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09/08/14 9/12/14

On Monday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with

Turkish Chief of General Staff Ozel and President Erdogan
to discuss potential cooperation in countering the threat
posed by ISIS. Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu
cautioned that participation in an anti-ISIS coalition might
endanger the 49 Turkish diplomats currently held prisoner
by the group.
Hurriyet Daily News New York Times
A new round of EU sanctions went into effect today,
targeting 24 individuals, five banks, three oil companies,
and three defense firms. Despite the cease-fire signed last
week between Ukrainian and rebel forces, EU officials
decided to proceed with the sanctions, noting that they will
be lifted if Russia complies with the terms of that agreement
on the ground. The US is expected to announce a new set of
sanctions on Friday as well.
Reuters New York Times
Early Friday morning, a prisoner swap took place between
Ukrainian and separatist forces. Thirty-six Ukrainian
servicemen were released in return for 31 pro-Russian
rebels, some of whom were Russian nationals. The
exchange was part of the cease-fire agreement negotiated
last week. Some of the prisoners were reported to be in poor
NPR Al Jazeera America
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel became the first US
defense secretary to visit Georgia in over a decade when he
made a trip to Tbilisi last Sunday. In a meeting with
Georgian Defense Secretary Alasania, Hagel vowed to help
Georgia improve its security, such as paving the way for the
sale of American Blackhawk helicopters.
Time Boston Globe
On Thursday, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
announced that it would endorse the constitutional changes
proposed by President Sargsyan. However, many other
opposition parties oppose the reforms, saying they are
unnecessary. Sargsyan claims that the amendments will not
be serious, but oppositionists feel that the president should
focus on more pressing national issues, like economic and
social reform.
Armenia Now Azatutyun
The Moldovan Economy Ministry announced on
Wednesday that Moldova will be able to receive Russian
gas via Romania through the expansion of the Iasi-Ungheni
pipeline. The EU has allotted 10 million euro to extend the
pipeline to Chisinau. The project was commissioned in
August and is expected to be fully complete in two years.
Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Candu stated
that the project will diversify Moldovas energy supplies.
Romania Insider Itar-Tass
EU commissioner for Enlargement tefan Fle met with the
Civil Society representatives of Azerbaijan on Monday,
September 8th. The meeting aimed at exchanging
information and views over the recent crackdown of
prominent human rights activists and foreign funded NGOs
in Azerbaijan. Past week, Azerbaijan Security Forces raided
the buildings of IREX, U.S. Funded NGO and froze bank
accounts of international NGOs including Transparency
International, Oxfam and the National Democratic Institute.

RFE/RL European Commission
Belarus and Russia plan to establish common visa area
similar to Schengen zone. On Wednesday, Russia-Belarus
Union States Secretary Grigory Rapota announced. Rapota
said that tourism and business will be easier if two countries
were to establish unified visa system. I think we will try to
create something similar to Schengen Visa, and at the
moment we are working on this issue he added.


After meeting with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir
Abdollahian, South African Deputy Foreign Minister
Mfeketo announced that South Africa hopes to resolve
sanction issues and resume oil imports from Iran within the
next three months. Before halting oil purchases from Iran in
June 2012 as a result of Western sanctions, South Africa
was importing around 68,000 barrels of oil per day from
Reuters Tasnim News
Tajikistan will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
summit in Dushanbe on Friday, September 12. The SCO is
expected to adopt new regulations for the admission of
countries to the organization, opening the door to
membership for countries including India, Pakistan, and
Mongolia, which currently hold observer status in the
Xinhuanet AKIPress
In a visit to Turkmenistan, Daniel Rosenblum, the United
States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia,
discussed prospects for cooperation between the US and
Turkmenistan. There was specific emphasis on increasing
business and security cooperation, but Rosenblum also
noted that human rights concerns prevent the relationship
between the two countries from expanding in some areas.

