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  • Author: Vladimir Shkolnikov
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses Western democratization assistance programs to Caspian states over the last ten years and the lessons policy makers should learn from these programs. It makes the following points: The euphoria of the early 1990s over the end of the Cold War caused Western organizations to have unrealistic expectations for democratic development in the former Soviet Union. Western democracy assistance programs have often failed to take the perspective of “the ordinary person on the street” in recipient countries into consideration. Instead, these programs usually reflect external, Western-imposed priorities. Western democracy-promoting organizations have often failed to appreciate the extent to which traditional institutions in Caspian societies (such as kinship networks) managed to survive the Soviet period and still influence the societies of the region. Western democracy-promoting organizations have failed to take into consideration the security challenges that Caspian states have had to confront during their first decade of independence. The war against global terrorism gives the West an opportunity to reevaluate its policies towards the Caspian region. Rather than relying solely on experiences of North American and Western European democracies, Western democracy-promoting organizations need to draw upon the recent experiences of new democracies of Central Europe in creating new models for the Caspian region.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Soviet Union, North America
  • Author: Duncan DeVille, Danielle Lussier, Melissa Carr, David Rekhviashvili, Annaliis Abrego, John Grennan
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Russian support for U.S. efforts in the war on terrorism has surprised many Western observers. But this was not the only recent surprise from Moscow — Western advocates for the rule of law in Russia also had much to celebrate in the closing months of 2001. Under strong prodding by President Vladimir Putin, the Duma passed several impressive pieces of reform legislation, including an entirely new Criminal Procedure Code, a potentially revolutionary land reform law, new shareholder protections in amendments to the Joint Stock Company Law, and the first post-Soviet Labor Code.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Ilias Akhmadov
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Observers of the situation in Chechnya know that the "prospects for peace" that Akhmadov's title refers to are virtually nil, as Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chechen rebel leaders continue to lock horns on how to end the hostilities that broke out in war over two years ago. Akhmadov devoted considerable time in his discussion to the problems confronting Chechnya since the development of a Bush-Putin alliance to combat "Islamic fundamentalism." He also challenged Putin's insistence that the conflicts in Chechnya are domestic and therefore not subject to international monitoring or mediation. Akhmadov opened his talk with the assertion that the destruction he had discussed at the Davis Center in January 2000 had grown more serious, with levels of physical devastation and civilian casualties on the rise and the world community more supportive than ever of armed Russian intervention. To illustrate his point that the Russian Federation is unfairly using the international war on terror to justify actions in Chechnya, Akhmadov said that two days after FBI agents found diskettes containing flying instructions which had belonged to the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the US, Russian FSB agents reported finding similar diskettes belonging to Chechen terrorists in the woods near a pilot-training school. Akhmadov considered the presence of such a school in those woods unlikely. He added that a high casualty rate among Chechen civilians is now officially connected to the search for members of Al Qaeda. Akhmadov reminded the audience of a speech made by Putin on September 24, 2001, in which the Russian president expressed support for the United States' war on terror and urged Chechen rebels to disarm and abandon their separatist fight. Akhmadov's response to that speech was that disarmament could not be a condition for starting peace talks. As for the November meeting between Viktor Kazantsev, Putin's envoy to Chechnya, and Akhmed Zakayev, a prominent representative of Chechnya's rebels, Akhmadov said it "left no room for illusions about their relations, or about the Russian government's position on Chechnya." The talk ended when Zakayev refused to comply with Kazanstev's request that the rebels disarm. Akhmadov addressed allegations of ties between the rebels and Osama bin Laden in the question-and-answer session, restricting himself during his talk to criticism of what he considers unwarranted BBC and CNN reports about the "thousands of Chechens fighting in Afghanistan." While Akhmadov allowed for the possibility that a few Chechens could be fighting for the Taliban, he stressed the unlikelihood that Chechens played a critical role in Taliban efforts and reported that nobody yet had been able to provide any "concrete facts to verify that Chechens are fighting for the Taliban." Putin's affirmations that Chechnya belongs to Russia apparently strike Akhmadov as oxymoronic, as indicated by his remark that "the Russian Federation wants to integrate the territory of Chechnya but not the people." To convey the extent of destruction wrought by the Chechen-Russian conflicts, Akhmadov cited data culled by Russians showing that before the first war in 1994, there were 1 million Chechens; 100,000 people were killed between 1994-6; that casualty figure has been greatly exceeded during the fighting that started in 1999. In addition, 400,000 Chechens have emigrated or become displaced persons. Akhmadov pointedly remarked that "we don't count as refugees, because that only happens during a war . . . What is happening in Chechnya is, according to Russia, 'a small, minor anti-terrorist operation.'"Finally, Akhmadov stated that impartial monitoring groups were needed to observe the conflict. He also asserted that a one-on-one dialogue with Russians was not a realistic solution and that intermediaries were needed to promote discussion between Russian and Chechen leaders. Following his prepared talk, Akhmadov replied to questions from the audience about issues including Chechen rebel fighting in Abkhazia, hostage-taking, and Russian bombing of civilian and industrial areas. In response to a question about Maskhadov's ability to rebuild the war-torn region, Akhmadov said that "neither Maskhadov nor any other Chechen can do anything with Chechnya's meager resources." He also said that the international community should aid Chechnya in future attempts to rebuild the war-torn republic and that visiting Ground Zero in New York had given him the "feeling that I had seen that [kind of devastation] somewhere before, only on a larger scale." Finally, Akhmadov answered an audience member's question about Russian and Chechen military strategy by saying that it was hard forhim to believe that "someone is sitting at a map plotting points . . . We're [Russians and Chechens] just killing each other . . . Russians see us, they kill us, and vice versa. It's a snowball effect."
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Elchin Amirbayov
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Peace in Nagorno - Karabagh will demand painful compromises from both Armenia and Azerbaijan. A “winner's peace” — one that only reflects the military gains of one side — will not foster long - term resolution of the conflict. The Shusha region of Nagorno - Karabagh has special symbolic meaning for Azerbaijanis. A key element in obtaining Azerbaijani acceptance of a peace agreement is the return of the Shusha region to Azerbaijani control and the guaranteed right of internally displaced Azerbaijani persons to return to the Shusha region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Anna Politkovskaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Anna Politkovskaya, special correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, covers the war in Chechnya, having spent two years on the ground there. In October 2001, she relocated to Vienna due to death threats she had received. Politkovskaya is presently being provided working space by the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Eduard Shevardnadze
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: As soon as I first learned that I would come to speak at Harvard, I began to prepare my remarks. Therefore, I had practically completed them when the unspeakable events happened. That unprecedented surge of evil may one day come to be regarded as an historical watershed, an infamous hallmark.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Nurlan Kapparov
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: As a part of its Director's Lunch Series, the Belfer Center invited Nurlan Kapparov, former president of the National Oil Company of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazakhOil) and former Kazak vice-minister of energy and mineral resources, to give a talk entitled "Caspian Energy." Mr. Kapparov previously represented state interests in TengizChevrOil (a Kazakh-American joint venture) and the Offshore Kazakhstan International Oil Consortium (OKIOC). He was the chairman of the board of directors of National Atomic Company KazAtomProm, as well as the head of Kazakhstan's delegation on delimitation of the Caspian Sea with the Russian Federation. Instead of dealing with the Caspian energy situation as a whole, Mr. Kapparov's talk focused primarily on the oil resources of Kazakhstan. Prior to starting his presentation, Kapparov took the time to stress that Kazakhstan was the first ex-Soviet state to promise practical support for the United States' war on terrorism, offering the country's "strategically vital aerodromes and bases for a potential strike on Afghanistan." Kapparov echoed the words of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev and said that "Kazakhstan is ready to support an action against terrorism with all the means it has at its disposal." Beginning with basic background information on Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea, Kapparov provided projected extraction figures (both in barrels per day and billions of dollars per year) and potential transportation routes for Kazakh oil. Using the most recent data gathered for Kazakhstan's five major offshore fields (Kashagan, Aktote, Kairan, Kashagan SW, and Kalamkas A), Kapparov indicated that if these fields will be developed with primary depletion recoverable reserves would be approximately 24 billion barrels of oil. If Kazakhstan is able to successfully re-inject gas into the fields — a process that yields more oil — the country's potential recoverable reserves could climb as high as 42 billion barrels from the fields that are included in the OKIOC consortium alone. Kapparov noted that by the year 2020, this oil could bring up to $35 billion per year in income to OKIOC. The total potential oil income could increase Kazakhstan's budget to more than twenty times its current level. Kapparov also showed on the map that Kazakhstan has many other petroleum structures in its sector of the Caspian Sea. He emphasized that Kazakhstan has not yet started the licensing round on other blocks that might have the same reserves as OKIOC. Kapparov acknowledged that the shallow waters that predominate the Kazakh portion of the Caspian Sea place certain constraints on the oil extraction process. The first constraint involves environmental factors, as shallow-water extraction is more complicated than deep-water extraction. Kapparov stressed Kazakhstan's concern for the environment, describing the Caspian as "a unique ecosystem which is the habitat for hundreds of kinds of plants and animals." The second constraint has to do the weather — the Caspian freezes over for four months a year, preventing work during that time. Kapparov subsequently tried to place the importance of Caspian petroleum resources within the overall international context. He described Caspian oil as geopolitically significant, based on the assumption that more active oil production in the region would help to lessen the importance of Persian Gulf producers. This trend would enable countries such as the United States to diversify their sources of oil, providing security in an otherwise unstable field. Kapparov noted that the region's most persistent problem remains the legal status of the Caspian Sea itself. Since the countries surrounding the Caspian have not agreed on each country's jurisdiction over the seabed and its oil and gas reserves, there is still strong regional tension. Iran's recent actions against Azerbaijani-based BP ships working in the southern Caspian are only the most recent examples of this tension. Kapparov articulated the hope that the United States, which is already exerting a strong mediating influence in the region, would play a role in resolving this issue. Kapparov supports demarcation of the Caspian between Iran and former Soviet countries according to the old agreements that were signed between Iran and the USSR. Kapparov is also hoping that Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan will work together to solve this problem among themselves as soon as possible. Kapparov then talked about the challenges involved in bringing Caspian oil to market. He described the transportation of hydrocarbons as "difficult, geopolitically sensitive, and expensive," which has led to some degree of intrigue regarding the current and proposed routes for transporting oil from the Caspian Sea. From Kazakhstan's perspective, the current pipeline capacity is sufficient, since it is only exporting 2 million barrels of oil a day. However, the country will eventually be exporting up to 7 million barrels a day. Consequently, a strategy of pursuing multiple transportation solutions makes not only sound commercial and strategic sense (since reliance on a single production route or a small group of options leaves a producer such as Kazakhstan open to too many potential constraints). It is, in fact, necessitated by the sheer quantity of the country's remaining reserves. As Kapparov candidly noted, "In Kazakhstan we say 'happiness is multiple pipelines.'" In his conclusion, Kapparov reemphasized the importance of the Caspian region to the world's energy market. Acknowledging that Kazakhstan's fate does depend on the actions of the United States and the other G7 countries, he underscored the fact that Kazakhstan is committed to "developing and implementing domestic policies to continue both our economic growth and the social welfare of our population." During the subsequent question and answer session, Michael Lelyveld of RFE/RL asked why the government of Kazakhstan insisted upon maintaining a monopoly system over the routing of oil. Kapparov replied that this system reduced paperwork, facilitated the transport of oil, and actually increased the overall amount of oil being shipped. Professor Francis Bator of the Kennedy School asked what percentage of the Kazakh national budget is derived solely from oil. Kapparov estimated the current figure to be 40 percent of the budget, but also noted that by 2020 — when oil production should be at full capacity — this number could be as high as 80 to 90 percent if other industries are not developed more extensively. However, Kapparov underscored that Kazakhstan does not want to depend solely on the oil industry. In response to a question about Kazakhstan's plan for dealing with the excess funds derived from its vast petroleum resources, Kapparov said that the country had established a separate oil fund according to the "Norway model" — whereby excess money would be placed in this fund so as not to interfere with the national economy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kazim Azimov
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Melissa Carr: Many of you have met Kazim Azimov. He has been here since the end of April. He is in the United States on a program called the Junior Faculty Development Program, which brings faculty members from universities in countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to the United States to train, study, develop curriculum materials, and teach. We at Harvard are fortunate that part way through Kazim's year at the University of Hawaii, we were able to arrange for him to come join us here, in part because the University of Hawaii went on strike.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Danielle Lussier
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Sergei Pashin discussed Russia's judicial system, past and current debates on judicial reform, and his thoughts on the likelihood of the Putin government implementing a significant judicial reform. Dr. Pashin began by telling about the history and results of the 1991 - 1995 judicial reform in Russia. As the main achievements of this period Pashin identified ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights and acknowledgement of the jurisdiction of the European Court located in Strasbourg, adoption of a number of bills expanding and strengthening citizen s' civil and criminal procedure rights and of the law on jury trials, abolition of capital punishment for non - violent crimes, adoption of a law on judges' status in which real guarantees of independence of judges were declared, establishment of the first Constitutional Court in Russian history, establishment of a system of arbitration courts, etc.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Emil Pain
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Implications of Putin's policies remain vague. While analysts and politicians note alarming trends in politics, the economy and human rights, it is difficult to identify details and determine the feasibility of Putin's long-term strategy. Dr. Emil Pain, the Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Kennan Institute/Woodrow Wilson Center and a former advisor to President Yeltsin, was invited to present his views on policies of the Putin administration.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia