Friday 1 April 2005
March 31, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Youth Group Says Fight Is Not Over
Protests in Bishkek on 24 March. (file photo) In the weeks that preceded the Kyrgyz revolution, many believed the KelKel youth organization would spearhead political changes in the country, just as similar groups had done in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. It isn't clear to what extent KelKel was ultimately responsible for the 24 March upheaval. But KelKel did claim a significant role in helping Kyrgyzstan's new authorities restore order in Bishkek. Life is slowly returning to normal in the Central Asian nation. And KelKel leaders say they will be carefully watching the interim leadership that succeeded the government of ousted President Askar Akaev. For more on the rise of political youth groups, see RFE/RL's special website "The Power of Youth." --> /specials/youth/
March 29, 2005
U.S.: State Department Cites Success In Promoting Rights, Democracy
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. (file photo) Each year, the U.S. State Department issues two reports on human rights and democracy around the world. Earlier this month, it published the annual document that rates the records of other countries. Yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was present as the department released a separate report on how the United States government promotes human rights and democracy.
March 26, 2005
Ukraine/Georgia: Presidents Discuss Common Policies
By Yuri Svirko http://gdb.rferl.org/0F920581-D44D-4AB3-AEF0-F2BADBF95BCA_w203.jpg President Saakashvili (file photo) The Georgian and Ukrainian heads of state met in Kyiv on 25 March to affirm their mutual cooperation and to discuss both regional and bilateral issues. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a declaration to enhance their countries' strategic partnership. They also emerged with pledges to assist each other's efforts to join the EU and NATO, contribute to efforts to resolve frozen conflicts in the Transdniester and Abkhazia, and re-energize the regional GUUAM alliance.
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 25, 2005
Georgian President In Ukraine On Visit
Georgian President Saakashvili (file photo) Kyiv, 24 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili arrived in Ukraine today for talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko aimed at expanding cooperation between the two Western-oriented states.
March 22, 2005
UN: Officials 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Georgia-Abkhaz Process
UN peacekeeping officials say there are encouraging signals that leaders of Georgia and separatist Abkhazia are prepared to revive the dormant peace process. UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guehenno told the UN Security Council yesterday that there is a willingness on both sides to discuss progress on practical issues, ranging from economic ties to the return of displaced persons. But there is no sign, he said, that Abkhaz officials are softening their call for independence from Georgia.
March 21, 2005
Analysis: Can Georgia Form An Effective Opposition?
Saakashvilli (file photo) It took Mikheil Saakashvili a little over two years from the time he resigned as justice minister in the late summer of 2001 to emerge as the leader of an opposition alignment that succeeded in tapping popular disaffection with the corrupt and inept Georgian leadership and forcing the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze. Numerous prominent members of the former leadership are now disgraced or in pretrial custody. But a handful of them have recently joined forces with other opposition bodies with the aim of duplicating Saakashvili's success by precipitating the ouster of what they term a government of "dilettantes" and holding pre-term parliamentary and presidential elections.
March 17, 2005
Georgia Reassures Russia It Will Not Host NATO Bases
17 March 2005 -- Georgian Minister of State for Conflict Resolution Giorgi Khaindrava today reassured Russia that Georgia won't host NATO troops on its territory after Russia withdraws it troops from the last two Russian bases in the country.
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.