Saturday 2 October 2004
September 30, 2004
Russia: Putin Enlists Help Of Russia's Religious Leaders To Fight Terrorism
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Russia's religious communities to help fight terrorism. Leaders from Russia's Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths all indicated their general agreement with Putin's aims. Putin's call comes amid ongoing worries of inter-ethnic tensions in the North Caucasus following the Beslan school siege.
September 30, 2004
Georgia: Separatist Region Gears Up For Presidential Polls
Georgia's separatist republic of Abkhazia holds presidential elections on 3 October to replace its ailing leader, Vladislav Ardzinba. For the first time since the Black Sea region won de facto independence, the poll is marked by a relatively broad variety of candidates. Yet, whoever rises to power in Sukhum, a quick resolution of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict seems unlikely.
September 29, 2004
North Caucasus: Growing Instability Keeps Aid Out Of Chechnya
Chechnya has obvious humanitarian needs, and the international community -- led by the European Union and the United Nations -- has made available significant funds to meet them. However, growing instability in the region and fears for aid workers' physical safety are instead pushing support efforts further afield. RFE/RL spoke today with Philippe Royan, the head of the EU's humanitarian aid office in Moscow, who said the recent return of most refugees to Chechnya has made it harder for aid to reach them.
September 28, 2004
Georgia: Minister Says Tbilisi To Seek Common Ground With Russia
Georgian leaders have sought to use the opening of the UN General Assembly debate to promote a new relationship with Russia. In his assembly address, President Mikheil Saakashvili said rapprochement with Russia would be a central part of Georgia's ongoing transition efforts. In a later interview, Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili told RFE/RL that her government wants to highlight the common interests the two sides have in establishing border security and resolving the unsettled status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
September 26, 2004
Analysis: Russia -- Between Terror And Corruption
The Moscow theater tragedy of October 2002 is still fresh in Russian minds (file photo) [For more on the recent wave of violence in Russia's ongoing battle with terrorism, click here --> http://www.rferl.org/specials/russia-terror/ .]
September 24, 2004
Analysis: Abkhazia, South Ossetia Reject Georgian President's New Peace Plan
Georgian President Saakashvili (file photo) Addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September, Mikheil Saakashvili outlined a three-stage plan for resolving Tbilisi's conflicts with the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by exclusively peaceful means, RFE/RL's UN correspondent reported.
September 23, 2004
Iraq: Mixed Signals On Support For Security At UN
There have been mixed signals from leaders at the UN General Assembly about contributing forces to safeguard Iraq's elections. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has remained noncommittal about providing peacekeepers, while Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili affirmed her country's offer of hundreds of troops to a UN special protection force.
September 22, 2004
Georgia: President Vows Peaceful Resolution Of Separatist Conflicts
Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has told the UN General Assembly that Georgia aims to solve its separatist conflicts with South Ossetia and Abkhazia peacefully and find new ways of cooperating with Russia. Saakashvili called for an enhanced international role, saying the unresolved conflicts pose a threat to Georgia and the region. He outlined a series of measures aimed at building trust and unifying the state. The president also became the first leader to formally commit forces to protect UN personnel in Iraq.