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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

period from    to 

1374 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 1374 First   Previous   Next   Last

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Parliamentary elections held 8 June with 43% turnout: ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) narrowly defeated opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Opposition parties LDK, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and PDK splinter group 10 June agreed to form coalition against PDK. EU 12 June extended 2,000-strong rule of law and justice mission until June 2016, said mission will now start “phasing out executive functions in justice sector”. Mitrovica Serbs 18 June dismantled barricade that had been blocking main bridge for 3 years, 20 June re-blocked bridge; police in Mitrovica 22 June clashed with Kosovo Albanian protesters.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Sargsyan 4 June met with OSCE chairman Burkhalter, discussed EU-Armenia relations and Nagorno-Karabakh. Sargsyan 18 June visited Tbilisi, discussed bilateral, regional issues with Georgian President Margvelashvili; Russian FM Lavrov visited Armenia 23 June, discussed Armenia’s possible accession to Eurasian Economic Union. Adoption of national Human Rights Action Plan 30 June commended by joint UN, EU, OSCE, CoE statement.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Rights crackdown continued: prominent activists Arif and Leyla Yunus prevented from leaving country to attend conference 10-11 June due to passport seizure in April. U.S. expressed serious concern. Baku dismissed criticism over rights record as biased and inaccurate. Govt 23 June dropped plans to introduce jury trials. EC President Barroso 14 June visited Baku to discuss Southern Gas Corridor. Russian FM Lavrov visited Baku 18 June, said Azerbaijan not formally invited to Customs Union or Eurasian Economic Union, but Moscow welcomes any interested partner.

Georgia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Local elections held 15 June: Georgian Dream coalition retained control over most local councils though with lower votes than expected; in S Ossetia parties favouring outright union with Russia fared best according to results released by de facto authorities. Pre-election period marred by violence against opposition National Movement candidates. 28th round of Geneva International Discussions on Abkhazia and S Ossetia broke down again 18 June; representatives from both separatist regions walked out after demanding discussion of return of over 200,000 ethnic Georgian IDPs to entities be removed from agenda. Georgia 27 June signed association agreement with EU. NATO 25 June announced will not invite Georgia to join NATO’s Membership Action Plan, formal step toward membership, at Sept summit; instead agreed to draw up cooperation package. U.S. congressional delegation visited 29 June, met with President Margvelashvili, PM Garibashvili, other officials; emphasised country’s “importance” to U.S..

Moldova

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Govt 27 June signed EU Association Agreement. Another round of talks on conflict over breakaway Transdniester region held 5-6 June in Vienna, attended by representatives from OSCE, EU, Russia, U.S. and Ukraine.

Ukraine

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Fighting between govt and rebels in east continued despite 23 June agreement by pro-Russian rebels of self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” to uphold govt-proposed ceasefire; agreement followed OSCE-mediated talks also attended by representatives of govt, Russia and breakaway Luhansk region. Unilateral ceasefire first declared by President Poroshenko 20 June; demanded rebel disarmament, warned fighters would otherwise be “eliminated”. Poroshenko same day unveiled peace plan: offered safety corridor to Russia, freedom from prosecution in absence of “serious crimes” for disarmed rebels; called for buffer zone along border; early elections; decentralisation and full Russian language rights. Announcements followed talks with Russian President Putin; Russia afterwards called ceasefire plan “ultimatum” but urged both sides to halt fighting, negotiate. Rebels initially denounced plans, demanded withdrawal of govt forces from east. Clashes continued as ceasefire came into effect: rebels 24 June downed army helicopter near Sloviansk killing 9; Poroshenko threatened to revoke ceasefire, rebel leader Alexander Borodai said agreement never implemented. Ceasefire expired 30 June, Poroshenko promised renewed military offensive. Several deadly clashes prior to ceasefire announcement including: govt forces 13 June seized port city Mariupol; rebels next day shot down army transport plane in Luhansk killing 49; govt said around 300 rebels, 7 govt forces killed during fighting 19 June. Russian President Putin 24 June asked Parliament to revoke his right to order military intervention, granted in March. Poroshenko inaugurated 7 June, rejected giving up Russian-annexed Crimea. Govt signed EU Association Agreement 27 June.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

No sign of breakthrough in reunification talks despite several meetings between chief negotiators in June. Turkish Cypriots blamed Greek Cypriots’ unwillingness to compromise while Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 10 June said negotiations in deadlock unless Turkish Cypriots willing to discuss all core issues, called for more EU involvement. Anastasiades 2 June met Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu; proposed permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot VP for new federation; refused by Turkish Cypriots who demand rotating presidency. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry 23 June reportedly called Cyprus a “defunct” state.

