CERES News Digest Vol.5 Week 3; Sept.15-19

CERES News Digest is a weekly publication that collects blurbs and article links of the top news headlines from 33 countries in Eurasia.
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    09/15/14 –   9/19/14                On Monday, President Erdogan reiterated a call for the establishment of a “buffer zone” on Turkey’s border against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants. Erdogan stated that Turkish armed forces are in the midst of drawing up plans for the buffer area. Erdogan first called for a “buffer zone” in 2011 at the beginning of the conflict in Syria, urging NATO to aid in securing Turkey’s border  . Today’s Zaman  Wall Street Journal Billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov was placed under house arrest on Tuesday on suspicions of money laundering. The charges against Evtushenkvov, the majority shareholder of the conglomerate Sistema, stem from his majority ownership of oil company Bashneft. Although government officials have stated that the case is not political, others have expressed concerns that the arrest is related to state  business interests. Bloomberg  New York Times  President Poroshenko addressed the U.S. Congress on Thursd ay requesting “lethal and non - lethal aid” from the U.S. to support the Ukrainian army’s efforts in Eastern Ukraine. While President Obama reiterated that the U.S. would not supply lethal aid, he did promise a $46 million  package in non-lethal aid, such as armor and vehicles. CNN ABC News  On Wednesday, the Georgian Parliament began to discuss the status of a bill that would delay the broader use of jury trials by an additional two years. The bill stated that jury trials would become available for all criminal cases  punishable by prison beginning October 1, 2014. Now, officials have raised concerns about the necessary infrastructure and resources required for widespread use of  jury trials. Georgia introduced jury trials in 2011 for cases of aggravated murder in several large cities. RFE/RL  An ethnic Armenian soldier was killed by enemy fire in  Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday morning. Twenty-four-year-old   Mher Hakobyan was fatally wounded on the frontlines between Armenian and Azerbaijani fire in the region. The shooting marks the first Armenian military loss since early August. An investigation has been opened into the death. Armenia Now Public Radio of Armenia  Members of the Moldova Socialist Party were incensed at a statement made by Romanian Prime Minister Ponta arguing for the reunification of Romania and Moldova by 2018. The Socialists, a political opposition group, have urged the government to make a formal complaint to the Romanian leadership. Ponta has since clarified, saying the statement referred to Moldova’s recent signing of an Assoc iation Agreement with the EU, of which Romania is already a member. ITAR-TASS RFE/RL  Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davitoglu declared that “Turkey will continue to be near Azerbaijan in its fight until each square meter of Azerbaijani lands is liberated. ”  Davitoglu recently took over the prime- minister’s office from now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , who is attending the launching ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor in Baku. Eurasia Review  APA.AZ Belarus signed an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq that includes cooperation in the fields of industry, agriculture, education and tourism. Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei visited Erbil and met with KRG senior officials. Rudaw.Net  MFA Belarus     On Tuesday, Ayatollah Khomeini announced that Iran had rejected an American request for cooperation against ISIS. This announcement came after Iran was excluded from a meeting of 24 countries in Paris on Monday that was aimed at confronting the Islamic State. Senior Iranian officials, including President Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, have followed up on Ayatollah Khomeini’s comments with increasing criticism of the US - led coalition’s campaign against ISIS.  The Guardian ABC News  Construction has begun on a new gas pipeline, known as Line D, through Tajikistan. The pipeline will transport gas from Turkmenistan to China and will supplement an existing pipeline that runs through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Line D is expected to come online in 2016 and will transport 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China, increasing Chinese imports of Central Asian gas to 85 billion cubic meters per year. Interfax EurasiaNet  On Monday, representatives of Turkmenistan and the European Union met in Brussels for the sixth round of their Human Rights Dialogue. The European Union delegation reported that they discussed individual cases as well as general concerns about conditions in detention, censorship, restrictions on civil society, and violations of the right to freedom of religion. The next round of the dialogue will take place in 2015 in Ashgabat. KUNA RTT News Mongolian officials said on Monday that a tax dispute with the mining and metals corporation Rio Tinto has been resolved. Rio Tinto has been involved in the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine as part of a $6.5 billion project, which will  produce more than 300,000 tons of copper concentrate per year once finished. The dispute arose