Author: Sherman Stewart

All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree setting out the routine spring conscription campaign, calling up 150,000 citizens for statutory military service, a document posted on the Kremlin’s website showed on Sunday (31 March). All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18. In July Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30…

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London (10/03 – 77.78)Up-and-down relations between Iran and Tajikistan in the past decade shot up again after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s official visit to Dushanbe on November 8-9, his second trip to the Tajik capital in 18 months. Raisi’s visit to Tajikistan was symbolically important amid a rapprochement between the countries that overshadowed the relatively standard batch of bilateral agreements that were signed. During the trip, Raisi and his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon, announced a historic visa-free travel agreement for their citizens and deals in trade, transportation, and culture, among others. High-ranking visits have become a regular occurrence between the…

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Tashkent 24/2/ (50). In Tajikistan, over 20% of the population lives in poverty, and millions of citizens have emigrated to Russia to find work. Meanwhile, a feudal elite under President Emomali Rahmon has ravaged the country with corruption, nepotism, and massive drug smuggling of Afghan heroin to Russia and Europe. Although Rahmon’s successor and son, Rustam Emomali, has been increasingly in the headlines, adopting a presidential look, his stiff and awkward appearance reveals a man seemingly afraid of his shadow. Sources inside the country’s security apparatus report that he is in conflict with his powerful sisters, including Ozada, the head…

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Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

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Berlin (2/3 – 62.50). Lt. Gen. Alfons Mais says the €100 billion committed by the government last year is insufficient. Meanwhile, an association representing soldiers says the Bundeswehr turnaround needs to speed up. Germany would have to spend more money on its armed forces if it wants it fully equipped, army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais said on Sunday. He told the German news agency, dpa, the €100 billion ($107 billion) to speed up the modernization of the armed forces promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia invaded Ukraine was not enough. Mais, caused a stir last year when he criticized what he described…

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In the whirlwind of Sri Lankan politics, last week’s visit by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) to India carved a narrative that has both intrigued and polarised the political arena. This spectacle showcased the delicate art of political communication, underscoring the critical importance of reputation management and the nuanced dance of damage control in the face of adversity. For years, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), questioning authority and challenging the status quo, found itself in an unfamiliar position – defending rather than accusing. The controversial trip to India marked a turning point. Critics pounced, dissecting every word, every move, with relentless…

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Infighting over the succession and growing frustration in the regions could shatter the stability that the Tajik president has been building for so many years. Next year will mark thirty years of Emomali Rahmon’s presidency in Tajikistan, now the only country in Central Asia that has not seen a change of leadership since the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, there have been rumors of an imminent transition of power for a decade. The name of the successor is no secret: it’s Rahmon’s son, thirty-six-year-old Rustam Emomali. But there is no consensus within the president’s large family over the succession. Some of the…

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PA President’s son Tareq Abbas also holds positions in other ventures incorporated by offshore company. Leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal Tareq Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, holds shares worth nearly $1 million in an offshore company with ties to the Palestinian Authority. The documents, leaked as part of the massive ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, show that a company called the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) was registered in September 1994 in the British Virgin Islands. Since then, the company’s economic portfolio has grown substantially, and is active in virtually every Palestinian economic sphere, including…

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President Kassym-Joomart Tokayev approved the new government of Kazakhstan under the leadership of Olzhas Bektenov. The names of the ministers were published on primeminister.kz. Most of the ministers remained from the old government. Four ministers were replaced: Nurlan Baibazarov was appointed Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of National Economy instead of Alibek Kuantyrov, Madi Takiyev became Minister of Finance instead of Erulan Zhamaubaev, Akmaral Alnazarova was appointed Minister of Healthcare instead of Azhar Giniyat, and Chingis Arinov became the new Minister for Emergency Situations instead of Syrym Shariphanov. Members of the government who remained in their positions included First Deputy…

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Indonesia, Vietnam and Tajikistan remain committed to the one-China principle recognising Beijing as the only legitimate government of the entire Chinese territory, their foreign ministries said on Monday following elections in Taiwan. On Saturday, Taiwan held a general election in which pro-independence candidate Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party won with 40.05% of the vote to head the island’s local administration. A US delegation visited the island on Sunday. “Reaffirming Viet Nam’s steadfast adherence to ‘One China’ policy, Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang said Viet Nam does not develop any state-level relations with…

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