Welcome to the Caspian Daily, where you will find the 10 most important things you need to know on Caspian Sea Region. We appreciate ideas, reports, news and interesting articles. Send along to Caspian[at]moderndiplomacy.eu or on Twitter: @DGiannakopoulos
1Islamic State has designs on the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem and endangers Europe and Russia, Vladimir Putin said. Moscow is concerned about IS-trained jihadists returning to EU countries, the CIS and Russia. “Extremists from many countries of the world, including, unfortunately, European counties, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) undertake ideological and military training in the ranks of Islamic State [IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL],” said Putin, speaking at the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. “And certainly we are worried that they could possibly return. It is necessary to set aside geopolitical ambitions, drop so-called double standards, the policy of direct or indirect use of separate terrorist groups for achieving own goals, including removing the governments and regimes.”
2Azerbaijan quits Euronest. The Parliament of Azerbaijan passed a decision regarding the resolution of the European Parliament dated September 10, 2015.The draft decision was read out by vice-speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Head of the EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committee Valeh Asgarov. According to the document, the European Parliament’s resolution shows that the organization is extremely biased against Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Parliament adopts a decision: The subversive activities and biased campaigns against Azerbaijan shall be ended. The activity damaging the reputation of the European Parliament shall be stopped.The Azerbaijani delegation should be stopped from participating in the meetings of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and recalled. The Cabinet of Ministers should be ordered to ban members of the European Parliament from entering Azerbaijan in case sanctions are imposed on Azerbaijani officials.
3The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which unites state legislators form 50 U.S. states, has passed a resolution emphasizing Azerbaijan’s strategic importance and fast development, APA reports. The resolution encourages the United States government to support and deepen strategic partnership with the Republic of Azerbaijan.The biggest part of the resolution is about the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. According to the resolution, both the U.S. along with the United Nations recognizes and supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
4Kazakhstan Launches Energy Efficiency Project. On September 14, the Ministry of Investments and Development jointly with the World Bank officially launched the Kazakhstan Energy Efficiency Project to improve the energy efficiency in public and social facilities and to create the enabling environment for sustainable energy efficiency financing.The project focuses on reduction in energy use of public buildings such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and street lighting, to demonstrate energy cost savings and social co-benefits.
5Western dream of regime change in Iran is over, so what’s next? “The contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia is destabilizing the entire region, with global consequences, and neither seems to have a workable strategy to exit the conflicts in which they are embroiled. At the heart of their competition lies Syria, a majority-Sunni country ruled by a minority regime allied with Iran” Joost Hiltermann –Reuters.
6Is Syria the new Crimea? Russia may think so. “New intelligence reports verified that Russia is sending military forces into Syria capable of striking ISIS targets. Two U.S. officials told Foreign Policy Magazine; “The intelligence community has substantiated that Russia is going to deploy Mikoyan MiG 31 and Sukhoi Su-25 fighter planes to a forward operating base in Latakia.” Much of the military equipment has arrived, including air traffic control towers, aircraft supplies, as well as housing units for hundreds of troops” examiner.com
7The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs will organize a meeting between Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan said. According to Robert F. Cekuta, the Co-chairs and the Foreign Ministers will discuss the possibility of organizing a meeting between Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents later this year. Commenting on the date of the Co-chairs’ next visit to the region, the U.S. ambassador said the mediators planned to visit the region next fall, failing, however, to mention specific dates.
8New thermal power plant commissioned in Turkmenistan. A new gas-turbine thermal power plant has been commissioned in Derweze district of Turkmenistan’s Ahal province, ‘Neutral Turkmenistan’ newspaper reported.The new power plant is able to meet the electricity demand of the province and Ashgabat city, according to the report.The power plant with the total installed capacity of 504.4 megawatt was constructed by Turkish Calik Enerji Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.The new thermal power plant, located on the area of 32 hectares, is a complex of modern technological facilities. The main facilities among them are four powerful gas-turbine plants GE 9E produced by the US General Electric company. Their capacity is 126.1 megawatt each.
9Azerbaijan’s oil production will average 0.86 million barrels per day in 2015, according to OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report published on September 14.This figure is revised down by 10,000 barrels per day from the previous month’s predictions.OPEC predicts Azerbaijan’s oil production at an average 0.8 million barrels per day over 2016.
10The EU should reward, not punish its loyal partner Azerbaijan. The European Union’s double standards in its dealings with Azerbaijan are damaging to the trust of a people that embraces European values, writes Ceyhun Osmanlı for Euractiv.
The importance of Iran’s membership in the SCO
The members of Majlis (the Parliament) have approved the emergency of the plan of Iran’s commitments to achieve the position of a member state in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), – informs IRNA from Tehran.
The emergency plan was endorsed with 161 votes in favor, two against, and three abstentions.
Ali Adyani, the deputy vice president for parliamentary affairs, said that the plan was proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was endorsed by the cabinet members, and sent to parliament to become law.
