Archive

Archive for July, 2011

On Europe’s Fringes: Russia, Turkey and the European Union

July 31, 2011 Comments off

On Europe’s Fringes: Russia, Turkey and the European Union
Source: Chatham House

  • Russia and Turkey, significant powers on the fringes of the European Union, both have awkward relations with Brussels.
  • As Russia’s and Turkey’s strength becomes greater and the EU’s declines, the relationships between them will increasingly involve political as well as economic factors.
  • Turkey is economically and politically closer to Europe than Russia is, while Russia’s relationship with Europe mainly consists of a mutual energy dependency.
  • Russia’s unpredictable business environment remains a key constraint on its deeper integration with the EU. The Turkish economy faces challenges, but Turkey has a much better business environment than Russia.
  • The EU’s own economic deficiencies suggest that it needs to remain circumspect in dealing with both countries. But Turkey, in particular, should be considered more of a foreign policy partner.
  • + Full Paper (PDF)

    About these ads

    Stopping the Mortality Crisis in Ukraine

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Stopping the Mortality Crisis in Ukraine
    Source: World Bank

    Ukrainians have a high risk of dying prematurely. Nearly half of the adult population, many of them young, suffers from one or more chronic disease, say the World Bank and the Ukrainian Medical Union (UMU) in a new study “What Underlies Ukraine’s Mortality Crisis.” Rich and poor alike suffer from these conditions, according to the study. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and contributes to over half of the disease burden. Why is the Ukrainian population so careless about its health?

    “Taking care of your health is one of the elements of our people’s culture. That is the first factor. The second factor is a trust towards doctors, the trust towards the quality of services provided by the state healthcare system. Both factors are very important. Patients should take care of their health. For example, they should immediately visit doctors to be diagnosed when they have pain in their chest, or they get winded, or have an abnormal heart rate,” says Vitaliy Averchuk, a Lviv cardiac surgeon who has saved a lot of people’s lives.

    + Full Report (PDF)

    Country Specific Information: Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES)

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Country Specific Information: Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES)
    Source: U.S. Department of State

    COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The three “BES” islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius (or “Statia”) and Saba comprise the Caribbean portion of the Netherlands. Along with Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten these special overseas municipalities of The Netherlands are also part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These are listed separately as they are semi-autonomous entities within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The economies of the BES islands are well-developed and tourist facilities are widely available.

    Country Specific Information: Azerbaijan

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Country Specific Information: Azerbaijan
    Source: U.S. Department of State

    July 21, 2011

    COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Azerbaijan is a constitutional republic with a developing economy. Western-style amenities are found in the capital, Baku, but infrastructure and access to goods and services outside the city are less well developed. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Azerbaijan for additional information.

    Country Specific Information: Latvia

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Country Specific Information: Latvia
    Source: U.S. Department of State

    July 15, 2011

    COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Latvia is a stable democracy with a developing economy. Most tourist facilities found in a western European city are available in the capital city, Riga. However, some of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available in other parts of the country. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Latvia for additional information.

    Country Specific Information: Mali

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Country Specific Information: Mali
    Source: U.S. Department of State

    July 27, 2011

    COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Mali is a developing country in western Africa with a stable and democratic government. The official language is French; however, thirteen local languages are also spoken and have status as national languages, with Bambara serving as lingua franca. The capital of Mali is Bamako (1.8 million, 2009 census estimate). Facilities for tourism are limited, though they are developing. There is a serious threat of terrorist activities in Mali’s three northern regions (Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal, which make up nearly 60 percent of the country’s area). The terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continues to use northern Mali as an active area of operations as well as a safe haven, notably for detaining hostages. Please refer to the Department of StateBackground Notes on Mali for additional information.

    Country Specific Information: Georgia

    July 31, 2011 Comments off

    Country Specific Information: Georgia
    Source: U.S. Department of State

    July 27, 2011

    COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Georgia is a constitutional republic with a developing democracy and economy. Tourist facilities outside of Tbilisi are not highly developed, and many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Georgia for additional information.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 986 other followers