Sunday, August 25, 2013

The New Great Game Round-Up #17

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.

After the recent U.S. visit of Azerbaijan's Defense Minister, it was now the turn of his Georgian counterpart. DM Irakli Alasania's meeting in Washington with United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resulted in a new agreement:
Georgia and USA expand cooperation in defense sector
© Photo Georgian Ministry of Defense
Alasania continued his trip at the Johns Hopkins University where he spoke at an event organized by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute addressing Georgia's acession to NATO:
Alasania on NATO, Ties with Russia and Internal Politics
Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, said he expects active discussions to start later this year and early in 2014 about specifics of what should be “next step” on Georgia’s path to NATO integration in the context of NATO summit in 2014.
The Georgian Defense Minister highlighted Tbilisi's stance towards the Kremlin with respect to this issue [emphasis mine]:
“We have to demonstrate that Russia does not have any say in relationship between NATO and Georgia,” he said. “We will have exemplary [presidential] election [on October 27] that will demonstrate that we are ready for the next step for integration.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The New Great Game Round-Up #16

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.
 
Since Azerbaijan is getting dangerously close to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russian President Vladimir Putin deemed it best to visit Baku with a large delegation including Foreign Minister Lavrov, Defense Minister Shoigu and Energy Minister Novak:
In Baku, Putin Brings Gunboats Along With Diplomacy
Rasim Musabekov, a member of parliament and political analyst, told reporters that one aim of Putin's visit was to give Baku a warning not to cooperate too closely with the U.S.
According to him, Russia cannot but have a certain wariness toward Baku becoming an important logistics center, through which Afghanistan transit is conducted. For that reason, Moscow needs a strong guarantee that American armed forces will not appear here [in Baku] tomorrow.
© Photo RIA Novosti

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The New Great Game Round-Up #15

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.

With the Russia-Georgia war approaching its fifth anniversary, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev used the opportunity to discuss the relationship between the two countries. He voiced his optimism for an improvement of the relations as soon as Georgian President Saakashvili will leave office and praised Prime Minister Ivanishvili:
Medvedev praises Georgian prime minister for courage to say that Saakashvili was guilty of starting a conflict in South Ossetia
But as Dr. Paul Craig Roberts noted, Saakashvili did not act on his own:
"Most analysts regard it as unlikely that Saakashvilli on his own would violate the peace agreement and attack Russian troops. Certainly Saakashvilli would have cleared the aggression with his Washington sponsor.
Saakashvilli’s attempt to recover the territories was an opportunity for Washington to test Russia. Washington saw the attack as a way of embarrassing the Russian government and as a way of testing Russia’s response and military in action. If Russia did not respond, the government would be embarrassed by its failure to protect its interests and the lives of those Russia regards as citizens. If Russia did respond, Russia could be denounced, as it was by President George Bush, as a bully that invaded a “democratic country” with a Washington-installed president. Especially interesting to Washington was the ability to observe the Russian military’s tactics and operational capabilities."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The New Great Game Round-Up #14

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.
 
The disput between the United States and Russia about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden serves as perfect pretext for Washington to expedite NATO's Cold War Revival. U.S. Senator John McCain, famous for his warmongering and staunch support of terrorists from Libya to Syria, is leading the way:
McCain: Expand NATO, Missile Deployments To Punish Russia
US Senator John McCain disapproves whistleblower Edward Snowden’s newly-acquired asylum, and demands that Washington re-examine its relations with Moscow and `strip away the illusions that many Americans have had about Russia.`
`We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia,` the statement published on the Senator`s official website says.
© Photo AP