NATO Continues To Control the Internet In Central Asia

[It is NOT Kazakhstan which is spearheading the future of Internet in Central Asia, it is NATO, and after that, it is the European Union.  The NRENs (national research networks) are a product of CAREN ( Central Asian Research and Educational Network ), which took over the original “Virtual Silk Road” project, NATO’s brainchild.  The whole deal runs on NATO-supplied equipment, under direct control of NATO’ project managers in Germany.]

“As the project comes to an end in June 2010, board members and other participants will discuss the transfer of connectivity in Central Asia on 1 July 2010 to the Central Asian Research and Educational Network (CAREN) project, supported by the European Commission (EC).”NATO SILK board looks at future of computer networks in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan

Kazakhstan spearheading future Internet in Central Asia

RealWire

KazRENA deploys first IPv6 network and regional centre of excellence in Central Asia

Celebrating World IPv6 Launch Day at the beginning of this month, Kazakhstan becomes the first Central Asian country to join the global deployment of the future Internet addressing system, known as IPv6. The growth of the web will now be able to continue unabated, with the new Internet Protocol allowing more users and devices to communicate on the Internet by providing a vastly bigger pool of IP addresses which were about to run out under the predecessor protocol IPv4.

Always at the forefront of innovation, many national research and education networks (NRENs) across the world have acted as early test-beds for the new technology. In Kazakhstan, KazRENA is the first IPv6 compliant NREN in Central Asia, offering global IPv6 connectivity, as well as more reliable web access and ultimately better network performance to thousands of researchers, academics and students.

As an early adopter, KazRENA is acting as a catalyst for IPv6 deployment in other Central Asian countries, served by CAREN, the region’s high-performance broadband Internet for research and education. CAREN facilitates communication, information exchange and collaboration between universities and research centres within Central Asia and provides access to the European and global research community through interconnection to GÉANT, its European counterpart. Operational since July 2010, CAREN currently interconnects scientists and students in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, with Uzbekistan also a candidate country. CAREN is funded by the European Commission and managed by research networking organisation DANTE, in conjunction with NRENs of the countries involved.

KazRENA joined CAREN at the beginning of January 2012 with a 155Mbps connection from Almaty to Frankfurt, Germany, thus bringing the idea of upgrading the Silk Road from an ancient trade route to high-speed data highway closer to reality. “We are very proud to be part of the CAREN community,” said Boris Japarov, Head of KazRENA. “As it is fibre-based, CAREN delivers improved connectivity through a more stable, cost-effective network infrastructure. By recreating the links of the old Silk Road between East and West researchers in Kazakhstan and across the whole region are able to benefit from increased collaboration and can bring their skills and expertise to the global research community.”
Existing and future projects that benefit from CAREN span areas such as environmental monitoring, radio astronomy, telemedicine, e-learning, the digitalisation of cultural heritage, palaeontology and solar cell technology deployment in line with sustainable development policies in Central Asia.

To raise awareness and prepare the local Internet community for the transition to IPv6, in July last year KazRENA held a training workshop at its premises in Almaty which saw the opening of a CISCO-sponsored IPv6 lab; it is set to become a centre of excellence and a catalyst of IPv6 expertise throughout the region offering attendees from universities and other institutions an ideal platform to discuss best practises in the adoption of the new technology.

Far from being solely an academic training site, the lab assists also engineers from telecoms operators, such as Kazakhtelecom, in getting hands-on experience with IPv6 implementation, configuration and usage, which is testament to KazRENA’s commitment to contributing to Internet development in Kazakhstan and throughout Central Asia. “The IPv6 training conducted by KazRENA’s instructor Talgat Nurlybayev provided the required theoretical background and practical skills for future IPv6 deployment at Kazakhtelecom,” said Mariana Alymbaeyva from Kazakhtelecom’s regional direction office in Aktobe. “We highly value KazRENA’s expertise.”

David West, DANTE’s Project Manager for CAREN commented: “It is great to see how the CAREN project is helping develop research and education within Central Asia and with Europe. KazRENA’s playing an important part in the regional project, as its IPv6 leadership illustrates.”

