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  • Author: Danielle Lussier
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Sergei Pashin discussed Russia's judicial system, past and current debates on judicial reform, and his thoughts on the likelihood of the Putin government implementing a significant judicial reform. Dr. Pashin began by telling about the history and results of the 1991 - 1995 judicial reform in Russia. As the main achievements of this period Pashin identified ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights and acknowledgement of the jurisdiction of the European Court located in Strasbourg, adoption of a number of bills expanding and strengthening citizen s' civil and criminal procedure rights and of the law on jury trials, abolition of capital punishment for non - violent crimes, adoption of a law on judges' status in which real guarantees of independence of judges were declared, establishment of the first Constitutional Court in Russian history, establishment of a system of arbitration courts, etc.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Emil Pain
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Implications of Putin's policies remain vague. While analysts and politicians note alarming trends in politics, the economy and human rights, it is difficult to identify details and determine the feasibility of Putin's long-term strategy. Dr. Emil Pain, the Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Kennan Institute/Woodrow Wilson Center and a former advisor to President Yeltsin, was invited to present his views on policies of the Putin administration.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Vladimir Boxer, Timothy Colton, Sarah Mendelson, John Reppert
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Timothy Colton began his remarks with a discussion of the 1999 parliamentary elections and 2000 presidential elections in Russia. He suggested two alternative views of the elections: they can be seen as part of a succession process or as truly democratic elections. Professor Colton claimed that although President Yeltsin named Vladimir Putin his "successor" in the fall of 1999, the formal transfer of power still included a competitive election in 2000. The parliamentary elections, he argued, were highly contested and the outcome was not pre-ordained.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Doug Blum, Carol Saivetz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Carol Saivetz and Doug Blum spoke about Russia's policies toward the Caspian under President Putin at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on May 2, 2001 in an event sponsored by the Caspian Studies Program. Carol Saivetz, Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard and Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, noted a trend toward more coherence in Russia's foreign policy, although she said it is occurring despite a split within the foreign policy establishment. Doug Blum, who spoke second, focused on the bilateral relationships between Russia and other Caspian Basin countries, and on those countries' responses to Russian policy, singling out Kazakhstan's relations with Russia as the most cooperative. Melissa Carr, Caspian Studies Program Director, chaired the event. Carol Saivetz opened by arguing that President Putin has being working to correct the foreign policy "freelancing" rampant in the late Yeltsin years, bringing more coherence to Russian foreign policy in general. However, at the same time, she said, the Putin Administration seems to be split into two different camps. Moscow analysts, when describing this trend to Saivetz, used the terms "integrationists" and "isolationists." The "integrationists" are those interested in reforming the Russian economy and linking it to the outside world (through WTO membership, for example) and who welcome globalization. The "isolationists" are in Saivetz's opinion the "derzhavniks," those who long for Russia's superpower status and for increasing Russia's power in the CIS. Putin has decided, Saivetz argued, that the Caspian is one of Russia's vital interests and therefore a region to concentrate on. Shortly after he was elected President, a Security Council meeting took place in which the two items on the agenda were the new military doctrine and Caspian issues. After this meeting, Putin declared that Russia must be "competitive" in the region and to this end he created a new department for Caspian policy, appointing Viktor Kalyuzhny as Caspian envoy. The Russian President also talked about the need to balance state interests with the interests of the oil companies. Following that statement (and probably with Kremlin backing), Yukos, LUKoil and Gazprom joined in a new consortium called the Caspian Oil Company to start developing reserves in the Russian sector. Next Saivetz discussed Putin's January trip to Azerbaijan and the agreements that emerged from his meetings with Aliyev. There was compromise on the division of the Caspian Sea, and in parallel the signing of an oil deal between LUKoil and SOCAR during the visit. On the other hand, at that time Russia was still trying to block the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (since then they have