Women with HIV abused by partners, rejected by society

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Shunned by relatives, doctors and the community, Ukrainian women struggle to survive and protect their children. by Madeline Roache Al Jazeera Kiev, Ukraine – “At first, it was just emotional abuse. Then he started to beat me, especially after he had been drinking. It was always worse then,” says 31-year-old Hanna Lilina, a Donetsk-native. In October 2012, she was told she had HIV during a pre-natal check-up. When she found out, she felt confused. “I started to clean my apartment obsessively, ... Read More »

EU and Russia Vie for Influence in Volatile Balkans Region

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European Union promotes Balkans expansion to counter Russia’s push for influence in volatile, strategically significant region. By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press U.S.News BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — For years, Russia has worked to gain influence in Southeast Europe, using Serbia as a foothold to establish a friendly pocket on a hostile continent. The European Union finally is pushing back. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is embarking on a seven-nation Balkans tour Sunday to promote the EU’s new eastward expansion strategy. Russia ... Read More »

Turkey’s march on Manbij stalled by wall of reality

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Turkey’s Syria adventure is heading into deeper uncertainty, facing obscure American and Russian moves and the bitter realities of the field. Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor The idea was to finish the operation against the Kurds in Afrin quickly and march on to Manbij Then, Turkey’s military planned to cross to the eastern side of the Euphrates River and deliver major blows to the main body of the Kurdish “democratic autonomy” in areas like Ras al-Ain and Tell Abyad, where Kurds do ... Read More »

Russian Expansion in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov: Economic Consequences for Ukraine

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Moscow’s appetite in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov has not decreased after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. By: Ihor Kabanenko Eurasia Daily Monitor Russia has gradually advanced its presence into significant areas of the exclusive maritime economic zone of Ukraine, which, in accordance with international law, is subject to the sovereign rights of Ukraine. This expansion aims to establish control over critical maritime areas and transport communications nodes. In violation of the UN Convention on the ... Read More »

U.S. Moves to Halt Turkey’s Drift Toward Iran and Russia

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But Washington struggles to find a way to address Ankara’s chief grievance WASHINGTON—Five months ago, President Donald Trump hailed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a friend and said the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies had never been closer. By Dion Nissenbaum WSJ But Mr. Trump’s optimistic view masked a more complicated reality: Turkey quickly has become one of the Trump administration’s most vexing relationships. Relations between the two countries, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded last week, are at a ... Read More »

Ukraine’s National Bank to prolong sanctions against banks with Russian capital

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Earlier Ukraine’s President enforced the decision of Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against five banks with Russian capital 112.International The National Bank of Ukraine believes that the sanctions against banks with Russian state capital, expiring on March 16, should be prolonged. Vitaliy Vavryshchuk, the Head of the National Bank Financial Stability Department said this, as Interfax-Ukraine reports. “Yes, there is a need to prolong them,” he responded. He also mentioned that the presence of banks with Russian capital within the… Ukraine’s National ... Read More »

Poland Decries Nord Stream 2 as possible trigger for Russian-Ukrainian war

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Heading to Germany, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on 15 February, that the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could act as a main trigger for a Russian-Ukrainian war. Michaela Ceklová ESJ Morawiecki believes that when Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline becomes fully operational, Russia will be able to escalate the conflict in Ukraine without putting critical pipeline infrastructure at risk. So far, Ukraine had an advantageous status of transit country, but with Nord Stream 2 it loses this asset, something that could affect both its energy security, and ... Read More »

A Middle East Game Much Bigger Than Turkey

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The course that Turkish leaders choose to follow in the Syrian war will have long-term consequences for their country and for the world. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Turkey’s foreign policy is dominated by a heated nationalist narrative, which in turn has triggered military operations in Syria. At the roots of these developments are several threats to Turkey—some very real, some perceived, others imagined—and the ways in which the political leadership uses them. But beyond the immediate horizon, littered with hard-to-digest ... Read More »

