News Summary

The Vostok Report

The news to 1 December 2013

Photo sourced from DBDuophotography http://www.fotopedia.com/redirect?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2F61926883%40N00

Photo sourced from DBDuophotography

Protests have taken place in Ukraine following the country’s failure to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. The largest protests were seen in the capital, Kyiv, where students occupied the City Council building and other protestors threatened to topple a Soviet-era statue of Lenin. Organisers continued to call for calm through Sunday and Monday, condemning violence and accusing pro-government forces of provocation.

Source: New Eastern Europe

Ukraine’s fragile economy looks unlikely to escape the impact of the protests, with the cost of insuring the country’s debt rising and its main dollar-denominated bond less attractive to investors. Tim Ash, an economist at Standard Bank, estimated that the country had around two months of import cover in its foreign reserves.

Source: Financial Times

A skirmish between Kazakh border guards and Russian fishermen elicited a note of protest from Russia’s Ministry of foreign affairs. Defining a formal border between the two countries was one of the major foreign policy successes of Vladimir Putin’s first term as President between 2000 and 2004 and has been less problematic than many predicted at the time.

Source: Voice of Russia

Croatians have backed a ban on same-sex marriages in a nationwide referendum. The President and Prime Minister of the country opposed the ballot, which was initiated following a petition that attracted 700,000 signatures.

Source: BBC News

The arrest of a nationalist politician in Kyrgyzstan has led to protests spreading to the country’s prisons. The protests have also affected debate over the sale of a gold mine to Canadian company, Centerra.

Source: Business New Europe

Mayoral elections were held in 25 municipalities in Kosovo, with little of the violence that has marked recent elections in the north of the country.

Source: RFE/RL

Facebook has recognised Kosovo as an independent country. Petrit Selimi, a deputy minister in Kosovo’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said the decision mattered, as Facebook is “growing faster than Christianity or Islam.”

Source: BBC News

Uzbekistan state television has aired a programme calling for children to respect their parents after the First Daughter, Gulnara Karimova, took to Twitter to criticise her mother.

Source: BBC News

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