Archive for February 2007

Georgia rejects Kosovo precedent for its separatist regions

February 28, 2007

Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili on Monday rejected Russian comparisons between Kosovo’s bid for independence and the fate of two breakaway Georgian regions.

“I think these parallels that have been drawn by some people in the international arena are based sometimes on ignorance and sometimes from the fact that they have their own narrow political ends,” he told reporters after talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the West that granting independence to the Serbian province of Kosovo, whose future is the subject of current U.N. talks, would serve as a precedent for other territories with similar cases, including pro-Russian breakaway provinces in the ex-Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova.

On a visit to European Union headquarters, Saakashvili said separatist groups had thrown out the majority of citizens from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, meaning there was no comparison with the situation in Kosovo, where the Albanian-speaking majority seeks independence from Serbia.

Saakashvili said Georgia would never accept an imposed breakup of the country and expressed confidence that talks with the separatists would solve the problem.

He said any international acceptance of the demands of separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia would serve as a dangerous precedent for other regions in Europe, particularly in Spain.

Solana reiterated the bloc’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and praised economic and political reforms undertaken by under Saakashvili.

He said the EU was ready to help resolve the problem of the breakaway regions.
 
Source: Associated Press

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The case of the jailed Egyptian blogger

February 26, 2007

In our globalized world the news of the recent conviction of a 22year old Egyptian blogger has already made to every corner of the planet.

Abdel Karim Souleiman was jailed for 4 years because he heavily critisized his university and the goverment through his blog posts. The penalty is actually considerd to be mild because there were rumours that he was about to spent a considerable part of his life in jail if the maximum penalty was enforced!

Therefore the so-called “Universal model of human rights” gets another heavy blow and clearly points out the fallacy of the West to try to comprehend autocratic regimes with the usual jargon and political correcteness. Egypt is plainly a dictatorship that hands out heavy penalties for anyone critisizing, and disobeding public norms. At the same time it is considered as an ally of the “free world” and receives almost the same as Israel -Some 3 billion USD- so as to keep the state afloat not to be taken over by the extremists.

The only logical conclusion that someone could draw from this incident is that the Western states having a historical complex want to blame every autocratic regime for its practices -Like in Egypt- but they cannot ofcourse discontinue to protect their vital interests with any means possible and quite frankly that is the right thing to do for their survival and progress.

The division between ethics and interests is as old as humanity itself and cannot be resolved with the traditional political correct modus of declaring “equality”, “human rights protection” and “respect for the different”. Its pointless, hypocritic and counterproductive because it reveals outermost hypocrisy and incompetence. A global policy based on realism and the right to exersice sovereign interest is more on par with the real needs of the world that wants truth instead of intellectual phantasies and bureaucratic nonsense. Otherwise the West will ultimately destroy one of its few advantages compared to other civilazations and that is the use of strategic thinking in order to progress; whatever that is left from it, balancing between the fallacies of the Left and the  incompetence of the Right.

For anyone interested the link for signing the petition  for the blogger: www.petitiononline.com/KAmer/petition.html

And the e-mail of the Egyptian Embassy in Athens is : egypt@yahoo.gr

No spam please!

Greek-Bulgarian economic relations

February 25, 2007

Good bilateral relations between Greece and Bulgaria have helped realize the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline agreement, which is due to be officially signed by Greece, Bulgaria, and Russia in Athens this March. The long-awaited agreement will initiate the construction and operation of an oil pipeline linking the western Black Sea coast with the northeastern Aegean—a route bypassing the increasingly congested Bosporus straits.  This undoubtedly represents a geopolitical success for both Greece and Bulgaria, and furthers Greece’s efforts to become a regional energy hub.  Both countries hope to gain additional clout within the region and the EU by creating a so-called ‘Balkan nucleus’ with Romania, following the recent accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU in January. 

In recent meetings between President Papoulias and Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov, discussion has led to talks of opening new crossing points on the Greek-Bulgarian border to improve bilateral commercial relations on all levels. Both sides agreed that several potential areas of cooperation remained unexploited, such as in tourism. President Purvanov said the two sides could also cooperate in the defense industry and in civilian protection.

Financial data further supports politicians’ claims of a ‘golden age.’  According to external trade data for both countries, Bulgaria has become Greece’s third-largest trading partner (according to temporary data from the Greek Statistical Service for January to September 2006) and Bulgaria the fourth-largest trading partner to Greece (according to the Bulgarian Statistical Institute). In 2006, 6.9% of total Greek exports went to Bulgaria (up from 6.34% in 2004), while imports from Bulgaria represented1.6% of total Greek imports, according to Greek statistical data. On the Bulgarian side, imports from Greece represented 4.9% of total imports (down from 5.7% in 2004) while exports to Greece represented 8.9% of total exports. Furthermore, Greece is the third-largest foreign direct investor in Bulgaria, following an increasing trend of investments in the country, most of which originate from the Netherlands, the UK, and Ireland. Most foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bulgaria between 2005 and 2006 was in real estate and land development.