Russia calls on Jordan to help stabilize Syrian ‘safe’ zones

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Jordanian King Abdullah visited Russia last week for the 20th time in 18 years, but this trip was far from a routine encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yury Barmin Al Monitor The countries’ ties have been strong for decades. If the frequency of diplomatic gestures is an indication, Jordan appears to be Moscow’s strongest ally in the Middle East. Yet despite a solid record of cooperation, as well as a certain chemistry between Abdullah and Putin, Amman never really played a ... Read More »

Ukraine submits Memorial on Russia’s violations of Law of the Sea to World Court

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The Memorial proves that Russia violated the sovereign rights of Ukraine in the Black, Azov seas and Kerch Strait 112.International On Monday, Feb. 19, Ukraine submitted its Memorial in Arbitration Proceedings against the Russian Federation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to the press service of Ukraine’s MFA. It is noted that since 2014, Russia “has unlawfully excluded Ukraine from exercising its maritime rights; it has exploited Ukraine’s sovereign resources for its own ends; and ... Read More »

Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics

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Dunder-Mifflin as Troll Farm The Mueller indictment made public on Friday charges 13 Russian nationals with trolling the American electoral process to ‘sow discord’ by falsely representing themselves as American dissident personas. Rob Urie CounterPunch Once the field of presidential aspirants had been narrowed in 2016, their goal became to support Donald Trump’s candidacy while disparaging Hillary Clinton. There is no charge that the outcome of the 2016 election was changed by these actions. The form of the alleged conspiracy ... Read More »

Hungary plans to import Romanian gas

A partial view of the largest natural gas storage facility in Central and Eastern Europe in Zsana, 154 kms south of Budapest, Hungary, 01 December 2009 after its inauguration ceremony. The  2.1 billion cubic metre facility was enlarged by the German E.ON group at a cost of 35 billion forints or 128 million euros.  / HUNGARY OUT, Image: 231881824, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: HUNGARY OUT, Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, TEMP EPA

On 9 February, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that a long-term contract for gas imports from Romania will be signed shortly, a move that will weaken the Russian position on the Hungarian gas market. Michaela Ceklová ESJ Starting with 2022, Romania is expected to deliver up to 4 bcm of natural gas per year to Hungary, a volume accounting for almost half of its gas consumption. The intended deadline may still be subject to change, due to the fact that pipeline links between Romania and Hungary are still ... Read More »

Turkey is following footsteps of Russia and China in policing diaspora

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Erdogan’s purge is a threat to Turks living abroad and, more dangerously, to the rule of law everywhere. Transnational repression is increasingly woven into the fabric of the international order Francis Ghiles The Arab Weekly The globalisation of travel and finance and the spread of instantaneous communication, notably through social media, benefit civil society and woven links that encourage broad dialogue across borders. What is less often commented on is that countries have been handed useful and cheaper ways of ... Read More »

US leads globally with most planned and announced pipeline length additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of the global planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the US has the longest planned pipelines length globally with 35,065km. By GlobalData Energy India and Russia follow with 29,142 km and 26,566 km respectively Presently, the US accounts for 14.3% of the total planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines length globally. The country has the highest number of planned and announced pipeline additions with 184. ... Read More »

Averting Disaster in Syria’s Idlib Province

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An imminent military showdown in Idlib with disastrous human costs can be avoided only if Turkey strikes a deal between Russia, on one hand, and militants, on the other, and deploys its forces along the front lines to deter an escalation. ICG What happened? The de-escalation zone in north-western Syria is on the brink of collapse. Boosted by Russian air support, Syrian regime troops are advancing toward the Idlib region. Amid obstruction by the Syrian regime and Iran-backed militias, Turkish ... Read More »

China Reveals Its New Russian Jets Flying Over Secret Military Bases in Pacific

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China has for the first time revealed that its new fleet of advanced, Russia-built jets has flown over the South China Sea, where the U.S. has contested Beijing’s vast territorial claims and construction of artificial, militarized islands. By Tom O’Connor Newsweek The Chinese air force said in a statement Wednesday that it recently deployed Sukhoi Su-35s to carry out a joint patrol over the South China Sea. While the release did not include the size, date or location of the patrol, ... Read More »