About CAREN
The CAREN project aims to establish a high-capacity regional research and education network in Central Asia. Covering one million students and researchers in the region it underpins regional and international collaboration through links to the pan-European GÉANT network. Funded by the EU and Central Asian National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) the project began on 1 January 2009 with the network going live in July 2010. CAREN currently interconnects scientists and students in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, with Uzbekistan also a candidate country. It is run by international research networking organisation DANTE, in collaboration with the EU and local NRENs. For more information, visit http://caren.dante.net/

About DANTE
DANTE is a non-profit organisation, coordinator of large-scale projects co-funded by the European Commission, and working in partnership with European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to plan, build and operate advanced networks for research and education. Established in 1993, DANTE has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking. DANTE has built and operates GÉANT, which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe. DANTE is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in the other regions to one another and to GÉANT. DANTE currently manages projects focussed on the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific, sub Saharan Africa and central Asia regions through the EUMEDCONNECT, TEIN, AfricaConnect and CAREN projects respectively. For more information, visit http://www.dante.net/

About KazRENA
Kazakhstan’s NREN, KazRENA, joined CAREN at the beginning of January 2012. Pioneering IPv6 in Kazakhstan, KazRENA has set up an IPv6 training lab set to become a centre of excellence across the region, serving not only the academic, but also the wider Internet community, including government agencies and commercial providers. In May/June 2012 KazRENA conducted a very successful IPv6 training session for technical staff at Kazakhtelecom – the largest ISP in central Asia. For more information, visithttp://www.kazrena.kz/

About IPv6
An Internet Protocol or IP address is a number that identifies each sender or receiver of information sent over the internet. The computer industry has been using IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) for these addresses since that protocol was developed. That technology is now reaching its technical limits for supporting unique Internet addresses, due in part to a large amount of growth with mobile devices including: mobile phones, notebook computers and wireless handheld devices. With IPv4 addresses running out this year, the entire Internet industry must adopt a new protocol called, IPv6. With this new protocol, there will be increased address space, which will allow many more devices and users on the Internet. In addition to larger address space, IPv6 offers integrated security, more efficient routing, new configuration options and standardised QoS support. For more information, visit http://www.worldipv6launch.org/

Contact:
Helga Spitaler
DANTE
+44 (0)1223 371 342
helga.spitaler@dante.net

Anarchy and terror in Syria

Anarchy and terror in Syria

BHASKAR BALAKRISHNAN

Given the complexities, Syria's struggle is likely to be prolonged and bloody.

Given the complexities, Syria’s struggle is likely to be prolonged and bloody.

The conflict over regime change in Syria is threatening to balkanise the country.

June 26, 2012:

The year-long battle between the Assad regime and the fragmented opposition seems headed for a new phase of international involvement. On one side, Russia, China and Iran oppose regime change. On the other, the US, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are for the change.

This confrontation is now sharpening, with more aggressive roles on both sides, threatening to balkanise Syria and turn it into a theatre of bloody conflict. An added element is the increasing role of al Qaeda elements seeking to inflict defeat on both the US and Russia, and gain a foothold in this war-torn country.

IMPACT ON NEIGHBOURS

The Syrian quagmire has an impact on neighbours such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.

Turkey supports the pro-Islamic opposition, Syrian National Committee, has set up large refugee camps, but is cautious about the destabilisation of its eastern region with its Kurdish population.

Lebanon is polarised between Sunnis, Shias, Christians and Palestinians groups, with a delicate balance of power, each with its own priorities. It has a porous mountainous border conducive to easy smuggling of weapons and people.

Iraq has its own version of the Shia-Sunni divide, as well as its assertive Kurdish population in the North, and managing its relations with Iran, while still under the influence of the US.

Israel’s main concern is the security situation on the Golan Heights. Under the two Assad regimes, a modus vivendi was in place, with relative peace on the Israeli-Syrian front, though Syria supported anti-Israeli armed operations in Lebanon.