Turkey

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Govt-PKK peace process inched forward: govt 26 June submitted new bill to parliament proposing legal immunity for key negotiating actors and govt-led rehabilitation program for militants; Deputy PM Beşir Atalay said solution near; jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan said bill “historic development”. Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 15 June visited PKK leadership in northern Iraq; Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) same day urged movement to avoid roadblocks, attacks, kidnappings. 2 killed in violent protests in Lice 7 June, 23 teachers abducted by PKK 9 June, later released. 1 killed 1 June in clash between pro-Kurdish group and Turkish ultra nationalists in Istanbul; PKK supporters 4-7 June attacked city buses with Molotov coktails, no casualties reported. Syrian Kurdish boy shot 3 June by Turkish soldiers. Sunni militant group ISIL 11 June kidnapped 49 consulate staff in Mosul, Iraq; govt banned media reporting on crisis. Govt 30 June opposed independent Kurdish state, called for Iraq unity. 26 activists charged 12 June for May-June 2013 Taksim Square protests. Ahead of August presidential elections, opposition national MHP and secularist CHP 16 June announced joint candidate, conservative diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu; HDP 26 June announced Selahattin Demirtas; ruling AKP 1 July announced PM Erdoğan’s candidacy.

Turkey

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Over 300 killed, hundreds wounded, in coal mine explosion in town of Soma, Aegean Manisa province 13 May; police used water cannon, tear gas in subsequent protests in several major cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Police fired live bullets during clashes in Istanbul 22-23 May, 1 civilian shot, 1 died in grenade blast, at least 9 injured including 7 police. Woman, in coma since inhaling tear gas during Dec protests, died 30 May. No visible progress toward govt-PKK settlement, ceasefire continued to hold despite several breaches. Soldiers 19 May reportedly shot dead Syrian Kurdish woman crossing border in Şırnak province. FM Davutoğlu 8 May said compensation talks with Israel over 2010 Mavi Marmara incident progressing; passenger injured in incident died 23 May after 4 years in coma, court 26 May issued arrest warrants for 4 former Israeli military chiefs. European Court of Human Rights 12 May issued ruling against Turkey on 1974 Cyprus invasion (see Cyprus).

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

European Court of Human Rights 12 May ruled Turkey must pay €90mn compensation for human rights violations related to 1974 Cyprus invasion: €60mn to enclaved Greek Cypriots on Karpas peninsula in north, €30mn to relatives of missing persons. Turkish FM Davutoğlu said Turkey did not intend to pay and decision hurts ongoing reunification talks. New phase in talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started 13 May with discussion of property issue; chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator 28 May said no agreement on roadmap for next stage, issue of natural gas discoveries could present obstacles in talks. During highest level American visit to island in over 50 years, U.S. VP Biden 21 May said Republic of Cyprus is only recognised govt, reiterated U.S. commitment to solving Cyprus problem and developing energy partnership.

Ukraine

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Presidential elections held 25 May: businessman Petro O. Poroshenko elected by wide margin, vowed to end war, unite Ukraine and push for early parliamentary elections in 2014. Violence continued in east where pro-Russian separatists prevented voting in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Russian President Putin 7 May called for postponement of independence referendums in east to encourage dialogue, said presidential elections move in “right direction”; referendums nevertheless held 11 May in Donetsk and Luhansk regions; separatists announced 90% voted in favour of “people’s republics” amid claims of widespread voter fraud. Acting president Turchynov 1 May reinstated conscription, warned Ukraine on “full combat alert”. 2 Ukrainian military helicopters shot down 2 May by separatists, pilot and serviceman killed; around 42 killed in clashes in Odessa same day. About 20 killed in Mariupol clashes 9 May. Major battle for control of Donetsk airport 27 May, at least 30 separatists reported killed. Ukrainian general among 14 reported killed when helicopter downed near Slovyansk 29 May. 4 OSCE military observers reported missing in Donetsk region 26 May; at least 16 soldiers killed by separatists at checkpoint near Donetsk 22 May. UNSC 28 May discussed Ukraine, UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman said violence in east dramatically escalated; at early May meeting Russia warned of “catastrophic consequences” of Kyiv military operations, U.S. said response “proportionate and reasonable”. NATO Sec Gen Rasmussen 30 May said signs of partial withdrawal of Russian troops from near Ukrainian border.

