The news to 21 October 2013
Alexei Navalny, the Moscow mayoral candidate and anti-corruption campaigner, was given a suspended sentence following a conviction for fraud. The charge, widely seen as politically motivated, had been seen as a way of silencing Navalny, but defeat in an apparently honest municipal in Moscow gave the regime a degree of comfort in their own popularity. However, the sentence still effectively bans Navalny from standing for office, with his lawyer saying the restriction may last ten years.
Belarus‘ President, Alexander Lukashenko, said that higher tariffs might be required for the Eurasian Union if Ukraine’s deepening integration with the European Union leads to a flood of goods eastwards.
Azerbaijan‘s new government has been sworn in, following the presidential election held on 9 October. An in depth article on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog summarised allegations of corruption and what the future portends for third-time President, Ilham Aliaev.
The European Union held talks on liberalising restrictions on the import of Moldovan wine, in a bid to mitigate the effects of a Russian embargo. Elsewhere, a campaign started at the initiative of JPP, a Lithuanian professional group, to promote Lithuanian cheese, which had also been the subject of politically-motivated economic restrictions in Russia. Tariffs are seen as one of the tools Russia uses to influence the behaviour of its neighbours, originating in the 2006 and 2009 gas crises in Ukraine.
Moldova‘s Communist Party failed to oust the sitting government in a vote of no-confidence. The motion received the support of 36 of the 101 law-makers.
Ukraine‘s Social Policy Minister, Natalia Korolevska, said that the official level of unemployment in the country was 7.5% in the first half of 2013 – 7.8% less than in the same period last year.
Ukraine was also said to be advancing on two significant deals with European and American gas extraction companies over shale gas deposits off the Black Sea coast.
Source: Financial Times