Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Baltic - Black Sea Axis

Azerbaijan is ready to use Baltic countries for trade expansion to the EU

Baku, Fineko/ The Embassy of Azerbaijan to Latvia appeals to use Baltic countries as a trampling to the European Union (EU) markets.

Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Latvia Tofig Zulfugarov said today Azerbaijani companies are able to export their goods to EU countries through Baltic countries.

“Currently Azerbaijani entrepreneurs deliver foodstuffs, including milk products and juices to Latvia. This is not enough since Latvia is interested in expanding the range of goods exported from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani business should be provided with conformity to single requirements demanded by the EU to quality, packing and other parameters,” Zulfugarov said.

The Baltics and Poland need to strengthen trade along the Baltic Sea corridor and slowly develop the trade corridor across the Black Sea.

In Romania, an interesting scenario is playing out there on citizenship to Moldovans

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU institutions are appalled at Romania's proposal to give citizenship to up to 1 million Moldovans - a project that could damage Romania's standing inside the union.

If the scheme goes ahead and Moldova retaliates by making dual citizenship illegal, the EU country would effectively annex one quarter of its neighbour's population in a scenario described by one EU official as "frightening" in terms of regional stability.

Will Russia try to intervene? Moldova threatens Europe’s eastern overtures

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe gave the elections a largely clean bill of health. Yet while the counting of votes was probably fair, the results were distorted before polling day. During the campaign there was extensive police harassment of the opposition and huge media bias. Opposition parties also point to potential fraud in the electoral lists, which included over 300,000 more people than in 2005 even though Moldova’s population is shrinking. They also claim that some Communist party supporters voted more than once. The way to check these allegations is not to recount the ballots mechanically, as the government suggests, but to check the electoral lists. This is possible but takes more time.

Russia quickly reacted to the crisis with political and practical support for the government’s crackdown. President Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian foreign ministry have made numerous statements offering their backing to Vladimir Voronin, Moldova’s president. For Russia, a more isolated Moldova is a more likely political ally.

Romania could be a key pivotal point in establishing a stronger trade corridor along the Baltic - Black Sea corridor....

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