Opinion: Armenian procrastination has high risks
Reports from various sources say both Armenia and Azerbaijan are concentrating their troops along the border zone, in an apparent preparation for a potential escalation, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Despite the optimism following last month's Munich meeting between the leaders of the two countries, the sides have not since taken any tangible step towards the resolution of their ongoing disputes. This despite the fact that recent history of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is a testimony to the fact that an unstable status-quo, with imitations of negotiations, is a ticking bomb, he argues.
dennis2020 Wed, 03/22/2023 - 06:21
Ruling Amanat party wins Kazakh parliamentary vote after election reforms
Six parties have been elected to the Mazhilis, Kazakhstan's national parliament after elections were held on Sunday (19 March). The six parties are the ruling Amanat party, who won 53.9% of the vote; the Auyl People's Democratic Patriotic Party (10.9%); Respublica Party (8.59%); Aq Jol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (8.41%); People's Party of Kazakhstan (6.8%); National Social Democratic Party (5.2%). The Baytaq party won only 2.3% of the vote, and, with a 5% threshold necessary to win seats in parliament, will not be represented. 3.9% voted against all parties. The Astana Times reports that over 6.3 million people out of more than 12 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the elections to the parliament and local representative bodies on Sunday, representing a turnout of over 54%.
patrickn97 Tue, 03/21/2023 - 12:10
Opinion: culture can play a critical role in Armenia-Azerbaijan peace-building

In this op-ed for commonspace.eu, Onnik James Krikorian writes that culture can play a critical role in the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace-building process. "It can provide positive examples of coexistence and demonstrate how Armenians and Azerbaijanis share similarities despite dominant nationalist narratives that suggest otherwise. Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences could be instrumental in promoting peace and resolving conflicts." 

patrickn97 Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:16
Russian cruise missiles destroyed in explosion in Crimea
Russian Kalibr cruise missiles have been destroyed in an explosion in the Crimean city of Dzhankoi late on Monday (20 March). According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, they were being transported by rail at the time of the explosion. As has become standard, Ukrainian authorities confirmed the explosions in Dzhankoi, located in the north of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, but they did not claim an attack. "The [explosions] continue the process of Russia's demilitarisation and prepares the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea for de-occupation," the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said in a statement. Sergei Aksenov, the head of Moscow-installed proxies in Crimea, said that Russian air defense had been working in Dzhankoi, saying that the wreckage injured one person and damaged a household and a shop. Meanwhile Igor Ivin, the head of the occupying administration in Dzhankoi, reported a drone attack. The Kalibr missiles which have reportedly been destroyed in the explosion are designed to be launched from surface ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
patrickn97 Tue, 03/21/2023 - 09:08
Kazakhstan votes in parliamentary election, victory predicted for ruling party

Kazakhstan went to the polls yesterday on Sunday (19 March) in a snap parliamentary election. Exit polls have suggested victory for the ruling Amanat party, who are projected to have won around 53% of the vote.

According to three polls conducted by different organisations in Kazakhstan, the second largest party is expected to be the Auyl People's Democratic Patriotic Party, who are projected to have taken around 10% of the vote.

patrickn97 Mon, 03/20/2023 - 12:19
Xi Jinping arrives in Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin
The Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow for face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday (20 March). Both the Kremlin and China foreign ministry have been tight-lipped about the purpose of the trip, revealing only that Xi and Putin will discuss a "comprehensive partnership and strategic co-operation", adding that Xi will be in Moscow until Wednesday. The visit comes only days after the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued Vladimir Putin with an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes, namely the unlawful deportation of people, including children, from Ukraine to Russia. Xi Jinping is scheduled to have lunch with the Russian President before an informal one-to-one meeting this afternoon, while formal talks with delegations are planned for tomorrow. Ever since 24 February 2022, China's stance over the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has been somewhat ambiguous. China has neither openly welcomed the war, nor openly criticised Russia. Less than a month ago China also published its own 12-point peace plan to bring the war in Ukraine to an end, calling for peace talks and respect for national sovereignty.
patrickn97 Mon, 03/20/2023 - 11:51
Chained to the dead? Turkmenistan’s energy and connectivity partnership with Russia

"In the new realities of Central Asia, Turkmenistan is and will be a pivotal player in regional energy and connectivity politics," writes Mahammad Mammadov for commonspace.eu. "It gives Ashgabat many opportunities to build linkages to different power centers and increase its clout in regional affairs. So far, Berdimuhamedov’s government has pursued an “engaged neutrality” policy to reap the benefits of regional openings while maintaining regime security at home."

patrickn97 Mon, 03/20/2023 - 06:56
Deteriorating education: the dark legacy of Yemen’s war
The war in Yemen has had a severe impact on the learning, and general cognitive and emotional development of the younger generation, writes Shaima Ameen Abdullah for commonspace.eu. "In light of the polarisations that the country is experiencing, there is a need for a clear vision and an effective strategy in setting priorities for reforming the educational process in accordance with the country's circumstances and the available capabilities, especially in stable areas where more reform is possible," she adds. "Radical changes must be made in the essence of the educational process and its system, starting with reforming the goals, objectives and educational philosophy, but also addressing expected educational outcomes and the prospects of education. Such changes must match the needs for Yemeni society and the next generations. One of the key actions in this vein is to allocate more government budget for the development of education and making the curriculum and educational approach neutral and unbiased."
patrickn97 Mon, 03/20/2023 - 05:00
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an international arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. In a statement released on Friday (17 March), the ICC said that both Putin and Lvova-Belova are "allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation". The statement says that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that both Mr Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova bear "individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes". It also adds that the ICC had considered issuing secret warrants, but decided that public awareness of the warrants "may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes". Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Ukrainian government estimates that Russia has deported as many as 16,000 Ukrainian children, to Russia.
patrickn97 Fri, 03/17/2023 - 17:20