Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 20, 2010 19:59:07 GMT -5
Ukraine to participate in NATO rapid response forces.
RussiaToday.com 20 January, 2010, 20:09
Ukraine will participate in NATO's rapid response unit as early as 2015, according to a top official of the alliance.
According to a representative of the NATO military committee, Colonel Massimo Panizzi, a country doesn't need to be a member in order to participate in this unit. However, Ukraine will become the first non-member country to participate.
Panizzi refused to specify what that participation may involve.
His comment comes as Ukraine braces itself for the second round of the presidential election in a country where, according to the latest polls, almost 60 percent are against Ukraine's NATO bid.
ROAR: The CSTO is “alternative” to Ukraine’s NATO bid.
RussiaToday.com 21 January, 2010, 14:25
As Ukraine gears up for the second round of the presidential election, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and NATO have invited the country to participate in their alliances in one way or another.
CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha said on January 18 that the alliance would “welcome cooperation with Ukraine in any option.” He stressed that “it is impossible to provide security in the Western direction without the participation of Ukraine.”
The CSTO is interested in any form of cooperation with Kiev, “whether it is based on membership or in the form of any single operations,” Bordyuzha noted.
The alliance comprises of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These countries will fulfill the plans for 2010, and the main one is forming full-fledged rapid reaction forces.
Bordyuzha made it clear that the organization where Russia plays the most important role is closely watching the Ukrainian election. “Taking advantage of the forthcoming change of president, he actually proposed to the neighboring country an alternative to joining NATO,” Vremya Novostey daily said. However, neither Viktor Yanukovich nor Yulia Timoshenko, the rivals in the run-off, supports the NATO bid, it added.
The CSTO Secretary General made his statements answering a reporter’s question about prospects of the pro-Russian military organization cooperating with Ukraine after the election. The alliance of former Soviet Union republics wants Kiev to “take the initiative of determining variants of cooperation,” he noted.
The deputies of different factions of the Ukrainian parliament created a group last year to inform citizens about CSTO activities. Bordyuzha also mentioned the cooperation between the CSTO and Ukrainian special services during an operation against drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has also been invited to participate in NATO rapid response forces without being a member state of the organization. Many Ukrainians do not want their country to join NATO.
“A unique proposal has been made to Ukraine – to participate in NATO’s rapid response forces without joining the alliance,” Gazeta daily said. “It seems that NATO is testing Yanukovich and Timoshenko for possible cooperation in the future,” it added.
If Ukraine joins NATO’s rapid response forces in 2015-2016, it will be the first country participating in them without the status of a member state, the daily said. Chiefs of Staffs of the alliance and Ukraine will discuss the details of a possible agreement in Brussels on January 26 during the meeting of Ukraine-NATO commission.
On the same day Russian and NATO Chiefs of Staffs are meeting in Brussels for the first time since the 2008 events in the Caucasus. Kiev applied for NATO membership action plan in 2008, but the countries of the alliance have not supported the bid.
They explained that Ukraine’s armed forces were not prepared to participate in the alliance, Gazeta.ru online newspaper said. However, analysts believe that NATO “decided not to provoke Moscow once more,” it added, as Russia opposes NATO’s eastward enlargement.
Nevertheless, NATO promised to Ukraine and Georgia annual “plans of cooperation” to prepare the both countries to more close relations with the alliance. President Viktor Yushchenko in August 2009 issued a decree to launch the national NATO program “to prepare the country” for full membership.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in August last year that Ukraine and Georgia are not ready for membership because they “have not fulfilled the necessary terms at this stage.” But he expressed hope that Kiev and Tbilisi may join NATO in the future.
However, presidential candidate and leader of the Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovich made it clear that he is against Ukraine’s participation in any military blocs. He said that Kiev “will not be striving to join NATO if he is elected.” However, the same is true for the CSTO so far, Gazeta said.
Timoshenko wants the issue to be decided at a national referendum, the paper added. She is considered to be more pro-Western than Yanukovich. All the same, analysts think that Ukraine’s answer to NATO depends on the outcome of the election.
It was no accident that NATO invited Kiev to participate in the rapid response forces prior to the second round of elections, Gazeta stressed, citing analysts. Both candidates will have to speak about their views on membership in NATO in more detail, it added.
Also, politicians in Kiev started to talk last year about Russian conception of the European security, and NATO wants to “hinder such integration,” the paper said. Yanukovich said that, if he is elected, “Ukraine will be supporting Dmitry Medvedev’s initiative.”
Military analyst Viktor Litovkin described the NATO proposal to Ukraine “as a provocative step.” More than 60% of Ukrainians are opposing the membership in NATO,” he said. “Ukraine is only cannon-fodder for the alliance,” he stressed.
