By Denis Trifonov (12/17/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: At the bilateral level, Russian intelligence has utilised old KGB networks and common Soviet heritage to influence threat perceptions of local leaders. Soon after the end of the USSR, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and its domestic counterpart FSB (then FSK) signed data exchange and joint operations deals with all CIS states. Russian intelligence stations were opened throughout the region, most with a remit to conduct operations against third states.
By Ariel Cohen (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: During November 3-5 summit in Russia, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Russian president Vladimir Putin have signed a historic agreement making Israel the first Middle Eastern transit country for Russian oil. The 158-mile (254 km) pipeline from the Red Sea port of Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba to Ashkelon was constructed in the 1960s, to ship Iranian oil to European and U.S.
By Hooman Peimani (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Unlike Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan did not experience the emergence of many anti-regime political groups upon its independence in 1991. As the worsening economic situation and the lowering living standards all over Central Asia created a growing dissatisfied population in the region, the establishment of Turkmenistan’s totalitarian regime prevented in that country the translation of emerging popular dissatisfaction into an anti-regime movement capable of challenging the ruling elite. Thanks to its repressive measures, the Turkmen regime created around President Saparmurad Niyazov’s cult of personality simply removed the possibility of active and growing opposition groups inside the country.
By Stephen Blank (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Shevarnadze was clearly a pro-Western figure but his hands were tied by his own internal misrule, Georgia’s weakness, and thus its vulnerability to Russian pressure. Countless statements attest to his desire to join NATO or at least have it protect Georgian energy pipelines. The new regime is even more forthright about its intention to integrate with the West and restore Georgia\'s integrity.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.