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Central Asia’s Energy Rush

energy-rush

Image Credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

For The Diplomat, Michał Romanowski writes: Central Asia is rapidly emerging as the key playing field in the contest to access energy resources and the leverage they offer. The new Great Game is played out once again in the region, only this time it is not over political or territorial influence, but over the vast raw material deposits that are in the possession of the former Soviet Union republics, especially those situated by the Caspian Sea. The Caspian’s share of oil and gas global exports is set to rise to 9 and 11 percent, respectively, in the coming 20 years. Much is at stake.

The region’s major powers compete to control energy sources

Russia, although not a direct producer, was and still is – given the developed pipeline network – supervising much of an energy transit from Central Asia. The Central Asia-Center gas pipeline system, the first line of which was completed in 1960, makes for a good case study. It allows both Uzbek and Turkmen gas to be delivered to Russia, which then resells it at a profit to energy-hungry Europe or uses it for domestic purposes. Moscow exercises its influence over the region and as a consequence gains both politically and economically.

“China in fact controls around 20 percent of Kazakhstan’s oil production and is its key trade partner. Bilateral trade should reach $40 billion next year.”

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Central Asian states sought to loosen Russia’s firm grip. An independent complex pipeline system was a priority for transporting the resources outward. Given that the Caspian Sea is landlocked, gas and oil need to cross several borders before reaching an end customer. This requires a very substantial investment, yet energy diversification in Central Asia is moving steadily ahead. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] $28 Million Russian Satellite Explodes During Launch

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For The Daily CallerGiuseppe reports: A Russian rocket carrying the the country’s most-expensive, state-of-the-art communications satellite exploded minutes after takeoff and before reaching space on Friday.

Russian state media reports the Proton-M rocket took off Baikonur, Kazakhstan and, after ascending about 100 miles, veered off course and disintegrated in the atmosphere some nine minutes into flight when the Russian Federal Space Agency lost contact.

The failed rocket took an Express-AM4P European-built communications satellite valued around $28 million along with it.

RT covered the launch live.

WATCH:

“The exact cause is hard to establish immediately, we will be studying the telemetry. Preliminary information points to an emergency pressure drop in a steering engine of the third stage of the rocket,” Russian Federal Space Agency Chief Oleg Ostapenko said. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Russia TEST-Fires an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, it’s a TEST, really, a TEST

CNN is looking like Chicken Noodle News again. The morale at this news organization must be depressingly low, judging by the amateur quality of this segment alone. The reporter feels an abnormal, bizarre, overwrought compulsion to remind viewers multiple times that it’s a TEST, people, it’s all perfectly normal, it’s a test, it’s permitted under the START Treaty, it’s just a TEST, really only a TEST, actually just a TEST, it’s a TEST firing of a missile, people, only a TEST, and in case we didn’t mention it, it’s a TEST.

Question. Is she a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry? Or a Public Relations Firm associated with the Pentagon? Or  reporting on behalf of a Russina News Agency? Is she even reporting from the U.S.? Is she a even a reporter?

Is there something about this person, or CNN’s obligation to some unseen agency, that we should know? If she worked for a serious news organization, she’d have been fired for this report. But — it IS entertaining.

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Olympic Torch Takes a Detour Into Outer Space

 

Russia's Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft carrying an unlit Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

Russia’s Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft carrying an unlit Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

 reports:  The Olympic torch has been conveyed on snow-bikes, skidoos, camels and canoes, and just when it seemed that every mode of transport had been exhausted, Russia blasted the torch into space on a gaily painted Olympic-themed rocket, according to the Atlantic Wire.

Read the rest of this entry »


Secret Kazakhstan Agent Involved in Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Steal American Technology for Russian Military and Intelligence Agencies Not Secret Anymore

A Kazakhstan-born owner of a Texas export firm was charged in New York on Wednesday with being a secret Russian agent involved in a multimillion-dollar scheme to, in the words a U.S. prosecutor, “steal American technology” for Russian military and intelligence agencies.

Alexander Fishenko was among 11 defendants, including seven of his employees, named in an indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.

The FBI arrested the 46-year-old Fishenko and eight others Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and were to be arraigned in Houston; the names of their attorneys were not immediately available. Three defendants were still being sought.

The indictment alleges that since October 2008, Fishenko and his co-defendants “engaged in a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy” to obtain cutting-edge microelectronics from U.S. makers and export them to Russian while purposely evading licensing requirements.

The microelectronics are subject to strict government controls. Authorities say they could have a wide range of military uses, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers…

More via >>  Corpus Christi, TX | KRISTV.com


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