The economies of the post-Soviet Eurasian states are growing faster than Asia as a whole, and are suffering from higher-than-average inflation, according to a new report issued by the Asian Development Bank.
As NATO's summit opened April 2 in Bucharest, the United States remained dedicated to moving Georgia and Ukraine to the next level of NATO participation, despite signs of inflexible European opposition.
A US official has welcomed recent news that the Kremlin-controlled gas company Gazprom will start paying higher prices for natural gas from Central Asia, saying that it represents a victory of market forces over state-orchestrated monopolistic practices.
Representatives of Iran's ethnic and religious minorities told US elected officials that their people face various forms of discrimination, in what participants said was the first Congressional hearing focusing on internal minority issues in Iran.
Rebiya Kadeer, a human rights activist for the Uighur people of northwestern China, spent six years in jail in China for "leaking state secrets" in fact sending local newspaper articles to her husband in the US. She was released in 2005 and has since then made her home in the Washington, D.C. area, where she advocates for Uighur rights and for greater US support of Uighur issues.
The continuing political crisis Armenia stemming from the March 1 violence in Yerevan has unfolded with little comment from the United States, either from the US government or from influential Armenian-American lobbying groups.
Aid for almost every country in the former Soviet Union will be falling in 2008, under the current foreign affairs budget released by the US State Department. Much of the planned US assistance will go toward helping independent-minded states in the region resist Russian efforts to reassert its dominance in the Caspian Basin and elsewhere.