Ministers from Russia and Ukraine to meet in Berlin for negotiations

A meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in Berlin has been arranged to discuss terms for ending the heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, which has only intensified over the weekend. The meeting will be attended by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and France’s Laurent Fabius. Russia has continuously…

Afghanistan: Abdullah Ally Threatens Uprising if Abdullah Loses

Attah Mohammed Noor, one of Abdullah’s leading allies and a divisive figure in the Afghan political scene, has warned of an impending “civil uprising” should the results of the ongoing recount of votes cast in Afghanistan’s elections go against Abdullah. Noor, who has previously acted as governor of the influential northern province of Balkh and…

Ashraf Ghani rejects power-sharing deal with Abdullah

Ashraf Ghani said yesterday that because the recount deadline is slipping, he is unsure that there will be an obligation for the winner of the election to fully share power with the loser. This refers to an agreement brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry to both recount the vote and diffuse tensions between…

Russia-sponsored humanitarian convoy to enter Ukraine

A humanitarian aid operation led by the Red Cross will enter Eastern Ukraine impoverished and war-torn province of Luthansk this week. The operation, which is ostensibly headed up by the Red Cross and backed by Russia, the United States and the European Union, had previously been categorically denied by the Ukrainian government, which perceived it…

Kyrgyzstan to face major energy shortage in winter months

The Kyrgyz government is preparing for a major electricity shortage in the coming winter months, with a deficit reported at 1.5 billion kilowatt hours. To stave off massive blackouts, they have been preparing several contingencies to keep the already energy-starved country supplied with electricity. Agreements with Kazakhstan to provide between 500 million and 1 billion…

First Afghan Commercial Rail Network Operational

The Asian Development Bank’s efforts to finance and see to fruition a highway connecting northern Afghan cities Mazar-i-Sharif and Hairatan have been recognized by the US Department of Treasury for significantly improving transportation networks within Afghanistan. The rail line, though relatively short at just 75 km, will nonetheless greatly expand Afghanistan’s own transportation capabilities, and…

Russia institutes import ban on goods from US, EU

Russian authorities, in an escalating war of economic sanctions, have instituted a ban on importations of food and agricultural products from Europe and the United States, as well as some of their allies who supported sanctions against Russia. Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev announced that all beef, pork, fish, fruit, vegetable, and dairy products from the…

Azerbaijan Continues Crack Down on Journalists, Human Rights Activists

Human rights abuses in Azerbaijan have garnered the attention of international NGOs concerned about the Azerbaijani government’s “relentless crackdown” on individuals with opinions contrary to those of alleged strongman and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Arif Yanus, a journalist and human rights advovate working for the Baku-based Institute for Peace and Democracy was recently arrested and…

US General killed in insider attack in Kabul

US Major General Harold Greene was shot and killed in an insider attack yesterday morning in Kabul. The attack occurred at Marshal Fahim National Defense University, despite earlier reports that the shooting had happened at Camp Qargha. The attack was carried out by a shooter wearing an Afghan military uniform, and the Taliban claimed responsibility…

Russia Doubles Size of Military Force on Ukrainian Border

The size of Russian military forces gathered on Ukraine’s borders has doubled in recent days, increasing the possibility that a Russian military incursion into Ukraine is imminent. The rapid buildup of forces on the Russia-Ukraine border coincides directly with the Ukrainian military’s own siege of Donetsk, known as the last significant rebel stronghold within Ukraine.…