Ukraine’s Brinksmanship with Russia and European Union

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is playing a dangerous game, but it is one forced on him by a European Union that pushes Ukraine away even as it claims it wants closer ties. Unfortunately, he cannot play this game indefinitely.

European Commission’s Anti-Trust Probe of Gazprom and Ukraine’s Old Wounds

If this probe is not merely a prelude to cheaper gas for Poles and Lithuanians and a return to the ​status quo ante​ thereafter, perhaps Brussels will finally understand exactly what every Ukrainian suffers to keep the hope of European membership alive.

Gazprom Hit with EU Antitrust Probe

The European Commission’s action is fraught with geopolitical implications at a time when nostalgic Russian president Vladimir Putin is seeking to reestablish Moscow’s dominance over the former Soviet Union’s once vast empire.

Azerbaijan Getting Second Looks by Investors

The ​Financial Times​ reports that a few funds are balancing remaining corruption issues with Baku’s reform programs and the enormous financial liftoff the country has experienced for the last decade and more.

Ukraine Takes Another Step Out from Under Gazprom

Anything that breaks Gazprom’s stranglehold over Europe’s natural gas supply — and alleviates Ukrainian suffering — is a positive thing for European energy security, and security in general.

IMF Board Welcomes Ukraine’s Fiscal Progress

The IMF has issued a report that appears to be a cautious signal that the IMF is open to re-opening the loan program, even though gas subsidies will likely remain in place at least through 2013.

Proposed Polish Lithuanian Gas Link a Boon to Eastern Europe

The increasing cooperation between Poland, Lithuania, and wider Eastern Europe on energy could be one reason why Moscow has been seen recently as trying to drive a wedge between the Baltic neighbors.

Azerbaijan’s Role as Energy, Security Provider Increases

Wars do not all arise from privation, but markets break and are overrun, and democracy never grows, where men and women starve or shiver in the cold. Baku is learning this lesson over time. Hopefully, Europe will as well.

Now More Than Ever, Baku Needs Support from Western Capitals

Baku’s understands what will be expected of it and that it is willing to take steps necessary to forge good relationships with the West. The government must resist the impulse toward control that could curtail its great national potential.

Missed Opportunities in Azerbaijan

This is an opportunity to end the blather that comes of a process in which Russia backs its Armenian client, France yields to its Armenian diaspora, and the United States arranges the conference chairs during shuttle diplomacy that accomplishes nothing.