Artur Tadevosian gently guided his fingers across the strained neck of a client in a warmly lit office in the Armenian capital Yerevan. He knew exactly where to unwind a knot with pressure-point precision.
Criminal charges appear to be looming for Gulnara Karimova, the once high-flying daughter of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov. Prosecutors suspect her of involvement in an organized criminal operation that is believed to have bilked the state out of tens of millions of dollars.
On the Chinese side of the border, a four-story shopping mall offers Kazakhstani shoppers a stunning variety of duty-free goods—from iPhones to auto parts and children's clothes. Visitors can stay in a well-appointed hotel and enjoy solicitous service at a number of Chinese banks.
Confronted with the most daunting security challenge since the end of the Cold War, NATO leaders are preparing to gather in the United Kingdom for a September 4-5 summit. Officials in Georgia – which, like Ukraine at present, has direct experience with Russian aggression -- want NATO to show greater resolve in confronting the Kremlin’s creeping expansionism.
Georgian fruit-and-vegetable exports now enjoy conditional, duty-free access to the European Union, one of the world’s largest markets. But to cash in, Georgia faces the daunting challenge of overhauling its subsistence-based agricultural sector.
With a Georgian church as a demure backdrop, a few unremarkable, tubby middle-aged men stare grimly into the camera. At first glance, this might seem a photo of devout pilgrims. But it is not. The beer-bellied men pictured are alleged Georgian crime-bosses, and they are busy doing what Georgian crime-bosses have learned to do since the collapse of the Soviet era -- adapt to change, and survive.
It's not often that a senior government minister in a European Union member state makes an overtly racist joke on live TV, still rarer that he keeps his job and indeed escapes any sort of censure after doing so.