According to the official, Iran’s membership in the SCO is of great importance in terms of economic, social, and international affairs particularly because the opportunity would help the Islamic Republic get rid of illegal sanctions and enhance economic diplomacy.
Iran has been an observer of the SCO since 2005. Then, President Ebrahim Raisi called for full membership of the Islamic country in the organization in its last summer summit in Tajikistan.
The legislators have accepted to speed up scrutinizing the plan. Earlier, the Iranian parliament had endorsed the plan of accession of the Islamic Republic to the SCO.
Sabah: ‘The Americans have deceived themselves, the Europeans and Ukraine’
The US is repeating the same mistakes as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Now – in Ukraine. So it seems inevitable that Washington will face another setback as a result of its ideological obsession, – writes prominent Turkish observer Bercan Tutar at “Sabah” newspaper.
Having suffered a complete failure in the Middle East wars, the Americans sent to Ukraine not only their ineffective weapons, but also their inadequate thoughts and strategies. But no matter what they do, their chances of defeating Russia are very slim.
The 330th day of the war, which began on February 24, 2022, has already been completed. After a short retreat, Russia began redeployment. However, the fact that Russia abandoned the siege of Kyiv and focused on control over Russian-speaking regions led Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and the United States to false conclusions.
Encouraged by Russia’s cautious military actions, the United States applied its strategy in the war on terrorism in Ukraine and. According to American experts, the current US administration is following the deadly tracks of previous military propaganda in Ukraine, which proved unsuccessful in Afghanistan and Iraq.
While Russia is pursuing a military strategy that prioritizes its political goals, we see that the US is lacking in both military and political leadership. As soon as the war in Ukraine began, the first goal of the US was to rally its NATO allies against the Russian invasion. It was a smart strategy and it worked.
However, when the US reached the first target, a further one only increased its expectations. Russia was asked to leave not only Donetsk and Lugansk (Donbass), but also Crimea. Even further, the United States began to voice maximalist demands, such as regime change in Moscow. But it is absolutely clear that these demands can arise only in conditions of a total world war.
As a result, American fantasies lead Washington to attempt strategic suicide. The Americans have deceived themselves, the Europeans and Ukraine.
Russian leader Putin said on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the breaking of the blockade of Leningrad: “We tolerated it for a long time and tried to come to an agreement. As it has recently turned out, they were messing around with us; they were lying to us. This was not the first time this has happened to us. Yet we did everything in our power to settle the problem peacefully. It has become obvious now that it was an inherently impossible mission; the enemy was only preparing to bring this conflict to the hot phase. As I have said, there was no other way than to do what we are doing now.”
In short, some geopolitical officials in the US have dragged Zelensky into a ‘no-win war’ against a nuclear-armed Russia.
Now the world is focused on two options:
– either the US and its allies will perform a ‘miracle’ in Ukraine;
– or the Russians will crush Ukraine and then break the back of the NATO alliance.
Thus, the US strategic position in Europe will come to an end and a new world order will be born, perhaps with several centers of power outside of America.
War games will take place off Durban between South Africa, China and Russia
South Africa’s government has finally shown its colours by inviting Russia and China for war games next month, London’s ‘Daily Mail’ writes with indignation and indignation.
SA President Cyril Ramaphosa has ditched his supposed ‘neutrality’ to the war by hosting the naval drills off the country’s east coast near Durban and Richards Bay from February 17 to 27. The move is the strongest indication yet of the strengthening relationship between South Africa, and the anti-West authoritarian regimes of China and Russia.
The drills will take place around the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and bring more focus on the refusal of South Africa – a leading voice on its continent – to side with the West and condemn Russia’s actions. The South African government said last year it had adopted a neutral stance over Ukraine and called for dialogue and diplomacy.
But the upcoming naval drills have led the country’s main opposition party to accuse the government of effectively siding with Russia.
But the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), which incorporates all of its armed forces, said next month’s naval exercise would ‘strengthen the already flourishing relations between South Africa, Russia and China’. The aim of the drills was ‘sharing operational skills and knowledge’, the SANDF said.
The three countries also conducted a similar naval exercise in 2019 in Cape Town, while Russia and China held joint naval drills in the East China Sea last month.
The United States and European Union had hoped South Africa would support the international condemnation of Russia and act as a leader for other nations in Africa. But, South Africa appealed to be one of several African countries to ‘abstain’ in a United Nations vote last year condemning Russia’s special military operation.
South Africa and Russia share a long history, after the Soviet Union gave support to the ANC in its fight to bring down apartheid, the regime of repression against the country’s black majority, writes London newspaper. (And we should remember, how the British destroyed the Boers’ Transvaal and the Orange Republic of the at the beginning of the 20th century, and planted the apartheid regime here).
Apartheid ended in 1994 when the ANC won the first democratic elections in South Africa and Nelson Mandela became president.
South Africa is also a member of BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies, alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China.
South Africa’s obligations with respect to sanctions relate only to those that are specifically adopted by the United Nations. Currently, there are no UN-imposed sanctions on the particular individual, they say in Pretoria.
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