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Eastern Partnership: West's Final Assault On Former Soviet Union

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The meeting was overseen by US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and special envoy of the US president for Eurasian energy issues Boyden Gray.

The main focus was on the Caspian-Black-Sea-Baltic Odessa-Brody-Gdansk oil pipeline project but also included as the Agence France-Presse dispatch alluded to the Nabucco natural gas mega-project which is to take in Northern African and Persian Gulf as well as Caspian energy resources and transit lines.

While at the summit US Energy Secretary Bodman effused that the "Baku Energy Summit is the continuation of 'The Contract of Century' signed in 1994,” an allusion to the contract signed between between American and Western companies and Azerbaijan in that year which laid the foundation for the subsequent trans-Eurasian Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines as well as the Nabucco project.

Those three energy undertakings, unprecedented in scope and political capital expended, are to be expanded with the new Eastern Partnership.... In late November of last year the EU issue a draft communique on the Eastern partnership which stated, inter alia, "On the energy front, Memorandums of Understanding are to help guarantee EU energy security, leading to 'joint management, and even ownership of pipelines by companies of supplier, transit and consumer countries,'" as well as noting "EU 'concern' over energy infrastructure in conflict zones, such as a Russia-Balkans gas pipeline running through the disputed Moldovan region of Transdniestria."  (Azeri Press Agency, November 25, 2008)

A European Commission report of a few days later included the demand that "The EU must significantly boost relations with Ukraine and five other ex-Soviet republics and make easing Moscow's sway over them a priority.

"The report says the EU must seek "diversification of energy routes by enabling the ex-Soviet nations to build new and better connected pipelines and oil and gas storage facilities.

"The EU wants to see a gas pipeline from the Caucasus fully skirting Russia."  (Associated Press, November 30, 2008)

As mentioned above the EU signed the draft communique on the Eastern Partnership in December of last year with the intent of pulling "the EU's
six post-Soviet neighbors closer to the West by recognizing their 'European aspirations and creating a new European Economic Area...." (PanArmenian.net, December 3, 2008), "Accelerated partly because of the summer 2008 conflict in the Caucasus...."(Sofia Echo, December 3, 2008)

On December 12 the heads of state of all 27 EU members approved the establishment of the Eastern Partnership.

Twelve days later the EU special representative to the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, added, "This program was elaborated in the light of the recent developments in the region, the war in Georgia, as well as the concerns of the South Caucasus countries on security issues...."  (Today.az, December 24, 2008)

On December 19 Washington signed a United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership with its compliant client in Kiev, Viktor Yushchenko, and within a week the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute began, plunging much of Europe into a crisis and renewing Western calls for...energy routes circumventing Russia.

On February 10 of this year Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs for the Czech Republic, which assumed the EU presidency on the first of the year, Alexandr Vondra, announced that he expected the Eastern Partnership to be formally inaugurated on May 7 in Prague at the EU summit to be held there.

Dispensing with the standard verbs like assisting and aiding, he added another one - stabilizing.

"The recent gas crisis has not only its technical but also political  implications. The crisis highlighted how important it is for the EU to assume responsibility for the stabilisation of its eastern neighbours and to pay them more political and financial attention."  (Czech News Agency, February 10, 2009)

The report from which the preceding quote is taken fleshed out the strategy in more detail:

"The Eastern Partnership summit is to be followed by a meeting of the countries that are connected with the 'southern energy corridor' that links the Caspian region with world markets, bypassing Russia....[T]he meeting will probably take place on the same day as the Eastern Partnership summit."  (Ibid)

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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