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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    We don't have to and we will not give back any land without war. And in case of war we might even take more land. Eurasian Union has not put any precondition on table to give up land. Even if it does, it still does not mean that we will. But will russia destroy what it has built for at least past 15 years?
    I am telling you guys, US and EU 6 points are the payback to us for going with Customs union. Logically russia will not endorse west. And it does not.
    If you had a base in one country, where you invest millions and millions for your strategic future, will you let that land to become smaler and smaller Iland? Does not make sense.
    And isn't it enough smelling this or that power's ass, as to who is going to make us give back artsakh?
    You have it now. Then think how to keep it.
    Has anyone asked for example, why is it that Talish cultural simposiums and international seminars are being organised in Armenia lately?
    Don't you think it's with a plan?
    What about, in case of war a Talish republic is formed that has russian support and russian military in it?
    So this neigborhood is dangerous not only for us but Baku too.
    Right now, US and EU are trying to scare us. Just like they are trying to scare Russia. Times to buy support with dollar is long past for Baku.
    If Russia must have Armenia as a sattelite, then Artsakh must be in there. Are russians stupid?
    For gaining Artsakh, baku will never give up oil profits to Russia or agree to Customs Union. Those western oil companies operating there will not let them. They will rather burn Baku like Kiev.
    People don't get it. West does not want us to give back Artsakh. It wants us to give up customs union. In order for us to be in customs union, Russia helps us to keep Artsakh.
    Just a fiew days ago Artsakh military minister announced that in past year we received more weapons then in past 10 years(I think 10 he said). So why is Russia giving so much free weapons? So you hang on to that territory.
    About life in Armenia. I agree with Haykakan. It was much better than now.
    But some shoud see that in west, more than 1/3 of population is being supported artificially by welfare funded with over printing money.
    It's like castle made of cards that can collapse any time. Even western economists don't see a bright future in that.
    What am I saying, is that, world is changing. Living conditions will change drastically. You never know which will be better EU or CU. But one thing is for sure, It's alignment time. And whatever this alignment will end up (with whatever territories gained or lost) it will stay that way for long time. So we must hang on to Artsakh. Living standards is wayyyy secondary.
    Last edited by Hakob; 05-19-2014, 10:16 PM.

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      You make some good points Hakob but living standards cannot be secondary if you are building a nation. When it comes to building a nation it is the people and their lives that matter far more then land. Yes Russia has built itself a good foothold in Armenia and will not give that up, but it also wants Azerbadjan in its circle to. Russia may indeed want land for peace exchange if the Azeris show willingness for such a scenario. I believe Russia is our only bet but its interests and Armenias do not always coincide and we know who the much stronger side is in this relationship. Land for peace could be great for Armenia to it all depends on how much and which lands and what we get in return for them. These kinds of agreements can come in a number of ways one is we sit down talk make a agreement sign it ...but in case one or both or all of the sides involved do not have public support for a deal then a deal could be made in secret with a limited military operation following the results of which will redraw the new boundaries to predetermined lines. This second scenario will produce some casualties on both sides but it may be the only option available since the societies of the warring sides are so against any compromise. Quality of life cannot be underestimated and i will give you a good example here..just the other day i went and visited a family friend in USA who had her brothers son over along with his wife. They are around 30 years old with two kids who were not with them. This young couple is making a living and is able to raise a family in Armenia. Both parents have good jobs and were able to save up and travel to USA where they will be spending a few weeks staying in different cities and doing a fair bit of shopping to. But when you talk to them you can see how they want to move here to USA and they complain and complain.. You can also see it in their dilated eyes that atleast at that point they would move here in a heartbeat if given the chance. No one can blame these people for wanting this because everyone wants what is best for their families(of course they did not know that opportunities in USA are diminishing etc...). Yo keep Armenians in Armenia and to perhaps lure some diasporans in, Armenia must be able to provide better living conditions and this is why i place such hi value on this topic. Better living conditions create a healthy society which does not run away given the opportunity but will rather stay and build a even better society/country. Better living conditions can change the tide of emigration to a tide of immigration. Lands without people are useless and cannot be defended anyways - hell the Azeris know this well which is why they were fine with waiting and watching Armenia get emptier by the year.One thing that history teaches us is that good decision making over time is invaluable and it determines the fate of nations and their people. Armenians have not been good at making good decisions over time and it has cost us our sovereignty. This trend is reversable-it may not be easy but over time if we make the right decisions we can regain sovereignty and perhaps use it to make more smart decisions in the favor of the Armenian nation.
      Hayastan or Bust.

