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  • Affiliation : Director of OSCE Academy
  • Affiliation : Senior Associate, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, Johns Hopkins University
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International Security Index iSi increased to 2824 points. Dunay, Karaveli comment events of the week.

09.09.2014

MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 9, 2014. PIR PRESS – This is the moment when the EU will regret that in spite of business logic to support the building of the Nabucco pipeline it did not go for it.  This regret may be shared by countries that could have supplied Nabucco and now face a near monopolistic poisition of some other partners, like Turkmenistan with respect of China. Other major exporters (like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) have also given up on their hope to rely on supply in the western direction and diversified their export between the North (Russia) and the East”, Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek Pál Dunay.

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

During the week of September 1 - 8, 2014, the International Security Index iSi increased to 2824 points. In Minsk at the meeting of the contact group on Ukraine a peace plan was adopted; a ceasefire in the east of the Ukraine entered into force. NATO summit in Wales decided to expand the presence of alliance forces in Eastern Europe. In Syria, the militants shelled the outskirts and the center of Damascus. In Libya, the position of Islamists in Benghazi and Derna were destroyed. In Iraq, the army broke the sige of the city of Amerli surrounded by Islamists. IAEA's new report stated that Iran had not fulfilled all of the conditions of the agreement to ensure the transparency of its nuclear program. In Afghanistan, the recount of the presidential election votes was completed.

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

Pál Dunay, (Hungary), Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek – by e-mail from Bishkek: Another major issue as far as gas supply and it is supply routes – Europe overwhelmingly depends upon transit via Ukraine, Belarus and North Stream. The South Stream pipeline is not going to be ready before late 2015. However, as this will also supply Russian gas to Europe and gas that was made available to Europe through the Russian gas pipeline system, the dependence upon Russia will not decline.

This is the moment when the EU will regret that in spite of business logic to support the building of the Nabucco pipeline it did not go for it.  This regret may be shared by countries that could have supplied Nabucco and now face a near monopolistic poisition of some other partners, like Turkmenistan with respect of China. Other major exporters (like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) have also given up on their hope to rely on supply in the western direction and diversified their export between the North (Russia) and the East.

Europe’s energy security has thus not been greately reduced compared to the past, due to economic interdenendece with Russia. However, Ukraine’s energy security regarding the gas supply has suffered and has given the impression that both Russia and Ukraine politicised the matter and neither of them will benefit from it in the long run. It is an important matter that the parties have very different version of underlying facts as far as their claims and the mere fact that the disputes continue on these matters will continue to indicate that the matter is political that would not provide for the calming and depoliticization of the energy market. It is very doubtful that this could be in the interest of the Russian Federation.

However, Russia cannot misuse this position as any abuse of her strength would result in complications with Europe in the next years. It is clear Russia learned over the last years it should appear as a reliable partner in the gas market.

Halil Karaveli (Turkey-Sweden) – Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center – by e-mail from Stockholm: At the beginning of autumn, the security situation has deteriorated very significantly. Continued advances of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq represent a dramatic security threat. The mass atrocities committed by the Sunni radicals of ISIS against the minorities in Iraq are by far the most significant development during the period. The advances of ISIS and the rise of Sunni radicalism all over the Middle East are having an extremely destabilizing effect on the whole of the region. Syria and Iraq have to all intents and purposes ceased to exist.

One would be hard put to find any positive developments in the Middle East; however, it could be argued that the continued talks between the Turkish government and the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish insurgents (PKK) have the potential to contribute to enhancing the security more generally in the regional context. Anything that bolsters the ability of the Kurds - who are the only ones willing and able to check ISIS - to provide an effective counter-force to the Sunni radicals in Syria and Iraq will also help improve the security climate in the region. The Kurds are the key to this.

The order created by the Sykes-Picot agreement during the First World War has imploded. And the Middle East is pregnant with even more cataclysmic events in the years ahead. The situation in the Middle East can only continue to worsen. The United States will get successively more involved in the attempts to stop the Sunni Islamists, and meanwhile ISIS' campaign of terror is going to continue to wreak havoc on the populations of Iraq and Syria. At the end, there will have to be an American intervention in Syria and Iraq to stop the Islamists. However, I do not see that taking place in the short term.

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

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