withdrawn overt opposition but continued to waver), and could not find agreement with Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabagh. Saivetz also briefly discussed Khatami's trip to Moscow, which ended up being about arms deals and not the Caspian, precisely because of the lack of agreement on a legal regime. The final resolution of the Caspian demarcation remains one of the key issues in the region, she noted. Saivetz made several broader conclusions: 1) Putin has made the Caspian a priority; 2) Putin's policy blends economic and geopolitical calculations; he has shifted the emphasis in foreign policy from macro ties (state-to-state relations) to a combination of macro and micro (i.e. trade and economic) ties. 3) There is a notable militarization of Russian pressures on other littoral states, particularly Azerbaijan and Georgia; many analysts explain Russia's intention to keep the waters of the Caspian common as a way to ensure Moscow the right to project its naval power. 4) Increased attention to the Caspian reflects a larger Russian policy towards what Russians have called the "Near Abroad," and particularly the Caucasus (Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia). Returning to the idea of integrationists and isolationists, Saivetz remarked that there is a debate in the U.S. about which of these two tendencies is driving Russian policy. It seems that Putin has not made a choice: the Russian government is pressuring Georgia and Azerbaijan at the same time as Viktor Kalyuzhny has backed off from opposing BTC. It seems that Russia's ideal model for pipeline development is reflected in the CPC: outside investment went into a pipeline that traverses Russian territory (where Russia gets transit fees). This pipeline reflects a policy that is simultaneously both integrationist (bringing in Western investment) and isolationist (forcing North-South routes). Doug Blum began by registering his agreement with Saivetz's presentation. He structured his talk by focusing on Russia's bilateral relationships with Caspian littoral states one by one, in "declining order of [Russia's] success": Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Georgia. He pointed out that Russia's place is extremely important in all the significant issue areas that concern the Caspian countries. "This is not simply a matter of Russia being effectively able to exert leverage on these countries," he remarked, "there are shared and overlapping interests." Russia is an important transit route for Central Asian goods, and these countries also share an interest in combating terror, drugs, crime, and "Islamic fundamentalism." Russia has the logistical and military resources to help in these areas, and is unparalleled by all other countries in the region. Russia's successes in Kazakhstan include the achievement of increased energy transit through Russian territory with the Caspian Pipeline Consortium line and also with added volumes from on the Aktau-Samara route. Also, Russia and Kazakhstan have concluded formal accords on trade and the possible implementation of a Eurasian Economic Union. In security, there is cooperation on an air defense system. Also, Russia has retained access to the Baikonur Space Facility. In sum, Russia has succeeded in fulfilling its goals in Kazakhstan, but this is largely due to overlapping interests. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is and has for the past decade been interested in balancing its orientation between Russia, China, and the West. This balancing act has resulted in strains with Russia, for example over the possible Kazakh commitment to BTC. Kazakhstan also disagrees with Russia about the ownership of some offshore oil islands, and about Russia's naval presence in the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan, according to Blum, presents a "much more complex picture of balancing and bandwagoning," being limited to some extent by Nagorno-Karabagh and, relatedly, the U.S. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which limits direct government assistance from the U.S. to Azerbaijan. He noted that Azerbaijan of necessity has been searching for a modus vivendi with Russia, a pursuit that has been made easier given the new Russian flexibility towards Azerbaijan under Putin. Azerbaijan and Russia have started to form agreements on trade and investment, and also humanitarian relief and treatment of migrants. The two countries are cooperating on combating terrorism, organized crime, and drug smuggling. Also, Azerbaijan is increasing imports of Russian gas as a trade-off for exporting more oil through Novorossiisk. Total trade between Azerbaijan and Russia remains low, however. Azerbaijan is trying to attract Western investment and balance against Russia through membership in groups such as GUUAM. Blum emphasized that both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are attempting to accommodate to geopolitical reality. In addition, he pointed out that both countries are "very sensitive and very angry about repeated Western, and especially American, criticisms of human rights and the lack of political progress"; and this motivates compromise with Russia. Iran's relationship with Russia involves both conflict and