Author: Knar Zadian

EU

Europe’s new “Iron Lady”, Estonia’s Kaja Kallas, is one of the strongest voices for an uncompromising stand against belligerent Russia. Brussels (30 June – 28). Having grown up under the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Kaja Kallas was urging EU leaders to take the Russian threat seriously long before the invasion of Ukraine On Saturday, the Reform Party chose climate minister Kristen Michal to replace outgoing Kaja Kallas, who is the EU’s new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The unanimous decision to nominate Michal was made following a closed-door meeting by the party’s governing board only two days after…

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Dubai/Astana (10 June – 60). The Pamiris are an ethnic minority group in Tajikistan, culturally distinct from the majority Tajik population. They have faced persecution and discrimination in their mountain homeland bordering Afghanistan that some experts say amounts to ethnic cleansing and even genocide. One of the lead persecutors is Ministry of Internal Affairs “Maj. Gen.” Shorukh Syedzada, a former football team manager with no law enforcement experience and a confidante of the president’s son and heir designate. The Pamiris continue to be marginalized and oppressed by the authorities. As a result, many Pamiris have been forced to flee their…

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s itinerary for his unscheduled visit to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, remains undisclosed. In an unannounced visit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lands in Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, and gets greeted by Saudi officials, including the national security advisor and ambassador to Kiev, according to reports by the official Saudi Press Agency. As of now, no details regarding Zelensky’s itinerary have been made public. In recent weeks, Zelensky has been on a global tour to garner support and encourage attendance for an upcoming summit in Switzerland this weekend. His travels have included visits to traditional European Union allies, as well as countries in…

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Moscow (28/2). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that non-governmental organizations in Central Asia have stepped up their anti-Russian activities amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army. Shoigu said this at the board of the Russian Ministry of Defense on February 27. According to him, there are more than 100 “large pro-Western non-governmental organisations” operating in Central Asia, which have more than 16,000 representative offices and branches. “Against the backdrop of the special military operation, these NGOs have significantly increased their anti-Russian activities in order to reduce military-technical, economic and cultural cooperation between the Central Asian states and Russia.…

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All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree setting out the routine spring conscription campaign, calling up 150,000 citizens for statutory military service, a document posted on the Kremlin’s website showed on Sunday (31 March). All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18. In July Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30…

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The question of Nagorno-Karabakh is unlikely to be discussed any time soon after Azerbaijan took control of the region in September. Europeans should now diplomatically engage with all sides to prevent further escalation, while supporting Armenia’s domestic political stability and strengthening its defence capabilities. Azerbaijan retook the long disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia decided not to respond militarily, out of a lack of capabilities and an unwillingness to engage in another bloody war which they would eventually lose. After Azerbaijan’s months-long blockade, some 100,000 residents of the enclave fled to Armenia in just a few days. Many were housed by Armenians, largely avoiding an immediate refugee crisis.…

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Whether the Armenian diamond-cutting industry is hurt or helped by the likely sanctions will depend on the EU’s ability to trace the gems’ origin to Russia. The EU appears set on including prohibitions on the sale of Russian diamonds in its upcoming 12th package of sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. The move, aimed at exerting pressure on Russia’s economy and depriving it of financial resources to wage its war, is certain to have an effect on Armenia’s important and growing diamond-cutting industry. Whether that effect is negative or positive will depend on how the EU will manage…

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 A protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations was signed between the Republic of Armenia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The protocol was signed in Abu Dhabi by the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the UAE, Karen Grigoryan, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UAE, Sultan bin Abdullah Al-Angari. The two countries established diplomatic relations guided by the intention to strengthen bilateral relations and expand the scope of cooperation as well as to support international security and peace. The document on the establishment of diplomatic relations indicates both countries’ desire “to consolidate…

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Persistently high interest rates are putting stress on corporate balance sheets and leaving increasing numbers of firms here and across the region at risk of bankruptcy, according to a new report and experts. The report noted that high interest rates have created an unfavourable borrowing environment, operational challenges and dented consumer spending. These have resulted in a broad-based increase in distressed companies, unlike previous cycles in Asia where the pain was concentrated in specific industries such as the shipping and oil sectors. The report from global consultants AlixPartners noted that Asia’s restructuring market is expected to heat up over the…

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In the latest display of Asia’s rising space capability, a Chinese rocket carrying a Pakistani satellite will take off in May headed for the far side of the Moon. The Chang’e-6 mission will for the first time bring back samples from the Moon’s dark side, said China’s National Space Administration (CSNA). To promote international cooperation, the 8.2-tonne spacecraft will carry payloads from several countries including France, Italy and Pakistan as well as the European Space Agency, Xinhua news service reported. The scheduled May launch will be the second time China has carried a Pakistani satellite into space, after China put into orbit two of…

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