Troops from Ukraine and other new NATO member states “may be deployed at the most difficult places,” the analysts said. And soldiers will agree on this “out of desperation or to earn money,” Litovkin said.
Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said that the alliance’s idea of Ukraine joining rapid response forces “was not new.” It was expected because, during Yushchenko’s presidency, Ukraine, as well as some other countries, was making practical steps towards joining NATO, he told Gazeta.ru.
Timoshenko wrote a letter to NATO which “was considered in Bucharest in April last year,” Rogozin said. Yushchenko and then-speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Arseny Yatsenyuk also signed the letter.
“The idea of joining NATO is not popular in Ukraine,” the envoy said. “Yanukovich says Ukraine is interested in closer ties with Europe, but not with NATO,” he added.
Back on track: Russia and NATO resume military ties.
RussiaToday.com 26 January, 2010, 21:14
Russia’s and NATO’s military chiefs have met for the first time since the conflict in South Ossetia. The situation in Afghanistan as well as anti-missile defense plans were among the main topics discussed in Brussels.
That’s according to the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.
The sides reportedly agreed upon a military cooperation plan for the year 2010. It includes more than 30 areas of common interest, including anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and emergency efforts.
“The main issue discussed was the situation in Afghanistan,” commented Russia’s envoy to the alliance, Dmitry Rogozin. “Many NATO countries consider Russia to be a partner that could support the Afghan army. NATO realizes that it can leave Afghanistan only when there is a strong political leadership and security services that can control the situation. The Afghan army likes military equipment produced in Russia, that’s why Russian assistance is very much in need,” he said.
Rogozin hailed the progress:
“We can now say that military cooperation between Russia and NATO has been fully restored. It is the last step in ‘unfreezing’ our relations because having political dialogue with a military organization and not backing it by real deeds is unthinkable.”
The last such meeting was held in May 2008. Relations were frozen immediately after the events in South Ossetia in August that same year.
The decision to restore full-fledged cooperation was made in March 2009. Last month saw a real shift in relations with the first formal Russia-NATO Council meeting and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s visit to Moscow.
Mikhail Troitsky, a political analyst from the MacArthur Foundation thinktank, says the unfreezing of relations is important for both Russia and NATO, who clearly understand their mutual interdependence.
“NATO cannot provide for its own security without engaging Russia. While Russia has to come to terms with NATO as the world’s most powerful political and defense block,” Troitsky believes.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 28, 2010 11:30:57 GMT -5
Russia plans to sell arms to NATO members.
Russia may sell weapons to NATO member states, the head of Russia's state-run arms exporter said on Thursday.
"We are planning to supply Russian weaponry to NATO countries," Rosoboronexport's Anatoly Isaikin said at a RIA Novosti news conference. He did not give any further details.
Russian and NATO chiefs of staff approved on Tuesday a framework military cooperation treaty, a NATO official said.
He described it as "a very important step" toward the restoration of military ties between Russia and NATO, frozen after a brief Russian-Georgian war in August 2008.
He added that Russian and NATO officials would meet again in May to finalize the plan and discuss further cooperation.
The cooperation plan for the current year reportedly includes Russia's support for the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan, specifically military transit via Russian airspace, as well as joint anti-piracy and antiterrorism efforts.
Kazakh parliament ratifies deal on post-Soviet rapid reaction force.
Kazakhstan's parliament ratified an agreement on Thursday on establishing a post-Soviet security group's rapid reaction force.
The creation of a powerful military contingent in former Soviet Central Asia by members of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is seen as Moscow's bid to counterbalance NATO. But its formation has run into problems caused by the regional rivalries of some members.
Speaking at a plenary session, the Central Asian state's defense minister, Bolat Sembinov, said the rapid reaction force is designed "to improve the security of the CSTO members against the backdrop of existing and potential threats," including terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, natural disasters and to enhance the organization's role in ensuring international security.
The CSTO comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Observer status is enjoyed by Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan.
Five of the seven members signed the agreement in February 2009. Belarus, which initially refrained from signing the deal because of a trade dispute with Russia, joined it later last year.
Uzbekistan has so far refused to join the force, saying it opposes stronger Russia's role in Central Asia. Uzbekistan is also at odds with regional neighbor Kyrgyzstan, which hosts a Russian airbase.
The Collective Rapid Reaction Force held two-week military exercises in southern Kazakhstan in October 2009, with more than 7,000 personnel from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan taking part.
Russia's security strategy until 2020, recently approved by President Dmitry Medvedev, envisions the CSTO as "a key mechanism to counter regional military challenges and threats."
In an unexpected announcement, the president of Romania said Thursday his country would host missile interceptors as part of a new U.S. defense shield.
President Traian Basescu said the Supreme Defense Council, Romania's top military and security body, had agreed to such a plan after a request by Washington.
