In a development that could influence Kyrgyzstan’s willingness to prolong the lease of the Manas Transit Center outside Bishkek, a US Embassy official has confirmed that a joint Kyrgyz-Russian venture is now delivering the majority of fuel consumed at the base.
A pending court case is refocusing attention on the issue of religious freedom in Azerbaijan. Officials are seeking to revoke the registration of a small Christian community in Baku. If successful, it would mark the first closure of what had once been an officially recognized denomination, since new registration procedures came into force in 2009.
The Kremlin is getting cranky over Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to obtain aid without any diplomatic payback. To convey their displeasure, Russian officials are now delaying cooperation agreements and demanding an expanded share of a Kyrgyz military facility.
For a few dedicated academics, the Cold War isn’t dead. While recent archival research tends to uphold existing interpretations of the superpower confrontation, scholars have made a few exciting finds.
In early April, a Tajik driver died when an avalanche near the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan crushed his truck, smashing its contents. The tragic episode highlights the danger of an environmental incident posed by the transport of hazardous materials along the Northern Distribution Network.
With Mongolia’s economy poised for boom times, politics is taking a dodgy turn. The April 13 arrest of a former president, Nambar Enkhbayar, on corruption charges has some analysts in Mongolia worried about the formerly communist state’s democratization process. The timing of the arrest has raised questions in the capital Ulaanbaatar about political motives.
Orthodox Easter was celebrated on April 15 in Georgia. This year, Misha Tabatadze could not join in the traditional pilgrimage to visit the graves of loved ones. He could not light a candle in the cemetery where his daughter, Etuna, is buried, or place a brightly dyed red egg on her grave.
Villagers in Daroot-Korgon, high in southwest Kyrgyzstan’s Chon-Alai range, can finally see the ground. But following the harshest winter in memory, many herders are facing a struggle to stay on their feet.
The last time that Turkey sought to mediate between Iran and the international community over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, it ended in a diplomatic fiasco. Now, two years later, Turkey is trying again. Will the results prove any different?