Ukraine tense over Russian gas supply

To compound already-bursting tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the Russian oil and gas company Gazprom has raised prices to the country by 37% by cancelling a discount and even threatening to cut supplies entirely. This, according to a statement delivered by Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan, means that Ukraine will be forced to pay $368.50…

CASA-1000 Negotiations Continue

Negotiations on the CASA-1000 Power Supply Program have continued today in Istanbul. The proposed transmission project will transmit 1300 MW of surplus electricity from existing hydroelectric power sources in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan to power-starved end markets in Pakistan and India. Details over the Power Purchase agreement are still being hotly debated, especially as…

Iran Condemns Afghan Opium Trade

Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters for International Relations has issued a statement condemning the traffic of heroin through Iranian territory. Deputy General Mahmoud Bayat took advantage of a meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Ministry to underline Iranian discontent with the increasingly voluminous quantity of heroin trafficked both into Iranian drug markets and through Iran destined for markets in…

Russian Occupation of Ukrainian Crimea Deepens

More than 6,000 Russian forces flowed into the Ukrainian region of Crimea on Saturday, generating strong fervent criticism from Western powers and placing Ukraine in an uncertain situation. The maneuvers engaged in by the Russian forces began Friday with the arrival of armed men to the southeastern Ukrainian region, but the incursion into Ukrainian territory…

Railways in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran

Construction of a new route linking oil and gas giants Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran is grinding slowly towards completion. Though initial estimates on project had it fully operational as early as 2011, recent headway on the project in Turkmenistan, the last remaining 90 kilometer stretch of the nearly 900 kilometer (559 miles) railway, is expected…

Violent Clashes in Kiev Leave Hundreds of Casualties

Ongoing violence in Independence Square, or Maidan, in Kiev, Ukraine, has claimed the lives of more than 50 Ukrainian protestors and seen hundreds more injured. The rapid escalation in aggression impetuously put an end to a short-lived truce brokered between the Ukrainian government and opposition party leaders. Though the principal catalyzing factor remains unknown, both…

The Great Gas Game, Part II

Turkmenistan is not the only source of LNG in Central Asia. Iran has long hoped to marshal its LNG resources but its central problem is the hesitancy of its neighbors to enter into a partnership to develop pipeline infrastructure. This is partially due to the harsh economic sanctions placed upon the Iranian economy on account…

Financial Sector Corruption in Russia

Allegations of widespread corruption in Russia are not a new phenomenon. However, as Sergey Guriev, a leading Russian economist and former Rector of the New Economic School of Moscow, pointed out in a speech delivered at Columbia University this past Friday, the problems facing the Russian, while endemic and deeply ingrained, can be ascribed to…

Hundreds Arrested in Kashmir

Thousands of members of India’s Armed Forces were deployed throughout Kashmir, a region in northwestern India, on the anniversary of the execution of Afzal Guru, a prominent Indian nationalist as well as the alleged mastermind behind attacks carried out against the Indian Parliament in December of 2001. Authorities are said to have instituted a curfew…