"Terrestrial interceptors will be placed on Romania's territory as part of the anti-missile system," Basescu was quoted as saying by Radio Free Europe. "According to the calendar agreed with the American side, the components located on Romania's territory will become operational in 2015."
He said the missile defense system would "protect the whole of Romania's territory" but added that it should not be seen as a threat to former Cold War master Russia.
"It is not against Russia," he vowed.
The announcement came as a surprise. It seems that the stationing of missiles in Romania is part of President Barack Obama's new approach to missile defense, which he had altered in a bid to please Russia.
Moscow had been angry over previous plans tabled by Obama's predecessor George W. Bush to station 10 long-range interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. The Kremlin even threatened to relocate its own missiles closer to Europe.
Obama's decision to scrap the Bush-era plan came at a time when Washington was trying to reset relations with Russia.
The president's new plan, first unveiled last October when U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden toured Eastern Europe, including Romania, featured a combination of fixed (ground-based) and relocatable (on U.S. warships) Standard Missile 3 interceptors and radars that focuses mainly on the threat from short- and medium-range missiles.
It seems that the ground-based missiles will now be stationed in Romania, a landlocked NATO member in southeastern Europe -- closer to Iran, the reason for the U.S. system, Washington says.
Basescu said the invitation to host the missiles was delivered by U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher, Radio Free Europe reports.
The decision has to be approved by Romania's lawmakers to come into effect, but observers say it has good chances to receive a green light as Bucharest has been a close ally for the United States in Europe.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 10, 2010 10:18:46 GMT -5
Copycat weapons a threat to Russia's economic security.
RussiaToday.com 09 February, 2010, 18:58
Pirate production is among the key problems of the global weapons market. Superpowers that used to help their allies establish their own defense industries during the Cold War now face the consequences of that help.
Many countries have created successful copies of foreign weapons and do not need to import arms any more. Furthermore, weapon clones are offered for export, which poses an immediate economic threat for major players in the arms market.
Copying weapons is a worldwide policy favored by countries whose scientific potential and defense industry are not up to the task of producing this or that type of weapons or lack a certain technology. As early as during World War II, combating countries did their best to get hold of the most successful weapon models. For example, Germany was trying to produce something similar to the USSR’s Katyusha MLRS, but their multiple-launch systems were still inferior to the Soviet original. Also, the Wehrmacht recognized the advantages of the T-34 tank, whose efficient sloped-armor design was used in Germany’s Panther tank.
The USSR, too, copied Allied equipment. By the end of the war, the USSR began working on a strategic bomber project, and the Americans involuntarily assisted Soviet designers in that. In 1944, B-29 Superfortresses made numerous emergency landings on Soviet Far East airfields after bombing missions in Japan and Manchuria. According to the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, the aircraft and their crews were subject to internment. Aircraft designers carefully studied the bomber and created its copy: the Tu-4, which was hard to tell from its American original.
Today, the main victim of weapons piracy is perhaps the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle. During Soviet times, licenses to produce the AK were granted to most Warsaw Pact countries, Cuba, China, Libya, Egypt, and Finland. In most cases, the deals were politics-driven, their goal being to ensure that all friendly armies field uniform weapons. Despite the expiration of the licenses, the Kalashnikov rifle is still manufactured in Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, and even the US. Rosoboronexport is trying to change the situation by claiming royalties or seeking new license agreements. However, according to the company, only China has so far obtained a new license to manufacture the world’s most popular assault rifle.
The pirate parade
China is the world-recognized leader in arms copying. This is largely due to the fact that the entire Chinese economy is based on borrowing foreign technology. Besides this, the country has a well-developed defense industry, so its copycats are quite good. The scale of “reproductions” was obvious at the military parade commemorating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese leadership made a point of the fact that only Chinese-made vehicles and equipment took part in the parade.
Type 88 (PLZ-05), China
In reality, many models presented that day clearly had foreign origins. The FT-2000 surface-to-air missile system is a carbon copy of Russia’s S-300. China never obtained a Smerch multiple rocket launcher from Russia, but fields its own look-alike PHL-03 system. The People’s Liberation Army has a “carbon copy” of the Russian-made Msta self-propelled howitzer under the designation of Type 88. A clone of Russia’s BMP-3 is an infantry fighting vehicle with a Russian turret mounted on Chinese ZBD-05 chassis.
Sometimes, Chinese designers create hardware blending two foreign origins at once. For example, the PGZ-04 self-propelled air defense system features 25-mm cannons taken from Italian SIDAM-25 AD system and four QW-2 missiles that copy Russia’s Igla-1. Quite often, Chinese copies, upon permission by China, are further reproduced in other countries. France’s Crotale short-range air defense system has become HQ-7 in China, but that same system, under the designation of Shahab Thaqeb, is now produced in Iran.
