Tuesday, 27 October 2020
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East Europe

By George Friedman

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will brief French and Polish officials on a joint proposal for Russian-European "cooperation on security," according to a statement from Westerwelle's spokesman on Monday. The proposal emerged out of talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev earlier in June and is based on a draft Russia drew up in 2008. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be present at the meeting. Andreas Peschke said, "We want to further elaborate and discuss it within the triangle [i.e., France, Germany and Poland] in the presence of the Russian foreign minister."

On the surface, the proposal developed by Merkel and Medvedev appears primarily structural. It raises security discussions about specific trouble spots to the ministerial level rather than the ambassadorial level, with a committee being formed consisting of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russia's foreign minister.

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By Adam Dempsey, Research Associate, UK Defence Forum

Romania's deliberation over the purchase of fighter planes to replace its Soviet-made MiG-21 Lancers has been anything but hasty. Decisions have been regularly delayed due to a lack of funds. In 2008 the Romanian Ministry of Defence seized the initiative by arguing that purchasing second-hand F-16s would enhance inter-operability with NATO partners. On 23rd March 2010 Romania's Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) announced the proposed purchase of 24 second-hand Lockheed-Martin F16s for $1.3 billion. It was further anticipated that Romania would eventually purchase 24 second hand F-16 Block 50-52s, and if finances permit 24 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Yet Romania's indecision does not stop there.

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by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.

The Russian and Eurasian Policy Project was inaugurated to assist policymakers in the legislative and executive branches who will formulate U.S. policies toward Russia and Eurasia. The project's task force is composed of leading experts on Russia and Eurasia who have extensive policy experience in Russian and Eurasian affairs and national security in both Republican and Democratic Administrations. This task force report is intended to be both prescrip tive and descriptive in recommending policies that are realistic, possible to implement, and balanced.

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By George Friedman

Candidate Obama said much about what he would do as president; now we will see what President Obama actually does. The most important issue Obama will face will be the economy, something he did not anticipate through most of his campaign. The first hundred days of his presidency thus will revolve around getting a stimulus package passed. But Obama also is now in the great game of global competition - and in that game, presidents rarely get to set the agenda.

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By Peter Zeihan

At the time of this writing, the natural gas crisis in Europe was entering its 13th day.

While the topic has only penetrated the Western mind as an issue in recent years, Russia and Ukraine have been spatting about the details of natural gas deliveries, volumes, prices and transit terms since the Soviet breakup in 1992. In the end, a deal is always struck, because Russia needs the hard currency that exports to Europe (via Ukraine) bring, and Ukraine needs natural gas to fuel its economy. But in recent years, two things have changed.

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