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  • Affiliation : Director of OSCE Academy
  • Affiliation : Vice President, Observer Research Foundation
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International Security Index iSi decreased to 2775 points. Unnikrishnan, Dunay comment events of the week.

12.08.2014

MOSCOW, AUGUST 12, 2014. PIR PRESS – “The new government of India took steps to normalize relations with some of the neighboring countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi successfully visited Nepal and Bhutan, Foreign Minister of India visited Bangladesh. Those actions had a very positive impact on regional security. However, I hope that the strengthening of cooperation with India’s neighbors will not remain on paper and will be implemented in practice”, – Vice President, Observer Research Foundation Nandan Unnikrishnan

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant (in Russian).

During the week of August 4 -11, 2014, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2775 points. Israel and Hamas again violated previously announced three-day truce and exchanged missile strikes; Tel Aviv threatened to leave the negotiations if attacks from Gaza continue. In northern Iraq, the Islamists seized some 15 cities, religious minorities continued leaving the country; Barack Obama authorized the surgical strikes against the positions of the Islamic State. On the border of Syria and Lebanon erupted clashes between Islamists and the Lebanese military. In eastern Ukraine shelling of Donetsk and Lugansk continued. Russia banned import of food from the countries that have previously imposed sanctions on Moscow.  On the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, including the line of separation of the parties in the Karabakh, there occurred skirmishes; sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire. Ebola virus in Africa, the earthquake in China, flooding in Bulgaria and India were among the negative events of the week.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Nandan Unnikrishnan, Vice President, Observer Research Foundation – by phone from Delhi: In July and August the security situation in the world has continued to deteriorate. The main reasons laid in relations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, as well as situation in the Middle East and the crisis in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The only way to try to resolve those conflicts is for the parties and international mediators to sit at the negotiating table. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no will to negotiate, and therefore the solution will take more time.

In South Asia, the security situation has become more or less stable. There is no serious deterioration; however there are no serious improvements as well. Situation in neighboring Afghanistan, where the uncertainty of the results of the presidential elections continues, as well as the problems of the Middle East have a negative impact on our region. But there are also positive developments in the South Asian security situation.

The new government of India took steps to normalize relations with some of the neighboring countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi successfully visited Nepal and Bhutan, Foreign Minister of India visited Bangladesh. Those actions had a very positive impact on regional security. However, I hope that the strengthening of cooperation with India’s neighbors will not remain on paper and will be implemented in practice

Clashes between the religious communities in the state of Uttar Pradesh negatively influenced the internal security situation of India. Generally speaking, in the last six to eight months, the number of such collisions increased. While they are local in nature, the government actively tries to resolve the issue and improve situation. The state authorities are handling the situation at the moment, but how the government of Uttar Pradesh will resolve the problem will influence the security situation in India as a whole. It is important to take into account that the government of Uttar Pradesh is different from the political forces that govern Delhi. It has impact on decisions made by them.

Pál Dunay, (Hungary), Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek - by e-mail from Bishkek: There were and there will be several economic consequences due to the integration of the Russian Federation in the world economy. The effect on trade relations may be limited due to the fact the Russian Federation exports first and foremost natural resources and energy bearers that will continue to have a market in the world irrespective of the crisis between the Russian Federation and the West.  However, consequences may well be more severe for investment and the transfer of technology. It is clear that Russia cannot modernize its economy if modern technology is not going to be available. This may also hit those industries that produce the overwhelming majority of export. Oil and gas exploration moves to areas, which are technologically more and more demanding. There is also reluctance of some western actors to explore and exploit the off-shore gas fields in the Black Sea adjacent to the Crimea.

Although Russia is also an exporter of some technologies, its weight in providing the most demanding know-how is limited. Russia may however, rely on modern technologies from countries, which are far less vocal supporters of the current sanctions policy.

As far as energy policy, notably of gas, it presents a number of complex problems. The Russian Federation is not in the position to create difficulties with the supply of the European Union, its single most important customer. Not to mention that the EU is a good paying market. Irrespective the Russian efforts to intensify links with other customers, like China, some investments are only about to start and as a consequence it may take a long time till Russia will have alternative supply routes to the East rather than the West. Furthermore, Europe is a traditional customer and difficulties of supply over the last years (2006 and 2009) have induced the EU to seek diversification of import and reduce the reliance on Russia (or on any single supplier for that matter). Even though these efforts have remained largely unsuccessful it would be fatal for Russia to retaliate western sanctions in this area. Russia is well aware of this.

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

 

 

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