Moldova

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Govt early May put border forces on alert amid increasing concern over escalating crisis in Ukraine. Russian deputy PM and special representative for Moldova’s breakaway Transdniester region Dmitry Rogozin visited Transdniester 9 May, pledged Russia would guarantee security of region; Chisinau summoned Russian ambassador to explain Rogozin’s visit. Rogozin 12 May reportedly warned of consequences if Chisinau signs EU Association Agreement.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Azerbaijan assumed chairmanship of Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers amid criticism by some European officials over ongoing rights crackdown: court 6 May found 8 youth movement activists guilty of organising “mass disorders”, possessing weapons and illegal drugs, sentenced to 6-8 years jail; opposition journalist sentenced to 8 years jail 15 May. Chairman of election monitoring organisation Anar Mammadli sentenced 26 May to 5 ½ years jail for falsifying election results, tax evasion, illegal business activities; U.S. embassy said charges “highly questionable”.

Georgia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

NATO SRSG for Caucasus and Central Asia 1 May praised Georgia’s efforts toward membership, said NATO looking at “next steps”. French President Hollande 13 May and European Council President Van Rompuy 14 May visited Tbilisi, met with President Margvelashvili and PM Garibashvili, discussed Georgia’s integration into EU and NATO; Van Rompuy announced Association Agreement to be signed 27 June. Approx 500 residents 29 May protested in Gardabani, demanded investigation into 28 May attack on ethnic Azerbaijanis by ethnic Georgians. EU 14 May hailed release of 17 Georgian nationals detained in breakaway South Ossetia region. Former health minister and opposition MP severely beaten in Tbilisi 27 May.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Some 200 protested outside Federation parliament in Sarajevo 9 May calling for resignation of entity govt, demanding govt fulfil demands submitted by citizens’ plenums in April. UN High Rep to Bosnia 15 May emphasised need for ongoing international oversight of 1995 Dayton peace agreement implementation.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

French President Francois Hollande on the 12th of May suggested that the European Union association with Armenia should allow for a commercial union between Armenia and Russia.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Opposition Social Democratic Union 28 May resigned seats in parliament in protest over 27 April snap poll results. Arrest of ethnic Albanian suspected of killing young Macedonian sparked protests, ethnic clashes in Skopje 20-21 May; several dozen protesters detained, 5 charged; civil rights groups accused police of excessive force. NATO Sec Gen Rasmussen 23 May said resolution of name dispute with Greece key to joining alliance.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Main parties 7 May agreed to dissolve parliament and hold snap elections 8 June following failure to agree on creation of national army; Serb parties refused to support move unless guaranteed reserved seats in parliament for another 4 years. Montenegrin officials warned would seek international arbitration in Kosovo border dispute if no agreement reached soon.

Ukraine

  |  1 May 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Pro-Russian separatists seized control of over a dozen towns and cities in east leading to deadly clashes with Ukrainian troops as Kyiv struggled unsuccessfully to reassert control, continuing fears of Russian intervention and tensions between Russia and West. Protesters early April occupied govt buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, demanding referenda on greater autonomy, right to join Russia; interim PM Yatsenyuk offered to devolve more powers to eastern regions. Pro-Russian gunmen 12 April began taking control of state buildings in cities in east; Moscow denied allegations of Russian forces’ involvement. Kyiv govt’s “anti-terrorist” operation fizzled out. Several killed in clashes between separatists and security forces during month. U.S., Russia, EU and Ukraine 17 April reached agreement at talks in Geneva on steps to de-escalate crisis; accord quickly broke down after separatists occupying govt buildings refused to leave, seized OSCE military observers, journalists, security personnel in Sloviansk and govt buildings elsewhere in SE. Russia accused Kyiv of breaking terms of agreement; U.S. and EU blamed Russia, introduced new sanctions on Russian individuals and companies. NATO 16 April announced it was strengthening eastern members’ defences. Russian defence minister Shoigu said no plans to invade Ukraine or intervene in SE Ukraine along lines of Crimea. Igor Strelkov, alleged by Kyiv to be Russian intelligence officer, presented to press as commander of Donbass separatist militia 26 April, 29 April said Ukrainian volunteers with whom he had worked in Crimea during Russian annexation asked him to “help carry out the same thing as in Crimea” in SE. Separatists 29 April seized regional govt HQ in Luhansk. Acting president Turchynov 30 April announced that govt no longer controlled Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts, expressed concern over instability spreading. 9 May WWII commemoration and 25 May elections both seen as potential flashpoints; unrest in SE could complicate polls. IMF 30 April approved $17.1bn bailout.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

