The news to 26 April 2013
Most attempts to explain the connection between the “Boston Bombers”, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, have considered their relationship to Islamist militants in the region of Chechnya to be remote. However, little hard evidence has been released by American investigators.
The European Commission has recommended that talks commence over Serbia’s accession to the EU, following a deal struck with Kosovo normalising diplomatic relations and establishing a unitary police force. Separate talks with Kosovo over a Stabilisation and Association Agreement have also been recommended.
A ruling by Moldova’s Constitutional Court has deprived the frontrunner for the Prime Ministership of his eligibility for the role. Vlad Filat, who is facing corruption charges, had been a proponent of reforms to bring the country closer to Europe, but had engendered political rivalries in the process.
In contrast to some reports, S&P affirmed the outlook of Belarus’ economy, arguing that its efforts to cut spending were bringing down inflation. However, the country is still looking to the IMF for credit.
Vladimir Putin has held his annual, idiosyncratically long question and answer session, in which he offered few olive branches to the US, with whom relations are chilly. Mr Putin also took the opportunity to criticise what he saw as double standards in the West’s view of extremism in Russia, particularly in relation to Chechnya.
Source: Washington Post
EU Foreign Ministers have spent three hours behind closed doors with Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych. Poland’s representative, Radek Sikorski, stated that Ukraine was a long way off a deal to keep the Association Agreement alive, while Lithuania highlighted selective justice as the key obstacle.
Romania has agreed to create a Financial Supervision Authority at the behest of the IMF in exchange for a $6.5bn credit line. The introduction of new management teams in advance of a privatisation drive was also part of the deal.
Source: Balkan Insight
Uzbekistan is reportedly attempting to increase its ties with Russia, in advance of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Ryanair is to begin direct flights from London, Barcelona, Milan and Stockholm to Montenegro.
Source: Balkan Insight