According to experts, China has made great progress in copying missile technology. Having purchased the X-55 missile from Ukraine, the Chinese created their own DH-10 cruise missile.
License with no guarantee
Quite often, a license to manufacture military equipment is not protection from copying but quite the opposite: a rather legal way to obtain samples for the development of similar weapons.
Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Strategy and Technology Analysis Center, says software codes are not transferred under military equipment supply agreements. Also, there are restrictions on essential and most complex components and systems of the armaments in question; such items are usually supplied assembled by the supplying country. However, sales of equipment without sales of technology are impossible, Mr. Pukhov says; some countries (e.g. India) flatly refuse to consider offers that do not provide for production technology handover.
China uses production licenses to create helicopters and airplanes. France’s helicopter SA-365 Dauphin 2 has been upgraded to the WZ-09 combat chopper. However, the clearest example of “licensed copying” is the Chinese J-11 fighter jet, based on Russia’s Su-27. In 2006, Moscow and Beijing struck a deal on licensed production of the Su-27SK (Chinese designation J-11A). The agreement only provided for licensed assembly of components provided by Russia. The Chinese, though, studied the aircraft while assembling it and ended up producing a similar fighter, the J-11B, only with a Chinese-made engine and avionics.
Tehran is keeping up
Iran, spurred by its aspiration to become the leader of the Islamic world yet strangled by numerous sanctions, is forced to develop an independent defense industry of its own. Evidently, the easiest way to achieve such a goal is to upgrade and copy foreign armaments instead of developing weapons from scratch.
However, Tehran, upon permission of friendly powers, often copies the already-copied weapons. Its Sayyad-1A missile is based on the Soviet S-75, supplied by China. Procured during the Iran-Iraq war, those missiles became the base for the development of Iran’s tactical ballistic missile Tondar-68. With the help of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iranian factories were able to launch production and assembly of SCUD-B missiles (Iranian designation Shahab-1). North Korea also supplied the longer-range version SCUD-C (Shahab-2), with a range of 500km. The North Korean missile Nodong-1 later became Iran’s Shahab-3, capable of hitting targets at ranges of up to 1000km.
Such approaches to creating and upgrading missile armaments now prevail in the development of other missile classes. Iran currently produces anti-tank guided missiles based on American TOW (Toophan and Toophan 2) and Dragon (Saeghe and Saeghe-2) systems, and its I-RAAD-T missiles is nothing else than the Soviet Malyutka ATGM.
Another sphere where Iran is attempting to copy is shipbuilding. Few countries today would sell Tehran warships for use in the Gulf without facing negative reaction from the US. Iranian shipyards are currently busy building small frigates (copies of Britain’s Alvand frigates) and missiles boats (copies of French La Combattante II). The originals were, of course, procured before the complication of relations between Iran and Western countries.
Still unresolved is the issue of possible deliveries of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran. Such a system can significantly strengthen Iran’s air defense. The US and Israel are strongly against the sale of the S-300 to Iran. All “technical difficulties” hampering the sale of the missile system to Iran are purely diplomatic problems.
In the meanwhile, General Heshmatollah Kasiri said recently that Iran is about to field an air defense complex that is superior to the S-300. According to the general, the new complex is the brainchild of Iran’s defense industry. The unit has yet to be shown to the public, yet experience shows that Iran’s military developments often have Chinese and North Korean roots.
“There is only one way we can prevent the copying of Russian armaments in other countries, and that is to sign intergovernmental intellectual property agreements,” Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin told reporters recently. But the results of that work are scarce so far.
First, licensing and various agreements are complicated bureaucratic procedures that not all Russian companies can cope with. For example, for many years the Russian armored personnel carrier Tigr has had its Jordan-made clone Nimr (which means “tiger” in Arabic).
Second, not all countries are willing to extend existing, or sign new, agreements regarding the production of Soviet military equipment, considering them to be past their expiration date. In the meanwhile, copying of Russian military technology means colossal economic losses for Russia. For example, the United Arab Emirates have purchased the Jordanian-made vehicles for their army, not the Russian “Tigers.” The Malaysian Armed Forces have bought Polish PT-91 tanks, which are a modification of the Russian T-72.
In the future, China may be the key threat to Russia’s arms exports. It is China’s cheap yet quality clones of Russian military products that have aroused the interest of Pakistan and a number of states in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 10, 2010 10:27:22 GMT -5
Large-scale war less possible, but threats remain - Russia's security chief.
MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's military policies are aimed at avoiding an arms race and military conflicts, but they should also correspond to real threats which the country faces, Russia's security chief Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the Russian government daily.
On February 5, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he has approved the country's new military doctrine, which allows preventive nuclear strikes against potential aggressors.
The Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on Wednesday the full text of the doctrine.
"The unleashing of a large-scale war is becoming less possible... At the same time, regions, where conflicts are possible, remain," Patrushev told the paper, adding "these conflicts could lead to a war with the use of both ordinary and nuclear weapons."