President Aliyev met with Iranian President Rouhani in Tehran 9 April in sign of improving relations, signed cooperation agreements including on hydropower plant construction. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights criticised authorities over deteriorating rights, basic freedoms. Prominent analyst and Turkey-based journalist from Zerkalo newspaper detained in Turkey late April, deported to Azerbaijan and charged with espionage for Armenia; had attended civil society meetings with Armenian counterparts. Prominent rights activist detained 28 April, later released.

Turkey

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

No tangible progress towards govt-PKK settlement; jailed PKK leader Öcalan met pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) delegation 26 April, warned against new clashes, urged govt to enact new laws including for militants’ return. BDP-organised protests against military outpost constructions in SE turned violent: 3 protesters wounded in Tunceli province 27 April; PKK same day kidnapped 2 soldiers in Diyarbakır. Parliament 17 April approved controversial law increasing powers and immunity of National Intelligence Agency (MIT); criticised by opposition for turning Turkey into “intelligence state”, law also potentially provides legal grounds for ongoing Öcalan-MIT negotiations. EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle 10 April expressed concern about independence of judiciary and freedom of expression. Turkey 23 April sent army relief and resupply convoy to Turkish exclave Süleyman Şah tomb 30km inside Syria, area controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Moldova

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Breakaway Transdniester’s Supreme Council 16 April urged Russia, UN and OSCE to recognise its independence. Russian FM Lavrov told Moldovan FM that Russia respects Moldovan territorial integrity. Country granted visa-free travel to EU; set to sign association agreement with EU in June.

Kosovo

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

3 ethnic Serb police attacked in northern municipality Zubin Potok 1 April. Following arrest of Kosovo Serb early month for 2011 killing of ethnic Albanian police officer in 2011, 4 Serb municipalities in north 16 April announced they would cease cooperation with EULEX. Parliament approved international court to address alleged crimes committed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas during 1998-99 war with Serbia.

Cyprus

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators 15 April completed screening and reviewing phase of reunification talks; coming stage will focus on bridging proposals, next meeting 6 May. Despite no evidence to suggest imminent breakthrough, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 21 April suggested settlement could be reached in 2014.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Acting economy minister said Armenia would sign agreement on joining Russian-led Customs Union in May or June, not 29 April as earlier reported; Yerevan has cited hundreds of objections which would raise tariffs on imports in delaying agreement. Russian ambassador issued statement seen by some analysts as blunt warning for Yerevan to quickly endorse Moscow-led bloc agreement or face damage to relations. Constitutional Court 2 April struck down several clauses of controversial new mandatory pensions law. PM Tigran Sargsyan, criticised over dire economy and pensions law, resigned 3 April. Turkish PM Erdoğan 23 April offered condolences to descendants of victims of mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI; President Sargsyan dismissed gesture as ongoing denial of genocide.

Georgia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

FM Panjikidze said country plans to sign association agreement by June with EU, which has brought date forward several times from original plan for Oct. PM’s envoy for relations with Russia met with deputy Russian FM in Prague for 6th time since late 2012; latter said talks “constructive”, Russia has no intention of blocking signing of association agreement between Georgia and EU. Russia released 3 Georgians convicted on spying charges in 2010. 3 Georgian journalists detained by Russian troops close to South Ossetia (SO) administrative boundary line (ABL) 15 April, freed next day by entity officials. Georgia continued to complain of “provocative” Russian helicopter, plane and drone over-flights over villages on side of SO and Abkhaz ABLs that it controls. Defence minister warned of threat from “anti-state organisations” in Armenian-populated Javakheti area, attempting to create atmosphere of instability; analysts say almost no real separatist threat in area, or support in Armenia for such aspirations. Defence minister 30 April called on NATO to deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia.

