Sunday 23 January 2005
December 13, 2004
East: Yushchenko One Of Many Leaders To Seek Foreign Health Care
Viktor Yushchenko (file photo) On 11 December, doctors announced that Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has been suffering from the effects of dioxin poisoning. The news appeared to put an end to months of speculation about the mystery illness that has disfigured Yushchenko's face. But it did not come from doctors in Kyiv. It came from Vienna, where Yushchenko has sought medical care since falling ill on the presidential campaign trail in September. His case, however, highlights numerous other examples of leaders in the former communist world who travel abroad for medical care. Why do they do it? Is it simply due to decrepit post-Soviet health care? Or are these leaders worried about their citizens discovering the true state of their frail health?
November 24, 2004
Azerbaijan: Baku Tells General Assembly Of Armenian Settlement Activity
Azerbaijan's foreign minister has urged the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution expressing concern over alleged Armenian settlements in territories seized 10 years ago. Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told the assembly that thousands of ethnic Armenians have resettled in Azerbaijani districts near the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. But Armenia's UN ambassador denied any such activities. He told the assembly that the bid for a UN resolution could undermine an ongoing process directed by the OSCE.
November 23, 2004
Nagorno-Karabakh: UN General Assembly To Discuss Occupation Of Azerbaijani Land
Azerbaijan is hoping a proposed UN General Assembly resolution on its occupied territory will help resolve a key impediment to peace talks with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. The resolution, to be discussed today (eds: 1600 Prague time), calls for reaffirming Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and seeks an investigation into Azerbaijani claims Armenia is promoting a settlement policy in the occupied lands. Armenia denies this and has said such a resolution could undermine the peace process.
November 10, 2004
Analysis: Azerbaijan Rejects Armenian Warning Over Karabakh Talks
In an exclusive interview on 9 November with RFE/RL's Armenian Service, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov made "serious progress" during their four rounds of talks on approaches to resolving the Karabakh conflict. Oskanian said it is now possible to begin a second stage of talks building on what was achieved earlier, and that Azerbaijan has signaled its readiness for such talks. "Armenia has already given its positive answer and is ready to resume the negotiations [as early as] tomorrow," Oskanian said.
November 09, 2004
East: EBRD Report Finds Former Soviet Oil Economies Booming
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this week confirmed what many in Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia had already suspected -- their economies are booming. In its annual Transition Report, released yesterday, the bank said higher oil and other commodity prices are fueling skyrocketing annual growth for many countries. In fact, the former Soviet Union is now the world's second-fastest-growing region in the world -- behind only China and neighboring countries in Asia. But the high prices won't last forever.
November 05, 2004
Chechen President Congratulates Bush, As Do South Caucasus States
Aslan Maskhadov has sent a telegram to George W. Bush congratulating him on his reelection to a second term as U.S. president, chechenpress.info reported on 5 November. Maskhadov characterizes the United States as a country that embodies for all mankind the principles of democracy and human rights. He said that in their unequal struggle, the Chechen people derive inspiration from the values proclaimed by the U.S. founding fathers. He hailed President Bush personally as embodying "the lofty principles that are fundamental for all those who battle against tyranny."
November 04, 2004
Azerbaijan Hopes For 'Continuity' In U.S. Foreign Policy
In a statement released on 4 November and summarized by Turan, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry expressed the hope that Washington's policy towards Azerbaijan will continue unchanged in the wake of President George W. Bush's reelection.
November 04, 2004
Officials In Caucasus See Little Change Following U.S. Election
Senior defense officials in Georgia and Armenia appeared convinced that given their respective countries' geopolitical significance, no changes were likely in bilateral relations with the United States, whatever the outcome of the 2 November U.S. presidential election. Georgian Defense Minister Giorgi Baramidze told journalists on 2 November that relations between Georgia and the United States are "fundamental" and that both U.S. presidential candidates support the idea of further developing relations with Georgia, especially in the sphere of counterterrorism, Caucasus Press reported.
October 27, 2004
Azerbaijan: Ilham Aliyev Ends Checkered Year As President
On 31 October 2003, 41-year-old Ilham Aliyev formally succeeded his ailing father as president of the oil-rich Caspian republic of Azerbaijan. While taking the oath on the Koran and Azerbaijan's Constitution, Aliyev pledged to bring his country "peace, order, progress, stability, and economic prosperity" and to pursue a path toward democratic reforms. While Aliyev's first year in power has brought some positive changes, he seems unable -- or unwilling -- to make a clean break with his father's controversial legacy.