Trend US State Department
The Asian Development Bank recently released a report on
Mongolias Water-Energy-Mining nexus, concluding that
the mining industry will dramatically increase the demand
for water and energy across the country. Rapid
development of the mining industry has fueled faster
urbanization, leaving an already water-scarce capital city
with a bleak outlook for the near future. Ulan Bator is
expected to face water shortages as early as 2015.
Deutsche Welle Energy Live News
Gulnara Karimova, daughter of President Karimov, has
been accused by the Prosecutor-General of aiding a mafia
group in stealing assets worth 40 million euros. Karimova
has been kept under house-arrest after angering her father
through various statements on social media. This domestic
investigation of Karimova is in addition to ongoing
international investigations, including a money-laundering
case in Switzerland and graft probe in Sweden.
September 9 marked the opening day of the First Annual
World Nomad Games, held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.
The games feature teams from twelve nations in the
Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as Turkey,
Brazil and others. President Atambayev stated that the
World Nomad Games should be held every year as a forum
for strengthening unity and friendship of Turkic states.
RFE/RL Guardian
As disputes over the recent presidential election continue,
frontrunner Ashraf Ghani refused to accept a deal this week
that would allow his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, to take over
the role of Chief Executive. The position was created in
conjunction with the US government to support governmental
unity. Ghani, who had a majority of votes in the June election,
is awaiting the results of an electoral fraud audit called for by
Abdullah. Final election results could be released as early as
next week.
Reuters Voice of America
Kazakhstan blocked around 50 webpages in accordance
with Astanas Court Decisions. The webpages that provided
online casino services as well as those ones containing
cruelty and violence were blocked. The court examined 23
cases and owners of 229 websites were ordered to remove
illegal content. The court made the decision based on the
Law on Mass Media categorizing the content of websites
as product of Media.

New Hub
Azer News
Poland's state gas firm PGNiG announced that it had
observed a drop in Russian gas supply this week. As a result,
Poland briefly stopped supplying reverse flow gas to
Ukraine. PGNiG reported that gas flows were 24% lower
than normal. Ukrtransgaz in Kiev accused Gazprom of
retaliating against Poland for exporting gas to Ukraine, while
Gazprom insisted that Poland supplies were unaffected. Gas
supplies to Ukraine from Poland resumed on Friday.
Business Review Romania Insider
On Thursday, the Slovak Statistics Office reported that
industrial production in Slovakia continues to grow, but at a
slower rate than in past months. Industrial production rose
4.4% year-on-year in July, a significantly slower rate than
the 7.6% growth rate observed in June. After seasonal
adjustment, industrial production increased by 0.1 percent
compared with June.
RTTNews The Slovak Spectator
Starting September 13, two of the largest Romanian telecom
operators, Romtelecom and Cosmote, will be united into
Telekom Romania. The deal is part of a 15 million euro
investment by Deutsche Telekom via Greek group OTE.
Romania, which will now be part of the Deutsche Telekom
T network, is now the third largest market for the telecom
provider, after Germany and Poland.
Prague Post Radio.Cz
Fox News
Following the NATO summit in Wales last week, NATO
staged a major military exercise last Saturday in Latvia.
Approximately 500 paratroopers landed at Lielvarde
Airport, along with hundreds of vehicles and aircraft.
Similar exercises were carried out in Estonia, Lithuania,
Poland, and Germany, geared at showing NATO support for
member countries.
Reuters UK
Lithuania received a request from the Russian Federation to
assist in the investigation of the cases against those who
refused to serve in the Soviet Army during 1990-1991, upon
Lithuanias declaring of Independence. "We have received
such request for legal assistance. As the activities, which
Russia lists among criminal deeds, is not criminalized in
Lithuania, the request for legal assistance will not be
processed," commented Prosecutor Generals Office.
Estonian Government is trying to contact Estonian Security
Official, Eston Kohver, who has been accused of spying and
detained by Russian Security Forces at the border. "We
don't know where they are keeping him behind bars," -
Estonian Security Police told the BBC. Estonian Consul in
Moscow was not allowed to meet Kohver. It is also disputed
whether Kohver was captured on Russian or Estonian soil.

