Country News Digest
Kyrgyzstan and Russiasigned an agreement onreadmission this week. Te
agreement places mutual obligations on the two ormerSoviet states to prevent illegal migration. As part o theagreement Russia has agreed to pay all transportationcosts o deportation. Te International CrisisGroup released a reportMonday arguing thatAghanistan is not ready to take over security operationsater the 2014 withdrawal o US and NAO orces. TeICG also asserts it is a “near certainty” the 2014 elections will be plagued with raud, likely resulting in high levelso violence across the country.
In his rst public responseto the plunge o the Iranianrial and the resultingprotests last week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warnedgovernment ocials to curb the inghting over economictroubles and accused the West o blowing the protestsout o proportion. Te rial has lost 40% o its value thismonth and is down 80% against the dollar this year. urkmenistan’s cottonharvest is underway.More than 60% o the1.1 million-ton harvest has already been collected. urkmenistan plans to host an international cotton airin late November which would promote urkmen cottonand encourage oreign investment in the industry.Ulan-Bator is set to removea once prominent, but now decaying bronze statue o Lenin. Many other statues o Lenin were built and thentorn down or scrap metal, but the statue in the capitollasted so long because older Mongols still revere Lenin.Vladimir Kozlov, leader o the Alga opposition party, was sentenced to 7½ yearsin jail or seeking to overthrow the government. Te caserelates to the Zhanaozen uprising last December. Mr.Kozlov, an outspoken critic o President Nazarbayev,claims that the trial was meant to stife the opposition.Russia has agreed to exemptrom duties and taxes onemillion tons o petroleumproducts shipped to ajikistan per year. Russia’s portiono the ajik market has allen rom 95% two years agoto 62% today. Te ajik government predicts that theduty exemption could result in diesel and gasoline pricereductions o up to 40%. Te U.S. and Uzbekistanhave agreed to cooperatein eorts to disrupt drugtrade in the Central Asian state. Te U.S. DEA will work with the Uzbek Interior Ministry. Te drug tradethrough Uzbekistan originates in Aghanistan and eithergoes directly over the border or through ajikistan. Drugseizures in the country rose last year to 5,404 kg o drugs, up rom 4,716 kg the year beore.