While the cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian and Russian fighters holds steady, another fight is poised to begin over Russian gas for Ukraine. And, this time, it’s a fight that, by default, involves Ukraine’s small, pro-Western neighbor, Moldova, too.
The Ukraine crisis keeps having unintended consequences. The latest is a setback for South Stream, Russia's planned pipeline to bypass Ukraine when exporting gas to Europe. Here are five things to know about the story.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov visited Tajikistan on May 5-6 in the latest sign of what's becoming the best bilateral relationship in Central Asia.
The focus of Berdymukhammedov's meeting with Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon was energy and transportation. Those two topics are the basis for the growing friendly ties between Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
The Kremlin’s partition of Crimea from Ukraine has put other states along Russia’s “near abroad” on edge. But while most of Russia’s neighbors seem to be worried about becoming Vladimir Putin’s next target, one state, Azerbaijan, stands to benefit, at least over the longer term, from the sudden turn of events.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan could emerge as a winner in the international crisis over Crimea, if the West pushes away from Russia as a natural-gas supplier, Azerbaijani analysts say. Diplomatic sensitivities, namely a desire in Baku not to rile Russia, means that any Azerbaijani effort to capitalize on the crisis will take place behind the scenes.
Armenia is the most gas-hungry country in the South Caucasus, and already is in a committed energy relationship with Russia. But many Armenians, tired of being taken for granted by the Kremlin, want their government to start flirting with another natural-gas suitor: Iran.
China is striving to forge Central Asia into a streamlined conduit for its regional trade and energy ambitions. But Beijing is finding that domestic insecurity and fractious bilateral relations among the region’s five former-Soviet republics have created a web of obstacles.