The news to 17 November 2013
Efforts by the EU to negotiate a settlement to the row over Yulia Tymoshenko’s imprisonment continued, as politicians emphasised the importance of Ukraine signing an Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit in a week’s time. Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, said that Ukraine’s hopes of greater integration with Europe rested on its President, Victor Yanukovych.
Russian politician, Alexei Navalny, was selected as the first Chairman of a new political party. Popular Alliance will seek registration in order to compete in elections. Navalny has been hounded by criminal complaints since leading protests in Moscow nearly two years ago, as part of what some have seen as an authoritarian crackdown. In an fraud case heard last month, Navalny received a suspended sentence.
A plane crash in the Russian city of Kazan killed 50 passengers. Irek Minnikhanov, the son of the President of Tartarstan, was believed to be among the dead.
Source: BBC News
Mikhail Prokhorov, the former Russian Presidential Candidate, said he would buy a stake in potash producer, Uralkali. The firm’s CEO, Vladislav Baumgertner, was arrested in Minsk in August after the company withdrew from a joint consortium with its Belarusian counterpart. After initially protesting the arrest, Moscow opened an investigation into Baumgertner last month. Prokhorov, who has publicly maintained his distance from Russia’s rulers but is seen as having neglected his political ambitions, may seek to soothe conflict between authorities in the two CIS countries.
Source: RIA Novosti
Giorgi Margvelashvili was inaugurated as Georgia‘s President in the country’s first full peaceful transfer of power. Mikhail Saakashvili, who came to power in the Rose Revolution in 2003, used the presidency to transform his country, but an act of Parliament has slimmed down the official powers of the role.
Source: The Independent
Tens of thousands of Bulgarians continued to protest their government in Plovdiv and the capital, Sofia. Meanwhile, lectures resumed at the University of Sofia, following a sit-in by students.
Source: Al Jazeera
The government of Albania rejected a proposal to host the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, following large protests in Tirana.