between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government regarding an outstanding tax bill for $130 million. Reuters Sydney Morning Herald    On Tuesday, British public relations firm Davidson Ryan Dore published undated photographs of Gulnara Karimova surrounded by guards. The firm claimed that the photos show Karimova in house arrest, under which she has been held for more than seven months for political reasons. The  photos surfaced after Ms. Karimova was charged by the Uzbekistani prosecutor-general last week for having ties to organized crime. This week, a court in Kyrgyzstan postponed the trial of former President Bakiev’ s son, after reopening the trial on September 15. Maksim Bakiev is charged by the Kyrgyz Republic with serious financial misconduct and fraud through illegal banking operations during his father’s  presidency. Maksim Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in 2010 and currently resides in London. Maksim Bakiev was previously sentenced in absentia to 25 years in prison. Tazabek  RFE/RL  Guardian  New York Times  Afghan journalist Palwasha Tokhi was killed on Tuesday, when she was stabbed by an unknown person outside her home in Mazar-i-Sharif. She is now the seventh journalist to have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of 2014, making this the deadliest year for news media since the fall of the Taliban. Tokhi had been working for Bayan Radio in Mazar-i-Sharif. An investigation into her death is currently underway. Huffington Post  New York Times  Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on Friday with Kazakhstan that outlines military-technical cooperation  between the two countries. Under the agreement the   “Movement of military goods from one party’s territory to another party’s territory will be based on the extracts from the lists issued by the parties’ competent authorities, without taking respective decisions on the military products supply and licensing ,” the statement said .  RIA Novosti   of-cease-fire-deal?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world     Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appointed Ewa Kopacz, Poland’s parliamentary speaker, as the country’s new prime minister on Monday. Before becoming  parliamentary speaker, Kopacz had also served as health minister and as a member of parliament from 2001 until 2007. Kopacz will take over as prime minister after December 1, when current Prime Minister Donald Tusk will  become the new European Council president. Global Post  Novinite  Supreme Court Judge Daniela Švecová was elected as the new head of the Slovak Supreme Court by the Judicial Council in second- round voting on Tuesday. Švecová  defeated fellow Supreme Court Justice Daniel Hudák in the election. The position has been vacant since June 22, when Štefan Harabin’s term ended. Harabin attempted to win re -election but did not make it to the second round of voting. Slovak Spectator   Romania and Bulgaria announced that they will begin a  joint air policing drill this month. Codenamed Blue Bridge 2014, the operation is intended to increase cooperation  between the Romanian and Bulgarian air forces and improve their readiness to engage in joint operations. The military exercise will occur in two phases, in September and October, and will focus on responding to hijacked or suspicious aircraft threatening strategic facilities near the  border between the two countries. ITAR-TASS  Baltic Course  The Latvian government announced on Tuesday that it would be selling its 75% share in Citadele Banka to an American private equity firm. The ERBD will maintain its 25% share in the bank. The sale will likely be completed at the end of the month for a currently undisclosed sum. Citadele is the successor of Parex Bank, which was bailed out by the Latvian government in 2008. Bloomberg   Reuters Deutsche Welle ABC Official Vilnius declared that Russia has detained a fishing vessel that belongs to Lithuania. Vilnius says that the detention took place while the vessel was operating in international waters; however Moscow held the vessel based on the alleged claim that it entered Russia’s territorial waters. The vessel had 28 people on board, the nationalities of whom remain unknown.  RFE/RL Despite the latest developments in Ukraine, Tallinn thinks there are no signs that will prevent the enforcement of the long-awaited border treaty between Estonia and Russia. The treaty that was signed earlier this year is expected to be ratified by Russian and Estonian Parliaments. “There has  been not a single signal from the Russian side that the  process may be suspended,” - said Urmas Paet, Foreign Minister of Estonia on Wednesday.   The Czech Red Cross, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, is providing medical aid for Ukraine. This accounts for the 7th delivery of the humanitarian aid from the Czech Republic to Ukraine. Earlier this week, the Czech Government authorized 50 million Czech crowns to be given to Ukraine for projects that aim to tackle health issues and educational and social facilities across the Ukraine.   The United States is concerned with the recent developments concerning NGO raids in Hungary. Kate Byrnes, Deputy US representative to the OSCE in Vienna made a statement that the measures taken by the Hungarian Government represent “the accelerating intimidation of civil society in Hungary. ” EuroNews

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