WASHINGTON -- A tussle is brewing in Washington over who will be included on a U.S. list of sanctioned Russian officials to be published next month.
Officials with the State Department are reportedly advocating steps that would shorten the politically sensitive "Magnitsky list," while members of Congress and NGOs who support a more sweeping list are vowing to push back.
The US ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, is wrapping up a “listening tour” that featured meetings with Diaspora leaders in cities across the United States. Heffern’s mission was aimed primarily at encouraging the Armenian Diaspora in the United States to join in governmental efforts to strengthen Yerevan’s connections to the West.
The volume of narcotics flowing out of Afghanistan to Central Asia and Russia appears to have decreased slightly over the past year. But the stockpile of opiates that traffickers already have on hand is sufficient to supply users in Central Asia and Russia for 15 years, according to a leading drug-control expert in Kyrgyzstan.
Ancient Persia was a heavily trafficked corridor on the Silk Road, the transcontinental trade route between China and the West that flourished centuries ago. But in Washington’s imagining of a 21st century version of the Silk Road, Iran seems set to be bypassed.