Ukraine

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated

Russia annexed Crimea in move condemned as illegal by Western states, fuelling uncertainty in region, fears of war between Russia and Ukraine. Russian legislature 1 March approved use of armed forces in Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians, Russian armed forces in Crimea. Crimean parliament 6 March voted in favour of joining Russia, scheduled 16 March referendum: authorities claimed 97% yes vote, parliament next day applied to join Russia. Meanwhile widespread unrest through most of month as pro-Russian protesters in SE demonstrated against Kiev govt, often demanding to join Russia. Russian President Putin and pro-Russian leaders in Crimea 18 March signed treaties making Crimea part of Russia; pro-Russian forces seized Ukrainian military installations, captured several military officers. Second half of month saw heavy Russian troop build-up on Ukrainian border, prompting expressions of concern from U.S., NATO. Putin 21 March signed laws formalising Russian annexation of Crimea, ordered Russian govt administration to be installed by 29 March. Acting Ukrainian President Turchynov ordered withdrawal of all Ukrainian troops from Crimea. U.S., EU refused to recognise referendum, imposed targeted sanctions on senior Russian officials, private individuals and bank with close ties to govt; offered financial aid to Kiev. IMF offered $14-18bn bailout. Acting PM Yatsenyuk signed political chapters of association agreement with EU 21 March. UNGA 27 March passed resolution declaring 16 March Crimea referendum invalid. OSCE 21 March announced monitoring mission to Ukraine; UN planning human rights monitoring mission to east. UNSG Ban urged “direct and constructive” dialogue. G8 members meeting without Russia 25 March suspended Russian membership, cancelled upcoming G8 meeting in Sochi. U.S. Sec State Kerry and Russian FM Lavrov met for talks 30 March, no breakthrough.

Georgia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle met with FM in Tbilisi 4 March, pledged continued support for closer ties between EU and Georgia. Talks between Georgian and Russian officials to discuss possible high-level meeting postponed twice early March. Prosecutors summoned former President Saakashvili for questioning as witness in several criminal cases including investigation into 2005 death of former PM Zurab Zhvania; U.S.-based Saakashvili said he will not return to Georgia for questioning.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid scrutiny of regional responses to Russian actions in Ukraine, President Aliyev 20 March reportedly said “a country’s territorial integrity cannot be changed without its agreement”. Court in N city Saki 17 March sentenced 2 leading opposition figures to 5 and 7 years’ prison for mass disorder over Jan 2013 unrest in Ismayili. 8 others jailed, 8 given suspended sentences. U.S. embassy said verdicts politically motivated, EU also critical.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Little sign of progress since reunification talks restarted 11 Feb despite regular meetings between negotiators: Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 16 March said initial indications not encouraging. Extreme right Greek Cypriot group Elam attacked former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Limassol 26 March; Talat unhurt.

Turkey

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Ruling AKP won more than 44% of vote in 30 March local elections. 8 killed in clashes between supporters of rival candidates on polling day in Sanliurfa and Hatay province; mayoral candidate for Islamist Felicity Party shot dead in Siirt province 31 March. 15-year-old in coma since June 2013 clashes between protesters and police, described by PM Erdoğan as “terrorist”, died 11 March prompting more protest; 1 shot dead 12 March in Istanbul in clash between rival political groups, 1 policeman died of heart attack due to tear gas in Tunceli same day. Continued social media leaks of corruption allegations and phone conversations involving Erdoğan govt led to ban on Twitter 20 March, blocking of YouTube. No new progress in govt-PKK peace process; first combat death since March 2013 ceasefire as Turkish soldier killed in 6 March explosion in Uludere, Şırnak province. Amid fighting between Syrian regime and rebels in border area, Turkey 23 March shot down Syrian warplane outside Hatay province, saying it crossed into Turkish airspace. 3 alleged members of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Syria started firefight in central Niğde province 20 March; 2 soldiers, 1 police, 1 civilian killed. 2 suspected ISIL members and 3 police injured in raid in Istanbul 25 March.

