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The European Union (EU) continues attempts to expand its influence on post Soviet territories, including South Caucasus. On September 29-30, Warsaw will host “Eastern partnership” summit, which agenda includes alongside with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova also Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan..

A week-long referendum over what is becoming the biggest divorce between African nations in a decade ended in Sudan on January 1. The country's conflict along ethnic and religious lines unfolded for ages. Sudan is split into two distinct parts by the so-far virtual border between the Arab-dominated North and the tribal South where much of the African population was – perhaps without genuine immersion into the new faith – led to convert to Christianity by Western missionaries.

In an interview with a Russian news agency, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, once again touched upon the so-called Iran’s nuclear problem (actually, instead of the word ‘problem’ Tehran has been using ‘Iran’s nuclear issue’). Mr. Gates repeatedly announced that Washington does not rule out any scenarios, including a military attack on Iran. The Pentagon chief stressed that the U.S. welcomes Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program but suggested that Iran had been seeking ways to produce nukes.

Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008 was an important political step towards a brand new status of the Russian Federation in post-Soviet societies. Over the past two years this step has been thoroughly analyzed by various think tanks dealing with the future of the Caucasus. So, what do we have in South Ossetia?

Months before the official visit of President Dmitry Medvedev to Armenia scheduled for August 19-21, experts in both countries focused on bilateral relations between Moscow and Yerevan, a thing which proves the following: like the whole post-Soviet territory, the Caucasus remains a place where Russia, the West (U.S. and the EU), Turkey, Iran and some other countries are playing a complicated geopolitical game. All moves in this game (like information leaks, either confirmed or denied reports about arms supplies, as well as different hints, very often quite provocative ones) may have hidden and explicit motives.

The International Association of Ossetian Communities held rallies in several European cities on the eve of the anniversary of Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. In Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, and Ankara, protesters demanded the recognition of South Ossetia's independence, official condemnations of the Georgian policy, and the release of Ossetian prisoners. Representatives of the Ossetian communities in Europe, the administration of South Ossetia, and several European public organizations must be credited with serious efforts to convince Europe not to view the situation exclusively through the prism of Georgia's arguments.

The abnormally hot weather in the central regions of Russia has already caused serious economic damage. It has destroyed crops on roughly 20% of the country's agricultural land lots, the result being that the food prices are clearly set to climb next fall. On top of that, fires are raging over peat lands around Moscow. These days, the majority of forecasts concerning the climate are alarming: droughts, hurricanes, and floods are going to be increasingly frequent and severe. Director of the climate and energy program of the Wildlife Fund A. Kokorin says that the current trend is not a random phenomenon and should not be expected to subside.

The provocation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani Line of Contact in Karabakh, in the proximity of the village of Chaylu, on the night of June 19 had repercussions worldwide. The attempt of an Azerbaijani reconnaissance group to cross the line left 4 Armenian conscripts dead and 4 – injured. Reportedly, some of the attackers were also killed.
Azerbaijani President I. Aliyev left for Baku unexpectedly after the June 17 talks with his Russian and Armenian counterparts in St. Petersburg, and the very next day the northern part of Karabakh`s Martakert region came under the Azerbaijani attack followed by 24 hours of continuous fire.

The Russian Foreign Ministry`s website released an official statement following the UN decision to toughen sanctions against Iran. Moscow sees "a package of additional measures to press Iran" adopted by Washington and Brussels as "violation of principles of cooperation between the six nations involved in the talks on Iran`s nuclear program and within the UN Security Council". Russia strongly opposes any attempt to hold dominant power in the Security Council.