cooperation. There is disagreement over Russia's naval presence in the Caspian and about the ownership of the Sea. On the other hand, there is significant military cooperation. Turkmenistan's relationship with Russia is "quite strained," according to Blum, especially over the Caspian legal regime, where Turkmenistan has sided with Iran. Turkmenistan has, however, negotiated a favorable deal for gas transit through the ITERA system. However, on the whole Turkmenistan remains "a very isolated and extraordinary backwards, removed country." Blum termed Georgia's relationship with Russia "extremely strained." Russian policymakers see it in zero-sum terms, especially over energy transit issues (what goes through Georgia is a Russian loss) and over the pending loss of military bases in the region. Georgia has shown some willingness to form a working relationship with Russia, but still the Shevardnadze regime is understandably very reluctant (given how the Russian security apparatus relates to him, as a wishful target for assassination). Blum closed by reiterating that the cornerstone of current Russian policy is international integration. Russia is pushing a north-south route that would bring trade from Iran and India up through Russia's Caspian port of Astrakhan then up the Volga. The Caspian States also want to enter into the international economy, with the help of multiple trading routes, north south and also the east west.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Doug Blum, Carol Saivetz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Melissa Carr: On behalf of the Caspian Studies Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School, let me welcome all of you today to our seminar. Lest anyone be misled by the title, Doug and Carol are going to speak today about more than fishing — in fact they may not even speak about sturgeon or caviar at all, although those are important considerations in thinking about the Caspian Sea.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Graham T. Allison, Emily Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The date is July 1, 2001. Real world history and trends occurred as they did through March 19, 2001 — except for the hypothetical departures specified in the case below. Events after March 19 that are not specified in this case are assumed to be straight - line projections of events as they stand on March 19. Assume, for example, that sporadic violence continues in the Middle East at the current level of intensity; Britain and the U.S. are nearing the end of their review of UN sanctions against Iraq, and will soon make recommendations on refocusing the sanctions to make them “smarter”; as expected, Mohammad Khatami was reelected as President of Iran on June 8 with a mandate for continued reform; the price of oil is $25/barrel; events in Chechnya and Ukraine, and negotiations over Nagorno - Karabagh will continue as before.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: "We have gathered together in this very picturesque village setting, esteemed negotiators both from the past and the present, honorable diplomats and officials, professional facilitators and researchers on both conflict resolution and the Caucasus from many places, including Germany, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, U.S., France, Iran and Turkey. Many of the primary diplomats responsible for the recent breakthroughs in the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabagh are currently present in this room, or on their way. They have been fulfilling their mission passionately and selflessly.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer, Carey Cavanaugh, Hamlet Isaxanli, Ronald Suny
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: From April 3 - 7, 2001 the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe convened negotiations in Key West, Florida, aimed at achieving a peace settlement for the Nagorno - Karabagh conflict. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell opened this set of talks between Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and Armenian President Robert Kocharian, each of whom met separately with Secretary Powell in Florida and, subsequently, in Washington D.C. with President Bush. The United States, France and Russia were the mediators at the negotiations, as co - chairs of the OSCE “Minsk Group” (which includes 13 countries) established in 1992 as part of an effort to end the conflict. The chief negotiator on the U.S. side at Key West was Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, who is the State Department's Special Negotiator for the conflict on a constant basis. The negotiations were held in proximity format, meaning that the facilitators held separate talks with each of the heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Florida
