Latest Articles about Middle East

RUSSIA OPTS FOR PACIFIC ROUTE, BUT HELPING CHINA SAVE FACE

The Russian government is expected to make the final decision on the destination of the Siberian oil pipeline as early as the next few days. The pipeline would link the Russian oil fields near Taishet, northwest of Lake Baikal, to either the Chinese city of... MORE

KREMLIN LOSES LAST POPULAR ELECTIONS FOR RUSSIAN GOVERNORS

The presidential election drama in Ukraine has distracted attention from two key political developments in Russia that are also connected to executive-branch elections. First, on December 3 the Russian State Duma passed a law with new procedures for electing the heads of Russian Federation regions... MORE

RUSSIAN INTERIOR TROOPS EXPAND SECURITY ROLE

The Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) has successfully completed the first stage of its expanded security role in the aftermath of the Beslan tragedy. It has added to its current responsibilities an additional 440 sites throughout the Russian Federation, many of which include potential soft targets... MORE

PUTIN IN TURKEY: THE UNENDING QUEST FOR MULTIPOLARITY

Russian President Vladimir Putin made last week's unprecedented trip to Turkey for several reasons. First, trade, energy, and a shared interest in ensuring the security of the Black Sea and the Caucasus against terrorism are important (RIA-Novosti, December 6). Similarly, Putin has long maintained that... MORE

RUSSIA EXPLOITS THE OSCE TO PRESSURE GEORGIA

The OSCE's failed year-end meeting in Sofia on December 6-7 also marked its conclusive failure as a would-be security organization. Russia demonstrated that it could kill the OSCE's one and only security operation of proven value, the Border Monitoring Operation in Georgia. At the same... MORE

MOSCOW SCUTTLES OSCE YEAR-END CONFERENCE

Russian hegemonic claims regarding Georgia, Moldova, and now also Ukraine, torpedoed the OSCE's year-end meeting at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Sofia on December 6-7. The annual event ended without the usual political declaration and regional statements, the adoption of which is... MORE

KALMYK LEADERS AND BELIEVERS BUOYED BY VISIT FROM DALAI LAMA

On November 29, the Dalai Lama, the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, visited Kalmykia, a region in southern Russia, that is mainly inhabited by ethnic Kalmyks practicing Buddhism. This visit was difficult to organize, since the Chinese government regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist.... MORE

GREED, GAZPROM, AND GREF: THE MAKING OF A SUPER-MONOPOLY

In the first days of December, the Russian government planned to review Gazprom's performance and approve its investment program for 2005. The agenda for the meeting, however, was changed at the last moment when Gazprom announced a drastic revision of its plans in connection with... MORE