Armenia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Ukraine protested, withdrew ambassador after President Sargsyan endorsed 16 March referendum in Crimea (see Ukraine). Sargsyan in phone call to Russian President Putin 19 March reportedly voiced support for right to self-determination. Armenia one of only 11 states to vote against 27 March UNGA resolution affirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt announced plan to transform Kosovo Security Force into Kosovo Armed Forces by 2019; Belgrade said plan violates April 2013 normalisation agreement, cited guarantees forces will never enter Serb-majority north of Kosovo. Kosovo Serbs 16 March cast votes in Serbian election in polls organised by OSCE. Russian embassy in Belgrade said Moscow’s policy of non-recognition of Kosovo unchanged notwithstanding developments in Crimea.

Moldova

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Senior NATO commander 23 March warned Moscow could be targeting Moldova’s separatist Transdniester region. Transdniestrian parliamentary speaker Nikhail Burla 17 March urged Russia to admit region. President Timofti 19 March urged EU to bring forward planned signing of association agreement with country. U.S. pledged additional $10m to Moldova to help secure borders.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Anti-govt protests that began early Feb continued on smaller scale in several towns and cities. EU foreign policy chief Ashton, visiting 12 March, said EU will switch focus from constitutional reform to economy, welfare, judiciary.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

In 23 Feb re-run of local election in Mitrovica North, Goran Rakic, candidate from Belgrade-backed “Srpska” list, won with 52.6% of vote. Pristina and Belgrade in disagreement over whether voting in Serbia’s March parliamentary elections can also be held in Serb areas of Kosovo. UNSG Ban in report to UNSC praised progress by Kosovo and Serbia on normalisation of relations.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2014

Improved

Reunification talks restarted 11 Feb after 18-month pause; leaders of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities issued Joint Declaration emphasising future reunified Cyprus to be based on political equality for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, single united Cyprus citizenship, single international legal personality and single sovereignty. Agreement welcomed by EU, U.S.; Turkey supported talks but FM Davutoğlu 9 Feb suggested two-state solution as alternative path if Greek Cypriots reject new settlement deal, saying “talks cannot and will not last forever”. For first time in more than 4 decades, chief negotiators from both Cypriot communities held official talks in Athens and Ankara respectively 27 Feb.

Armenia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sargsyan met with Russian PM Medvedev in Sochi 24 Feb to discuss bilateral relations, including Russian-led Customs Union that Armenia plans to join. Authorities late Jan arrested former police officer for allegedly spying for Azerbaijan. Govt critics expressed dismay over more restrictive rules introduced for Armenian migrant workers in Russia.

Georgia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt strongly protested quickened pace of “borderisation” by Russian troops in South Ossetia, said building of fortifications and fences along administrative border picked up immediately after end of Sochi Olympics. PM Garibashvili met European Commission President Barroso 3 Feb, said Georgia’s EU integration “irreversible” and expects to sign Association Agreement by Aug. Russian President Putin early Feb said open to talks with Georgian President Margvelashvili; officials reportedly preparing to discuss possible meeting. PM Garibashvili, FM and other officials visited U.S. late month for talks with U.S. VP Biden; President Obama unexpectedly joined meeting. Former PM Merabishvili sentenced to 5 years for abuse of office, bribing voters, inefficient use of funds. Trial in absentia of ex-defence minister under former President Saakashvili Davit Kezerashvili began, but France ruled out his extradition over corruption allegations.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

During visit to Baghdad FM said Azerbaijan could ship Iraqi natural gas to Europe. New defence minister visited Brussels for talks with NATO 26 Feb on Azerbaijan’s role in Afghanistan mission. RFE/RL journalist questioned for “grave crimes” over allegations of passing “state secrets” to U.S. officials; U.S. embassy called charges “absurd”.

Turkey

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Month saw several demonstrations in Istanbul and other provinces against new laws criticised for increasing authoritarian turn of PM Erdoğan’s govt; police used tear gas, water cannon. Controversial laws included bills on internet regulation and Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, both approved by President Gül, and a proposal to broaden powers of National Intelligence Organisation. EU officials sent messages critical of legal changes. 24 Feb tapes of phone conversations allegedly between Erdoğan and son about hiding large sums of cash leaked; PM claimed recordings fake, more recordings emerged in following days. Court 28 Feb released last 5 suspects detained in Dec corruption probe targeting PM’s inner circle, including 2 sons of ministers. Month saw deterioration in peace process between govt and Kurdish insurgency PKK. Ceasefire violations continued, particularly in SE Şırnak province; PKK militants 17 Feb fired on road construction machines near border, Turkish military responded, skirmish continued for several days. At Geneva II conference on Syria conflict (see Syria) Syrian FM Muallem accused Erdoğan of backing “terrorists”. Turkish officials continued to intensify high-level contacts with EU; PM Erdoğan 3 Feb visited Germany, FM Davutoğlu 10-11 Feb visited Brussels.

