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Country News Digest Issue #4

09/24/12-10/1/12

On Thursday, Azerbaijans Foreign Minister Eldar Mammadyarov spoke out in support of the Arab League, and encouraged cooperation between the League and the United Nations. In response to Arab League comments on blasphemy, Mammadyarov expressed concern about attacks on religion, but also condemned violence against diplomatic missions.

Azerbaijan

Country News Digest


Russia

Trend.Az

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The Russian government has proposed a law under which persons who unknowingly pass sensitive information to foreignfunded groups could be convicted of treason. In a legal case, Russias Constitutional Court ruled that citizens have no right to use force to defend themselves against aggressive measures by on-duty officers of the law. Minneapolis Post

News.Az

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RIA Novosti

Early exit polls appear to give the Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili a popular victory in Georgias parliamentary election, though he may fail to become prime minister. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili conceded that his National Movement party has been defeated in the parliamentary election in districts with the proportional system, but won in districts with majoritarian candidates.

Georgia

Ukraine withdraws its controversial defamation bill. The bill criminalized slander, and punishments included steep fines and up to five years in jail.

Ukraine

Guardian

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DF Watch

Kyiv Post

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Sacramento Bee

Armenias Prosecutor General, Aghvan Hovsepian, has formally asked the National Assembly to allow prosecution of former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian, who is now a parliament member from the Prosperous Armenia Party. The National Security Service launched a criminal investigation into money obtained by Oskanians Civilitas think-tank.

Armenia

Belarus held Parliamentary elections this week. Not a single opposition candidate was elected in an election marred by irregularities, according to OSCE observers. Although many in the West have criticized the Lukashenko administration for the election, Russian authorities have praised the election as free and fair.

Belarus

Armenia Now

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ARKA

SF Chronicle

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Washington Post

Pravda

Over 300 soldiers have been sentenced to 13 to 20 years in prison for involvement in Balyoz (Sledgehammer). Balyoz was a coup plot believed to have been devised in 2003 with the aim of unseating the AK Party government. The convicted soldiers include retired Air Force Cmdr. Gen. brahim Frtna, retired First Army Cmdr. Gen. etin Doan and retired Navy Cmdr. Adm. zden rnek.

Turkey

The Moldovan parliament ratified a free trade agreement with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on Thursday. The agreement was signed October 18, 2011 in Saint Petersburg. It will come into force in 30 days after ratification.

Moldova

Hurriyet

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Todays Zaman

Moldova.org

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All Moldova

The Kyrgyz Parliament on Thursday voted to accept the voluntary dismissal of nine Supreme Court justices. The nine had addressed MPs and the head of state to request the dismissal at will and the Committee on Judicial and Legal Issues and Legality voted to approve their request. This comes less than a week after the election of the courts new chairman.

Kyrgyzstan

Country News Digest

24

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Zhou Yongkang, Chinas domestic security chief, met with Afghan president Hamid Karzai during an unannounced visit to Kubal. The two countries signed agreements on increased security and economic cooperation, including a deal to help train, fund and equip Afghan police. The last such visit took place in 1966.

Afghanistan

24

Reuters

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Asia Times

Serik Akhmetov was unanimously approved as the new Prime Minister of Kazakhstan by Parliament the week. The move comes after former PM Karim Masimov resigned to accept a position as President Nazarbayevs Chief of Staff. Mr. Akhmetov has formerly served as mayor of Termirtau, deputy mayor of Astana and deputy prime minister.

Kazakhstan

Caspionet

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EurasiaNet

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his eighth and final United Nations speech on Wednesday. The president chose to call for a new world order not led by the few arrogant powers that control the UN. He referred to Israel and the international crisis over Irans nuclear program only once. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN that Iran could have enough enriched Uranium by summer for a bomb. Articles: Washington Post CS Monitor

Iran

Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmon has instructed Tajiks to store two years worth of food in preparation for what is expected to be a harsh winter. Despite nearly three quarters of the population being engaged in agriculture, food shortages persist long after the countrys civil war.

Tajikistan

This week, Turkmenistan hosted the Steering Committee meeting for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline project. President Berdimuhammedov indicated that Turkmenistan was ready to implement the project, which has the potential to promote regional stability and cooperation.

Turkmenistan

BusinessWeek Uzbekistan has passed a new law on property rights. The new law reportedly protects firms from interference leading to seizure and bans the cancellation of privatization deals. The new law comes into effect just a week after Russian telecommunications firm MTC was seized amid accusations of embezzlement.

Articles:

Trend.Az

Articles: Pakistani Tribune

Uzbekistan

Mongolia is currently the fastest growing economy, surpassing China at a staggering growth rate of 17%. President Elbegdorj believes that he must continue building ties between both Russia and China.

Mongolia

WNCT

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C.A. Times

CNN

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National Interest

Estonian internet freedom places first in the world, as measured by Freedom House. The rankings are based on measures such as access to the internet and freedom of expression. Estonia was followed by the US and then Germany.

