The news to 23 June 2013. Our thoughts are with those affected by flooding along the Danube, and with Latvia following the fire at their state-residence.
The Czech Prime Minister, Petr Nečas, was forced to resign following allegations of corruption involving his Chief of Staff, who is also alleged to be his mistress.
Latvia’s bid to join the Eurozone was approved.
Source: The Guardian
Poland has been referred to the European Court of Justice for apparently subsidising gas consumed by private consumers. The European Commission has been attempting to enforce rules designed to create a single market in energy within the EU.
Russia struck a deal with China to provide 365m metric tonnes of oil over a twenty-five year period. The deal will benefit the state-owned Rosneft corporation, chaired by Igor Sechin. Meanwhile, Lukoil has been lobbying the Kremlin for tax-exemptions to start new drilling in Bazhenov, Western Siberia.
The impact of WTO accession came in for criticism by opposition legislators in the Russian Duma. In particular, they bemoaned a lack of specialisation within the Russian legal profession with the WTO’s conditions.
Source: The Moscow Times
US President, Barack Obama, called for further cuts in nuclear stockpiles in a speech in Berlin. Arguments for extending the existing reduction programme were received cooly in Russia.
Russia began to fulfil a $1bn arms contract with Azerbaijan. The latter has been increasing its defence budget and modernising its forces in recent years.
Serbia’s EU ambitions received a boost when Stefan Fule and Catherine Ashton recommended that the country be given a date for the start of accession talks. The subject will be discussed on 28 June.
Germany reiterated its offer of medical treatment for Ukraine’s former-Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for defrauding the state. At the same time, a Ukrainian newspaper apparently leaked a copy of the Association Agreement initialled with the EU in 2012.
Uzbekistan banned five musicians for producing insufficiently patriotic songs and gave others time to correct ‘creative shortcomings’.
The government of Kazakhstan announced plans to dramatically reduce the country’s reliance on coal and switch to renewable energy.