  • Author: Thomas Goltz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Journalist Thomas Goltz gave a seminar on April 10 entitled, "Sea of Instability: Caspian Politics and Pipelines," and jointly sponsored by the Caspian Studies Program and the Davis Center for Russian Studies. Goltz provided his own unique perspective on the Caspian Region and its complex geo-political situation. He did this by means of a twenty-minute video presentation entitled "Oil Odyssey 2000" (of the epic delivery of the first barrel of oil, via the planned route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, on three-wheeled motorcycle) and a subsequent talk on the events that took place following the trip. Video summary: The documentary (needs to be seen to be believed) candidly charts the events surrounding the attempt to transport the first barrel of "Caspian crude" from Baku to Ceyhan. The video follows 26 intrepid travelers as they wind their way (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey) through the Caucasus on wheels. While the group has its fair share of misfortune (breakdowns, border crossing issues and even an unfortunate accident), the film clearly shows how the people along the way are very excited by the prospects of the pipeline — almost every stop looked like a party! A public relations coup de grace for everyone involved, Oil Odyssey manages to cover the Caucasus — from the larger-than-life leaders to the everyman to the ex-patriots (and shows how they are all willing to jump through hoops in the name of crude!) — in its imagined mystery and hardened reality. Seminar presentation: In a brief follow-up to the video, Goltz added that partially as a result of delivering the first symbolic barrel of Caspian crude: the Turkish oil establishment became more serious about the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline; a Sponsors' Group put down approximately $25 million to fund the basic engineering studies for the pipeline (engineers are currently mapping and examining the route), which will conclude in May/June. Support for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has been building among the oil companies. One year ago, Goltz reminded, the Clinton administration was repeatedly sending delegations to England to lure John Brown (of BP Amoco) into sponsoring Baku-Ceyhan project. This year, the roles have been reversed, with John Brown sending delegations to Washington to convince the new U.S. administration not to change official policy on the pipeline or the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (which might open up a new route for Caspian oil). Goltz noted other factors that have increased the lure of Baku-Ceyhan, including significant finds of natural gas at the Shah Deniz oil fields, raising the possibility of the construction of a parallel pipeline (without extra engineering cost) and the discovery of "historic levels" of hydrocarbon levels in the Kazakh section of the Caspian sea (Kashagan). This, followed by the unexpected announcement by Nursultan Nazarbayev (President of Kazakhstan) to commit a significant portion of the oil from this field to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, has also raised interest. Rumor also has it that there is a split between the Russian Federation and the Russian oil oligarchs operating in the Caspian, who might want BTC as an option for exporting their product. Goltz identified both regional and local security as important concerns both in policy towards the pipeline and in the region on the whole. On a regional level, there are the continuing Caucasus conflicts (in Ossetia and Abkhazia, for example). On the local level, there are the drastically reduced social conditions outside of the capital cities. Goltz notes that the rural/urban dichotomy in the Caucasus is perhaps more pronounced now than ever before, citing Yerevan as the most extreme example. Goltz noted that the current debate on Armenia is focused on when it will go from a dying state to a dead one — in other words, when there is no one left, because of massive emigration. Goltz also pointed to the Russian Federation's decision to impose the visa regime upon Georgia as a potential catalyst for regional change. He theorizes that the estimated 500,000+ Georgians will now de facto become loyal towards the Russian state as it is providing them with the means to live. The same process of out-migration is occurring in Azerbaijan, where an entire generation of youth has left the provincial cities for Russia to try and make a living. According to Goltz, the oil companies are picking up the "social slack" in an attempt to compensate for this phenomenon. They are providing services (schools, wells, drinking water, etc.) in what Goltz terms "enlightened self-interest" — as they do not want to see a revolution on their hands. Q A Session: In response to a question about where the final pipeline will actually end up (i.e. is there a chance it will go through Armenia because of the Bush administration's design), Goltz recalled the initial stages of the Baku-Ceyhan project in 1992, when Armenia was prepared to drop the issue of "genocide" under the Ottoman Empire to have the pipeline go through its territory. Even though that didn't happen, Goltz pointed out that Turkish and Armenian officials do have some sort of a dialogue, and that the U.S is indeed promoting the dialogue heavily. Even though he views this exchange as positive, Goltz expressed no real hope for an impending resolution. Goltz expressed doubt that the pipeline might be moved, as logistically so much has already been done to get the project to its current engineering phase that