Russia and Azerbaijan have made “some progress” in settling their dispute over Moscow’s lease of the Gabala missile defense radar, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
Summary & Analysis.
The United States strongly supports the idea of construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. At the same time, Washington strongly opposes meeting of Pakistan's needs in energy resources by constructing pipeline to purchase "blue fuel" from Iran, ITAR-TASS quotes U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying on Wednesday.
The fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling $5 billion from Kazakhstan’s BTA bank, was sentenced on February 16 to 22 months in prison for failing to disclose his assets and lying under oath to the High Court of England and Wales. Justice Nigel Teare concluded that Ablyazov had breached a court-ordered freeze on his assets, presented “untrue” evidence about property ownership and provided evidence “with the intention of interfering with or impeding the course of justice.” The Justice qualified Ablyazov’s breaches as “deliberate” and “substantial,” describing his conduct as “brazen.” The court has issued arrest warrants, but lawyers of BTA bank believe that Ablyazov, who failed to appear at the hearing in London, may have already fled England (Financial Times, The Guardian, Press Association, February 16).
Vladimir Putin has claimed victory in presidential elections after appearing before tens of thousands of chanting supporters in the capital, Moscow. Election monitors say the polls were tainted by widespread violations.
During his report to Parliament, President Mikheil Saakashvili announced that Georgia is unilaterally ending its visa regime with Russia. Moscow responded to this act of goodwill on March 2, by offering to restore diplomatic relations. The Russian government may believe that Saakashvili's decision is a sign that Tbilisi is accepting the "new reality" of the region, but Georgia is still standing firm behind its demand to see the de-occupation process started before relations with Russia can be normalized.
A major transformation of the global market for natural gas is under way. Fresh international supply routes are being drawn, new exporters are emerging and established trade patterns are being turned on their heads.
Moscow said on Friday in response to Georgia's unilateral lift of visa requirements for Russian citizens, that it was ready to reciprocate, but called on Tbilisi to revise its law on occupied territories.
“I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. … I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies.”
Mikheil Saakashvili has not that many associates, with whom he started reforms in 2003. Fellows-in-arms leave Georgian President for opposition. They turn from friends into rivals. And often into irreconcilable enemies. Georgi Baramidze – is an exception of this rule of Georgian policy.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis said he would make visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens travelling to Europe a priority when his country takes over the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2013. But he admitted that progress was dependent on Kyiv.
It is well-known that the aggressive foreign policy of Iran’s clerical regime makes Central Asian governments uneasy. Most obviously, Iran and its Caspian neighbors have a longstanding dispute over Tehran’s expansive claims to offshore energy resources. In addition, the Central Asian states have repeatedly rejected Tehran’s application to elevate its observer status within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to that of a full member. Furthermore, they have limited educational and cultural exchanges with Iranians that could give Tehran opportunities to proselytize radical versions of Islam in Central Asia.
The use of the territory of Tajikistan for the withdrawal of British troops in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) in 2014 was discussed in Dushanbe on Friday by President of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon and State Minister for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom Nick Harvey.
Following heavy snowfall, Montenegro declared a state of emergency throughout the country early this week and made a call for assistance from the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) is NATO's focal point for coordination of assistance provided by Allies and Partners in cases of civil emergency.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with State Secretary for Defense of the United Kingdom Philip Hammond MP at the Oqsaroy.