RUSSIA TO ‘ASSIST’ ARMENIA IF CONFLICT WITH AZERBAIJAN SPREADS BEYOND NAGORNO-KARABAKH

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Russia is prepared to provide “all necessary assistance” to its treaty partner Armenia if violence moves into Armenian territory, as fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh enters its sixth week. If Russia were to enter the conflict, there is a possibility that it could prolong the current clash. On Saturday 31 October, both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each…

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KYRGYZSTAN’S PRESIDENT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN POST-ELECTION CHAOS

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By Donnelly McCleland Kyrgyzstan’s president on Monday [12 October] ordered a new, week-long state of emergency in the country’s capital after parliament failed to consider and approve his previous order within the legally required three days. The confusion reflected the chaos that has engulfed the country after a disputed parliamentary election triggered mass protests. According…

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ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN CLASH OVER DISPUTED NAGORNO-KARABAKH REGION

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By Alex Pollock Fighting has erupted once more between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet Union republics in the Caucasus region. At the heart of the decades-old conflict is the Nagorno-Karabakh region. It is recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but it is controlled by ethnic Armenians. The countries fought a bloody war over the region…

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MONTENEGRO VOTES IN TENSE ELECTION DOMINATED BY CHURCH LAND ROW

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On Sunday 30 August, Montenegrins voted in a tight election, testing the three-decade domination of a pro-West ruling party which has faced a year of protests and high tension with supporters of the influential Serbian-dominated Orthodox church. The 58-year-old president, Milo Djukanovic, has led the Adriatic nation almost continuously since the end of communism in the…

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PROTESTS CONTINUE IN BELARUS AFTER CONTENTIOUS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

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By Alex Pollock Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus, said on Monday (17 August) he would be ready to hold new elections and hand over power after a constitutional referendum, an attempt to pacify mass protests and strikes that pose the biggest challenge yet to his rule. (Reuters) The Election Belarus – an Eastern European…

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COMPREHENSIVE CEASEFIRE TAKES EFFECT IN EMBATTLED EASTERN UKRAINE

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Separatist groups in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian’s military agreed to a full and comprehensive ceasefire beginning on Monday 27 July, to try to end hostilities in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Since the start of the conflict in 2014, there have been several attempts to halt the violent clashes, but none of these have been upheld….

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HOSTILITIES ESCALATE BETWEEN AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA

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One of the world’s longest-running territorial disputes in the Caucasus Mountains was reignited after 20 people died on 12 July in fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It was not immediately clear what caused the violence, but both countries accused each other of reigniting the hostilities. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas,…

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UN RENEWS AID TO MILITANT-CONTROLLED REGION OF SYRIA, BUT ONLY ONE ACCESS POINT

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On 11 July, the United Nations Security Council approved a new round of cross-border aid to Syria through the Turkish border, into militant-controlled Idlib province. The deal was approved on the council’s fifth vote. The proposal, written by Belgium and Germany, will provide one year of foreign aid to the northwest region of Syria, providing…

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PUTIN STRONGLY BACKED IN CONTROVERSIAL RUSSIAN REFORM VOTE

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Nearly 78% of Russian voters approved over 200 changes to the constitution, including an amendment that would allow current president, Vladimir Putin, to remain in office until 2036.  The seven-day vote, which ended on 1 July, ended with 77.9% of voters in favour of the constitutional amendments, and 21.3% opposed. Over 65% of the population…

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ISLAMISTS TIGHTEN THEIR GRIP ON STRATEGIC LIBYA

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By Donnelly McCleland Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar called on his forces on Saturday [23 May] to rally against Turkey, which has helped his Tripoli-based rivals turn the tide of a military conflict around the capital. Recent advances by forces aligned with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), including the seizure of a key…

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