Igor Pankratenko

Independent analyst and researcher

all articles

April 14, 2015
Pakistan and Decisive Storm in Yemen

Looks like Islamabad tries to dodge taking an active part in the military operation against Yemen. Pakistani Prime Minister Navaz Sharif owes Saudi Arabia. It saved his life and let his clan prosper. Thanks to kingdom’s interference he was exiled from the country instead of facing the death sentence handed down by the country’s Supreme Court in 2001. Sharif was sheltered by Saudi Arabia after the coup that overthrew him in 1999. The benevolent attitude of kingdom’s ruling circles contributed to success of his family business. Now Riyadh is irritated by the fact that personal close relationship with the Prime Minister does not guarantee Pakistan’s participation in the operation against Yemen…

April 2, 2014
Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia: Behind the Scenes of the Visit

…Official sources report that during the negotiations with King Abdullah, President Obama only rejected the idea of direct U.S. military strikes against Syria.  Obama considered everything else, including the delivery of MANPADs to the rebels, to be possible. White House representatives do not speak plainly about this; they begin to prevaricate, but the question can essentially be considered resolved. After the negotiations, it is clear that this summer Riyadh and Washington, in partnership with other «friends of Syria», will once again try to use weapons to «close the issue» of al-Asad and of the Syrian Arab Republic in its current form…

March 28, 2014
Washington and Riyadh a Step Away from a «Final Solution» to the Syrian Issue

Recently the Syrian issue has flared up once more. Heated discussions in American political circles and emotional speeches from participants of the Arab League conference in Kuwait March 25-26 are not a discussion of plans for the peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict; they are a debate about which method for capturing Damascus and overthrowing President al-Asad will be most effective… Now Americans see Syria as a way to get «revenge for Crimea» and the capture of Damascus as an opportunity to deprive Moscow of all its positions in the Middle East… Obama is to visit Riyadh March 28-29. At the end of the week it will apparently become clear what path al-Asad’s opponents have chosen for the «final solution» to the Syrian issue.

February 14, 2014
US New Syria Strategy: Will it Succeed?

…The second round of negotiations held within the framework of Geneva conference on Syria (Geneva-2.1) has stymied, the remaining two days will not produce any result… The anti-Syria coalition, including the United States, appears to lose interest in the dialogue it has imposed. The matter is that the main events related to final settlement of the Syria issue are taking place away from Switzerland. The US-submitted draft U.N. Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria has failed to come through. Washington is high-strung while urgently preparing a new Syria strategy and defining its stance towards Bashar Assad… It actually means that the United States along with other members of anti-Syria opposition needs no window-dressing like the Geneva 2.1 conference anymore. In practice the talks are unproductive and the propaganda agenda of the play called «opposition striving for a national dialogue vs. stubborn and insidious dictator Assad» has been exhausted…

February 4, 2014
Erdogan Goes to Tehran: Business First, Politics Second

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan got a warm reception during his two-day long visit to Iran. Friendly attitude was emphasized at the summit – it all goes to show that Ankara and Tehran decided to forget the serious political differences for the time being so that the parties could concentrate on economic issues… Setting up Iran-Turkey Supreme Political Cooperation Council is an important step which would be impossible to take without aligning positions on regional conflicts, especially regarding the situation in Syria. According to Erdogan, the members of Council should work as members of one cabinet. At that, it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions about the emergence of Ankara-Tehran alliance…

July 3, 2013
Moscow Hosts Gas Exporting Countries Conference: Intrigue, Divisions and Syria

…The Qatar’s double game gives rise to one more intrigue, the fact once again proven at the Moscow Gas Exporting Countries Forum conference. Once no arrangement with Qatar is possible, it is worth to think about «special relationship» with the countries which view the Moscow initiatives favorably because they meet the interests of their national economies, the states like Venezuela, Iran and Iraq. The accords with the Islamic Republic may be an important factor promoting Russia’s general advance on all fronts of the «gas war». Unlike Qatar, Iran puts forward hard-nosed joint projects proposals, including the development of South Pars…