Russian economic and military power is heavily dependent on high oil and natural gas prices. Cut the floor beneath those prices and a Communist superpower crumbles, and a revanchist Empire buckles.
The last year has shown that Putin perceives that his strengths are paired with Western weaknesses; if the West is to seriously contest with him, it must become serious.
However brief its renewed moment in the sun, it appears Russia may once again be called an empire — and all for a few billions of dollars.
Azerbaijan has made enormous strides over the last decade, but it is now a dual symbol: of what a former Soviet state can work to be, and how it can contribute to a European future
With so many credible allegations of wrongdoing remaining, baseless demands for Tymoshenko to be pardoned must not stand in the way of a true commitment both to the law and to a serious policy toward Ukraine.
Getting completely out from Russia’s deeply unpleasant embrace should be Lithuania’s first, second, and third foreign policy and economic priorities.
Baku used its oil wealth as a source of venture capital for other industries and to help the refugees of Armenia’s illegal occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and upward of 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory.
The nations that want to choose a Western destiny rather than having an Eastern one forced on them are not merely finding ways out from under Russia’s greatest source of power, but are breaking that power at the same time.
Azerbaijan is one of the critical pieces in Europe’s long-term bid for energy security — a necessary precondition for the standards of government and living to which we have grown accustomed.
This deal, should it come to pass, should confirm for Europe once and for all that Ukraine is ready to chart a new course in the West.