Author: Stamatios Zurleas

Kiev, London (25/3 – 50) Kiev is being bombed by the Russians, but despite the dangers the indiscriminate bombing brings, Ukrainians have their humor, and a bit of the “so what” attitude. Let’s call her Maria, because we don’t know her correct name and we don’t want to endanger the young coffee aficionado to targeted Russian attacks targeting the Ukrainian spirit of everything can be fixed with a good cup of coffee. The young Ukrainian barista keeps working despite today’s Russian missile strike destroying large parts of her cafe. “They won’t be able to break us,” Maria tells the reporter…

Read More

Brussels (12/03 – 55.56) Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said that the dissolution of human rights NGOs signals a deteriorating environment for civil society and human rights defence in Tajikistan. She reiterated that Tajikistan must reconsider its attitudes towards civil society and view human rights defenders as allies instead of enemies. Earlier in November 2023, Tajikistan Minister of Justice announced that 700 NGOs in the country had been liquidated over an 18-month period. “Human rights defenders working on so-called sensitive issues, including freedom from torture, the right to housing and compensation for requisitioned land, minority rights, freedom of belief and good governance, political rights, and…

Read More

Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

Read More

The United States agreed to the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey on condition that Turkey not use them for overflights above the Greek islands but only for NATO alliance purposes, the Greek Kathimerini daily reported, citing “reliable diplomatic sources.” The daily said a confidential letter was sent from the US State Department to the “four relevant committees” in the House of Representatives and the Senate, on the issue. The letter reportedly stipulated that if this condition is violated, the State Department pledges to take the initiative to address the problem, and if the issue is still not resolved, the…

Read More

The country’s move toward joining the European Union coincides with a swing toward Moscow.  If all goes as expected, Georgia will take the first step on the long road of joining the European Union this week. But even for those in the former Soviet country who have spent decades working for just this moment, now that it has come, it is at best bittersweet. “The problem is not technical, it’s fundamental,” former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili wrote from prison in a note to POLITICO.   “Georgia is a state seized by one oligarch controlled from Moscow,” he added. He’s referring to Bidzina…

Read More

Boliden is planning to resume wage negotiations next month with around 650 employees at its Tara zinc operation in Ireland with a view to resuming output in the second quarter of 2024, the Swedish miner told Reuters. Boliden (BOL.ST) put its Tara operations on care and maintenance in June due to negative cash flows after prices of the galvanizing metal hit a three-year low on Jun. 1 2023 . A restart would boost supplies of the world’s fourth most used metal and potentially add to surpluses of refined zinc expected by analysts for next year. The Tara mine, which produced 198,000 tonnes of zinc…

Read More

London (07/11 – 70) President Ranil Wickremesinghe, at the helm of the United National Party (UNP), has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for Sri Lanka’s tumultuous economy, tackling persistent challenges with a steadfast determination that has garnered widespread support across the national and international communities. Upon assuming office, Wickremesinghe confronted an array of pressing issues, including severe electricity shortage resulting in daily power cuts, soaring inflation, an all time low foreign reserve value and scarcities in essential commodities such as fuel and milk powder. Swift and strategic actions within his first six months in power yielded tangible results, with the electricity…

Read More

Brussels (3/12) Governments may be doing great while the people suffer. Bombing of the Nordstream 2 pipeline, carrying cheap Russian natural gas to industry and consumers in Europe, is exerting a cascading effect on companies and employment, eventually to be reflected in rising places and sharpening inflation. Russia is steadily experiencing price increases for a variety of goods and services, Russian media report. Is there obviously not a link to the sanctions placed on Russia and the seizure of Russian funds and savings abroad? Punishment for Russia’s “Special Military Operation” to purportedly protect Russian-speaking citizens in eastern Ukraine from state…

Read More

The European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan held their tenth annual Cooperation Committee meeting on 27 November in Brussels. The meeting took place in an open and constructive atmosphere, reflecting the continued strengthening of relations between the EU and Tajikistan. The Cooperation Committee reviewed the state of play of bilateral relations and addressed political and socio-economic developments, water, environment, energy, trade and investment cooperation, as well as regional and international issues. Both sides exchanged views on the ongoing negotiations for an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which were launched earlier this year, and Tajikistan’s application for the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preference Plus (GSP+)…

Read More

A deer attacked a Mexican tourist who was trying to take a pic while vacationing on the island of Aegina in Greece. Gian Carlo Triacca, 42, broke several ribs while on holiday with his wife Erica. The scene, which was captured on video and has since gone viral, shows an unsuspecting tourist being attacked by an animal using its antlers. According to Triacca, while attempting to photograph a young deer, a large 12-point buck charged at him with its menacing horns. “After this I was deeply shocked and in great pain,” he stated,. He suffered several broken ribs during the fight, the New…

Read More