Global News Journal

Georgia: How close did Europe come to a wider war?

August 18, 2008

ferdinand.jpgA poster at the entrance to the World War One exhibition at London’s Imperial War Museum depicts the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, minutes before they were shot dead as they toured the streets of Sarajevo in an open topped car. The two bullets triggered World War One. Alliances quickly came into play and an argument between Austria and Serbia drew in Russia, Germany, France, Belgium and Britain.

Saakashvili’s media onslaught: Is he losing the war?

August 13, 2008

saakashvili.jpgEver since Russia launched a massive counter-offensive in response to Georgia’s attempt to retake the pro-Russian, breakaway region of South Ossetia, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been omnipresent in Western media. He has appeared on CBS, CNN, BBC and pretty much every other English-language TV channel to accuse Russia of penetrating Georgia far beyond Ossetia, planning an assault on the capital and plotting his overthrow. 

Can the Caucasus flames be controlled?

August 11, 2008

ossetia.jpgThe Caucasus tinderbox is alight again. How far will the flames spread this time and what can the outside world – the United States, the European Union, NATO – do to extinguish them?

Cold War reheated as U.S. and Russia duke it out over Georgia

August 11, 2008

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin

The temperature at the United Nations Security Council hasn’t been this high in years — and it’s not because the U.N. management raised the thermostat slightly to cut electricity costs. It’s due to the heated exchange of insults and accusations between Russia and the United States, which has reached a fever pitch reminiscent of the Cold War years.

Was South Ossetia’s fate sealed in Kosovo?

August 8, 2008

south-ossetia.jpgIs Kosovo to blame for the fighting in South Ossetia?

When the Serbian province seceded from Belgrade in February, South Ossetia was quick to reassert its own claim to international recognition.

Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn – dissident and writer

August 4, 2008

Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn talks to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after receiving a State Prize for his achievements in the humanitarian field at his home in Troitse-Lykovo outside Moscow June 12, 2007.Tributes have been pouring in for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author, former Soviet dissident and Nobel Literature prize laureate who died on Sunday aged 89.

Does the West still matter for Africa?

August 1, 2008

security-council.jpg

First on Zimbabwe, now on Darfur, Western countries have lost out at the U.N. Security Council to African states backed by China and Russia.

Russia’s Cold War anger over U.S. shield: misjudged?

July 10, 2008

Signing of missile defence treaty

Russia’s angry response to an accord between Washington and Prague on building part of a U.S. missile defence shield in the Czech Republic is reminiscent of the rhetoric of the Cold War. Although Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow still wants talks on the missile shield, his Foreign Ministry has threatened a “military-technical” response if the shield is deployed.

Iraq: was it all about the oil?

June 30, 2008

iraq-oil-minister-2.jpgFive years after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, Iraq is throwing open its oil sector to foreign oil firms  in a way Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others in the region are reluctant to. Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani says no company will have any special privilege.

Face to face with Medvedev

June 25, 2008

Medvedev gestures during interview What makes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tick? How independent is he of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin?
Medvedev gave Reuters a chance to find out more about his plans, and get some clues about the questions being asked by Russia watchers, analysts and diplomats, by granting us an interview in the Kremlin.
During a 90-minute question-and-answer session he played down differences with Putin, his long-time ally who is now prime minister, and portrayed himself as a continuity figure but the contrast in style and tone between the two men was striking.
Medvedev made none of the harsh attacks on the West that became Putin’s trademark and used considered, lawyerly phrases that sounded quite unlike Putin’s more direct and earthy language.
Medvedev said Russia’s foreign policy would not be swayed by criticism from abroad, but added that complaints about its policy were normal. He avoided echoing Putin by making charges of Western hypocrisy and double standards.
But he did sound more like Putin when discussing Russia’s media, saying television channels, newspapers and websites were “absolutely free” and dismissing any possibility of special controls on the media in Russia.
Some analysts think Medvedev is a deliberately more liberal choice than Putin who can usher in an era of greater freedom, private property and foreign investment. Others view him with suspicion as little more than a Putin puppet.