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Country News Digest Y Y Y Vol.2, Issue #12


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Editor: Eugene Imas Contributors: -Joseph Gates -Matthew OBrien -Bree Swineford -Jillian Tetirick -Grace Tran

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04/15/13-04/19/13

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Elmar Mammadyarov, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, is bringing a delegation to Israel from April 21- 23. The talks will be centered around improving bilateral relations and business activity, as well as the Middle East peace process. Both countries have had good relations since the early 1990s.

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Azerbaijan

Country News Digest


Russia

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IMFA

Articles: Israel National News

The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing have been identified as Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who are linked to Chechnya. The Russian media is waiting to release a definite statement on the attacks, but a survey of news articles indicate that newspapers are disassociating the Dzhokar brothers from Russia. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko also see the Boston Marathon attacks as a need to up security for the Winter Olympics.

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The Atlantic Wire

Articles: The Washington Post

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President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has been accused of embezzling state funds to pay for his childrens education and to entertain high-profile Russian celebrities. The accusations preceded a rally planned by his party United National Movement, which is slated to take place on Friday.

Georgia

Ukraine has finished a new plan on increasing energy cooperation with the European Union. The plan includes liberalizing the Ukrainian energy sector and taking further steps to ensure the safety of the Chernobyl reactor site. Meetings between the EU and Ukraine on the topic of energy will be held early next month.

Ukraine

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Eurasia Net

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DF Watch

WSJ

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WSJ

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Armenian news outlets have erupted in outrage after Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that Turkey is playing a constructive role in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The comments came as Kerry discussed the 2014 Foreign Affairs budget with the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week.

Armenia

Standard and Poors has upgraded Belarus rating from stable to positive on Wednesday, citing improved economic stability from tightened monetary and fiscal policies. The government has cut spending and raised interest rates, which has brought inflation down from over 100 percent in 2011 to 21.8 percent last year. Belarus credit rating remains a B-.

Belarus

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Armenian Public Radio Articles:

Trend

Reuters

Articles: Wall Street Journal

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Turkey, one of Syrias neighbors that is heavily absorbing refugees, is having difficulty providing humanitarian aid to all the refugees that are living on the Turkish-Syrian border. The rapidly increasing numbers of Syrian refugees is straining Turkeys budget, and the country is prioritizing extending aid to women and children.

Turkey

The EU has approved a new visa facilitation agreement regarding Moldovan citizens. The new visa regime will simplify paperwork and waive fees for many Moldovans wishing to enter the EU. Additionally, Moldovan citizens with biometric passports will be able to enter the EU and travel within it for short periods of time without a visa.

Moldova

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The Atlantic

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Reuters

Europa

Articles: European Parliament

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Kyrgyzstan

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President Atambayev announced last Friday that Kyrgyzstan is committed to joining the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia by the end of the year. Atambayev stated that, Most citizens believe that we should live in the common economic space with the brotherly peoples of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. This week the Russian Duma approved writing-off Kyrgyzstans $500 million debt. Russia & India Report Articles: ARKA In a response to an EU Parliament resolution criticizing the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that Kazakhstans glass of democracy is three quarters full, and we have to fill it up. The EU Parliament document expressed concerns regarding the banning of unregistered political parties and the arrests of journalists.

Country News Digest

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused CIA controlled informal militias of calling in an airstrike that killed 17 civilians, including 12 children, that took place on April 7. An American official has refuted Karzais claim that the unit involved was entirely under the CIAs control, remarking that such a claim reflects internal power struggles in Kabul.

Afghanistan

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The New York Times Articles:

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The Guardian

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Kazakhstan

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Despite international sanctions and six UN resolutions against its enrichment program, Iran is increasing the number of advanced centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear plant. Sources estimate that experts may have installed up to 600 new centrifuges, a development which would be a further breach of the International Atomic Energy Agencys guidelines.

Iran

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EurasiaNet

Articles: European Parliament

Jerusalem Post

Articles:

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The Telegraph

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Russias Federal Security Service is considering suspending the railway service between Tajikistan and Russia citing poor maintenance and drug trafficking. After inspecting a train, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that, this train in principle must not be allowed into Russia, and that You feel like it is a serious threat to the sanitary health of the whole nation. It takes nearly 97 hours to ride the train from Dushanbe to Moscow.

Tajikistan

On April 18, Turkmen Central Commission for Elections and Referendums announced that they have begun the process for nominating candidates to replace the retiring MPs in Parliament. Turkmenistan is to hold Parliamentary elections on June 2.

Turkmenistan

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IFES

Russia Today

Articles:

The Australian

Articles:

Turkish Weekly

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Uzbek President Islam Karimov visited Moscow this week at the request of President Vladimir Putin. The two discussed Afghanistan post-2014 and cooperation in combating terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. Russia is a major source of remittances for the Uzbek economy, accounting for $5.7 billion last year alone.

Uzbekistan

Mongolia has reached an agreement with Genie Energy, an American-based company, to develop oil shale resources in the countrys central region. The agreement follows Genie Energys survey of the area, which revealed the presence of what they have characterized as a world-class resource in Mongolia.

