I continue the presentation and analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO strategic concept, an endeavor which I have began in May, with the section dedicated to the future missions and military affairs. The final section of the experts’ report deals with NATO’s future missions and the development of future military capabilities required to fulfill them. Section five of the report provides an analysis of the current needs and capabilities and makes recommendations on what missions and capabilities should be provided in the future strategic concept of the Alliance.
A group of Central and Eastern European intellectuals and former chiefs of state have published on July 16 an open letter to the President of the United States of America, voicing their concerns regarding the current state of relations between the countries of this region and the United States. The letter comes after the US-Russia summit and is signed by Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Emil Constantinescu, Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Matyas Eorsi, Alexandr Vondra and other important figures who have played a part in the recent history of Central and Eastern Europe. In the letter they emphasize the role played by the United States in Central Europe’s (CEE) transition from authoritarianism to democracy, remind Washington of the contribution made by the countries of this region to the American war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, while deploring the fact that the CEE is no longer a priority for US foreign policy. The letter criticizes the new “realist” foreign policy of the Obama Administration concerning Europe and Russia, with the shadow of Yalta looming large in the minds of the signatories.
I should start by saying that someone at the Austrian Embassy in Bucharest had a really bad day at the office this Sunday… In short it seems someone from the embassy’s staff has leaked a memo, written by Ambassador Martin Eichtinger in which he surmises Romania’s position on thorny diplomatic issues concerning energy security, EU-Russian relations and Turkey’s accession to the EU. The document reveals not only Romania’s foreign policy agenda and positions, but also possible future decisions the government will take in the near future regarding the Nabucco gas pipeline, the PEOP project (Constanta-Trieste oil pipeline) the national energy security strategy, the current situation in Moldova, relations with Russia and Ukraine. All the informations in the leaked document are taken from statements which president Traian Basescu made to EU diplomats or from his meetings with various European and regional leaders. In essence the document is nothing more than a diplomatic report which every embassy has to send back home to the foreign ministry. This particular document was destined for the Austrian foreign ministry and for the Austrian embassies in Chisinau, Bruxelles, Kiev and Moscow.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has declared today after the informal EU summit called by the current Czech Presidency of the European Union and the Presidency of the European Commission in concern with the effects of the economic crisis and possible remedies, that Germany is against any public funding for the Nabucco project. This means that any hopes for EU funds to help develop this alternative energy route have been dashed. Without German support it is doubtful than any funding will be released in order to give the go ahead for this long delayed pipeline that would have circumvented the Russian monopoly on gas deliveries to Europe.