Month: July 2015

Putin Flexes Diplomatic Muscles on Iran

“Russia has been rather ambivalent about striking the deal, not because it is worried about the Iranian nuclear program, but because it is worried about the Iranian oil,” said Pavel K. Baev, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. Mr. Baev noted that at several crucial points in the long negotiations, Russia had… Read more »

Greek Agreement and Iranian Deal leave Russia Disappointed and Irrelevant

It was a rare coincidence in world politics that two pivotal and protracted negotiation processes—the European Union’s talks with Greece on managing its debt, and the “P5+1” talks on managing the Iranian nuclear program—both culminated in crucial agreements at the start of this week (July 13–14). Russia was a party (albeit not a very active… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 28

Monday 6 July A customs officer was wounded and three freight trucks were torched when armed men attacked the border town of Nimule near Uganda. Rebecca Garang de Mabior said Salva Kiir removed her as Minister of Roads and Bridges in 2007 after she raised concerns about large, unapproved payments to the Sudanese construction company, Eyat… Read more »

Greece’s Russian Fantasy; Russia’s European Delusion

The striking outcome of this Sunday’s Greek referendum is that the collective attitude departed so decisively from common sense. The question on the ballot was convoluted, but the voters were well-informed about the EU’s demands. Having spent a week lining up at ATMs, Greeks grasped the reality of the coming bankruptcy—and yet, they chose to… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 27

Monday 29 June South Sudan’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, is described as “ambitious under the current circumstances” with the ongoing civil war hampering the economy. International Crisis Group: South Sudan: No Sanctions without a Strategy. South Sudanese rebels’ allied to Riek Machar claimed their forces have regained control of Leer county in… Read more »

The Rise of Political Buddhism in Myanmar

Narrow Burman-Buddhist nationalism remains the country’s biggest barrier to sustainable political reform. The Organization for the Protection of Race and Religion, known by the Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha, is gaining ground in Myanmar. It has also been receiving increased international attention—last month for its proposal to ban Muslim headscarves in public schools. The organization… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 25

Saturday 13 June Riek Machar had several consultative meetings with UN and AU representatives and other African leaders on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. The South Sudanese government rejected the new IGAD power sharing proposal with the SPLM (IO) claiming it undermined national unity and social cohesion. A UN… Read more »