Afghanistan’s presidential elections on April 5б 2014 did not deliver an outright winner, and the second round is scheduled for late May. Although people in Afghanistan, the adjacent regions and the wider world all cherish the hope that the future Afghan president will usher in an era of improvement and renewed development, many fear that the new leader will be no better than his predecessor, will fail to stabilize the domestic arena, where security remains the key concern. Besides, NATO is set to withdraw most of its contingent from Afghanistan by the end of this year, giving way both to fresh risks and new opportunities. These developments are closely watched by the Central Asian states, not least due to their impact on regional security.
Within the working visit to the USA, Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania held meetings with U.S. Senators and Congressmen.
Kazakhstan is ready to expand the bilateral relations with the U.S., Kazakh presidency reported.
Energy experts delivered a blow to fossil fuel industries at global talks in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday. They called for an end to subsidies that keep oil, gas and coal prices artifically low.
Riigikogu foreign committee chairman Marko Mihkelson said, when speaking at the first reading of the law of ratification of the Estonian-Russian border agreements on April 16 in the Riigikogu, that the Estonian parliament will take a final vote on the border agreements only when Russia has done the same, reports Public Broadcasting.
Fighter jets from Poland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and France take over NATO air policing duties over the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Thursday (1 May 2014) as part of enhanced collective defence measures agreed to by Allies earlier this month.
While the USA and the EU are imposing new sanctions against Russia, the situation in the east of Ukraine keeps on worsening. “The supporters of federalization” keep on capturing new buildings: in Lugansk almost all administrative facilities are under control of the separatists. The acting President of Ukraine Aleksander Turchinov admitted that Kyiv didn’t control the situation and that Moscow was about to start a war. Against this background the President of Russia Vladimir Putin assured that Russia had nothing to do with the actions of the separatists and expressed his failure to understand the imposing of sanctions by the West.
Seven Russians were added this week to the U.S. sanctions list , along with 17 Russian companies. In Brussels, the European Union also lengthened its sanctions list from 33 to 48. Once again, analysts are looking at the names, the assets, the influence of the people targeted. Once again, some ask whether any sanctions can ever work, at least well enough to change anyone’s behavior.
China said on it would conduct joint naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea off Shanghai in late May, in what it called a bid to deepen military cooperation.
President Vladimir Putin on April 29 warned that new EU and U.S. sanctions could impact the work of Western energy firms in Russia and denied there were any Kremlin forces in eastern Ukraine.