Latest Articles about Middle East

Russian Pipeline Projects Shifting To Favor Tokyo Over Beijing

While the battle for Yukos plays out in Moscow, another oil-related struggle continues to unfold on Russia's eastern frontier. China is currently facing energy shortages and brownouts at a time when imported energy is critical to its economic and overall security. But as China's demands... MORE

Persian Gulf Investors Make A Bid For Yukos

The "mystery backer" behind an offer to pay off Yukos' tax arrears is a consortium of Dubai-based investors, the Sunday Times reported on August 8. "Members of Dubai's ruling Maktoum family are believed to have joined a bid fronted by Konstantin Kagalovsky, a former associate... MORE

The Sad State Of Vladivostok

Although Russia's transition to democracy is understandably going through fits and starts, the July 4 and 19 mayoral elections in Vladivostok highlighted the true rot that exists in the Primorye region. Ultimately Vladimir Nikolayev, director of the fishing and shipping concern TURNIF, was elected mayor... MORE

Latest Yukos Stay Of Execution Is Rescinded

Yukos' topsy-turvy fortunes took another sharp dip downward on August 5, when the Justice Ministry announced it had revoked an earlier decision by court bailiffs allowing the company to use frozen funds to pay for day-to-day operations. Meanwhile, some analysts suggested that the contradictory decisions... MORE

Welfare Reform Bill Breezes Through The State Duma

The State Duma on August 3 approved a Kremlin-supported bill in its second reading that would replace Soviet-vintage social benefits -- to such groups as pensioners, war veterans, the disabled, and Chernobyl cleanup workers -- with cash payments. The lower parliamentary chamber is expected to... MORE

Russia Rejects Wider OSCE Role In South Ossetia

A special session of the OSCE's Permanent Council in Vienna on July 29 failed to act on Georgia's proposal to widen the role of the OSCE Mission in South Ossetia. Supported in principle, though in lukewarm tones, by the United States and the European Union,... MORE

Russian Military Plagued By Falling Conscript Standards

President Putin's recent changes in the senior personnel in the Russian armed forces have aroused concerns about the future course of the military. Those appointed, at least on paper, hold out the promise of steady improvement in the military, rather than continued decline. Colonel-General Alexander... MORE

Without Kazakhstani Oil, Odessa-Brody Becomes Brody-Odessa

On July 26-27, Ukraine's state pipeline company UkrTransNafta announced the signing of agreements with Tyumen Oil-British Petroleum (TNK-BP, the Russian-British joint company) on the reverse use of the Odessa-Brody -- henceforth Brody-Odessa -- oil pipeline. The agreements envisage the transit of 9 million tons of... MORE

Qatar Court Rejects Jailed Russian Agents’ Appeal

A Qatar appeals court on July 29 rejected an appeal by two Russian intelligence agents sentenced to life imprisonment for the February bombing that killed former Chechen separatist president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. The presiding judge, Abdullah al-Saadi, told the court that the appeal was rejected in... MORE

Moscow Leading Campaign To Reorient Osce Activities

On July 24, the head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, Ambassador Paraschiva Badescu, had to vacate her post and leave the country because Turkmen authorities refused the OSCE's request for another six-month extension of her accreditation. Such request and extension is typically a routine... MORE