Monday 13 June 2005
April 15, 2005
CIS: Weakest States Show Strong Growth But Experts Urge Expanded Reforms
CIS leaders at the Astana summit in September 2004 Reports issued by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of their spring meetings on 16-17 April show continued strong growth in some of the poorest states of the former Soviet Union. These economies were bolstered in part by high prices for oil, metals, and other commodities they possess. But experts at the World Bank and IMF stress that countries in the region must enact institutional reforms in order to sustain this growth.
April 14, 2005
Armenia: Yerevan Appears Unmoved At Turkey’s Genocide-Study Offer
Yerevan showed little response today after Ankara’s proposal to conduct a joint investigation into the mass killings and deportations of Armenians during World War I. Turkish leaders yesterday suggested that both countries set up a joint commission of historians to determine whether the massacres carried out between 1915 and 1917 constituted genocide. Armenia insists it will continue to seek international recognition and condemnation of what it says was a deliberate attempt at exterminating an entire people. RFE/RL correspondent Jean-Christophe Peuch reports.
April 08, 2005
Nagorno-Karabakh: OSCE To Unveil New Peace Plan
8 April 2005 -- The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Vartan Oskanian and Elmar Mammadyarov, will meet in London on 15 April to discuss new proposals drafted by the OSCE Minsk Group for resolving the Karabakh conflict, a Moscow correspondent for RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported on 5 April quoting Yurii Merzlyakov, the Russian Minsk Group Co-chairman. Merzlyakov did not give details of the new peace plan, other than to warn that it will require mutual concessions from both sides. Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian warned last week that "painful" concessions are unavoidable (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 31 March 2005). The London talks will also determine whether Armenian President Robert Kocharian will meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliev in Moscow next month on the sidelines of a Council of Europe summit in Warsaw.
April 07, 2005
U.S.: Key Cold War Legislation Still Plays Role In Trade
Ukranian President Viktor Yushchenko has called on Washington to "tear down the wall" of Jackson-Vanik The U.S. Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik amendment 31 years ago as a measure aimed at permitting the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union. It was extraordinarily successful. But long after the collapse of the Soviet Union it has remained in force for a number of former Soviet states, preventing them from gaining permanent normal trade relations with Washington. Its importance has resurfaced this month as U.S. and Ukrainian officials move to strengthen ties. Ukraine appears ready to join a dozen other former communist states freed from its restrictions.
April 07, 2005
UN: World Health Day Report Focuses On 'Invisible Crisis' In Maternal, Infant Mortality
The UN's World Health Day is being observed today The UN's World Health Organization (WHO) calls it the "invisible health crisis" -- the preventable deaths of millions of mothers during childbirth, and of newborns and small children due to disease and other factors. The theme of this year's World Health Day -- observed today -- is the well-being of mothers and children around the world.
March 31, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Are Further Revolutions Inevitable In The CIS?
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has concentrated power in his extended family. (file photo) Following uprisings in Georgia and Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev last week became the third post-Soviet leader in recent months to be felled by a popular uprising. The speed of Akaev's demise surprised many observers, prompting questions about what made his regime so fragile. Some are now asking who will be next in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)?
March 25, 2005
Central Asia: Regional Officials Cautious As Oppositions Rejoice At Events In Kyrgyzstan
Putin (in file photo) broke a virtual silence among regional leaders on events in Kyrgyzstan The official response in Central Asia has been muted to the swift ouster of President Askar Akaev's administration on Thursday. Such caution is to be expected in a region populated by regimes with notoriously spotty records on democracy and human rights. Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into that void during a visit to Armenia on Friday, condemning what he described as "illegitimate" efforts to overthrow the Kyrgyz government. But he also hastened to say that Moscow knows the Kyrgyz opposition well and wants to maintain relations with Bishkek.
March 16, 2005
East: FBI Breaks Weapons-Smuggling Ring Linked To Russia, Caucasus
A lengthy investigation by U.S. agents has led to 17 people in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami being charged with various weapons-trafficking offenses. Armenian and South African nationals are among those arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to smuggle rocket-propelled missiles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and other Russian military weapons into the United States for sale. Prosecutors say the case raises alarm over the willingness of traffickers to sell arms to terrorists.
March 15, 2005
Russia's Wounded Imperial Consciousness
Whither the CIS? Many observers in Russia and abroad believe that recent events in Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova have rung the death knell for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the fragile association that rose up in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.