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The revolt in Libya makes us seriously revise our attitude to the events in the Arab East. A widespread point of view that the Internet was to blame for creating options for self-organization has been shaken.

Indeed, the Internet opens opportunities for political mobilization and creation of mass movements, but in any case this is only the channel through which different social groups promote their interests.

The themes of oil and blood are interwoven in the recent developments in Libya. The country's oil reserves are estimated at 46.4 billion barrels and its oil export generates impressive revenues which are generously dispensed to prop up the living standards of the 6 million population. As of 2010, the annual par capita GDP in Libya measured slightly under $19,000.

Recently Japan relaunched the campaign of claims to Russia's Kuril Islands - Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Khabomai. The impression is that Tokyo is under the delusion that it is entitled to its own version of the settlement in the wake of World War II and even hopes to draw benefits based on the unilateralist approach.

Early this February, the South and North Korean army command envoys met in Panmunjom, on the de facto border between the two countries, to reach an agreement on the agenda, date, and location for the higher level talks suggested by Pyongyang at the end of January

Understanding the mentality of OPEC leaders should help to build the relations with the alliance “Russia and OPEC” was the theme of the January roundtable organized by International Affairs, the journal of Russia's Foreign Ministry, the Soyuzneftegaz company, and the World Policy and Resources foundation. The Financial Times recently quoted Russian President D. Medvedev as saying that Russia is open to policy coordination with OPEC short of joining the group.

In an attempt to calm down hundreds of thousands of protesters gathering on Tahrir Square in central Cairo, as well in other cities across Egypt, the authorities agreed to important concessions. Mubarak said he would not seek re-election but added that neither he would step down before September. He handed over power to Omar Suleiman he had earlier appointed his vice president, and to the Egyptian military.

The fact that, unlike Boris Yeltsin, the current Russian leadership is not intended to sell the Kuril islands, has prompted sharp reaction from official Tokyo, thus increasing tensions in the Far East.
On the 8th of February the Russian Embassy in Tokyo received an envelope with a bullet inside.

February 6 was the 13th day since the outbreak of protests in Egypt during which the opponents and supporters of the country's president H. Mubarak got locked in a seemingly endless standoff at Tahrir Square in Cairo. In a sense, the course of the future developments depends on what contours the situation acquired on February 6.

The successful completion of the 5-year cycle in China coincided in time with the Chinese leader's visit to the US, highlighting the contrast between the relative trajectories of the two economies. Now that the US economy's bankruptcy is an open secret and Washington is in the process of soliciting a global relaxation of payment schedules, the West's evasiveness about the situation reflects a naïve attempt not to admit the fact that the era of the US economical dominance is basically over.

ACCORDING TO Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), there will be no more cheap oil. We met at the OFID headquarters in Vienna, a magnificent palace built in the days of the Austrian Empire and richly decorated with columns, stucco, massive oak doors and red carpet runners.

Since 1976, OFID has been a major international development agency, as well as an authoritative research and analysis center. The Fund's main task is to strengthen cooperation and OPEC's influence in developing countries. Financial assistance provided by the Fund has exceeded $10.6 billion, including more than $1.4 billion in the form of grants. Mr. Al-Herbish's assessment of the current state of the global market and the strategy for the development of the oil sector is all the more interesting because he previously served as chairman or member of the board of some of the largest Saudi Arabian oil companies.

Against the background of a jump in world oil prices to $100 provoked by the events in Egypt, Mr. Al-Herbish's statement that there will be no more cheap oil may seem a bold claim. In recent years, the oil market has "turned somersaults" that have made many experts feel dizzy. However, the person I was talking to meant something quite different: the cost of oil production in the world is rising rapidly. Russian analysts naturally agree with this. But it is not only that the cost of production of a ton of oil has increased. OPEC's mission, Mr. Al-Herbish believes, is to ensure security of oil supply today and in the future. For this purpose, he said, we must spend billions of dollars on ensuring sustainable development of the world economy, taking into account not only its immediate needs, but also possible emergencies. As he put it, we must invest in "future oil."