Iran: Optimism Marks Negotiations; Obstacles Remain

As P5+1 members get ready to renew talks with Iran surrounding its much maligned nuclear program, the possibility of a nuclear deal, while still not guaranteed, is still extant. Sources close to the deal have oscillated from initially optimistic, to overtly pessimistic, to somewhere in between, though at the current juncture it appears that both…

Ukraine: Poroshenko Speaks at UN, Outlines Foreign, Domestic Goals

Newly elected Ukrainian President and former chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko addressed the UN General Assembly earlier this week. Poroshenko, in a cautionary address directed principally at the United States and the European Union, warned that removing sanctions currently levied against Moscow too quickly could lead to a ramping up of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine,…

Afghanistan: Bilateral Security Deal to be signed next week

US Administration officials have announced that they expect the long-debated Bilateral Security Agreement, which will allow US forces to remain in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, to be signed by incoming president-elect Ashraf Ghani next week. Officials said the document would be official signed within “days” of his Monday inauguration. The deal allows some…

NATO: Majority of Russian Forces Have Left Ukraine

NATO has announced that a significant portion of Russian troops operating inside of Ukraine have been withdrawn by Moscow, though some troops have remained behind. The withdrawal has struck many as curious given the fact that EU negotiators have not made headway with their Russian counterparts in cease fire negotiations, and Ukrainian and Russian forces…

Russia: Protests against involvement in Ukraine rock Moscow

Opposition activists in Russia have organized peace marches in Moscow and other Russian cities this week, specifically to protest involvement in the Ukrainian civil war. Numbers of protesters were inexact, but BBC reports them to be at “tens of thousands,” and human rights organizations list approximately 50,000. Moscow police, however, report that only 5,000 protesters…