Ukraine

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Scores killed as anti-govt protesters clashed with police in worst violence since independence; following opposition ouster of President Yanukovych new interim govt confronted by grave concerns over weak central authority, economic crisis, role of nationalist and rightist elements in new govt; mounting threat of separatism in east as unrest broke out in majority ethnic Russian Crimea, West warned Russia against intervention. Anti-govt protesters vacated Kiev City Hall 16 Feb after govt released all 234 jailed protesters, but clashes broke out between protesters and police 18 Feb after protesters marched to parliament demanding progress on constitutional reform to reduce presidential powers; at least 26 killed including 10 police. Govt and opposition announced truce 19 Feb, but renewed clashes broke out 20 Feb; dozens killed, hundreds injured, many reportedly from gunshot wounds. Health ministry reported 83 killed in political violence since 18 Feb. EU, U.S. responded with targeted sanctions. Yanukovych and opposition 21 Feb agreed to form new govt, hold new election under EU-mediated deal; parliament voted to release former PM Yulia Tymoshenko from jail, restore 2004 constitution. Yanukovych 22 Feb fled capital; parliament same day voted to remove president, hold early presidential election 25 May; 23 Feb elected opposition leader Olexander Turchynov interim president. Yanukovych called events coup, backed by Russia which granted him protection. Interim govt issued warrant for Yanukovych arrest, parliament voted to try him at ICC for protester deaths. As Turchynov warned of economic crisis, Russia suspended financial assistance, recalled ambassador; EU, U.S. said ready to provide financial assistance. Interim govt presented new cabinet to protesters in Kiev 27 Feb to mixed reception. In autonomous Crimea region pro-govt ethnic Russians and anti-govt ethnic Ukrainians and Muslim Tatars staged rival rallies late month. Anti-Russia protesters stormed parliament in regional capital Simferopol 26 Feb; well-armed and equipped troops calling themselves pro-Russian self-defence militia reportedly took over govt buildings, airport next day. Kiev 28 Feb said Russian forces occupying Crimea’s Sevastopol airport in “armed invasion”. Russia claims these are also local self-defence groups; Russian official media claim similar armed groups protecting Perekop isthmus connecting Crimea to Ukrainian mainland. Crimean govt announced it had taken control of all security forces on peninsula, pro-Russian Crimean PM 1 March appealed to Russia for help ensuring security; Kremlin said would not ignore call. U.S. and Western powers warned Russia against military intervention in Ukraine.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Protests began in over 30 towns early Feb, triggered by collapse of privatised companies in Tuzla and resulting layoffs. Hundreds of redundant workers gathered in front of govt building in Tuzla 5 Feb calling for compensation; over 30 injured, 27 arrested. Several thousand joined protests 6 Feb, scores injured; protests began in Sarajevo and other places same day in support of Tuzla protesters and over economic conditions; 8 Feb spread to 32 towns in Bosniak-Croat entity, with protesters in some cities attacking and setting fire to govt buildings, clashing with police; several hundred injured, scores detained. Several politicians resigned, including canton govts in Tuzla and Zenica. Situation calmed 9 Feb, though protests continued demanding further resignations, measures to curb corruption, improve economy. Small protest also in Republika Srpska capital. Governing Social Democratic Party 12 Feb submitted proposal to parliament to change state-level electoral law to enable early elections. Sarajevo canton govt late Feb accepted protesters’ demands for govt of experts, lower wages for officials.

Armenia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Opposition parties unified over public hostility to law adopted by ruling Republican party mandating payroll deductions to be put into privately run retirement accounts; several protests against law during month. Constitutional Court 24 Jan suspended enactment of legislation pending final ruling regarding its constitutional legality.

Azerbaijan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Musavat Party withdrew from National Council of Democratic Forces opposition alliance, established in 2013.

