Russian Ambassador Ivan Volinkin’s recent call “to neutralize” Western-funded non-governmental organizations in Armenia is stoking fears among Armenian activists that the country’s pending membership in the Moscow-led Customs Union will prompt a rollback of civil rights.
Victory Day on May 9 was an occasion for Russians to indulge in patriotic flag waving in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin used the previous day to muster a show of diplomatic support for his efforts to bring formerly Soviet states closer together.
Arslanbek Maliyev grew disillusioned with Islam when he realized foreign missionaries who came to Kyrgyzstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union were more concerned with building mosques than they were with education.
The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey's commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.
There are few outward signs to indicate the Azerbaijani city of Sumgayit, a Soviet-era hub for the petro-chemical industry, is a seedbed of Islamic militancy. Shops and restaurants sell alcohol, and residents dress casually.
The mayhem and indiscriminate violence that define Syria’s civil war could not crush their entrepreneurial spirit: yet for some Syrian-Armenian refugees, the shakedown practices that are part of Armenia’s economic environment are more than they can bear.
These days, Turkmenistan’s strongman, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, would prefer it if Ukraine didn't exist. But try as he might, his government can't keep Turkmen citizens completely in the dark about Ukrainian events.
Tajikistan’s economic minister has one of the toughest jobs in his government: attracting foreign investment to the impoverished Central Asian country, which ranks poorly on international corruption and business-development indices.