Late last month, more than a decade of indecision over the so-called Southern Gas Corridor linking Caspian reserves to European Union markets finally came to an end with the selection of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) by the Shah Deniz consortium of gas producers in Azerbaijan. TAP was selected over the much more widely recognized and operatically named Nabucco pipeline, which had captivated the energy industry and shaped the geopolitics of the Black Sea-Caspian region for years. Shah Deniz consortium members, which include BP, Statoil, Total and Azerbaijan’s national energy company SOCAR, insist that the selection was based almost entirely on [...]
At a NATO-Russia Council meeting last week, Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, complained about Moscow’s failure to provide advance notice of its recent large-scale military exercises. Gottemoeller stated that Russia had notified the U.S. about an exercise of “unprecedented size” in the Eastern Military District only as the activity commenced, while Washington “received word of the large aviation exercise in the Western Military District only through press reports.” According to the Russians, the “snap” exercises were designed to test the Russian military’s day-to-day readiness without advance warning of any drill. In addition, they [...]
An increasing number of Southern Europeans are leaving their recession-ridden countries in search of work and opportunities in the North, especially in Germany, raising fears that these countries’ problems will be compounded by a brain drain should their economies not improve. Between 2009 and 2011, outflows of people from countries most affected by the crisis, in particular in Southern Europe, rose by 45 percent, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. And Germany, with its low rates of overall and youth unemployment—5.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively—is a prime destination for this new migration [...]
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