Sunday, April 27, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #48

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. 

While tensions are mounting in eastern Ukraine after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had instructed Washington's puppet regime in Kiev to ignore the Geneva agreement and escalate the situation, the European Union sent two of its most notorious warmongers to another front in the new Cold War against Russia. The Foreign Ministers of Germany and France, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius, visited Georgia and affirmed plans to speed up the signing of the now infamous EU Association Agreement with Russia's southern neighbor:
France, Germany show EU support for Georgia as Ukraine crisis mounts

France and Germany assured Georgia on Thursday that a deal bringing it closer to the European Union would be sealed within weeks, moving to tighten ties with the ex-Soviet republic as tension mounts between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

"I am sure that by the end of June the agreement will have been signed and that it is an important milestone in the history of Georgian and European relations," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Tbilisi.
© Photo AP/Shakh Aivazov

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #47

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Although the U.S.-backed Gülen movement has tried to topple Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by all available means, the controversial political leader managed to achieve a decisive victory in Turkey's recent local elections, which were viewed as a "referendum" on the Erdogan-led government. The Turkish PM did not waste any time by celebrating and instead continued his crackdown on the Gülen movement. Less than a week after the vote, the fight against the vast network of CIA puppet Fethullah Gülen led Erdogan to Azerbaijan, where Hizmet enjoys a strong presence:

Gülen: Top Issue in the Agenda of Erdoğan’s Visit to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has always had a tremendous importance for the Gülen movement, partly because that is where they started to expand and where they met success. Further development throughout the Caucasus and post-Soviet Central Asia helped them become one of the most powerful and influential transnational Islamic movement present in more than 130 countries. Still, Azerbaijan is the one place outside Turkey where the movement is the most involved. Indeed, numerous businesses and educational companies managed by Gülen’s disciples and sympathizers operate here. Among them are the highly visible international Qafqaz University, a network of 15 high schools and more than 20 Araz prep schools spread around the country. Besides, some major media, like the newspapers Zaman Azerbaijan, the radio station Burç and a TV channel, are close to the Gülen movement.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #46

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized in his letter to European leaders that there will be an increasing risk of siphoning off natural gas passing through Ukraine’s territory if Gazprom has to cease gas deliveries to Ukraine for lack of payment. Instead of returning to a reasonable dialogue with the Kremlin, Washington's European lackeys will use the opportunity to argue for turning to other gas suppliers. Although it will take years before the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) opens the Southern Gas Corridor, some people in Brussels are convinced that the Southern Gas Corridor is the solution and refuse to give up on the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline. Never mind that this project could trigger a military conflict with Russia. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are improving their relationship for the sake of the Trans-Caspian pipeline and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has already given his blessing. Unfortunately, the Turkmen leader has a knack for supporting the wrong pipeline projects:
Turkmen President: 2015 Start for Pipeline Work

Turkmenistan's president has demanded that construction work begin in 2015 on a pipeline that will carry natural gas from his energy-rich country to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said all the agreements required for the project's launch should be completed this year, state media in the Central Asian nation reported Friday.
A memorandum of understanding between the four countries linked by the TAPI pipeline was signed in 2010 and a supply deal was completed in 2012.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #45

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.  

Thanks to the Ukraine crisis, the Cold War military alliance NATO does not need to pretend anymore that it is fighting terrorism and can continue its never-ending struggle against Russia right out in the open. The terror threat was quickly replaced by the Russian threat and NATO is non-stop fear-mongering about a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO's top military commander, is leading the way and if he is to be taken seriously, Russian troops will have conquered Ukraine by now. On Tuesday, NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss an appropriate response to the non-existent buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine's eastern border. The U.S.-led military alliance considers, among other things, to expedite the encirclement of Russia: 
Nato plans stronger military ties to ex-Soviet states south of Russia

Before the meeting, a Nato committee drafted plans "for promoting stability in eastern Europe in the current context" by increasing military co-operation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova – all in Russia's "near abroad" and considered by Moscow as falling within its sphere of influence.

A confidential seven-page paper leaked to the German news weekly Der Spiegel proposed joint exercises and training between Nato and the three countries, increasing the "interoperability" of their militaries with Nato, and their participation in Nato "smart defence" operations.
The paper also proposed opening a Nato liaison office in Moldova, military training for Armenia, and projects in Azerbaijan aimed at securing its Caspian Sea oil and gas fields.