Prior to1997, Greek investment in Bulgaria totaled just $40.8 million, or on average $8.2 million annually. A slight increase in investments occurred between 1997 and 1999, with on average an investment of $10 million each year. However, from 2000 onwards there has been a large volume of Greek investment totaling 1.4 billion EURO, or on average more than 200 million EURO annually.  During the same period, the value of exports has doubled, resulting in a 50% increase in trade volume and a positive surplus. This period has witnessed an acceleration of investment from groups in the services, trade, and technical project sectors.

According to data for total investments in Bulgaria, Greece has a 10% market share in FDI, which in reality could be even higher. Consequently, it is safe to conclude that Greece has contributed to a large extent to the economic development of contemporary Bulgaria. This can be easily understood by looking at the banking sector’s market share data. Greece, through Greek banks, holds 20.6% of total capital for the Bulgarian banking sector, which will reach 23.6% once the agreement to buy out one more Bulgarian bank has been finalized.

The general conclusion drawn from this analysis is that Greek market share in Bulgaria, from the time of its accession to the European Union, remains very satisfactory. Despite intense competition—both from within the EU and externally—all signs are encouraging, ranging from increased investment from traditional sectors of the Greek economy to new sectors, such as construction (from technical companies for infrastructure projects) and the market for technical consultants, which is expected to flourish in Bulgaria due to the resources from structural funds that are expected to be channelled into the country.

Source: Greek National Statistical Service, ELKE.

New outlook for Strategic Analysis

February 23, 2007

The blog has as its first and foremost aim to inform citizens across the globe for international affairs using OSINT Management information. Therefore for the past 6 months 490+ articles, papers and analyses were presented that provide a substancial amount of knowledge on the complicated world of ours.

From now on Strategic Analysis, having first of all gained its appropriate credibility; will present commentaries instead of articles and media broadcasts. Thus all interested parties will gain valuable -And absolutely free!- insight on major events that shape the world and need immediate attention.

At that point I would like to thank the hundreds of viewers that daily “monitor” this weblog and I am looking forward for more of your feedback and comments. Moreover anyone interested can send his analysis or article to be posted on my e-mail: ianos24@gmail.com

Israeli airplanes violating Greek airspace

February 23, 2007

According to information from Greek daily newspapers and the Defence journal “Strategy”, Israeli airplanes violated Greek airspace a few weeks ago in order to test the anti-aircraft systems of the country, amongst them many Russian made ones. These are the same models used by the Iranian Army -Specifically Tor-M1- that were bought last year for 700 million USD for 29 units. This blog actually has mentioned this transaction.

Moreover multiple official media sources have already stated that the Israeli Air force conducts long-range exercises reaching up to Gilbratar in a plan to simulate a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. If one adds the Naval reinforcements by the USN in the Gulf; then a possible attack against Iran should not be excluded in the following months, and that is in Spring time.

Bolton: Kosovo’s status cannot be imposed

February 22, 2007

Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Wednesday that ultimatums or imposed solutions could not be the right way to solve the future status of Kosovo.

Bolton is against an imposed solution to the Serbian province of Kosovo that would be unacceptible to the Serbian government because it is unlikely that such a resolution would ever be adopted by the Security Council.

Speaking for the Voice of America, he said that the future status of Kosovo should be acceptable to all sides.

If one side insists on independence, it is evident that there would be no agreement, Bolton said and added he believed that the Serbian government was prepared to offer a high level of independence to Kosovo Albanians and that he hoped that a negotiated solution would be reached.

Bolton said that Serbia could not be divided without the agreement of its government and that this issue was not in the competence of other countries or the United Nations, because this was the new and democratic Serbia and not Milosevic’s old Yugoslavia.

It would be unprecedented if the United Nations interfered in the affairs of a country in democratic development and adopted its own solution, he said and added that China and Russia, each for its own reasons which may not have anything to do with Serbia, would not want a precedent to be set in this way.

Bolton said that many at the United Nations believed that under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the UN Security Council had the right to impose a new resolution if the solution was not acceptable to both sides.

He said he believed that it would be very unwise if the UN Security Council tried to impose any solution – either Ahtisaari’s plan or something else, because Russia or China, or both countries, would veto such efforts.

The UN Security Council should continue putting pressure aimed at continuing with the negotiations, refrain from imposing artificial deadlines and insist on goodwill approach to negotiations by both sides and finding of a solution, Bolton said.
Source: Serbianna.com

Military cooperation between Greece-Bulgaria

February 21, 2007

Greece and Bulgaria are about to sign an agreement by which the former will lease an area near Plontiv in order to use it as a military training ground. More specifically the Greek infantry, as well as, the Air force will be trained there and the total hosting capability of this Bulgarian training facility, is around 1,000 soldiers.

Over the past decade the cooperation between the two states has grown considerably and already regural exercises are being held between their Armed Forces.