sexta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2008

RI na Rússia

19/09/2008 Moscow News №37 2008
Valdai Club: a diplomatic marathon
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We are currently witnessing the opening moves in a large-scale political game aimed at building a new system of relations between Russia, the U.S. and EU. This is the conclusion to be drawn from the recent meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club in Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Moscow.
This year's meetings of Valdai members, an annual conference bringing together experts in international relations from Russia and around the world, in fact marked the starting point of the new game. This was purely by chance, as Georgia's attack on Tskhinvali, South Ossetia took place exactly one month before the planned annual meeting of the club.
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But even if it were not for this coincidence, the big game would have still begun where it did - at a major meeting of experts. What I mean by ‘experts' here is not people employed by various research centers; I mean people who advise their governments. Expert consultations are followed by confidential negotiations, which are in turn followed by open talks - this is an established procedure.
The Valdai Club is known to the international community mainly thanks to its traditional last day meetings with Vladimir Putin, who first commenced the event five years ago. This year, members had an opportunity to wine and dine with Dmitry Medvedev, and other Russian leaders. Although these meetings are held behind closed doors, much of what is said becomes public knowledge in a few days because international journalists are among the experts invited.
But the most important part of the club's work is the Valdai Conference, which usually takes place over two days. At this year's conference in Rostov-on-Don, a lot of interesting things came up pertaining to the current international crisis.
It is worth mentioning here that the club's meetings feature little propaganda and few impassioned statements. They rarely engage in heated argument; what they do is rather share their assessments, and sometimes send signals that are part of some pre-diplomatic work. Much diplomacy now will focus on the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia.
People on all sides were hurt by this 5-day war, including Georgia, the US, the EU and Russia. This fact only aggravates the situation.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Robert Blackwill, who is now deputy national security adviser, said it looked like Western and Russian leaders woke up every morning with new ideas of how to spoil their relations still further. He said it is necessary to calm down. Back in the Soviet times there were at least no personal insults between leaders, but now the EU, U.S. and Russia communicate only through press conferences.
Georgia is not the essential reason for this conflict. In fact, it was the sudden manifestation of problems that had been accumulating since 1991. There was a feeling at some points in the conference that it was really focused on Europe's annoyance with America over Georgia, Russia and much more.
Here are some opinions voiced at the conference.
- There are actually two crises, a healthy one, and an unhealthy one. The bad one is unfolding between Russia and Europe as a whole, the good one, between Europe and the United States. The war in Georgia was the manifestation of a conflict between Europe and the United States over NATO expansion, which America has tried to impose on Europe. Europe needs new relations with the U.S. above all, and indirectly, with Russia. (Jonathan Steele, The Guardian, Great Britain)
- We are now paying for 15 years of ignoring Russia. We don't have the nerve to oppose the U.S. within NATO, or over Kosovo. (Thierry de Montbrial, head of the French Institute of International Relations)
- The way the European mass media covered the conflict in Georgia was not the first case of encouraging confrontation. The Americans destroyed the free press at the beginning of the war in Iraq. The media participated in selling the lies to the American public with catastrophic results. (Professor Anatole Lieven, King's College, London)
- The entire scheme of partnership with Russia is ineffective. Yet, we need one. What should it be like? (James Sherr, director of the Russia and Eurasia Program of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London)
- The U.S. and European strategy in the Middle East and Central Asia includes three fights - one around Afghanistan and Pakistan, one in the Caucasus and one in Central Asia. In two cases out of three the U.S. could be partners with Russia. All the three strategies are incompatible. It was wrong to quarrel with two of the region's countries, Russia and Iran, which used to fight the Taliban. (Anatole Lieven, King's College)
They have not produced too many answers to the vital questions of what to do and how to do it. One was that the time for mutual threats has passed, and that it is now time for mutual concessions and serious consultations.
More excerpts from presentations at the conference confirm this idea:
- Twenty-seven countries have supported one aggressor killing 2,000 civilians. Moscow did not take offence, but it drew some conclusions: Our attempt at integration with the West is over now. We are a separate part of the world, and the West is more of a problem than a help to us. Ukraine is becoming a priority. Its accession to NATO is a direct threat to Russia. We will do anything to prevent it. (Vyacheslav Nikonov, executive director of the Russian World foundation.)
- The US admitted that Georgia was wrong to attack South Ossetia; it isn't the moment for the US to quarrel with Russia. We have already paid for the conflict, as Russia slapped a ban on importing poultry from the U.S. in retaliation for the uranium agreement revoked in Congress. But if Russia begins ousting the US from Central Asia, tensions will grow. There is also the issue of weapons supplies to Syria and Iran.
So, we are back to the key problems in Russia's relations with the West, which preferred to ignore Russia for a long time. Did we really need a war to push matters forward?
In any case, the preparations for building new relations will go on, quietly and slowly, but surely. The US is busy with its run-up to the next presidential elections, where candidates need to look strong. Time will tell what will happen next. But in any case, the Valdai Club conference is leading the current diplomatic marathon.
By Dmitry Kosyrev

Política sem batôn

Como é vista a crise económica nos EUA.

quinta-feira, 18 de setembro de 2008

Diplomacia Transformacional

Um dia vamos ouvir falar. Em questões internacionais de peso os EUA são incontornáveis. Nada de importante se faz contra eles e nada importante se faz sem eles. Agora vem aí a Diplomacia Transformacional norte-americana. Os pontos são os que se seguem:

Expand and Modernize the Workforce
Integrate Foreign Affairs Strategy and Resources
Strengthen Our Ability to Shape the World
Harness 21st Century Technology
Engage the Private Sector
Streamline the Department of State’s Organizational Structure

segunda-feira, 15 de setembro de 2008

Angola à esquerda

Angola: Legislativas foram "realizadas sob numerosas irregularidades" - Human Rights Watch

15 de Setembro de 2008, 10:21

Lisboa, 15 Set (Lusa) - As recentes eleições legislativas em Angola, ganhas, segundo a Comissão Nacional Eleitoral (CNE), pelo MPLA foram "realizadas sob numerosas irregularidades", acusa hoje a Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Resultados definitivos de nove das 18 províncias angolanas divulgados domingo pela CNE confirmaram o domínio da votação no MPLA, com mais de 80 por cento dos votos, nas eleições legislativas de 05 e 06 de Setembro.
A HRW refere, em nota hoje divulgada, ter identificado irregularidades que incluem a obstrução, por parte da CNE, do credenciamento dos observadores nacionais, a falta de resposta da comissão à parcialidade dos órgãos de informação, e a demora do governo em conceder os financiamentos devidos aos partidos.
A organização não governamental (ONG) afirma ter provas, sobre estas três irregularidades, que "sugerem que o pleito eleitoral não respeitou, em áreas fundamentais, os Princípios e Directrizes Reguladores de Eleições Democráticas da Comunidade de Desenvolvimento da África Austral (SADC)".
De acordo com a directora para África da HRW, Georgette Gagnon, Angola precisa de reformar a Comissão Nacional Eleitoral, "de modo a que esta não seja dominada pelo partido no poder e esteja efectivamente em condições de responder aos problemas eleitorais" que possam surgir nas eleições presidenciais, previstas para 2009.
"Caso a CNE não seja reformada, poderá acentuar-se o risco de os angolanos e os parceiros internacionais perderem a confiança no incipiente processo democrático que o país experimenta", adianta a responsável.
A HRW confirma que tanto a ONG como os observadores eleitorais internacionais constataram que o dia da votação e o respectivo período de campanha "decorreram, de um modo geral, em ambiente pacífico".
"Todavia, em Cabinda, província rica em petróleo onde um movimento separatista continua activo, os observadores internacionais informaram a HRW que a situação de segurança frágil os impediu de alargar a sua missão a toda a província", refere a nota.
"Também se registaram alguns incidentes nos antigos bastiões do principal partido da oposição, a UNITA, nas zonas rurais de Huambo e Benguela", segundo o texto da HRW, referindo que "a provisão de segurança adequada para os partidos é apenas um dos critérios para a realização de eleições livres, justas e transparentes".
A HRW refere ainda que "as assembleias de voto em Luanda registaram graves problemas com a distribuição tardia de boletins de voto, o que obrigou a CNE a estender a votação para o dia seguinte".
Os observadores da UE constataram que, ao contrário às indicações da CNE, apenas 22 de 320 assembleias de voto funcionaram no dia seguinte, o que "causou maior confusão e impediu um grande número [ainda não determinado] de eleitores de exercer o seu direito de voto".
A HRW conclui que "o governo deve estabelecer um inquérito independente para investigar porque faltaram boletins de voto, quantas pessoas foram impedidas de votar e por que motivo os registos eleitorais não se encontravam disponíveis no dia da votação", afirmou Gagnon.
Deve também "o governo angolano investigar todos os incidentes violentos relacionados com a campanha eleitoral e encaminhar os seus responsáveis à justiça", disse a responsável da HRW.
"Assegurar que não há impunidade para tais ataques é essencial para a realização de eleições presidenciais mais justas, no próximo ano", segundo a organização.

domingo, 14 de setembro de 2008

Papa em França e para o Mundo

As declarações do Papa sobre Poder, Dinheiro, Razão, Fé, Amor, Europa, Laicidade, Religião. Por quem é e pelo que representa, não devemos deixar de ter atenção. A imprensa francesa online tem o essencial.