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
        You make some good points Hakob but living standards cannot be secondary if you are building a nation. When it comes to building a nation it is the people and their lives that matter far more then land. Yes Russia has built itself a good foothold in Armenia and will not give that up, but it also wants Azerbadjan in its circle to. Russia may indeed want land for peace exchange if the Azeris show willingness for such a scenario. I believe Russia is our only bet but its interests and Armenias do not always coincide and we know who the much stronger side is in this relationship. Land for peace could be great for Armenia to it all depends on how much and which lands and what we get in return for them. These kinds of agreements can come in a number of ways one is we sit down talk make a agreement sign it ...but in case one or both or all of the sides involved do not have public support for a deal then a deal could be made in secret with a limited military operation following the results of which will redraw the new boundaries to predetermined lines. This second scenario will produce some casualties on both sides but it may be the only option available since the societies of the warring sides are so against any compromise. Quality of life cannot be underestimated and i will give you a good example here..just the other day i went and visited a family friend in USA who had her brothers son over along with his wife. They are around 30 years old with two kids who were not with them. This young couple is making a living and is able to raise a family in Armenia. Both parents have good jobs and were able to save up and travel to USA where they will be spending a few weeks staying in different cities and doing a fair bit of shopping to. But when you talk to them you can see how they want to move here to USA and they complain and complain.. You can also see it in their dilated eyes that atleast at that point they would move here in a heartbeat if given the chance. No one can blame these people for wanting this because everyone wants what is best for their families(of course they did not know that opportunities in USA are diminishing etc...). Yo keep Armenians in Armenia and to perhaps lure some diasporans in, Armenia must be able to provide better living conditions and this is why i place such hi value on this topic. Better living conditions create a healthy society which does not run away given the opportunity but will rather stay and build a even better society/country. Better living conditions can change the tide of emigration to a tide of immigration. Lands without people are useless and cannot be defended anyways - hell the Azeris know this well which is why they were fine with waiting and watching Armenia get emptier by the year.One thing that history teaches us is that good decision making over time is invaluable and it determines the fate of nations and their people. Armenians have not been good at making good decisions over time and it has cost us our sovereignty. This trend is reversable-it may not be easy but over time if we make the right decisions we can regain sovereignty and perhaps use it to make more smart decisions in the favor of the Armenian nation.
        Russia cannot have Azerbaijan as it is now because it is hard to control and manage. Russia cannot have any other republic as in ussr or czarist times. It will fragment Azerbaijan in order to have control. If we could have so much differences between us, it would fragment us too. In case of our EU association agreement Russia would pull Artsakh out of Armenia's sphere and keep under control of Russian peacekeepers. Do you think it would give it to Baku? That's naive. While Azerbaijan is in one piece it will not be an easy subject. So in case of war it stands to be fragmented in order to create more entities, all depending from Russia. Artsakh will not be joining any one of them. About living standards. If you look deep, living conditions there are more of a internal corruption thing . Let's separate that from east or west partnerships. So long as we think that EU or CU will have immediate reliev in that, there would be no change. It would also be better that opposition not to mix internal economy with foreign policies .

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          No one is saying Russia would give Artsakh to Azerbadjan but it may give some of the surrounding territories if it meant bringing that country into its fold. Living conditions are not just a "internal corruption thing". Closed borders effect the economy in various ways thus neither the opposition nor anyone else can really separate foreign policy from economic policy as we saw it play out in Armenia. There is no doubt that membership in either EU or CU will yield great benefits to the people of Armenia regardless of corruption. Corruption is everywhere not just in Armenia - it is not a unique curse applicable only to Armenia. more developed countries have corruption to but like their countries the corruption there is also developed at a higher more refined level. From what i have seen the Armenian authorities lack the suffistication required to make corruption a secondary issue. Who in USA is talking about corruption(other then me)? Yet the corruption here in USA makes Armenias corruption look like childs play, yet in Armenia people are upset while in USA people are not. Corruption is an issue in every country that should be addressed but as you can see it alone does not make nor break anything. Two countries with similar levels of corruption can exist while one will be successful and the other will fail. This shows you corruption is not the real issue-sure it is an issue but not as big as lets say closed borders for example or CU or EU membership.
          Hayastan or Bust.

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Երկու կրակի արանքում

            ԻԳՈՐ ՄՈՒՐԱԴՅԱՆ,
            Երեքշաբթի, 20 Մայիսի 2014,


            Եվրոպական միությունը կամ թյուրիմացաբար, կամ որոշակի ծրագրի շրջանակում, չի դադարում ազդանշաններ հղել զոնային, որ դռները եվրոպական տարածություն նրա համար փակված չեն, եւ նույնիսկ ակնարկներ են արվում, որ կարող են մշակվել համագործակցության ինչ որ սխեմաներ, որոնք կիրագործվեին մաքսային միության եւ այլնի պայմաններին զուգահեռ, որոնք կապված են Ռուսաստանի հավակնությունների հետ:
            Ավելի անազնիվ խաղ դժվար է պատկերացնել, քանի որ Եվրոպան հստակ որոշում ունի զոնայի ապագայի ու քաղաքական ճակատագրի կապակցությամբ: Ներկայում, սեպտեմբերի 3-ի այլանդակ ֆենոմենից հետո զոնան դիտարկվում է բավական վտանգավոր թեմա, որը կարող է հանգեցնել Սեւ ծովի ու Կովկասի ուղղությամբ սպառնալիքների նկատելի ուժեղացման, ինչը լարվածություն կհաղորդի համաշխարհային քաղաքականությանը:
            Զոնան այսպես թե այնպես սերտ կապված է մի շարք հակամարտությունների հետ եւ բարդացնում է ցանկացած որոշում աշխարհքաղաքական ու գեոտնտեսական ոլորտներում: Զոնան, որը նույնական է եվրոպական տարածության ու հասարակության որոշակի կլաստերների (նախեւառաջ նրա պատկանելությունը հասարակության քրիստոնեական տիպին), եվրոպական բյուրոկրատիայի ու քաղաքական շրջանակների հետ չմտածված ու անբավարար աշխատանքի պատճառով հայտնվել է անհեթեթ վիճակում:
            Եվրոպական միության հետ քիչ թե շատ վստահելի հարաբերություններին զոնայի վերադարձի ենթադրյալ սխեման պահանջում է նրա քաղաքական վիճակի իրական պայմանների պարզաբանումը:
            Մինչ սեպտեմբերի 3-ը Եվրոպական միության հետ բանակցության պայմանները գաղտնի էին մնում միայն պրոֆեսիոնալ քաղաքագետների, երեւանյան կենտրոնական թաղամասերի համար, իսկ շահագրգիռ վերլուծաբանների համար որեւէ գաղտնիք չկար: Զոնայի քաղաքական ղեկավարությունը նույնիսկ չի փորձել եւ չի քննարկել անվտանգության հարցերը, թեեւ դրա հնարավորությունները կային, հատկապես եվրոպական անվտանգության համակարգին ինտեգրվելու պլանում:
            Ներկայում եվրոպական քաղաքական գործիչներն ու ֆունկցիոներները փորձում են հետին թվով արդարանալ եւ զոնային ներշնչել, որ կյանքում միշտ տեղ կա եվրոպական վեկտորի համար: Սեպտեմբերի 3-ից անցել է 9 ամիս, եւ այդ ընթացքում ոմանք երեխաներ են ունեցել, սակայն զոնայի հանդեպ Եվրոպայի վերաբերմունքի մեջ ոչինչ չի փոխվել: Եվրոպացիներն ու ամերիկացիները հանգել են նրան, որ պրո-ռուսական բնույթի տնտեսական, քաղաքական ու ռազմական բլոկները աստիճանաբար փլուզվում են, եւ ուժեղացնում են դրանց մարգինալությունը:
            Արեւմուտքը, համերաշխ Ռուսաստանի դեմ պատժամիջոցների հարցում, կարող էր այդ պրո-ռուսական բլոկները փլուզել, սակայն դա չի արվում, քանի որ, նախ, Արեւմուտքն այդ բլոկները չի համարում հեռանկարային, այլ՝ ինքնափլուզվող, երկրորդ, ցանկություն չկա պատասխանատվություն ստանձնել քաղաքական ապակառուցողականության համար, եւ երրորդ, Ուկրաինայի իրադարձությունների կապակցությամբ պատժամիջոցներով, առանց լրացուցիչ որոշումների, կարելի է փլուզել ցանկացած բան:
            Ի՞նչ կարող են նշանակել զոնայի հետ ինտեգրման ենթադրվող սխեմաները: Միայն մի բան՝ բավական սահմանափակ տնտեսական ու քաղաքական պարտավորություններ, լիովին Ռուսաստանի վրա գցելով զոնայի տնտեսական զարգացման ու անվտանգության հարցերը: Սա խորը մտածված ու խորհրդակցված գաղափար է, որը շատ է հիշեցնում խաղարկային գործողություն, որն ուղղված է Հարավային Կովկասի հակառուսական վեկտորի ձեւավորմանը:
            Մոսկվայում դա լավ են հասկացել եւ չեն շտապում զոնային տալ ինստիտուցիոնալ գործընկերոջ կարգավիճակ, նրան ներգրավելով ավելի բարձր մակարդակի պարտավորեցնող հարաբերություններում: Ռուսները հասկացել են, որ զոնան փորձում են դարձնել Ռուսաստանի համար ոչ ամենակարեւոր, բայց եւ ոչ վերջին բացասական բնույթի խնդիր: Ռուսներն ամեն ինչ արեցին, որպեսզի զոնան եւ նրա հասարակությունը ներկայացնեն խիստ անհուսալի, քաղաքականապես անհամարժեք, որը որեւէ կերպ հնարավոր չէ դիտարկել ինքնիշխան պետություն:
            Զոնան քաղաքականապես, տնտեսապես ու սոցիալապես ապակազմակերպված է եւ դարձել է առավել անվտանգ՝ որպես Արեւմուտքի գործիք հակառուսական քաղաքականության մեջ: Ավելի վատ չես անի, համենայնդեպս Ռուսաստանի համար դա բավական խնդրահարույց կդառնար: Իհարկե, Մոսկվայում բոլոր այս կասկածները կարող էին եւ չլինել, եթե չլինեին Ուկրաինայի իրադարձությունները, եթե չլիներ Մայդանը, որոնց արդյունքները արժեզրկեցին ու անիմաստ դարձրեցին Ռուսաստանի շատ ծրագրեր:
            Զոնայի քաղաքական ղեկավարությունը լիովին գիտակցել է իր մոլորությունների խորությունը, սակայն, ըստ ամենայնի, մոլորությունները շարունակվում են, քանի որ ակնհայտորեն մեծանում է կեղծիքը իշխանության առաջին էշելոնի շրջանակներում: Իսկապես ծայրահեղ ցինիկ ու անսկզբունքային պետք է լինել զոնայի առաջին մարդուն համոզելու համար, որ որեւէ առանձնահատուկ բան չի եղել, եւ հիմա կարելի է փորձել վերադառնալ եվրոպական տարածություն, այս անգամ հետնամուտքից:
            Կասկած չկա, որ դա արվում է Մոսկվայի համապատասխան ցուցումով: Երբ երկիրը հատկապես զոնայի ձեւով հայտնվում է միջազգային կոշտ մեկուսացման մեջ եւ սեփական շահերը լիովին անտեսելու շեմին, ցանկացած իշխանություն, նույնիսկ ամենաինքնավստահը, փլուզվում է, եւ դա հասկանում են նախեւառաջ մարդիկ իշխանության առաջին էշելոնից: Պարզեցված իտերացիա չստացվեց, պարզեցումը դարձավ պսեւդո-ինտելեկտուալ թիմի տափակ նշանը, որն արդեն ոչինչ չունի ասելու, բացի ակնհայտ ստից, թե իբր ողջ այս տրագիկոմեդիան իրենք ենթադրել էին:
            Եվրոպացիներն ու ամերիկացիները, ովքեր համաձայնեցրել են զոնայի ճակատագիրը, նրա ղեկավարությանն առաջարկել են պահվածքի բարդ սխեմա, որը հանգում է նրան, որ գնան մեկուսացվող Ռուսաստանի հունով եւ նրանից պահանջեն տնտեսական ու ռազմա-քաղաքական բնույթի հարցերի լուծումը: Դա բավական մեծ բեռ կլիներ Ռուսաստանի համար, հարավային ռազմավարական ուղղությամբ: Զոնայի քաղաքական ղեկավարությունը հայտնվել է երկու կրակի արանքում եւ առայժմ չգիտի ինչ անել:
            Կա երկու ճանապարհ՝ շարունակել ամեն ինչ համաձայնեցնել Մոսկվայի հետ եւ հայտնվել ավելի մեծ մեկուսացման մեջ, եւ ռիսկի դիմել ու ընդունել Արեւմուտքի պահանջները, այդպիսով պահպանելով իշխող ռեժիմը: Իրավիճակը բարդանում է նրանով, որ Մոսկվան շահագրգռվածություն չի ցուցաբերում ոչ ակտուալ իշխանության լեգիտիմությունը հաստատելու, ոչ էլ հնարավոր ընդդիմախոսներին աջակցելու հարցում: Այսինքն, նույնիսկ իրական ընդդիմությունը, ինչպես իշխանությունը, վիրավորված է Մոսկվայից, եւ այլեւս մտադիր չէ իրականացնել նրա ինստրուկցիաները, ավելի ճիշտ՝ պատրաստ է կատարել դրանք ձեւականորեն, ռուսական քաղաքականությունը նախապես զոնայում դատապարտելով տապալման:
            Այս աղետալի իրավիճակում զոնայում մնում է երկու իրական ուժ, որոնք կարող էին իրականացնել քաղաքական-գաղափարական հեղաշրջում: Դա բանակն ու երիտասարդ սերունդն է, եւ դա ընդունում են բոլորը: Ի՞նչ կարող է կանգնած լինել իրական ուժերի այս համեստ համալիրի հետեւում:
            Առայժմ միայն այն, ինչ ենթադրվում էր դեռ անցյալ անբախտ, բայց ոչ այնքան սարսափելի տարվա աշնանը: Եվրոպական միությունը եւ ՆԱՏՕ-ն տարբեր մեխանիկա, տրամաբանություն ու շահեր ունեն, չնայած որ գլոբալ այս կառույցների անդամները համընկնում են: Եվրոպական միությունը բարդույթավորված է եւ ընդունակ է առաջարկել միայն սահմանափակ նախաձեռնություններ, թեեւ ակտիվորեն քարոզում է իր Արեւելյան գործընկերությունը:
            Զոնան, սակայն, կարող է արագացնել ՆԱՏՕ-ին ինտեգրվելը եւ մշակել առաջարկներ այս տարվա աշնանը Քարդիֆում կայանալիք ՆԱՏՕ-ի վեհաժողովին, որտեղ ընդունվելու են նոր որոշումներ եւ հաստատվելու են նախկին որոշումները, որոնք չի հաջողվել իրականացնել:
            Սա շա՞նս է: Ոչ, սա իրական հնարավորություն է, եւ դրա անտեսումը կդառնար Արեւմուտքի ծրագրերի իրականացման պայմանը Ռուսաստանի խնդիրների մասով, ինչը պայմանավորում է պայմանավորվածությունները թե Արեւմուտքի, թե Ռուսաստանի հետ: Որպեսզի պարզ լինի այս պնդման արդարացիությունը, կարելի է նկատել, որ ռուսական քարոզչությունը զոնայի հանդեպ տապալվել է:
            Հարց է առաջանում՝ արդյոք հարկ է երկխոսություն վարել պրոֆանացիայի պայմաններում, որն առաջարկվում է Արեւմուտքից ու Ռուսաստանից: Երեւի հարկ է, քանի որ այլ բան տրված չէ: Հարկ է ուտել անխելքության պատճառով եփած ճաշը:
            - See more at: http://www.lragir.am/index/arm/0/com....AABAOmxj.dpuf

