Political process

EUROPEtaylorFor most former Soviet states, the consensus about Russia's overtures in Crimea is very simple: It's bad. Georgia, itself on the receiving end of Russia's military in 2008, isn't too pleased, with President Giorgi Margvelashvili saying Moscow's moves "represent flagrant interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign state [...] and pose a threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity." Estonia's Foreign Ministry said that Russia's actions threatened the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Ukraine, while representatives of Lithuania and Latvia have also spoke out to criticize Moscow.

The Soviet Union collapsed more than 20 years ago, yet genuine democracy is still a stranger in most of the 15 former republics. Ukraine, where at least 25 people were killed on Tuesday, is just the latest bloody example. From President Vladimir Putin's hard-line rule in Russia to the 20-year reign of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus to the assorted strongmen of Central Asia, many post-Soviet rulers consistently display a fondness for the old days, when opposition was something to be squashed, not tolerated.

Vladimir Kim, chairman of the FTSE 100 mining company Kazakhmys and one of Britain's wealthiest residents, has been accused of giving false evidence to a foreign court during the trial of a former prime minister of Kazakhstan.

Turkey has not received an official offer to join the Customs Union, which comprises Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Turkish media reported on October 26 citing sources in the Foreign Ministry. According to the report, a year ago Ankara was invited to join the Customs Union and the organization held negotiations with Turkey in this regard. However, currently the talks have lost their relevance.

Rome (dpa) - Italy may take action against Kazakhstan's ambassador if the central Asian republic fails to ensure the wellbeing of the wife and daughter of a dissident that Rome has wrongly deported, Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said Wednesday.


cameron1David Cameron is under pressure from human rights campaigners as he prepares to do business with Kazakhstan. He will become the first serving British leader to visit the oil-rich country in the next few days.


The Kazakh Opposition in Exile is protesting against Switzerland granting political asylum to the former Mayor of Almaty Viktor Khrapunov and his family. Journalistic circles have publicised the fact that the former Mayor of Almaty, Akim of the East Kazakhstan Province and Kazakh Minister for Emergencies Viktor Khrapunov and the members of his family have applied to Switzerland for political asylum as members of the opposition and campaigners for human rights.

The spread of religious extremism threatens stability in mainly Muslim Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday, urging parliament to adopt tougher laws on migration and religious activity. Oil-producing Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest and most successful economy, has only recently witnessed outbursts of militant Islam experienced by other former Soviet states in the vast region bordering Afghanistan.

(SRI) - Russia’s Interior Ministry has completed a preliminary investigation of several Russian businessmen accused of being involved in a $730-million fraud scheme surrounding land deals of Kazakhstan’s [1] BTA Bank in Moscow, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

livejournalALMATY (Reuters) - A court in Kazakhstan ruled on Friday to block access to 13 foreign Internet sites, including the popular blogging service LiveJournal, saying they were propagating terrorism and inciting religious hatred.