Sunday 1 May 2005
April 27, 2005
GUUAM: Ukraine Aspires To Leadership Role In Revitalized Organization
How much has GUUAM's face changed since this 2002 summit, which included (from left)Azerbaijan's Heidar Aliyev, Georgia's Eduard Shevardnadze, Ukraine's Leonid Kuchma, and Moldova's Vladimir Voronin? 27 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Following Viktor Yushchenko's election late last year as Ukrainian president and Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin's espousal of an unequivocally pro-Western foreign policy orientation, many observers anticipated that the long-awaited summit of the GUUAM alignment in Chisinau on 22 April would herald a new era in that body's activities.
April 23, 2005
World: OSCE Debates Its Election Monitoring
The OSCE -- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- has come under sharp criticism from Russia on the criteria it uses and conclusions it reaches in monitoring elections. Russia charges that the process is politically weighted. Leaders of the organization have just completed a two-day review in Vienna. Debate was lively but few minds appear to have been changed about the way the OSCE decides whether elections are fair and democratic.
April 22, 2005
East: GUUAM Summit In Chisinau Focuses On Separatism, Regional Cooperation
Ukraine's Yushchenko was active in Chisinau (file photo) The presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova gathered today in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau for a summit of the regional grouping GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova). It's the group's first gathering since "velvet revolutions" brought pro-Western leaders to office in Georgia and Ukraine, and Moldova shifted its foreign policy priorities toward the West. EU and NATO expansion have also altered the European political landscape. This evolving perspective laid the groundwork for today's gathering, which focused on separatism, regional cooperation, and promoting GUUAM's geopolitical profile.
April 21, 2005
East: GUUAM Summit Aims To Revitalize Regional Body
GUUAM -- the group comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova -- was formed eight years ago with the aim of fostering regional cooperation outside the boundaries of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). But GUUAM's accomplishments were largely reduced to a series of signed agreements that never came to fruition. But now efforts are under way to revitalize the group. Leaders from four of the five member-states are gathering tomorrow in the Moldovan capital Chisinau in an attempt to breathe new life into a group that is increasingly turning away from Moscow and looking toward the West.
April 19, 2005
Azerbaijan: Opposition Begins Early Election Campaign
In recent weeks, a number of anti-government coalitions have emerged in Azerbaijan with the aim of winning parliamentary seats in elections in November. The opposition in the past has often failed to join forces in time to make a political impact. But leaders of these groups say they have learned from past mistakes and are determined to work together in order to bring democratic change to the country. RFE/RL talked to the leaders of two of the new alliances -- former presidential aide Eldar Namazov and Popular Front Chairman Ali Kerimli.
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 11, 2005
Kazakhstan/Azerbaijan: Governments Try To Keep Young On Their Side
Will events in Kyrgyzstan bring change to its neighbors? In the wake of protest movements in Georgia, Ukraine and more recently in Kyrgyzstan, authorities in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are increasing the amount of attention they pay to their young people. The leadership in both countries is hoping to lure the youth toward pro-government support -- and away from political movements that might eventually take them to the street in search of regime change. For more on the rise of political youth groups, see RFE/RL's special website "The Power of Youth." --> /specials/youth/
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.