Iran: US Senate Rejects Republican Bill

The United States senate rejected an effort that would have made mandatory any treaty brokered with Iran to be considered an “international treaty.” If it had passed, the provision would have made any deal’s ratification dependent on a two-thirds vote by the US senate. The measure was proposed by a number of Republican senators and…

Ukraine: EU holds summit in Kiev

A summit between leaders of the European Union and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko yesterday did little to convince onlookers that Ukraine would be joining the EU anytime soon. The EU has downplayed a prior claim that they would consider a peacekeeping mission to eastern Ukraine, while Poroshenko loudly defended the debt restricting deal/economic reforms and…

Kazakhstan: Country Votes in ‘Hardly Visible’ Election

Presidential elections are being held in Kazakhstan this week. Though there is a multiplicity of candidates in the running, only one is expected to receive a significant percentage of the vote: incumbent Nursaltan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev, the first and only president of Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, published an op-ed in a prominent…

Kyrgyzstan: PM resigns over Kumtor-Centerra impasse

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev announced he is stepping down after just over a year in office, making this the fifth prime minister the country has seen since the 2010 revolution. Otorbaev didn’t give an immediate reason for his resignation but the move comes in the midst of an enormous debate over the operations of…

CASA-1000 Final Deal Signing Imminent

Sources close to the CASA-1000 negotiations indicate that the deal will finally be signed today or tomorrow in Istanbul. Officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are set to convene anew to finalize the terms of the much-discussed but frequently-delayed hydroelectric transmission project. According to these same sources, one two of the major factors still being…

Russia: EU pursues anti-trust suit against Gazprom

Today, EU antitrust regulators have made the case the Gazprom has abused its dominance over European natural gas markets. The European Commission said that unfair pricing has resulted in higher gas prices in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – most of which are almost 100% dependent on imported Russian natural gas. Regulators assert a…

China Continues New Silk Road Development, Xi Visits Pakistan

China continues to develop plans to implement its New Silk Road policy. Specifically, Beijing recently maneuvered to inject approximately $62bn USD into state-controlled “policy banks” in order to further development of the planned trade route. The strategy outlined by the Chinese government includes significant amounts of infrastructure development throughout the region, as well as already-implemented…