The news to 29 September 2013
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova has gone on hunger strike over conditions at her Siberian prison. Tolokonnikova described her complaint in a letter published in The Guardian and elsewhere: “The living and working-condition violations at PC-14 are endless. However, my main and most important grievance is bigger than any one of these. It is that the colony administration prevents any complaints or claims regarding conditions at PC-14 from leaving colony walls by the harshest means available.”
Source: The Guardian
France’s government has opposed attempts to integrate Bulgaria and Romania into the EU’s passport-free Schengen Zone. Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, told a French radio station that the EU could not guarantee the borders of the two countries. Germany is also reportedly against the expansion of the Schengen Zone.
Bulgaria’s parliament failed to hold a no-confidence vote proposed by the main opposition party, after it failed to attend the debate. Boris Boiko’s GERB party, which held power before an election in May this year, claims it failed to show up because members of the nationalist Attack party were visiting Brussels.
Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov is amongst those looking to buy Suleiman Kerimov’s 22% stake in Urakali. The Russian potash giant has also attracted investment from China. Its CEO, Vladislav Baumgertner, remains in a Belarusian prison following Urakali’s withdrawal from an international potash-manufacturing cartel.
Source: Financial Times
Belarus’ government has announced that it will raise export tariffs on oil and derivatives on 1 October 2013. Duties on oil will go up $16 per tonne, while liquified gas exports will be taxed an extra $45, and increase of 61%.
Russia has accelerated the building of a border fence around occupied Georgian territory. Russia has controlled South Ossetia and Abkhazia since a 2008 war. Georgia’s President, then and now, is due to step down next month after ten years in power. The country last week appointed Vladislav Surkov as a Presidential Aide responsible for the region.
Source: Globe and Mail
Ukraine’s Interfax has a good interview with ECHR Representative, Roderick Liddell, in which he (patiently) explains the intricacies of the Tymoshenko case.
RFE/RL has a retrospective on Polish trade unionist cum-President, Lech Walesa, on the occasion of his 70th birthday.