The influx of Iranian tourists in March to celebrate Nowruz, the traditional Persian New Year, is a major economic event for businesses in Armenia’s capital Yerevan. But while plenty of restaurants and clubs in the city display signs in Farsi, reports of discrimination against Iranian visitors suggest that the tourism surge is a source of social friction.
In the months following the cleanest elections ever held in Kyrgyzstan, several elected deputies suddenly lost their seats, and, in the process, revealed the shadowy horse-trading that passes for politics in Central Asia’s most lively parliament.
MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine two years ago as a long-awaited moment of “historic justice,” while Western governments assailed Moscow over the annexation and Human Rights Watch described a “pervasive climate of fear and repression” on the peninsula.
Many proponents of European Union integration tend to see the Georgian Orthodox Church as an obstacle on Georgia’s path to Brussels. But a new initiative in Tbilisi aims to make the Church a firm supporter of closer EU ties.
Tajikistan’s banking system is edging closer to the precipice. Panic is spreading among customers at the country’s second-largest private lender, which services swaths of government workers and employees at international organizations.