Michael Berendt's blog

Archives for Russia

Driving across the rolling farming country of northern and central France, as my wife and I have just done, you might think that French arable farmers have never had it so good. Grain prices are high and the landscape as far as the eye can see is bright yellow with rapeseed and brilliant green with… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The gas is flowing again. The deal signed between Ukraine’s prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Moscow on January 21 should at last provide some respite for all those who have suffered severe hardship from the suspension of gas supplier in recent weeks.
In the short term everyone has been a loser from […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Is it business or politics? The official EU line is that the confrontation between Russia and the Ukraine on gas supplies is a commercial dispute which does not call for political intervention. This is far removed from the accusations of “pipeline politics” directed at Russia during the 2006 dispute.
Requests by the parties for the EU […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

After all the excitement of an amazing US presidential election, here we stand in the cold light of dawn, wondering what happens next. What can we Europeans expect of President Barack Obama? As others have pointed out, his first duty will be to serve the interests of those who elected him and not the political […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

The OSCE seems to have serious doubts about Georgia’s role and there are even suggestions that the conflict was provoked by Vice President Cheney in order to boost McCain’s cause in the US elections.
Rash initiatives by the Georgian government in South Ossetia were almost certainly the trigger for the Russian action, but a trigger […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

The new Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made a big effort at last week’s summit in the Siberian oil town of Khanty-Mansiisk to give new impetus to the EU-Russia dialogue. The president offered each of his EU guests an album of his own photographs and apparently charmed Messrs Solana, Barroso and Jansa in a way […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

August is the traditional month for invasions. Foreign politicians are on holiday, much of the harvest has finished and there’s time to consolidate before winter sets in. So this time it was Georgia.
None of us who were around at the time will forget the August day in 1968 when Soviet bloc troops invaded […]

Posted by Michael Berendt