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              Azerbaijan tries to raise stakes – Russian analyst




              May 21, 2014 | 09:27
              The Americans have started a game on the Karabakh issue, but the question is whether the European Union and Russia will play with the rules of this game.

              Russian political scientist Alexander Skakov told the aforesaid to Armenian News-NEWS.am commenting on Azerbaijan’s most recent remarks made against the US.

              In his words, on the one hand, the US is showing a “whip” to Azerbaijan—that is, it reproaches Azerbaijan for the human rights violations—and on the other hand, it shows a “cookie” to Azerbaijan—that is, with the speech by OSCE Minsk Group US Co-Chair James Warlick who, as per Skakov, placed the emphasis on returning Nagorno-Karabakh back to Azerbaijan.

              “[Official] Baku is attempting to raise the stakes and show that it needs more from the Americans, that they agree to play with the rules of the game when they do more in the settlement of the Karabakh issue,” Skakov noted stressing, however, that the Americans are not alone in the Minsk Group.

              The analyst also expressed a view that the OSCE Minsk Group should somehow have responded to the nuances of the statement by the American side.


              News from Armenia - NEWS.am

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                21 May 2014
                BBC

                Russia signs 30-year gas deal with China


                The deal between Russia's Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has been 10 years in the making.

                Russia has been keen to find an alternative energy market for its gas as it faces the possibility of European sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

                No official price has been given but it is estimated to be worth over $400bn.

                President Putin said in a statement to the Russian news channel Rossiya: "The price is satisfactory for both sides.

                "It is tied, like it is envisaged in all our international contracts with Western partners, specifically our partners in Western Europe, to the market price on oil and oil products. It is an absolutely calibrated, general formula for pricing."

                Gazprom shares rose 2% on the news.


                How significant is the deal?
                The agreement, signed at a summit in Shanghai, is expected to deliver some 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year eastward to China's burgeoning economy, starting around 2018.

                The main argument has been over price and China is thought to have been driving a hard bargain.

                Over the last 10 years it has found other gas suppliers. Turkmenistan is now China's largest foreign gas supplier, and last year it started importing piped natural gas from Myanmar.

                Alexei Miller, Chief Executive of Gazprom said the new deal was "the biggest contract in the entire history of the USSR and Gazprom - over 1 trillion cubic metres of gas will be supplied during a whole contractual period."

                line
                Analysis: Jamie Robertson, BBC News
                The gas deal between Russia and China was signed at 04:00 China time, which gives some indication of the level of urgency over these talks. Mr Putin appears to have been determined not to leave Shanghai without a deal - and he got one.