Ukraine

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Crisis as pro-Europe Euromaidan protests escalated, govt crackdown resulted in deadly clashes between protesters and police and growing political confrontation with opposition. Parliament 16 Jan passed draconian new anti-protest laws, also amended Criminal Code restricting free speech; law criticised by opposition as illegal, condemned internationally. Hundreds of protesters clashed with police 19 Jan; 2 protesters shot dead in clashes with police 22 Jan, third died later from injuries; another protester found dead bearing signs of torture. Dozens of demonstrators arrested, jailed since protests started, several missing. President Yanukovych 20 Jan called for dialogue, in talks with opposition offered truce if protesters refrained from violence, remove barricades; opposition rejected offer, called for snap presidential elections, changes to constitution. Protesters seized govt offices in Kiev and several other cities including in east. Govt resigned 28 Jan in attempt to resolve crisis, parliament same day overturned 16 Jan anti-protest law. Parliament 29 Jan passed amnesty law for protesters; opposition rejected condition of amnesty that protesters vacate occupied govt buildings, continued to call for Yanukovych’s resignation. EU foreign policy chief Ashton visited 29 Jan for talks with Yanukovych; Russia 29 Jan said it would defer fulfilment of $15bn aid package to Ukraine until new govt formed. Amid international condemnation of violence and calls for dialogue, concerns also voiced over disunity within opposition, lack of strategy, role of extreme right element.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Newly-elected mayor of Mitrovica refused to take office 13 Jan, calling Nov local elections “major scam by international community”; new polls set for 23 Feb. Member of Mitrovica municipal assembly shot dead by unknown assailant in N Mitrovica 16 Jan.

Turkey

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Tensions over 17 Dec corruption raid targeting PM Erdoğan’s inner circle deepened. Govt reacted by reshuffling thousands of prosecutors and policemen allegedly behind corruption investigation. Govt 7 Jan sent draft legislation to parliament aiming to enhance executive authority over judges, prosecutors, prompting criticism from U.S., EU. Anti-govt protests formed in major cities: thousands 11 Jan protested in Ankara. Investigation widely seen as instigated by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, reflecting internal battle between formerly allied governing AKP and Gülen’s Islamic movement fighting over control of state institutions; Erdoğan called investigation foreign-backed “coup attempt” by “parallel state”. Peace process between govt and Kurdish insurgency PKK remains fragile, with occasional flare-ups of violence continuing in SE, but ceasefire officially continues. Military court 6 Jan dropped investigation into deaths of 34 Kurdish civilians in military air strike in 2011. Protests erupted 15 Jan over building of new military outpost in Sirnak in SE, several protesters injured. All 5 pro-Kurdish BDP deputies on trial for alleged involvement with Kurdish Communities Union released 3-4 Jan. FM Davutoğlu 19 Jan denied allegations that Turkey supported al-Qaeda in Syria; army 28 Jan opened fire on al-Qaeda-linked militants in N Syria destroying several vehicles, reportedly in retaliation for cross-border fire from Syria; police 14 Jan detained 28 suspects in raid against al-Qaeda. Amid EU concerns over judicial independence in Turkey, Erdoğan 21 Jan visited Brussels for first time in 5 years, renewed commitment to Turkey’s EU path.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Start of reunification negotiations continue to be stalled over wording of joint statement. UN special envoy Downer 15 Jan met with negotiators from both sides for final round of contacts ahead of informal briefing with UNSC 22 Jan. Business groups from both communities, Greece and Turkey 9 Jan called for “comprehensive and permanent solution” on island.

Georgia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Parliament 23 Jan passed unanimous resolution citing “extreme concern” over developments in Ukraine, adding “Russia will not be able to force either Georgia or Ukraine to reject their European choice”. Amid ongoing dispute over Russian “borderisation” of administrative boundary lines along breakaway Georgian regions, President Margvelashvili 20 Jan expressed indignation over Russian announcement it would extend “border zone” 11km deeper into Abkhazia to maintain security for Feb Sochi Winter Olympics, said move politically motivated, contravened international law. Head of Russian-backed South Ossetia (SO) entity Leonid Tibilov unexpectedly dismissed cabinet 20 Jan, citing delays in reconstruction, social and economic problems, also acknowledging reported misappropriation of at least $1bn in Russian funds; mentioned growing signs that Russia and SO may agree on de facto Russian “annexation” of SO, said no need for referendum as called for by opposition.

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