Country News Digest

Estonia

NY Times

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Czech authorities have arrested two men that they suspect of producing liquor containing methanol alcohol that killed 25 people. Although they found the source of the toxic liquor, they still believe that a large quantity of the liquor remains on the market. The ban on liquor sales in the Czech Republic will remain in place for at least the next few days. EU Business

Czech Republic

EPR

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Star Tribune

The Other Dream Team, an American-made documentary about how the Lithuanian basketball team that beat the Russian team at the Barcelona Olympics, came out in theaters today. It is the directorial debut of Lithuanian-American director Marius Markevicius. He tells the story of how the Grateful Dead funded the basketball team shortly after Lithuania declared her independence.

Lithuania

A decision taken by British Social Services to remove two children from their parents home due to allegations of abuse has sparked a row between Slovakia and Great Britain. Nearly 200 Slovak citizens protested against the move. British authorities maintain that they would not have removed the children unless they were in physical danger.

Slovakia

Chicago Tribune

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LA Times

The Daily

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Wall Street Journal

Latvian President Andris Berzins called for reform of the United Nations Security Council in his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday. He urged the creation of at least one non-permanent seat in the UNSC allocated for East European states. He also urged the international community to unite to prevent the proliferation weapons of mass destruction.

Latvia

Hungary is increasing its involvement with the Caucasus. In a two-day visit to Georgia, Hungarian PM Orban backed Georgian President Saakashvili in the upcoming election on Oct. 1. In response to Hungarys recent decision to return Azerbaijani criminal Ramil Safarov to his homeland, Armenia is now demanding that Hungary recognize Nagorno-Karabakhs right to self-determination.

Hungary

The Baltic Course

Articles: UN News Centre

Armenian Radio

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Civil Georgia

Poland has urged Ukraine to choose closer ties with the European Union over Russia by conducting free and transparent elections. This message was somewhat overshadowed by a Ukrainian fashion shoot that was shot in front of graves of Poles who died fighting in WWI. Ukrainian officials have asserted that the incident was an unfortunate mistake.

Poland

The Romanian Central Bank has left its interest rate unchanged for the fourth consecutive time amid fears of rising food prices and slowing economic growth. The banks key interest rate will stay at 5.25%. The last time the Central Bank changed the rate was back in March when it lowered it twenty-five basic points.

Romania

Washington Post

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Guardian

RTT News

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Business Week

Around 1,000 protesters gathered on Wednesday to voice their opposition to a new eco-tax on plastic bags. Domestic producers claim that the tax would make them unable to compete with foreign producers under lower tax regimes. The government has been discussing a plastic bag tax since 2010 and hope to raise it to ~50 euro cents per bag.

Country News Digest


Croatia

Bulgaria

Google announces that it will launch street views in Croatia and Chile as part of its maps services. The service now includes many towns and cities, such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split.

Sofia Globe

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Focus

Next Web

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EverythingPR

Albania, Italy, and Greece will sign an agreement in New York creating the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. The project is designed to transport gas from from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania into Italy and Western Europe.

Albania

A s M o n t e n e g r o approaches its October 14 parliamentary election, criticism has emerged from civil society groups concerning the fairness of the electoral process there. The discovery of a large number of people on the voting rolls who were listed twice (and thus could vote twice) prompted allegations of fraud by the Montenegrin NGO MANS.

Montenegro

Chicago Tribune Serbian and Kosovo officials finally sat down together at the same table for the first time since Kosovo declared its independence. They signed an agreement on more cooperation with regard to the environment. It was the first time Serbia agreed to such a meeting, and is now willing to have direct negotiations at the highest political level.

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Balkan Insight

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Turkish Weekly

Serbia

Sofia Globe

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The Prime Minister of Kosovo signaled to the EU High Commissioner that Kosovo is seeking a formalization of relations that will put Kosovo on track for EU accession in the future. The fact that Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo is a problem that could stall this process. Although Serbia has vowed never to recognize Kosovo, the President of Serbia made a big move by attending talks with Kosovo on the environment this week.

Kosovo

Eurasia-Review

Balkan Insight

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Balkan Insight

New talks to resolve the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece were held this week in New York. Reports indicate that the two sides made no progress on the issue. The European Union is unlikely to provide Macedonia with a firm start date for new accession talks until the issue is resolved.

Macedonia

Slovenias opposition leader, Zoran Jankovic, was briefly detained with five other people over an investigation into alleged corruption in the building of a sports complex. Jankovic is suspected of diverting city funds to companies he has family ties with.

Slovenia

Balkan Insight

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EU Reporter

Washington Post

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ABC News

Country News Digest


The IMF awarded Bosnia Bosnia & and Herzegovina a 405 Herzegovina million loan to be dispersed over two years. The loan is intended to maintain or increase Bosnian growth rates, which have slowed due to worsening external market conditions and persisting domestic weaknesses.

RTT News

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EU Business

The Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI-funded National Resource Center (NRC) that strives to increase understanding and appreciation of the cultures and challenges of the region stretching from Central Europe to the Pacific and from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas

Box 571031, ICC 111, Washington, DC 20057-1031 Email: ceres@georgetown.edu Tel.: (202) 687-6080 Fax: (202) 687-5829