Among the threats which could destabilize the situation in the world, the Russian security chief named the expansion of NATO, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We are interested in the settlement of all problems, and it is very important to avoid war," he said.
Patrushev said the new military doctrine demonstrated "Russia's adherence to UN regulations, universally acknowledged principles and norms of international law, our international agreements in the defense, armament and disarmament spheres."
Under the new doctrine, Russia will continue developing and modernizing its nuclear triad, which comprises land-based ballistic missile systems, nuclear-powered submarines equipped with sea-based ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers carrying nuclear bombs and nuclear-capable cruise missiles.
The new military doctrine also aims to transform the Armed Forces into a more effective and mobile military force. Their structures will be "optimized" through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks.
The previous document was adopted in 2000. It outlined the role of the Russian military in ensuring the defense of the country and, if necessary, preparing for and waging war, although it stressed that the Russian military doctrine is strictly defensive.
German foreign minister backs idea of European army.
France24 (AFP) ^ | February 6, 2010
Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, backed the idea of a permanent European army Saturday. While speaking to the Munich Security Conference, Westerwelle said a parliamentary run army would help the EU in its role as a "global player".
Germany supports the creation of a European army in the long term so that the EU can be a "global player," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
"The long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control. The European Union must live up to its political role as a global player. It must be able to manage crises independently. It must be able to respond quickly, flexibly and to take a united stand," he said.
"We want strong European crisis management. This is not intended to replace other security structures. More Europe is not a strategy directed against anyone. No one has any reason to fear Europe, but everyone should be able to depend on Europe," he added.
He said however that this would require a pooling of resources and distribution of responsibility "even in times of ever scarcer means."
The concept of a European army was set out in the 27-nation EU's reforming Lisbon Treaty," he said.
"United Europe will only be secure if my generation, which has never experienced war, suffering or hunger, is strongly committed to European integration," Westerwelle said.
"And my generation has a chance to extend this cooperation model far beyond Western Europe, perhaps even to the whole of the European continent."
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 15, 2010 20:35:35 GMT -5
Ex Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bolat Nurgaliev: SCO Will Grow in Importance.
Novinite.com Author: Ivan Dikov Interview | February 12, 2010, Friday
Exclusive interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with Bolat Nurgaliev, former Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Nurgaliev is a former Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the USA, South Korea, and Japan. He was the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2007-2009.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a mutual-security organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai. Its members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has existed since 2001, building upon its predecessor, the Shanghai Five founded in 1996. What are its greatest successes so far?
For its eight years of existence, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has made its way to a position that other international organizations take dozens of years to reach. Our organization is already playing an important role in the international arena.
The SCO member states have established a solid legal framework – we signed about 400 papers in the fields of security, economic and humanitarian cooperation. I would like particularly to point to the SCO Charter, the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, and the Program of Multilateral Economic Cooperation.
A foreign relations network has been established extending to different areas. In the framework of the SCO, the Council of Heads of State, Council of Heads of Government, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of periodic meetings of heads of relevant ministries and departments of the Member States all operate on a regular basis.
Coordination and executive functions are assigned to a permanent body - the SCO Secretariat in Beijing and the Regional Counter-Terrorist Structure in Tashkent.
Along with the Council of National Coordinators, there are the permanent representatives to the Secretariat and the Executive Committee on the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure, ad hoc expert groups of the SCO permanent bodies dealing with comprehensive promotion of practical cooperation.
As the main achievement of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, I will point to the high level of solidarity and cohesion of our member countries in the joint response to common challenges and threats.
It can be concluded that through the joint efforts of the parties, our organization has established its place in the international architecture to ensure peace, security, stability and sustainable socio-economic development.
The SCO has made it clear that it is not directed against a third party. Yet, media and analysts in the West constantly present it as a rival trying to counterbalance NATO. What do you think is the reason for that? How does the SCO see its relations with NATO? Do Western states have any reason to feel threatened in any way by the SCO, which includes powerful states with enormous resources?
Such assessments are not founded on the actual situation of the affairs. The aims of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are transparent and have nothing to do with the devision of countries according to bloc, ideological or other confrontational characteristics.
We are ready for a constructive interaction with all countries, international and regional structures, interested in the rehabilitation of the international relations, and its liberation from the stereotypes of the past. The availability of enormous resource must be a matter pleasing the others in our more and more interdependent world rather than being a matter of concern.
How likely is it that the SCO will become a full-fledged collective security organization (i.e. one in which each member is supposed to come to the aid of the others in case of attack) in the foreseeable future?
In accordance with the main aims and tasks fixed in the SCO Charter and other founding documents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the transformation of our organization into a military political alliance is not envisaged.
