Iran and Russia Ink New Defense Treaty

Iranian and Russian officials inked a new cooperation deal this past Tuesday. The agreement has a two-tier focus, the first of which is military, whilst the other is technological. The military aspect was signed off on by the two countries’ respective defense ministers, and was seemingly engineered to counter a perceived threat posed by the…

Russia: Current sovereign debt ratings will be ignored

Russia’s Central Bank has announced it will use credit ratings of lenders before March 1 of last year (2014) in determining its capital requirements, artificially easing pressure on debt ridden Russian companies struggling for refinancing. Without access to Western capital markets, companies have either been forced to accept egregiously high interest rates from non-Western banks,…

Ukraine: Military Retakes Donetsk Airport

The Ukrainian military announced that its forces have successfully regained control of the Donetsk airport. The Ukrainian military has long laid siege to the airport, which for months has been the sight of intensive fighting between separatist militias and Ukrainian military. The latest spat of intense fighting has seemingly shaken the last bastions of separatist…

Ukraine: Separatists retake control of Donetsk Airport

Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic claim to have captured the Donetsk city airport, although officials in Kiev deny these reports. If true, the claim would signal the first significant territorial advance by the rebels since signing the cease-fire pact. The pact has mostly been considered a nominal one, with near-daily violations…

Russia: Gazprom Will Route All EU Gas Through Turkey

Russian energy major Gazprom announced that the company will begin to shift the flow of natural gas supplies destined for the European Union. Gazprom chief Alexei Miller stated that the company will begin to channel resources through Turkey, and from that point into European markets. The move appears to be geopolitically motivated, as it will…

Afghanistan: Ghani finally names new cabinet

Political gridlock in Afghanistan began to ease on Monday, as President Ashraf Ghani at last released a list of cabinet nominees after a quarter of a year in office. The piecemeal government formed from the coalitions of Abdullah Abdullah and Ghani began with fanfare but was slowly mired in disagreements over government formation and which…