Unraveling Grand Corruption in Uzbekistan

The problem with unraveling grand corruption is that once you begin to tug on a string — a specific individual, perhaps — the whole tapestry could come off the wall. Every thread is tied to another in a nigh-impossible mess of personal and business connections, shell companies with hidden owners, international actors with conflicting interests, and somewhere crushed beneath this writhing mass: the people whose small business are stolen, whose relatives are tortured, whose government institutions have been subverted from the inside to serve only a small cadre at the top. In Uzbekistan, few are as associated with corruption as … Continue reading Unraveling Grand Corruption in Uzbekistan

Trump Taps Ambassador To Turkey As New Top Diplomat In Afghanistan

President Trump decided that diplomat John Bass, the US ambassador to Turkey, will be a perfect person to lead diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan. Senate should confirm this president’s nomination. On Thursday, the White House reported that John Bass will be the US top diplomat to Afghanistan. Mr Bass who had served at six US missions overseas will be an ambassador in the war-torn nation if Senate confirms this Trump’s decision. Mr Bass is currently the US ambassador to Turkey and an ex-ambassador to Georgia. During the Barack Obama’s presidency, the longtime diplomat was nominated to both positions. John Bass as … Continue reading Trump Taps Ambassador To Turkey As New Top Diplomat In Afghanistan

Russian diplomat: new US sanctions won’t help to mend ties

MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian diplomat says a new package of U.S. sanctions against Russia harms chances for improving the ties between the two countries, pushing them into “unchartered territory.” Russian officials welcomed Donald Trump’s presidential win last year, hoping to mend relations with the United States which reached a post-Cold War low under President Barack Obama. The U.S. Congress on Tuesday backed a new package of sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticized the sanctions on Wednesday as “closing off the prospect for normalizing ties.” He told … Continue reading Russian diplomat: new US sanctions won’t help to mend ties

Trump To Nominate Chief Diplomat For European-Eurasian Affairs

U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate A. Wess Mitchell, who heads a think tank on Central and Eastern Europe, as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, the White House announced on July 20. Mitchell, whom the White House described as an expert on NATO and transatlantic relations, founded the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in 2005 and has been its president and CEO since 2009. If approved by the Senate, he will fill a key State Department position that has been vacant since January 20, when Victoria Nuland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, … Continue reading Trump To Nominate Chief Diplomat For European-Eurasian Affairs

Russian diplomat ‘optimal’ choice to be new U.S. ambassador: colleague

MOSCOW – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov is the ideal choice to be the next Russian ambassador to the United States, his colleague said on Wednesday. Antonov’s nomination for the post, which has yet to be approved by the Kremlin, comes at a time of intense scrutiny over Moscow-Washington relations following U.S. allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said his colleague was the “optimal” candidate for the position. “He worked for six years as a deputy minister of defense of the Russian Federation,” Ryabkov said during a panel discussion … Continue reading Russian diplomat ‘optimal’ choice to be new U.S. ambassador: colleague

Russia demands US return diplomat compounds ahead of talks

MOSCOW, Russia – The Kremlin said Washington must unconditionally restore its access to diplomatic compounds in the United States as high-level talks on bilateral problems were set to get underway on Monday. Russia is angry that Washington is still barring its diplomats from using two compounds in the states of New York and Maryland. The then president, Barack Obama, in December ordered the ban in response to suspected Russian meddling in the US election. “We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking,” … Continue reading Russia demands US return diplomat compounds ahead of talks

Australian Foreign Minister Wonders What the French First Lady Would Say About Trump’s Body

Last week, President Donald Trump was overheard telling French First Lady Brigitte Macron, “You’re in such good shape.” And on Sunday, Australia’s foreign minister posed an interesting question: Could Macron say the same of renowned exercise-denier Trump? As the New York Times reports, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was asked about Trump’s comment during an interview on the television program Insiders and whether she’d be “flattered or offended” if Trump ever made such a comment about her. “I’d be taken aback, I think,” Bishop said. “It’s a rather interesting comment to make. I wonder if she could say the same of … Continue reading Australian Foreign Minister Wonders What the French First Lady Would Say About Trump’s Body

Macron outshines Merkel as EU’s top diplomat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron leave the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday after an annual Franco-German Summit. Germany has for years longed for a stronger French partner, but may have got more than it bargained for as the self-confident Emmanuel Macron takes Europe’s spotlight. Striking images from Paris this week offered signs of how Europe’s de-facto leadership has started to mutate in the two months since Macron took office. The 39-year-old French president welcomed US President Donald Trump to Paris for dinner in the Eiffel Tower and the traditional July 14th military parade. The … Continue reading Macron outshines Merkel as EU’s top diplomat

US Calls on China to Release Liu Xiaobo’s Wife

Chinese Nobel Laureate Liu died of multiple organ failure after years in jail. His widow remains under house arrest. On July 13, Chinese government announced that Liu Xiaobo, the first and so far the only Chinese citizen to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, died of multiple organ failure under guard in a hospital in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province. The U.S. government has already publicly demanded China to release Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, who has also been kept under house arrest for years. Liu Xiaobo, under the charge of “inciting subversion of state power,” was arrested in … Continue reading US Calls on China to Release Liu Xiaobo’s Wife

Why Is Russia Aiming Missiles at China?

The placement of Iskander-M Brigades in Russia’s Eastern Military District reflects continued uneasiness about China. In early June 2017, Russian media reported that yet another Ground Forces missile brigade received the dreaded road-mobile 9K720 Iskander-M missile system (known in Russian military parlance as an “operational-tactical missile system,” or OTRK in short). The brigade in question is the 29th Army’s newly established 3rd Missile Brigade, based in Russia’s colossal Eastern Military District (MD). Formed in December 2016, this brigade was initially armed with the aging 9K79-1 Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile system, and became the Eastern MD’s fourth missile brigade to be … Continue reading Why Is Russia Aiming Missiles at China?