Mongolia

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EurasiaNet

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AzerNews

Business Wire

Articles: Wall Street Journal

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According to a study by the Bank of Estonia, Estonians found more jobs abroad than in their home country in 2012. The study lists emigration as a major challenge for the Baltic state in the coming years, and says that Estonia should expect a mismatch between the needs of the labor market and the skill sets of the unemployed.

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Country News Digest

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Estonia

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Azeri and Czech leaders stressed that the relationship between their two countries must expand beyond energy cooperation at a recent meeting in Baku. In addition to discussions on the deepening of bilateral ties, the Czech Republic has offered to help mediate a settlement to the NagarnoKarabakh conflict. Trend.AZ

Czech Republic

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Baltic Times

Articles: The Baltic Course

Articles:

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APA.az

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Lithuania is hosting an economic forum on its trade ties with Belarus this week in Klaipeda, scheduled to continue through Friday. Lithuania has stated that it hopes relations with Belarus will improve when it takes over the EU Presidency in July of this year. The forum will cover topics such as agriculture, IT, transportation, and industry.

Lithuania

The head of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Metropolitan Krystof, has resigned amid allegations of engaging in sexual activity and fathering numerous children. Metropolitan Krystof denies the accusations but resigned in an attempt to maintain the unity of the Church according to a spokesperson.

Slovakia

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Belta

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Global Post Prague Monitor

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Sun Herald

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In another sign that Latvia is ready to adopt the euro, statistics released this week indicate that the Baltic nations budget deficit fell to only 1.2% of its GDP. The limit for countries desiring to join the Euro Zone is 3% of GDP.

Latvia

Recent constitutional changes in Hungary became the subject of debate in the European Parliament this week. Ministers of European Parliament have criticized several facets of Hungarys constitutional changes that they claim undermine the rule of law in the country.

Hungary

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Reuters

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Economist European Voice

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The Parliament

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A new museum celebrating the history and culture of Polands Jewish community is set to open in Warsaw this week. The museum is located on a street which used to be part of the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust, and its curators intend for it to be a museum of life rather than just a memorial to the past.

Poland

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Miami Herald

The opposition parties failed to gain enough backing for a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Victor Pontas government over a property-restitution law demanded by the European Court of Human Rights. So far Romania has settled about 5 billion euros in claims to property that was seized during the communist era. Bucharest is still facing another 8 billion euros in claims.

Romania

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Articles:

Yahoo News

Bloomberg

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PressEurop

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Despite the large protests over poor living standards, Bulgarias center-right party, GERB, is still maintaining high popularity ahead of the May 12 parliamentary elections. Boiko Borisovs GERB party, which is seen as the only way to prevent the cabinet from being overtaken by Socialists, is not expected to take the majority of the vote.

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Country News Digest


Croatia

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Bulgaria

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Although Croatias opposition center-right HDZ party took the most seats in the countrys first ever election for European Parliament, analysts are more concerned with the historically low voter turnout for the event. Only 21% of voters participated in the elections, the one of the lowest figures in European Union history. Balkan Insight

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Sofia Globe

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Reuters

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EU Observer

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Prime Minister Sali Berishas ruling Democratic Party sacked a Central Election Commission (CEC) official this week after the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) junior coalition partner left to join the opposition ahead of the June 23 parliamentary elections. The Democrats asked parliament to relieve the CEC official from the LSI and replaced him with someone from the Republican Party, another coalition member.

Albania

The opposition in Montenegro is calling for protests following the official declaration of a winner in the countrys presidential election. President Vujanovic won reelection by a narrow margin, and the opposition has alleged numerous election irregularities.

Montenegro

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Reuters

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Balkans.com

SETimes

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Yahoo News

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Serbia has agreed to a new round of EU-mediated talks over the issue of Kosovo. The new talks will delay a report that was to be released this week on Serbias progress towards EU membership. The last round of EU-sponsored talks ended with a rejection from Belgrade earlier this month.

Serbia

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Reuters

Kosovar activists have been protesting the World Banks plan to build a coal plant in their country, saying that they want clean energy. Last month, the activists released public health advertisements, which went viral on KOSID, a civil society platform. World Bank recently responded that they could not refuse to finance a coal plant if that meant people would freeze.

Kosovo

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Articles:

Bloomberg

Business Week

Articles:

Huffington Post

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Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski brought a delegation to Baku to talk about economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Macedonia.The venture is being supported by Ministry of Economic Development and Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation.

Macedonia

Slovenia was able to avoid an international bailout after a strong bond sale. The country was able to raise $1.3 billion Wednesday in its latest move to avoid requesting international assistance for its troubled banks. The Slovene government plans to use some of the raised funds to buy back debt that matures this June in an attempt to calm international investors.

Slovenia

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ABC.az

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APA.az

WSJ

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CNBC

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Country News Digest


On Monday Secretary Bosnia & General of the Herzegovina Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a full member of the organization, stressing the economic benefits the country could receive. Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently an observer at the OIC, as the Bosnian Serb entity is against full membership. Dalje.com

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Turkish Weekly

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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

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

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