Change or weakening of the Assad regime has both pluses and minuses for Israel, preoccupied with Iran’s nuclearisation and aggressive support of Hamas and Hezbollah. Jordan controls an important transport route for Syria to the South and is the main front for Saudi and Qatari support to the Syrian opposition.

THE COMPLEXITIES

Syria, through its long history, has been a crossroad of various civilisations. The country lies at the intersection of the silk and spice routes, making Damascus and Aleppo important and ancient trading centres. It has been the scene of conquests and regimes of pre-Islamic, Islamic, Crusader, and Ottoman periods, all of which have left their mark on the country.

A secret French-British plan divided the post-Ottoman areas, carving out Lebanon and the district of Antioch from present day Syria. The population has considerable diversity, including Christians, and fringe Shia Islamic sects such as Alawites and Druze. In the 11th century, an Ismaili sect called the Assassins came into being to carry out missions of organised and planned killing of political figures as part of state policy.

Given the complexities of Syria, the struggle for the country is likely to be prolonged and bloody. The opposition is still divided and has no unifying leader. The regime has strong military forces but its support is narrow-based, deriving from the Alawite minority (12 per cent), while increasingly dependent on Russia and China.

The use of military forces and heavy weapons against the opposition has led to large number of civilian casualties, refugees, and human rights abuses. A pro-regime Alawite-dominated armed militia, the Shabbiha, has been killing civilians opposed to the regime. The situation is far more difficult than Libya, where external military intervention could be decisive.

ARMS SUPPORT

In the situation of stalemate, the regime and the opposition have been seeking more weapons and military support from outside. Arms are being supplied from Russia, ostensibly being delivered as part of earlier contracts.

Russia has beefed up its presence around the coast, especially the deep water port of Tartous, and has supplied air Defence equipment to forestall any attempts by the West to set up no-fly zones. The opposition has been receiving heavier weapons from its external supporters.

The increasing violence has led the UN to suspend its observer mission, and the Annan plan has not worked. So far no foreign direct military intervention has taken place, due to apprehensions of getting bogged down in a long and intractable conflict.

The UN Security Council has been paralysed by divisions among the P-5, with the threat of Russian and Chinese veto blocking Western moves to put Syria under mandatory sanctions and change its regime. This further underlines the need for reforms in the UNSC, especially the abolition of the veto.

Beset by economic woes and the war in Afghanistan, the West is hesitant to embark on a military operation under NATO, as it did in Bosnia, though there are increasing calls for such an initiative.

The recent US move to involve Russia in a monitoring and stabilisation plan for Syria has failed. The almost daily reports of deaths of civilians, and the threats to the stability of Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan might impel the West to boost supplies of arms to the opposition.

A no-fly zone near the Turkish border and sanctuary for the opposition armed elements seems a possible prospect. The movement of Russian warships, arms, and personnel into Syria may result in a stronger response from the West.

A Turkish F-4 jet was shot down off the Syrian coast, and both countries are trying to contain the tensions from this incident.

The reported bomb blasts in Syria in recent weeks has been attributed to al Qaeda elements, including those crossing over from Iraq. The conflict situation will result in hard-line militant groups gaining strength over more peaceful ones.

It presents al Qaeda with a good opportunity to pursue its war against the West and Russia. The Syrian quagmire may well turn into a fiery crucible of terror if the international community goes down the road of confrontation rather than cooperation.

(The author is a former Ambassador of India. He has served in Syria.)

Gazprom Looking To Suckle On Israeli Gas Teat

Russia’s Gazprom keen to participate in developing Israel’s gas sector

Jerusalem

Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to launch an Israeli subsidiary that will help develop Israel’s vast offshore gas reserves, Israeli sources said following the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
Gazprom’s Israeli subsidiary will focus on drilling as well as gas transmission from the country’s offshore fields, the sources said. Gazprom has already expressed an interest in exporting LNG from Israel.

All future international tenders issued by Israel in the gas sector would be open to Gazprom and other Russian companies, the sources said.