I can cite the corresponding section of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, signed in 2007. It literally states the following: “... with intent to promote the democratization of international relations and the emergence of a new architecture of global security on the basis of equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and benefit, the renunciation of bloc and ideological divisions. … In the event of the occurrence of situation placing under threat its security, a Contracting Party can conduct consultations within the Organization with other Contracting Parties to respond adequately to the situation.”
The SCO members have held joint military exercises for a few years now. What is the purpose of those exercises? Have the operational capabilities of the members’ militaries become more compatible as a result?
The aim of the regularly held joint anti-terrorist exercises is increasing the level of cooperation of the combat units, and the coordination and operative capabilities of the specialized units of the armed forces of the member states in the common fight against terrorism.
These exercises which, I would like to underscore, invariably happen according to the scenario for a joint reaction to a terrorist attack have reached the desired result, and will be practiced in the future.
The members of the SCO are countries whose political traditions are different from those of Western states. Would you say that the political model of the SCO states presents a viable alternative to the model of Western liberalism?
There is no collective political model of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. No such goal has been set, and I do not envisage that there will be attempts to somehow unify the models of development.
The Shanghai spirit that guides the SCO rests on the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for the diversity of civilizations and desire for common development.
Our organization has always advocated the democratization of international relations, the strict adherence to the UN Charter and universally recognized norms of international law, respect for the rights of the people of any country to choose their own path of development, non-interference in internal affairs of states.
Does the SCO view the involvement of NATO and the USA in Afghanistan as positive or destabilizing for the region of Central Asia? Do you believe that the US military presence in Central Asia is justified?
Representatives of NATO participated with great interest in the International Conference under the auspices of the SCO on Afghanistan, held in Moscow in March 2009.
The joint declaration which was adopted as a result of it assessed the role of the various international organizations, including NATO, in the process of normalizing the situation in Afghanistan, creating conditions for successful peace and stability in that troubled country.
The main conclusion is that it is necessary to combine the efforts of Afghanistan's neighbors, including members of the SCO, with the efforts of others involved in the regulation of Afghan structures.
Regarding Central Asia, I emphasize the important and growing role of this region in guaranteeing global energy security. Therefore, the interest of the US and other Western countries in Central Asia is natural.
Cooperation in solving common problems related to a stable and reliable security of energy resources, their safe transportation, combating terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime has no alternative.
Of course, those who work in the Central Asian region, must respect first and foremost the legitimate interests of the Central Asian states which realize on their own their sovereign rights to determine the scope and extent of cooperation with other countries, including in the military sphere. In any case, it is clear that the SCO is not going to exert pressure on anybody on that issue.
A number of states have applied to join the SCO. Which of them is the most likely new member of the SCO? Is the SCO working on a procedure for admitting new members?
Indeed, in the framework of SCO a proper document is being developed on the criteria and procedure for accepting new members. The issue of expanding the ranks of the SCO is very important and we have approached it with all due responsibility, guided by the main criterion – the accession of a new state must strengthen the Organization, and not create any problems or dilute the results already achieved.
Where do the greatest security threats for the member states of the SCO come from today? How is the organization addressing them?
The greatest threat to the security interests of the SCO member states represent the "three evils" - terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.
For all these kinds of threats there is a system for collective response. We are improving the legal framework and mechanisms for security cooperation, on a scheduled basis to undertake joint activities to enhance our abilities to counteract those threats.
As an example I will point to the adoption of the 2009 Regulations on the joint response to situations that threaten peace, security and stability in the SCO space. By adopting this document, our Heads of State agreed on a clear mechanism of interaction in the event of threatening situations.
Iran is an observer at the SCO. The 5+1 states, which include SCO members China and Russia, have threatened sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. What is the official position of the SCO on the Iranian nuclear program issue? Does the SCO believe that sanctions against Iran would be justified?
The SCO member states have consistently maintained the principle of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The international community and the relevant parties must properly handle issues related to Iran's nuclear program through diplomatic negotiations.
As a member state of the additional protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. As we understand, the dialogue between the IAEA and Iran continues.
We must continue the policy of encouraging Tehran to the closure of all issues arising from its nuclear dossier. I hope that collective efforts will achieve the desired results of the international community.
How has the SCO improved the economic cooperation among its members? How significant is energy as a sector for cooperation among the SCO members?
During our last Summit in Yekaterinburg in June 2009, the SCO Heads of State recognized the feasibility of taking effective measures to minimize the impact of the global financial crisis and to promote closer regional economic and trade and investment cooperation within the SCO.
In this regard, an important priority of our Organization is to intensify cooperation in various spheres of the economy.
In the framework of the SCO, there are more than 20 instruments in various areas of economic cooperation, including working groups on customs cooperation, according to modern information and telecommunication technologies, development of transit potential, and others.
The SCO was one of the first to react to the global financial crisis. Thus, in October 2008, the Heads of Government approved an update of the plan of action to implement the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation of SCO member states, which was updated in light of the trends in the global economy and the priorities of our countries in economic cooperation.
At the Meeting of Ministers responsible for trade and economic relations, it was recommended that the Business Council and SCO Interbank Association craft proposals for long-term development of economic cooperation within the SCO framework in light of the trends in innovation and technological progress.
Lastly, in October 2009, during the Beijing Summit of Heads of Governments a joint initiative was adopted to strengthen the multilateral economic cooperation in order to help combat and overcome the global financial crisis, ensuring the further development of the economies of our states.
I note in this the particular role of the People's Republic of China. Despite the crisis, our Chinese partners decided to provide for the states of the SCO soft loans totaling USD 10 B, which will focus on implementation of joint projects of regional significance.
On the interaction in the energy sector. Countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan have significant oil and gas reserves, China is one of the leading positions in the world to use unconventional sources of energy and mining coal, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have large hydroelectric potential. The volume of attracted investments is a testimony to the growth of cooperation in the energy field.
In the context of sustainable development of Central Asian countries the management and efficient use of water resources occupy a special place.
An updated version of the Action Plan to implement the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation of SCO member states provided for the holding of joint seminars, research and conferences on topical issues of cooperation in the energy industry, sharing of information on the progress of market reforms in the electricity sector and the prospects of the industry, cooperation and information sharing for the introduction and use of renewable energy, as well as the development and implementation of innovative technologies in this field, creating an information base on the planned international tender for power plants.
We will continue to work to achieve a reasonable balance of interests between producers, transit countries and energy consumers.
After decades of animosity on the former Soviet-Chinese border, has the SCO managed to improve the image that peoples of its six member states have of one another?
Border issues between China and former Soviet countries have been resolved. The situation throughout the Chinese border with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan is characterized by an atmosphere of peace and friendship.
Border crossing points have become a bridge, allowing close contact between our countries. The Treaty signed at the Bishkek summit in 2007 strengthens further the foundation for the development of good-neighborly, friendly and partnership relations between the SCO member states.
Relations of good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the SCO are developing in the spirit of the traditions of historical, geographical and cultural closeness of our peoples.
The SCO is one of the most important international organizations in the world today. What are the top priorities for its future development?
The priority direction of cooperation within the SCO framework in the future will remain all-round development of practical cooperation in the fields of security, economy, culture, external relations, the comprehensive implementation of agreements already reached on the practical cooperation, as well as the application of efforts required to ensure that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is distinguished by even greater activity and concentration .
There is no doubt that our organization will play an increasing role in ensuring peace, security and stability in its area of responsibility, as well as in global efforts to promote universal social and economic progress. The SCO is open for constructive cooperation with all countries and organizations that seek to achieve similar goals.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 15, 2010 20:49:57 GMT -5
Russian Forces Form The Core Of The CIS Air Defense System.
by Ilya Kramnik military commentator, RIA Novosti Moscow,(RIA Novosti) Feb 12, 2010
On February 10 fifteen years ago, the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) met in Almaty, then capital of Kazakhstan (Central Asia), to sign an agreement to create a joint air defense system. In February 2010, they held a jubilee meeting of the Committee on Air Defense at the CIS Council of Defense Ministers.
The CIS leaders established the joint air defense system to preserve the remaining elements of the once powerful Soviet air defense. It comprised the air defense systems of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
In 2008, Georgia terminated its membership in the CIS and consequently withdrew from the joint air defense system.
Since Russia's Air Force and Air Defense Force form the core of the CIS Air Defense System, changes in them affect the joint system. It is therefore not surprising that the February meeting focused on the future of these branches of the Russian military.
Alexander Zelin, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force and Air Defense Force, said the reform program would continue. The structure and composition of the Air Force will be simplified to cut down on the various aviation categories, leaving the strategic, transport and army aviation intact. Frontline bomber, assault, fighter and reconnaissance units will be consolidated into tactical aviation like in the West.
The change proceeds from several trends. First, the new aircraft supplied to the Russian Air Force and its updated planes can now fulfill a variety of missions depending on weapon and equipment configuration.
Second, the reform entails a transition from aviation regiments to air force bases, which can be equipped with different types of aircraft depending on their objectives. This renders the air force's traditional division categories obsolete.
Until recently, the rearmament of the Russian Air Force and Air Defense Force was proceeding sluggishly. The media and professionals expressed dissatisfaction with the slow supply of the latest S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense systems to the Air Defense Force.
But Gen. Zelin said supplies of the S-400 systems have been coordinated and will be fulfilled on time.
Unfortunately, that optimistic statement has not been backed with facts. According to available information, Russia's armed forces currently have three to five S-400 battalions, and another 23 battalions are to be supplied by 2015.
