The wave of Arab uprisings (both non-violent and violent) that started in January 2011 is a remarkable phenomenon that has attracted enormous attention from international media outlets. In fact, the Arab world has not experienced such political and social upheaval in decades. It is no coincidence that many Western countries whose security interests have been closely related to these Arab states found themselves confused by the beginning of the uprisings. Most Western security experts at the beginning were silent. A year or even a couple of months ago almost none of them could have predicted that these Arab countries would go through such deep political and social upheavals that would have such deep ramifications on the security situation in these countries, the region, and far beyond it. Caught off-balance by the Arab uprisings, Western security experts rushed to explain what the causes of the uprisings were. Who are the actors and what are the forces behind the prisings? The important question still remains – what are the possible consequences of the uprisings for Western interests? Is all the change only about the change of a few ruling persons? Or are we witnessing deeper systematic (and revolutionary) changes in some Arab countries that will have a long-term impact on the West? So far, unambiguous answers to these questions are hard to find. However, some insights related to the questions above can already be made. The aim of this article is to analyze the Arab uprisings, their causes and possible effects on Western and Lithuanian security interests. Will Lithuanian national security be affected by the Arab uprisings? Are uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and other Arab countries important for Lithuanian national security? Can Lithuania ignore the events that are happening in regions far away from Lithuania’s borders?
This article uses cooperative security theory to examine and compare 1999 and 2010 NATO Strategic Concepts, thus assessing the main developments of NATO transformation during the last decade. Analysis shows that the new Strategic Concept is a more “evolutionary” than “revolutionary” document, as the main elements and functions of the Alliance remain unchanged. New strategy projects NATO as a multifunctional security structure, which combines collective security and collective defence dimensions on the one hand with active policy of promoting stability (operations and partnerships) on the other. The most important difference between 1999 and 2010 documents is the multifunctional character and high level of ambitions in the new strategic plan in such areas as civilian capabilities, missile defence, cyber security, NATO-EU relations, etc. The new Strategic Concept modernized NATO and demonstrated solidarity about the main tasks of the Alliance. Nevertheless, actual implementation of this ambitious agenda depends on the ability to address deeply rooted internal problems (such as increasing gap between the US and Europe), which will require a favourable international environment, considerable resources and strong political will by the Allies.
The goal of this article is to discuss and evaluate the importance of Lithuania’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2011, the achieving of political objectives and the results of the Chairmanship for Lithuanian national interests, foreign and security policy. The article raises questions about what motivates national states to seek a chairmanship of the OSCE, how agendas of the Chairmanship are formulated, and what obligations have to be assumed in chairing the OSCE. The article argues that Lithuania’s motivation for the OSCE Chairmanship has evolved from early efforts to enhance national interests (based on political objectives) to the obligation to be efficient in fulfilling the formal functions of the OSCE ( the functional/technocratic goals). The research found that despite the high activity and diplomatic efforts, the final result of Lithuania’s Chairmanship was disappointing to some extent - only part of Lithuania’s proposals with a priority mark were eventually adopted by the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius.
One of the most important rearrangements provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon is the reorganization of the presidency held by Member States in the area of Common Security and Defense Policy (CFSP), achieved by handing over a major part of presidency-related functions to the newly established institutions: the European Union (EU) High Representative (EUHR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS). The redistribution of these functions has caused a fundamental change in the roles of Member States’ presidency within CFSP and CSDP. With Lithuania’s preparation for the EU Council presidency in 2013, the question arises as to what functions it is going to retain in these areas as a presiding state. The article aims to define the institutional environment of the presidency in CSDP as a constituent part of CFSP, as well as to define the main roles of the presidency after the Treaty of Lisbon came into force and also to foresee possible factors for a successful presidency. The article is based on research carried out in the spring of 2011 under the commission of the Prime Minister’s service. During this research, interviews with two representatives of EU institutions and with experts from Lithuania, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, and Ireland, working in the area of CSDP, were conducted.
The article aims to evaluate the prospects of construction of a nuclear power plant in Lithuania and the possible benefits, as well as to analyse the decisive factors of development of nuclear energy in Europe and worldwide. Attention is paid to the increasingly stringent regulation of the development of nuclear energy, which may play a role in the growing competition among the nuclear power plants built in Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. The article ends with the conclusion that despite the high costs of construction of nuclear power plants, pending problems of disposal of spent nuclear fuel, rapid development of renewable resources and other factors, nuclear energy will retain its role in the energy balances of the countries in the region. The article also gives a positive assessment of the possibilities of construction of a nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
Over the past twenty years, the biggest challenge to the national security of the independent states from the Baltic to the Black Sea region has been in the energy sector. The problem has mostly been the failure to secure stable energy resource provisions. This is mostly due to systemic and historical as well as internal political factors. This paper examines the problems related to the energy security of the following three ex-Soviet bloc countries: Lithuanian, Belarus and Ukraine. The main energy problem areas discussed here are oil and natural gas resources. Because the three countries have pursued very different internal and foreign security policies, their energy needs are equally divergent. Therefore, the paper presents case study for each state. Each case study, firstly, identifies a number of possible threats to energy security, secondly, examines the influences that these threats may exact on national as well as foreign policies and, thirdly, discusses how different national and foreign policies influence the resolution of energy security problems.
Azerbaijan, the strongest state of the South Caucasus, at the same time is one of the most vulnerable countries in the region. On the one hand, the country has faced the problem of territorial integrity for more than two decades already because of frozen conflict with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. On the other hand, Azerbaijan’s importance in European energy policy is constantly growing. If Azerbaijan would start a war with Armenia in order to restore its control over Nagorno Karabakh, the ambitious energy policy aiming to turn Azerbaijan into important oil and gas transportation link between East and West that has been developed for a decade, would end without a success. Thus at the same time the problem that Azerbaijan does not control part of its territory is a major obstacle for sustainable development of the country and for Azerbaijan’s international cooperation. In this context, Azerbaijan faces a dilemma – to take up measures of hard security for restoring its territorial integrity, what has been frequently stated by high politicians, or to rely on the measures of soft security, focusing on the development of EU-orientated energy policy that has a positive impact on Azerbaijan‘s internationals prestige. Moreover, maybe a „third way“, enabling Azerbaijan to reach both abovementioned goals at the same time, exists? In this research paper, using the conceptions of relational and structural powers, the factors of Azerbaijan‘s security balance are analysed and suggestions on the stabilisation of the country‘s security situation are provided.
The main purpose of the article is to show specifics of political communication in a non-democratic regime (Belarus). First, we elaborate the typology of the third sector organizations according to their loyalty to the State and autonomy of their action. Then we describe the third sector organizations engaged in social policies in Belarus. We employ the qualitative discourse analysis framework and focus on public speeches and public acts, related to social concerns and performed by Lukashenka and alternative candidates in September-December 2010. The study shows that the State in Belarus effectively reduces discursive and policy action opportunities of the third sector organizations and marginalizes their political representation. The electoral campaign crucially lacked any stronger alternative social policy proposals. The State (the third sector organizations, subordinated to the State, the state-run media, the governmental officials, and the state institutions such as KGB, military forces) performed pivotal mobilization and public relations roles on behalf of the incumbent President, thus inaugurating a new wave of terror, which followed Lukashenka’s victory on December 19, 2010.
The main aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a potential visa waiver between the EU and the Russian Federation for the Lithuanian systems of internal, foreign affairs, customs and border control. The analysis will focus upon effects of the aforementioned visa free regime for the scope of legal and illegal migration, crime rates, the system of state border control, the organisation of police activities, the system of control of illegal migration, a financial burden for the system of asylum and general and future costs. Empirical data consists of interviews obtained at ministries of foreign affairs and the interior and the related institutions such as the Police Department, the Migration Department and the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior, the Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance, from other officials and statistical data, official statements, and earlier studies. The study consists of five main parts: the political context for the potential visa waiver, its impact for the above-mentioned state institutions, the calculation of potential financial costs, and conclusions and recommendations. The two latter parts are to large extent future-oriented and these methodologically challenge an exact assessment of total costs of possible visa waiver. Besides, the analysis deliberately does not delve into possible benefits of EU-Russia visa freedom. The analysis unveils the negative impact of the possible visa free regime: a visa waiver would abolish the special Kaliningrad transition programme and its financing, increase general crime rates, activity of organised crime groups and potential for terrorism and human trafficking. Financial costs consisting of reduced EU financing, lost income and increased needs to strengthen public institutions would call for 16-17 million Litas in annual expenditures without additional costs and future projects worth, most likely, 40-85 million Litas.
This article analyzes aspects of the activity of political parties as well as the lack of internal security harmony in Lithuania. The activity of Lithuanian parties is researched pursuant to the standpoint that the desire of the parties for power is greater than their readiness to organize effective political governing. With the fight for power having become an aim in itself, the parties do not pay the required attention to the prediction of the results of their political governing, promise extensive and rapid changes and begin unprepared reforms. Inadequate ambitions of political power are typical of irresponsible parties. Society fails to understand the responsibility standards of the parties, whereas broken promises of the parties are associated with lies. The article emphasizes that internal security is impossible without effective political governing. Unexpected results of the policy(s) conducted by the parties in power threaten internal security and their consequences build up social tensions. Simultaneously, the discontent of society with the present democracy grows. The de-legitimation of the political regime, dominated by the parties and party elites, does not grant internal credibility to the democratization of Lithuania. Lithuania remains a weak and internally insecure democracy.