In March the Tamar consortium, comprising Noble Energy, Delek Drilling, Avner Oil and Gas, Isramco and Alon Gas Exploration, held talks with Gazprom Marketing & Trading for the sale of 2 million-3 million mt/year of LNG from the Tamar offshore field. The field is expected to begin commercial production in April 2013.

Senior Gazprom officials have visited Israel a few times in recent months to discuss cooperation. In February, a delegation headed by Frederic Barnaud, director of Gazprom’s LNG division, held talks with Noble Energy and Delek Group on possible cooperation. Gazprom is said to be interested in exporting gas from the huge Leviathan field off Israel’s northern Mediterranean coast.

The Leviathan field has estimated resources of 20 Tcf and gas from here is earmarked for export while the Tamar field with reserves of 9 Tcf is expected to meet domestic demand. The Tamar field is due to begin commercial production during the second quarter of 2013. The Leviathan field is not likely to begin commercial production before 2016.

Last week Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said at a press conference in St Petersburg that the company was looking at possible participation in the development of Israel’s offshore gas fields. But the company has not received any “effective offers,” he said.

–Neal Sandler, newsdesk@platts.com

–Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja_nair@platts.com

Putin and the Russian Jews In Charge of Isra-Hell

[Putin is obviously a closet Zionist, otherwise he would be puking his guts out, sitting that close to Lieberman.]

Visiting Russians are seeking cooperation in energy, space

Gazprom wants to open a local subsidiary that will engage in drilling and offshore and onshore pipeline operations.

Vladimir Putin and Avigdor Lieberman at Netanya ceremony: Gazprom wants to do business.

Vladimir Putin and His “BFF” Avigdor Lieberman swap stories at Netanya ceremony: Gazprom wants some of that sweet Med. gas.

Natural gas, aerospace, oil shale and tourism are among the areas of economic cooperation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is offering Israel during his visit this week, sources told TheMarker.

The most important item raised between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday was an offer by Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom to join in developing Israel’s offshore gas reserves. The largest extractor of natural gas in the world and Russia’s biggest company, Gazprom wants to open a local subsidiary that will engage in drilling and offshore and onshore pipeline operations.

On the Israeli side, no one has rejected the Gazprom offer out of hand and officials are willing to explore the proposals, the sources said. Future international tenders in the Israeli gas sector will be open to Gazprom.

In fact, Gazprom executives have been to Israel in the past to explore cooperation in gas and won a tender to produce gasoline from oil shale in Israel’s south, for which it expects to begin operations soon, the Russian delegation said. They also expressed interest in developing alternative energy projects, mainly in solar and to a lesser extent in wind.

The two countries did about $660 million of bilateral trade in the first four months of this year, with Israeli exports to Russia reaching $384 million and imports from Russia at $277 million, according to the Israel Export Institute.

Another area of interest to the Russians is nanotechnology, where the two countries have signed cooperation agreements. The sources said the Russian state-owned nanotechnology company Rusnano, which has been funded by Moscow to the tune of billions of dollars, has recently opened an Israeli unit whose task will be to identify Israeli companies for acquisition and cooperation.

Rusnano’s chairman, Anatoly Chubais, is part of the delegation accompanying Putin to Israel.

The delegation also includes the incoming chairman of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, signaling the country’s interest in cooperation in aerospace as well.

“Israeli and Russian capabilities in aerospace complement one another,” said one of the sources, pointing to Russia’s expertise in launching satellites, as Israel is regarded a world leader in miniature satellites and other technologies.

In agriculture, the two sides are exploring joint ventures in irrigation, hothouses and the development of seeds for increasing farm yields.

Israel expressed interest in developing tourism. Russia is the biggest source of visitors to Israel after the United States, with about half a million tourists arriving every year. They create about 20,000 jobs and bring in revenues to Israel of $1 billion annually.

The two sides also began talks about establishing a free trade area agreement, which would ease two-way trade. They also plan to sign a financial protocol that will provide guarantees on exports to Russia via the government trade insurance agency.