Zelin also confirmed the recent statement by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who said that the first fifth-generation fighters would be supplied to the armed forces in 2013 and that full production would begin in 2015.
However, many analysts say the 5G fighter jets will actually come later, in particular because a new-generation engine, and possibly new armaments and electronic systems, are still not ready.
Overall, the rearmament of Russia's Air Force and Air Defense Force is gaining momentum, with more new aircraft, helicopters and air defense systems supplied every year. If the trend persists, rearmament may reach the necessary pace within the next few years.
At the same time, modernization of existing weapons, including strategic bombers and army helicopters, will continue and new equipment will be provided for the Air Force's command and control component.
The capabilities of the early warning system have grown considerably over the past few years, with several new-generation radar units built to replace both obsolete systems and the radar units lost as a result of the Soviet Union's dissolution.
Although they shrank dramatically in the post-Soviet period, Russia's Air Force and Air Defense Force are still the third most powerful in the world, after the U.S. Air Force and the combined NATO forces.
Russia, Abkhazia sign deal to build Russian base in ex-Georgian region.
Russia and Abkhazia signed a deal on Wednesday to establish a Russian military base in the former Georgian republic
The deal was signed during Kremlin talks between Abkhazian leader Sergei Bagapsh, who arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The base is designed "to protect Abkhazia's sovereignty and security, including against international terrorist groups," the document said. The agreement was signed for a term of 49 years with a possible extension.
Russia recognized the republic on the Black Sea in August 2008 after a five-day war to repel an assault by U.S. ally Georgia on another breakaway region, South Ossetia.
Georgia fiercely criticized the plans for the base in Abkhazia which it considers part of its territory. Russia's military buildup in the region since the armed conflict has also been condemned by the West.
U.S. has no plans to deploy military base in Uzbekistan - envoy.
The United States has no plans to open a military base in Uzbekistan, a U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan said on Sunday.
Richard Holbrooke said Uzbekistan was offering the U.S. valuable assistance in cargo transit to Afghanistan but there were no plans to deploy a military base in the former Soviet Central Asian republic.
Holbrooke, who met on Sunday with Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, currently chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said the U.S. had an important transit center at the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan, another ex-Soviet Central Asian republic, and was grateful to that country for such assistance.
The Kyrgyz airbase was formerly used by the U.S. military and is now functioning as a center for Pentagon transits to Afghanistan where U.S.-led forces are fighting Taliban militants.
In early 2009, the ex-Soviet Central Asian state ordered the shutdown of the base. The decision was widely seen as being influenced by Russia, which had granted Kyrgyzstan a large financial aid package.
However, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed in the summer of 2009 a law allowing the U.S. to continue using the airbase.
The U.S. will now pay Kyrgyzstan $60 million annually for the use of the airbase as a transit route to Afghanistan, compared with the previous sum of $17.4 million, which the former Soviet republic received for the use of its airbase.
White Cossack: How are you, Nikolov? I heard it's a hot summer in Sweden this year. Do you enjoy it? Regards, Yaroslav
Jul 20, 2018 5:51:43 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Very very hot...sometimes around 31-35...and it has been going on since month of May, everything is scorched yellow and dry, things are dying or dead, this is abnormal summer..must be global warming, usually have rainy dull summers, this feel like south eu
Jul 30, 2018 10:49:17 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: large forest fires, not where I live, but have country-wide BBQ ban..which I find ridiculous...not to enjoy this warm summer? pffft..
Jul 30, 2018 10:50:42 GMT -5
White Cossack: You enjoy it, huh.
Jul 30, 2018 12:41:41 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: Sto Latz! Today marks 100 years of Polska! May there be 100 more! Wish I could have gone to the Independence March to celebrate this year, of all years. Theres always the next one to look forward to...
Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
prawiomir: Hello. : )
Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: The latest flare up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is painful to watch. Two brothers pit against one-another by foriegn elites, for what? Money and power... Sad.
Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Seems like its loosing momentum? lets hope...
Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
Farm needs Production with alu: To Direktor: Herr Wasilij Rosinov Adresse: Kasachstan, 110 006 Kostanay, ul. Schewchenko, 64 Tel: +7 (3142) 54 09 89 Fax: +7 (3142) 54 65 53 Email: email@example.com Web: www.ivolga.kz
To Ms. Yuliya Ryaskina Please place this email to concerning Managemen
Feb 27, 2019 23:01:32 GMT -5
Marcinko: Looking for contacts to research Marcinko name in Slovakia.
Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
White Cossack: Nikolov, my dear.. What's up
Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bought a 3rd book shelf, for some reason I'm crazy about buying lots of books..
Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
kooratz: I don't shout , it's considered rude, here in the US. I do shout a few things though, for one, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS RUINING OUR NATION!
Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5