drastic changes would ultimately reshape the entire endeavor. Goltz explained BP's turnaround on Baku-Ceyhan as being simply a matter of the number crunchers in London deciding that the Caspian region will play a serious role in BP's future (as it views itself over the next two decades). When asked if the Armenian route is purely geographically better, Goltz answered that of course the easiest route would be across Karabagh and Armenia — every inch you shorten the pipeline, the more money you save (cutting out swaths of pipeline). However, we can't simply eliminate all of the politics surrounding the situation that prevent this scenario from taking place. Goltz noted that there is a general need to separate U.S. policy from that of the mega-nationals (oil companies). He hinted that there is more enthusiasm on the part of oil companies right now, and not the U.S. government. And if the Russian Federation had been able to get their act together in the late 80s / early 90s and hadn't broken contracts and deals made on Siberia, the oil companies wouldn't have traveled down to Baku in the first place. Of course now corruption in Azerbaijan is forcing some companies to reconsider their position. While Iran would be geographically easier (to transport oil) than even Armenia, there remains the issue of which Iran are you dealing with (there are many levels). It is far easier to work in Azerbaijan, where once you have Aliyev's support, anything will get done. When the topic of presidential succession arose, Goltz mentioned that Ilham (President Aliyev's son) has not mentioned anything about running for presidential office in 2003. In fact, Goltz offered that the most likely scenario would involve someone else assuming office first, so that this person could make all the mistakes and then Ilham could come to the 'rescue'. Goltz also discounted the "certain chaos" that will supposedly occur after Aliyev is gone. Instead he feels there will be a credible succession, most likely led by someone who is studying abroad and interacting with the West. n response to a question regarding apparent discrepancies in statements make by President Aliyev and his son on issues as Armenia and Russia, Goltz offered the point that Azerbaijan is essentially a friendless state. It has to keep as many balls up in the air as possible — leading the Mr. Aliyevs to say whatever is necessary to keep other nations involved and interested in Azerbaijan. Things such as Section 907 and the embargo of Armenia, both of which prevent the U.S. and the E.U., respectively, from becoming true friends of Azerbaijan, bolster this position. Goltz dismissed the idea that underground movements in Azerbaijan will rise up to lead the large refugee population to recapture Armenian-occupied territory. In his opinion, while the refugee population wants its land back, it also simply wants peace. Goltz feels that Aliyev successfully neutered much of the pro-war opposition by having the three current peace proposals translated into Azeri, published in the newspapers and forcing his opponents in parliament to debate the possibilities. Unfortunately, the Azeri government has ignored the refugees, both financially and socially. The refugees are an uprooted and socially displaced group that lacks ties to formal Azerbaijan — this is one of the reasons why there are so many young men leaving for Russia to find work. At the same time, however, the only people talking about war are power-thirsty politicians from Baku who have never been to the regions and are not in touch with current refugee sentiments. Refugees are more concerned with living day-to-day than they are with mounting an armed attack on occupied territory. When asked about the refugee population's thoughts on the possibility of resettlement, Goltz agreed that the people are, by necessity, settling down. As each year passes, they take more steps towards solidifying their current living situation simply as a means of survival. Of course, in all refugee situations, governments are reluctant to endorse permanent settlement as it means forsaking their occupied territory. There is a strong resentment towards the U.S. — as it has been involved in many of the processes (democratization, etc.) that have changed Azerbaijan significantly from its former communist self, yet there have been no obvious improvements in the average person's living situation. The people are becoming frustrated with the "let's wait a little while longer" approach, as there has been no sign of trickle-down from oil investments and foreign aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael McFaul
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: MELISSA CARR : On behalf of the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, I would like to welcome you to our seminar. Michael McFaul is going to lead us in a discussion entitled, "Russian Democracy: Is there a future?" This is a topic that SDI has been following through our publications and programs for over ten years now. SDI's current thoughts on this topic are outlined in our publication, Russia Watch. The lead article, "Buttressing Russia's Democratic Freedoms" outlines some of our thoughts on this topic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia