THE G7 SUMMIT – HIGH ON PROMISES, LOW ON DELIVERABLES

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By Donnelly McCleland The leaders of the G7 countries ended a three-day summit with a diverse set of initiatives, including a pledge to vaccinate poorer countries against the coronavirus, a promise to make large corporations pay their fair share of taxes and a plan to tackle climate change with a blend of technology and money….

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RUSSIA BEGINS TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM UKRAINE BORDER

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Russia began withdrawing military units from the Ukrainian border and the Crimean Peninsula, after weeks of heightened tension over Russian troop build-up in the area. On Thursday 22 April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the objectives of the sweeping military manoeuvres were accomplished. He ordered the units on exercise back to their permanent bases…

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14 APRIL ’21 | PRAY FOR UKRAINE

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Dear prayer partners, In recent days, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated and prompted fears of a renewal in the armed conflict between Ukraine troops and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. In 2015 and in 2020, peace deals and ceasefires were agreed upon by Ukraine and the separatists, however, the terms…

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RUSSIA’S PEACE-MAKING AND DIPLOMATIC INTERVENTIONS

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By Alex Pollock Russia has become involved in wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and the CAR in different capacities. Russia has many of the instruments needed to make headway in complex peace negotiations, including good intelligence and analytical capabilities and effective diplomatic service. But so far, Russia has had mixed success. Many Russian mechanisms of…

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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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