President of Czech republic Milo Zeman hopes that the
country will join Eurozone within next five years. Zeman
made the statement while on the visit to the OECD
headquarters in Paris. I deeply hope that the euro will be
adopted by 2020, maybe even earlier, he said. In Zemans
words the low support for the European currency among the
Czech population is caused by the fear of unknown.

Hungarian police on Monday raided Norwegian Government
funded NGOs in Budapest. The offices of Norway backed
NGOs Okotars and Damnet, were searched on suspicion of
unauthorized financial activities. This follows similar raids
that took place in June. Since then 58 NGOs were requested
to hand over documents as part of the investigation. Norway
regarded the moves as unacceptable and representing

EU Observer Reuters

The unemployment rate in Bulgaria has dropped for the
seventh consecutive month, the Bulgarian National
Employment Agency reported. In August 2014, the
unemployment rate was 10.4%, down 0.2% from the
previous month. Unemployed people over 50 years of age
accounted for 38.8% of the total number of those
unemployed, and people 24 years of age and younger
accounted for 7.3%.
On Sunday, September 7, the Kosovo national football team
won its first official international soccer game, defeating
Oman 1-0 in an international friendly match held in Pristina.
FIFA granted Kosovo permission to start playing official
international matches in January, and Kosovo has since
played three other international friendlies, resulting in a
draw and two losses.
SBS Muscat Daily
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia has not and
will not impose sanctions against Russia after an interview
with Russian state media outlet ITAR-TASS. Vucic stated
that although Serbia is seeking EU membership, it cannot be
forced to ruin its relations with Russia. Moscow, for its part,
has threatened that if Serbia endorses sanctions against
Russia, it could lose preferential trade status with Russia.
A team of archaeologists led by Maja Krsnaric Skrivanko and
Hrvoje Vulic have discovered a Stone Age city around 7,000
years old near the city of Vinkovci. The city covers over
100,000 square meters, containing ritual burial sites and over
300 objects such as kilns and dishes. The team claimed that
they found the Stone Age artifacts 30 inches below Earths
surface. The team connects the site with the Sopot culture.

The Week The Inquisitir
Last Friday, Albanias central bank governor Ardian Fullani
was arrested on charges of abuse of power. Fullani is
accused of links to the recent theft of 713 million leks ($6.6
million) from the bank. If convicted, Fullani faces a 7 year
sentence. Prime Minister Edi Rama is pushing the
prosecution as part of a wider fight against corruption after
Albania began EU talks in June.
According to Ales Cantarutti, chairman of the Slovenian
Trade and Industry Chamber, additional EU sanctions
against Russia will dramatically hurt Slovenian economy.
He highlighted the fact that Slovenian exports to Russia
have dropped by 13% in the period from January to
September, and predicted that the total financial damage
caused by this drop to total 200 million euros by years end.
ITAR-TASS New Europe Online
Reuters Bloomberg Balkan Insight
Naharnet Reuters
Early last week, Macedonian authorities uncovered more
than 1,000 illegal immigrants, mainly from Syria and Iraq,
hiding in the back of a truck in central Macedonia.
According to police, the immigrants each paid 3,000 euro to
be smuggled from Syria and Iraq, through Turkey and
Greece, and then through Macedonia and Serbia to Western
Europe. The immigrants are now being held at a facility
near Skopje and will be repatriated to Greece.
NATO leaders promised Montenegro their support on the
way of countrys integration in the alliance. NATO in Wales
agreed to open intensive talk with Montenegro and decide by
the end of 2015 whether the country will be invited to join
the alliance or not. And for those who are willing and able
to meet the responsibilities of membership, we will keep our
door open," Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh
Rasmussen declared.

On September 5, 29 miners were pulled to safety after a coal
mine collapse in central Bosnia. Five miners could not be
reached by emergency workers in time and died in the
rubble. A 3.5 magnitude earthquake is believed to have
caused a gas blast within the mines, marking the third
accident in Zenica mines this year. On Monday, thousands of
Bosnians paid respects to the five miners killed.
Reuters ABC News