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CERES News Digest: Issue #3, Vol.2

CERES News Digest: Issue #3, Vol.2

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CERES News Digest is a news overview of the 33 countries that are covered by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies Center at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service
CERES News Digest is a news overview of the 33 countries that are covered by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies Center at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service

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01/02/2014

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Country News Digest Issue #3 Vol.2
01/28/12-02/01/12
 Editor: Eugene ImasContributors:-Joseph Gates-Matthew O’Brien-Bree Swineford -Jillian Tetirick-Grace Tran
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Country News Digest 
City workers in Mexico city quietly removed the statueo Heydar Aliyev, which
 AzerbaijanGeorgia Russia
 was erected only ve months ago. While the case wasembarrassing or the government, pictures o the workerstaking down the statue were widely circulated on witterand Facebook. As one journalist stated, “it was excitingnews or the democratic portion o society.”On January 30, Russiastated that it was cancelingits narcotics and humantracking pact with the US. Prime Minister Medvedev’scurt statement came shortly ater the United Statesannounced that it was pulling out rom a joint panel oncivil society. Leaders stated that the move will help Russiarid itsel o “some dependence on the US.”
 Armenia Moldova BelarusUkraineTurkey
Former police chie Olexiy Pukach has been convictedo the 2000 murder o  journalist Georgy Gongadze. Mr. Pukach conessedto the murder early in the investigation, claiming thathe strangled Mr. Gongadze by accident during aninterrogation ordered by the then interior minister Yuri Kravchenko. Mr. Kravchenko committed suicideunder suspicious circumstances beore he was set to bequestioned.On uesday BelarusianForeign Minister o Vladimir Makei and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary o Iranto Belarus Mohammad Reza Sabouri to discuss prospectso cooperation. On Monday the State Science and echnology Committee (SSC) Chairman Igor Voitov met with head o ehran Housing Investment Seyed Ahmad Moghimi to discuss bilateral cooperation inhousing and science and technology.
 Te meeting planned orFeb. 1 between RomanianPresident Basescu andMoldovan President imoti was postponed due to imoti’s recent health problems. imoti suered romcholecystitis and is undergoing treatment. Te Presidential Administration apologized to the Romanian President andto all those aected by the postponed visit.
 A representative rom theInternational Monetary Fund Azim Sadikov released an economic orecast or Georgia this week. Itemphasized that Georgia’s economic prosperity or thenext year depends on reinstating close trade relations with Russia and reducing domestic political instability.United States Ambassadorto Armenia John Heernmet with Armenian PrimeMinister igran Sargsyan to discuss USAID’s ve-yearstrategy or the country. USAID aims at spending $32million to support reorms in Armenia that will addresspolitical and administrative problems.On Friday morning, two were let dead ater a suicidebomber attacked the USembassy in Ankara. As o 9:35 AM, State Departmentspokeswoman Victoria Nuland conrmed that the blast was a terrorist attack.
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Country News Digest 
Bishkek is trying torenegotiate the terms o amining deal with Canada-
 Kyrgyzstan
 Kazakhstan
based Centerra Gold Inc and is threatening to cancel thecontract i the two parties cannot come to an agreement.Signed in 2009 under President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, thegovernment is paid a 14 percent tax on Centerra’s grossrevenues rom the Kumtor mine. Bishkek now eels thisrate is too low.Investigators revealed thatuel purchased or Aghansecurity orces with UnitedStates taxpayer dollars might contain some petroleumo Iranian origin. Such purchases breach economicsanctions levied by the United States on Iran over itsnuclear program.
 Mongolia Iran
 Tis week, Iran announcedits intention to installthousands o next-gen-eration centriuges at its main nuclear plant in Natanz. Tis would greatly decrease the time required to producessile material, including uranium used in nuclear weapons. ehran continues to insist that it intends tobuild a civilian nuclear power program and not nuclearbombs. A report rom theUS Special InspectorGeneral or AghanistanReconstruction alleged that it is possible that the UShas been buying uel or the Aghan troops rom Iran. While most o the uel that the US receives comes romKazakhstan and urkmenistan, there is a possibility thatthe uel is “blended” rom dierent suppliers, includingIran. Te report, however, oered no conclusive ndings. A report on Wednesday suggested that constructiono the Oyu olgoi miningproject might stall ater the Mongolian governmentdemanded a greater share o prots. Te company undingthe project, Rio into, issued a statement that reassuredinvestors that construction was on track, ater stocks dove10% due to the report.Kazakhstan intends to cutRussian oil imports due to adisagreement on pricing inthe oil-or-uel deal signed by the two countries in 2012.Kazakhstan needs to import oil in order to bolster its ownsupplies, which are lower this year due to the closure o three domestic reneries set to re-open in 2016. However,due to dissatisaction with the deal, Kazakhstan may look to China to ulll its import quotas instead. Te ajik governmentis now saying it blockedaccess to some websites thismonth to prevent the “spread o alse inormation andpossible blackmail.” Communications Service Deputy Chie Raqjon Shokirov said the actions were taken inaccordance with ajik law. Previous explanations or thedowned websites have ranged rom maintenance to stray bullets taking out internet lines.Uzbekistan has reopenedrail links at bordercrossings with Kyrgyzstanater several weeks o closure. ashkent closed the borderearlier this month ater residents o Uzbekistan’s Sokhdistrict attacked Kyrgyz border guards installing electriclines to a Kyrgyz border post. Last week trucks carryinghumanitarian aid were allowed to cross the border inorder to reach the districts that had been completely cuto due to the border closure.
TajikistanUzbekistan AfghanistanTurkmenistan
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