EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for December 15th, 2009

Russia to Pay Nauru $50M to Recognize South Ossetia

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

Russia is planning to pay the island nation of Nauru tens of millions of dollars to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states as this country requested for “urgent social-economic projects.”

Prior to an announcement in Tskhinvali by Nauruan Foreign Minister Kieren Keke that his country was ready to recognize South Ossetia, he had been in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow to discuss financial aid from Russia to the small country.

Russia recognized the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after a military conflict with Georgia in August 2008. The only other countries to recognize the two republics are Nicaragua and Venezuela, the latter of which only did so after receiving 2.2 billion dollars in Russia credit.

The attempt that followed to elicit recognition from Ecuador turned out to be unsuccessful: President Rafael Correa failed to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and also failed to receive any Russian credit.

The Republic of Nauru is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean that covers approximately 8 square miles and has an estimated population of 14 thousand people. Nauru’s government is notorious for its atypical methods of obtaining income, including becoming a haven for illegal money laundering, selling passports to foreigners, and running Australia’s illegal migrant detention center.

Posted in Russia | 1 Comment »

Outgoing EU Neighborhood Chief Says Change Will Take Generations

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

Benita Ferrero-Waldner served five years as the EU’s external relations commissioner. In an interview  she cautions the bloc’s Eastern neighbors to accept the fact that the reforms needed to make them ready for the EU could take “generations.”

FE/RL: One sometimes wonders about what is going on when, for example, the EU receives the foreign minister of Azerbaijan without the slightest public sign of friction, at a time when there are journalists in jail in Azerbaijan for expressing their opinions. How do you personally reconcile yourself to this?

Ferrero-Waldner: .. I’ve always been quite firm with all these countries in private, in the meetings, but I have not always put them on the spot in public. Because I think it’s very important to have trust, to have confidence, and that you can also speak even of the most difficult issues with those ministers. ..

RFE/RL: This brings us to the dilemma of dialogue versus sanctions. You’re known as a great proponent of dialogue. Do you feel that when the EU has applied sanctions — for example, against Belarus — it has done so in error?

Ferrero-Waldner: Well, I thought that sanctions, indeed, have not really brought us very far. We always have to ask ourselves: “What is really more constructive? What will bring us further?” And I personally believe that engagement is much more constructive and brings us better [results] than isolation.

RFE/RL: The two countries keenest to have a dialogue with the EU in the Eastern Partnership have been Ukraine and Georgia. Neither has gotten very far in their development. Why do you think that is the case?

Ferrero-Waldner: I don’t agree with that. I think [that Ukraine] in particular has gone very far. You know, the neighborhood policy, from the outset, has been designed as a policy to bring our neighbors  much closer to the European Union.
That is the question of whether these countries in the future can become members of the European Union or not. Therefore, I’ve always said from the outset, very clearly, “Please, take whatever we can offer you. Try to comply with what we ask of you, and use this momentum to come closer. But the future is open..”

Now Ukraine, at a certain moment, didn’t want to accept that….. And I think we have given a lot of possibilities to Ukraine.
But all these things are painful negotiations. They are difficult because [Ukraine] needs to change not only their whole legislation — all different items — but they also have to change their implementation [of it], and their spirit, and this takes time.

FE/RL: Russia — is it a European country in the sense of having a legitimate and necessary contribution to make to Europe’s identity and its values? Or is it something located next to Europe on the map which has to be accommodated?

Ferrero-Waldner: I think Russia is a European country, but it’s a huge European country. And therefore, I don’t think that Russia would be a member in the European Union one day.  And I think Russia, after having had its Soviet phase for a long time, and before that a feudal system, has to slowly, slowly get acquainted with all our values and also adopt them.

Posted in Azerbaijan, EU, Georgia, others, Russia, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

Clinton: U.S. Has Pragmatic Approach On Human Rights With Russia

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been criticized as being too soft on human rights issues, said the “pragmatic” Obama administration approach is designed to make a difference, not prove a point.And she said that human rights talks with China and Russia may be best conducted “behind closed doors.” “Principled pragmatism informs our approach on human rights with key countries like China and Russia,” Clinton said Monday at Georgetown University.

“The United States seeks positive relationships with China and Russia,Clinton said Monday, while mentioning China’s crackdown on minorities in Tibet and the murders of activists and journalists in Russia.

“Cooperation with each is critical to the health of the global economy and the non-proliferation agenda, to managing security issues like North Korea and Iran, and to addressing world problems like climate change.” Clinton was criticized by human rights activists during a trip to Asia in February when she said human rights should not interfere with talks with China about cooperation on those same issues.

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Russia, US And UN In Secret Talks To Fight Net Crime

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

American officials have been holding secret talks with Russia and the United Nations in Geneva in an attempt to strengthen internet security and rein in the growing threat of cyberwarfare. “Both sides are making positive noises. We’ve never seen that before.”James Lewis, a cyber security expert.

The potential for online warfare has become a hot topic in recent years, after a string of major incidents. Large-scale cyberattacks took place during last year’s conflict between Russia and Georgia while the Estonian government came grinding to a halt after an internet assault in 2007.

Earlier this year, some of the plans for a new £2bn fighter aircraft being developed by the US, UK, Netherlands and Israel were stolen when hackers broke into American computers. Two years ago, it was revealed that hackers thought to be linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had breached computer security systems at the Pentagon and Whitehall.

The latest discussions are thought to be an attempt to broker some sort of cross-border agreement over a number of issues related to internet security.There are numerous sticking points however, not least the fact both the US and Russia – as well as most advanced militaries around the world – have sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities they are reluctant to document.

Earlier this year, however, President Barack Obama identified cyber attacks as a “national security priority” and pledged to appoint a top-level White House adviser to co-ordinate responses.

Posted in Estonia, Georgia, others, Russia, UN | Leave a Comment »

Lithuania Ongoing Secret CIA Prison Scandal

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

Former Lithuanian president Rolandas Paksas has claimed that his 2004 impeachment was orchestrated by the US because he refused to host CIA secret prisons in the country. The statement was made during a parliamentary hearing into claims that at least eight al-Qaeda terror suspects were held at a facility just outside the capital Vilnius between 2004 and 2005.

“When I was a president, I knew that there were people who wanted to bring terror suspects to Lithuania. I think that my principal disagreement to do this led to the subsequent anti-presidential campaign and impeachment.”

Paksas said that in spring 2003, the then-head of Lithuania’s State Security Department, Megys Laurinkus, asked him if it were possible to bring some US terror suspects to the country unofficially. In doing so, Laurinkus hinted that a positive answer would help foreign partners.

Paksas said he refused to agree. Half a year later, he was accused of a tight connection with a Russian entrepreneur, Yury Borisov, and illegally granting him Lithuanian citizenship in exchange for sponsorship of his presidential campaign. In April, 2004 the country’s parliament voted for the President Paksas’ impeachment.

Megys Laurinkus confirms the fact of his conversation: “I informed Mr. Paksas about the present situation and about the possibility of such a request which could be received by Lithuania.”

RT contributor Wayne Madsen has added: ”Rolandas Paksas was impeached by the Lithuanian parliament. He was replaced by the ex-president Valdas Adamkus and Adamkus is a former US army officer who went back to Lithuania, became president of the country, replaced president Paksas after he was impeached and of course then any interest in doing anything about investigating the CIA “black site” [prison] in Lithuania disappeared.”

On Monday, the chief of the country’s Security Service resigned – a move that has been linked to the ongoing prison scandal.

Posted in Lithuania, others | Leave a Comment »

European Parliament Should Follow Democratic Values – Moldova leader condemns anti-Semitic act on Hanukkah

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

Mihai Ghimpu Moldova’s acting president and parliamentary speaker on Tuesday condemned a group of Orthodox Christians for removing a menorah during a celebration of the Jewish Hanukkah festival in the capital. The holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C. after its desecration by the Syrians. It is observed by lighting a special nine-branched menorah.

Some 100 people led by an Orthodox priest uprooted the candelabrum placed in Chisinau’s central square on Sunday, saying Moldova is an Orthodox country. The Jewish community demanded the government and the Orthodox Church respond to the xenophobic act. (The Orthodox Church counts some 70% of Moldovans as its members.)

According to the recent  Statement of group of European parliamentarians Moldovan government testifies «total disregard for the rights of opposition in parliament, intimidation of opposition’ representatives, recent changes of legislative base that obviously lead to raised instability in Moldovan society».« It is very dangerous to ignore such development at the border with European Union”.

«Situation when the party which has accumulated on elections almost 45 % of electoral votes is excluded from decision-making process is abnormal»,  said Walter Baer, political scientist, while commenting on use by Moldovan authorities of the tools on constraining the rights of opposition. He said that European Parliament should carefully follow how the genuine democratic values in Republic Moldova are observed.

Mihai Ghimpu, the interim president of Moldova, leader of the Liberal party, has declared ..”to “Lord’s will“ Moldova should be populated by Romanians. “I revere those who fought for peace, for democracy, for making the Lord’s wish come true so that this land would be populated by Romanians, in Russia – by Russians, France – by French people, Germany – by Germans“.

Elena Misikova, director of Foundation “Gratitude“commented: “These are inacceptable statements…. mentioning that such declarations made by the head of state “disorientate the whole society, because its composition is not ordinary one, it is not a monoethnic state, and especially it is not populated by just one ethnicity“. Politicians, who hold such high positions, “have to pay attention to the national feelings of all groups living in Moldova“.

Posted in EU, Moldova | Leave a Comment »

Беженцы Захватили Поезд В Польше, Чтобы Пожаловаться B Страсбургe

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

Около 200 иностранцев на главном железнодорожном вокзале в Легнице  во вторник днем оккупировали поезд – беженцы хотят добраться до Страсбурга, чтобы пожаловаться на плохие условия содержания в центрах для беженцев.

B Страсбург собрались граждане Грузии и России, все они в данный момент находятся в польских центрах для беженцев.

Все иностранцы, оккупирующие поезд, решили доехать до Страсбурга без билетов. Администрация железной дороги вызвала на помощь полицию.

Posted in Грузия, Россия, EU | Leave a Comment »