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Earlier this month, India approved a $1.18 billion deal for the purchase of 500 Mica air-to-air missiles from the French defense firm MBDA. In an email interview, Jean-Luc Racine, a senior CNRS fellow at the Center for South Asia Studies at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences and the vice president of the Asia Center in Paris, discussed France-India relations. WPR: What have been the Sarkozy administration’s main priorities in advancing France-India ties? Jean-Luc Racine: Since then-President Jacques Chirac’s visit to India in 1998, France-India ties have improved consistently, and current President Nicolas Sarkozy has clearly toed the […]

The perennial standoff between Ukraine and Russia over natural gas prices will be accompanied by an added wrinkle this year, with news that Ukraine plans to ink a deal for a joint venture with energy-rich Azerbaijan for supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The partnership, which will finally introduce unconventional energy sources to Ukraine, underscores the flagging fortunes of Russia’s pipeline monopoly and the dwindling leverage it commands. According to Vladislav Kaskiv, the head of Ukraine’s State Agency for Investment and National Projects, the formal announcement between Baku and Kiev for the arrangement will be made later this month at […]

In supporting her proposal to reverse the Australian ban on uranium exports to India at the Australian Labour Party’s conference in early December, Prime Minister Julia Gillard argued that, “We should take a decision that is in our nation’s interest, a decision about strengthening our strategic partnership with India in this, the Asian century.” The proposal, which was successfully passed at the conference, comes at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama is orchestrating Washington’s strategic pivot to Asia and signals that further space is being negotiated for India in the existing regional order. Washington seems to be using its […]

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News arrived this week that the second-largest oil company in China has agreed to pay $900 million, and contribute as much as $1.6 billion to future drilling costs, for a one-third stake in five American exploratory oil projects. The foray into American energy investment, the first by China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec, comes in the form of a partnership with Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. to develop shale reserves. “It’s a marriage of convenience and opportunity,” said Clayton Dube, associate director of the University of Southern California’s U.S.-China Institute. “This is further evidence of Chinese firms and the Chinese state […]

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Exxon Mobil Corp.’s demand for as much as $12 billion in international arbitration for assets seized in the South American country in 2007 was “crazy.” World News Videos by NewsLook

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Hundreds of demonstrators in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos shut petrol stations, formed human barriers along motorways and hijacked buses in protest of the shock doubling of fuel prices after a government subsidy was removed. World News Videos by NewsLook