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2012, №99, Security Index

Security Index image
Issue: №99
Text:

SECURITY INDEX
(International Edition)

NO. 2 (99), Spring 2012

CONTENTS

FROM THE EDITOR

Don't Miss a Tiger Waking up

“Myanmar is an Asian tiger in hibernation. It has a population of 60mln and a territory the size of Ukraine. It is enormously rich in natural resources. Potentially it is an important Asian power – but for now, its international role is negligible. For many decades the country has kept itself isolated from the rest of the world,” – writes Editor-in-Chief of the Security Index journal, Vladimir Orlov, in From the Editor.

INTERVIEW

Alternative Talks outside the Conference on Disarmament Would Be Counterproductive – Viktor Vasilyev

For 15 years now the Conference on Disarmament has been unable to begin substantive work on negotiating international agreements. What are the main reasons for that? What kind of measures could help to overcome the crisis? Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation at the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, Viktor Vasilyev, in his interview talks about the Russian position regarding the present and the future of the Conference on Disarmament.

Electronic Payment Systems Make Money Laundering Much Easier – Alexander Spiridonov

How does financial intelligence work in Russia? What are the principles of international legislation on countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism? And what are the challenges facing financial intelligence services in the 21st century? We have put our questions to Alexander Spirodonov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring).

Missile Defense Is not a Problem but the Greatest Opportunity – Anders Fogh Rasmussen

How does the NATO role change in light of transformation of international relations realities? What are the priorities in solving regional problems, particularly in cooperation with regional organizations? How is the dialogue with Russia on missile defense seen from the NATO side? Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his interview elaborates on challenges and perspectives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

ANALYSIS

Chinese Nuclear Industry: A New Big Leap? – Artem Goncharuk

China has set itself very ambitious goals for the development of nuclear energy. Despite the remaining uncertainty about the details of the Chinese government's plans experts are talking about a Big Nuclear Leap. The author analyzes the current state of the Chinese nuclear industry and estimates whether the country is ready for a new Big Leap – and, more importantly, whether that new leap can be pulled off without the calamities that followed the previous leap back in 1956.

Prospects for Russia-Ukraine Nuclear Cooperation – Margarita Klochkova

The fall of the Soviet Union spelt the end of a whole system with industrial and territorial specialization including the field of nuclear cooperation between the Soviet republics. As a result all the webs of cooperation had to be built anew, based on market principles and taking into account the new political situation. Article considers the prospects of nuclear energy cooperation between Russia and Ukraine and analyzes whether the two countries are making the full use of the potential inherited from the former Soviet Union.

Uzbekistan: Clans, Succession, and Stability – Yury Fedorov

The relations between Uzbekistan and its neighbors have major implications for stability in Central Asia. Moreover, the Uzbek government's control of the situation in the country has a stability impact on Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and even the neighboring districts of Kazakhstan. How stable is this regional “factor of stability” itself? The question becomes especially pressing amid the ongoing turmoil in the Arab world and the looming transition of power in Tashkent.

ROUND TABLE

A Changing Myanmar: What It Means for the Region, for China, and for RussiaYury Dubinin, Kseniya Yefremova, Gleb Ivashentsov, Alexey Kirichenko, Alexander Kudryashov, Nikolay Maletin, Dmitry Malov, Dmitry Mosyakov, Vladimir Orlov, Aida Simoniya, Victor Sumsky, and Vyacheslav Urlyapov

Myanmar is facing significant new political developments. Moreover, its international situation has already improved. In 2014 Myanmar will take over the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN and host an East Asia Summit meeting. These and other developments indicate that the country of 60 million is opening a new chapter in its history. We publish a round table discussion on Myanmar's role in the region of ASEAN, challenges and opportunities of its balancing between India and China, and Russian interests in this strategically important country.

COMMENTARY

Outlook for Nuclear Disarmament: A View from Moscow – Andrey Malyugin

After years of stagnation the cause of nuclear disarmament and arms control finally made some real progress. The achievements in that area are well known: a successful NPT Review Conference in 2010, the signing and ratification of the New START treaty, etc. Now the question is, will these individual achievements become a steady positive trend? Or will the disarmament renaissance fizzle out before it has even started properly? The article comments the Russian position on these questions.

Echoes of Bushehr – Vladimir Orlov

Iran has become the first Middle Eastern state to launch a nuclear power plant. That landmark event came against the backdrop of growing tensions between Iran and the international community, which demands that Tehran stick to its obligations under the NPT and comply with UN Security Council resolutions. The Bushehr power plant was built by Russian specialists. Does that mean there have been clear political dividends for Russia? What it means for Iran? Will there be any new Russian-Iranian nuclear projects? Describing the situation around the Bushehr's construction the author addresses all of these questions.

Belarusian Political Class in a Crisis – Andrey Suzdaltsev

Over the long years, Belarus has often faced difficult political and economic problems. With Russian or Western help, the Belarusian authorities have always managed to find a way out. The scale of the structural economic crisis that engulfed Belarus in February 2011 has destabilized the political situation. The author estimates the political and economic consequences of the crisis in Belarus, and the possible role of the external factors in solving the problem.

REVIEW OF RECENT WORLD EVENTS

The International Security Index in July-November 2011 – Galiya Ibragimova

The continuing tensions in the Middle East and North Africa; the fall of the Col. Gaddafi regime in Libya as a result of the civil war and the NATO military operation; the United States starting the pullout of its troops from Afghanistan; the decision of the euro zone countries to write-off Greece's debts; the further aggravation of the situation in Syria, Yemen and Egypt; increased pressure on Iran; and worsening of economic situation in the euro zone. Members of the PIR Center International Expert Group – Evgeny Buzhinsky, Pàl Dunay, Konstantin von Eggert, Dayan Jayatilleka, Halil Karaveli, Evgeny Satanovsky, Farkhad Tolipov, Nandan Unnikrishnan – comment on the recent world events.

A Song about a Tank, or Reflections on Russian Military Strategy – Dmitry Evstafyev

The debate about Russia's defense capability is raging once again. It started off as attempts to explain why the Russia's MoD is so loath to buy Russian-made weapons, preferring Western suppliers instead. At the center of the latest clash between competing interests in the Russian military and defense industry circles is the future Russian tank. The author comments on the tasks and goals of the Russian military forces asking whether the Russia's military technology level is good enough for those tasks.

The Middle East: New Strategic Factors – Yury Fedorov

New elements of the strategic situation have started to emerge in the Middle East since the summer and early autumn of 2011. Following the collapse of the Mubarak regime Egypt's foreign policy has acquired a distinct anti-Israeli tinge. Another source of tension is the official request for UN membership submitted by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. And the most important strategic shift in the region is Turkey's growing aspiration for regional leadership. How these three factors change the tense situation in the Middle East?

LIBRARY

Letters from the Dead End – Vadim Kozyulin

The article reviews the collective monograph of the Russian experts “Russian military and technical cooperation with foreign countries: basics, problems and prospects”, edited by the Professor Natalya Kalinina from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This new book offers a properly scientific and meticulous analysis of the real state of affairs in the Russian arms export system and the country's defense industry.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

PIR Center Advisory Board, International Expert Group, and Sustainable Partnership with Russia Group members

FINAL QUOTES

On Moscow

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