the EU Commission about Ukraine’s urgent need for a loan to buy Russian gas ended Monday night in Brussels. Ukraine needs the loan to insure a steady flow of gas to Europe in the rapidly approaching heating season. The... MORE

Putin’s Mentor Elected to Gazprom’s BOD

by Roman KupchinskyThe June 26, 2009 shareholders meeting of OAO Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas monopoly, did not produce many surprises. Management received large bonuses while shareholders complained that they were being victimized by the company as their dividends shrank. One of the most interesting... MORE