A new start or more of the same? (by Andreas Theophanous) Demetris Christofias’ victory in the presidential elections of February 2008 raised expectations about the prospect of fruitful developments in relation to the Cyprus problem. Indeed D. Christofias adopted different approaches to those of ex-president T. Papadopoulos both strategically and tactically. President Christofias called for “a Cypriot solution”. One of his main … MORE

The crisis in the Caucasus – A new world order emerges (by Dimitrios Triantaphyllou). The ongoing crisis in the Caucasus is a tell tale sign of a changing world whereby the unipolar world is slowly but surely being replaced by a post-American one, to use the words of Fareed Zhakaria, the editor of Newsweek International. In this new world order, the challenge is to find a way to share power, to create a model of global … MORE


Trial with the conflict – The most serious test in Russia’s relations with the west (by Nadia Alexandrova-Arbatova). The firm response of Russia to the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia has become the first serious trial in Moscow’s relations with the West after the March presidential election. At the same time the conflict in South Ossetia has represented the first major test for President Dmitry Medvedev. Leaving aside the … MORE


New realities, lessons and future challenges in the Caucasus (by Aristos Aristotelous). Whilst world attention was focused on the Olympic Games the Georgian crisis brought international affairs and US – Russia antagonism in the Caucasus into a new era of tense relations and power struggles. The obvious outcome of this crisis is a new reality regarding the balance of power in this part of the world. But there are lessons to … MORE


Slogans and national interest (by Michalis Firillas). As the Greek and Turkish Cypriots are set to embark on direct negotiations it would be advisable to think carefully about one of the most important lessons of the crisis in the Caucasus: if you are a small state be very realistic about your real national interest. This requires three things: brutal honesty; constant reevaluation of the options; and avoiding the sclerosis of slogans … MORE


The signifinance of the prisoner swap between Hizbollah and Israel (by Hala Haddad). Two years after the kidnap of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah forces and the war that followed as a result, both sides appeared in July 2008 to reach an agreement on the exchange of prisoners captured and killed during and prior to the July 2006 war. Such prisoner exchanges are not rarities, yet the July 2008 swap seems particularly significant … MORE


Oil prices and economic policy (by Leonor Coutinho). Oil prices have risen rapidly in recent years. In 2008 oil prices are expected to average at around $120 compared with $72 in 2007. In 2008 prices rose close to $150 a barrel in June-July 2008 before declining to around $120 a barrel in August. On the 19th of August 2008, oil prices were $113.7. The increase in the price of oil is rooted both in supply problems … MORE


Inflation pressures and policy challenges (by Yiannis Tirkides). Amidst an overall slowdown in global growth, inflation is rising, posing, as it is, a challenge to economic policy making. Higher food and fuel prices remain the driving forces behind rising inflation. Despite a drop from their summer peak of near $150 per barrel, oil prices remain high in real terms, which is due to inelastic demand but also, supply concerns. Food prices on … MORE