                But the financial details are a "commercial secret", so we don't know how much he had to give away to get it. Certainly China needs the gas to help it cut its coal-fired smog levels, and it wants to diversify supply. But it had the luxury of time in which to negotiate, something Mr Putin was short of.

                The perceived motive for the deal is that Russia needs a second market for its gas, so it can face up to European sanctions. Given that the "Power of Siberia" pipeline won't start pumping gas into Chinese factories until 2018 at the earliest, its economic effect on the European crisis will be limited.

                More important may be the investment that China will make into Russia's power and transport infrastructure. Putin may not have managed to sign the most advantageous of gas deals on Wednesday but the opening of economic doors with China could well be the greater achievement.

                line
                Rain Newton-Smith, head of emerging markets at Oxford Economics, said: "The whole tenet of the deal has a symbolic value - it says that the two countries are prepared to work with one another. For instance there were other elements such as Chinese participation in Russian transport infrastructure and power generation.

                "It is similar in many ways to China's investments in Africa where they drive a hard bargain over the price of raw materials but then provide infrastructure for the economies they are doing business with.

                Jonathan Marcus, the BBC's defence and diplomatic correspondent said tensions between Russia and the west were not just over Ukraine: "There are fundamental differences over Syria and about the whole direction in which President Vladimir Putin is taking his country.

                "Thus this deal could symbolise an important moment of transition - when both in economic and geo-political terms, Russia's gaze begins to look more towards the East than towards the West."

                Siberian power
                Another sticking point on the deal has been the construction of pipelines into China.

                Currently there is one complete pipeline that runs across Russia's Far East to the Chinese border, called The Power of Siberia. It was started in 2007, three years after Gazprom and CNPC signed their initial agreement in 2004.

                But financing the $22-30bn cost of sending it into China has been central to the latest discussions.

                China is Russia's largest single trading partner, with bilateral trade flows of $90bn (53bn) in 2013.

                The two neighbours aim to double the volume to $200bn in 10 years.

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Shake-Ups At Kashagan
                  May 21, 2014

                  A EurasiaNet Partner Post from: RFE/RL


                  The setbacks for Kazakhstan's enormous Caspian oil field, Kashagan, seem to just keep coming.

                  Over the course of recent weeks, it was officially confirmed that production at the field, once targeted to start in 2005, will be delayed another two years, the head of the consortium operating the project resigned, Kazakhstan's state energy company restructured its participation in Kashagan, and now the structure of the companies operating the project is reportedly about to undergo a change.

                  Qishloq Ovozi noted earlier that the two pipelines leading from the offshore oil field to Kazakhstan's mainland, each some 90 kilometers long, would probably need to be entirely replaced. That has been officially confirmed since then. Now project officials, Kazakh officials, and oil industry analysts predict production will not start any sooner than the end of 2015 and possibly not until sometime in 2016.

                  Last autumn, as production was finally starting, the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), the international consortium running the Kashagan project, was targeting production of some eight million tons of oil from the field this year and some 12 million tons in 2015. Production started in September 2013 and was suspended weeks later when it was discovered the pipelines were leaking.

                  A May 11 report from the Tengrinews.kz website canvassed analysts about the losses caused to Kazakhstan due to this latest delay. The figures ranged from $2 billion to more than $20 billion.

                  The announcement in the second half of April that the pipelines needed to be replaced seems to have set off a chain reaction of events.

                  RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Azattyq, reported on April 23 that Pierre Offant, the managing director of NCOC announced he was resigning. He left the post on May 1.

                  On April 29, Kazakhstan's state oil and gas company KazMunaiGaz (KMG) announced on its website that it was withdrawing from the KMG Kashagan BV shareholders structure. KMG Kashagan BV is one of the partners in NCOC.

                  KMG said the decision was made on April 25 by the "Sole shareholder of KMG -- 'Samruk-Kazyna.'"

                  Samruk-Kazyna is Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund -- it is like the big winner in a game of Monopoly. It owns the railroad company (Kazakhstan Temir Zholy), the electric company (KEGOC), the nuclear company (Kazatomprom), KMG and all or part of other companies that include an airline and the postal service.

                  KMG Kashagan BV owns 16.8 percent of the Kashagan project. The KMG press release said the company has an interest in making a new deal on "agreement about contribution and transference of KMG Kashagan BV shares between KMG, CooperativeKazMunaiGaz and KMG Kashagan BV."

                  The significance of the transfer of KMG's shares in the project to two of its subsidiaries is not immediately clear. The Kazakh news website Ak Zhaik reported that "Kazakhstan's mass media are perplexed, why KMG requires to delegate the management of 16.8% shares in Kashagan project simultaneously to its two 'daughters.'"

                  Then, in early May, there were reports that NCOC was about to change the project's operator.

                  The current "agent companies," the four companies comprising NCOC, are Agip KCO, an affiliate of Italy's Eni, ExxonMobil Kazakhstan, Shell Development Kazakhstan, and the NC Production Operations Company (NCPOC), which pairs Shell and Kazakhstan's state energy company KazMunaiGaz.

                  Tengrinews.kz reported on May 4 that a new company incorporating Agip, NCOC, and NCPOC would be created. Tengrinews.kz said NCOC had confirmed that information but no official statement about the plans has been made so far.

                  Most analysts in Kazakhstan said the move was natural given that the project has been a failure to date.

                  After the April announcement of this latest delay in production, Kazakhstan's Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev said it was "annoying that the simplest piece of equipment in the project [the pipeline] is the one that failed."

                  "We are hugely disappointed by the way the project is progressing," he added.

                  Hugely disappointed might be putting it mildly. As Jennifer DeLay of the Scotland-based FSU Oil & Gas Monitor told Qishloq Ovozi, Kashagan's operators knew from the start they would be working in a shallow area of the Caspian Sea that froze over in winter and that there were "serious technical challenges posed by high reservoir pressure and the high sulphur content of the oil from the field."

                  DeLay also recalled that the development of the Kashagan field was originally expected to be approximately $50 billion and that has since ballooned to some $136 billion, not counting the cost of removing the faulty pipeline and replacing it with a more durable, and expensive conduit.

                  And, before ending this look at the latest misfortunes of Kashagan, we must include the seemingly inevitable scandal that accompanies so many Central Asian energy deals.

                  Eni, through Agip KCO, was appointed to act as the project's operator in 2001 after the Italian company pledged to launch production by 2005. Its failure to meet that goal led, eventually, to the formation of NCOC in early 2009.

                  On April 1, in an article titled "Kashagan to be ruined by Italian convict and our businessmen in ministerial chairs," the Atyrau-based newspaper "Ak Zhaik" cited reports from the Italian press about the Milan prosecutor's office investigating Eni in connection with at least $20 million in bribes paid to "a certain Kazakhstan politician" during the first stage of the project's development, which lasted until 2007.

                  The Milan prosecutor's office handed over information about the probe to Kazakh law enforcement officials who "showed no interest in the information from Italy and didn't start any investigation of who exactly in Astana got this money."

                  -- Bruce Pannier, with contributions from Yerzhan Karabek of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

                  Editor's note: Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                    No one is saying Russia would give Artsakh to Azerbadjan but it may give some of the surrounding territories if it meant bringing that country into its fold.

                    As far as I am aware this policy of the Sultal Aliev has not changed.
                    Any solution has to satisfy both parties.
                    I hope this will refresh the position of Azerbaijan.


                    Listen carefully at 1:18



                    Last edited by londontsi; 05-21-2014, 11:29 AM.
                    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Yeh sure it says what it wants and we say what we want but we both know that niether one will get all of the things he wants.

                      Originally posted by londontsi View Post
                      As far as I am aware this policy of the Sultal Aliev has not changed.
                      Any solution has to satisfy both parties.
                      I hope this will refresh the position of Azerbaijan.


                      Listen carefully at 1:18



                      Hayastan or Bust.

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