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“Kazakhstan MPs Want To Raise Russia's Rent For Military Sites”, “The ancient 'Silk Road' is back in business as new train connects China to Tehran", “Kazakhstan Prolongs Pretrial Arrest For Journalist", “Ukraine ruling coalition cracks after confidence

February 17 2016, 18:10

eurasianet.org. “Kazakhstan MPs Want To Raise Russia's Rent For Military Sites" - Members of Kazakhstan's parliament are pressing the government to get more money out of Russia for the rent it pays for its several military facilities, setting the stage for yet another negotiating battle between Russia and its ex-Soviet allies. Last week, Deputy Defense Minister Okas Saparov testified in Kazakhstan's Senate, and got some criticism for the fact that Russia seems to be paying under market rates for the rent of its four military facilities in Kazakhstan. These include the Kapustin Yar test firing range, the Sary Shagan and Emba missile testing sites, and the 929th State Test Flight Center. For all that, Russia pays about $24 million in rent, and in some MPs' opinion, that is too little.

reuters.com. “The ancient 'Silk Road' is back in business as new train connects China to Tehran" - A freight train from China arrived in Tehran on Monday, Iranian and Chinese media reported, calling it a historical first that opens a new trade link between countries seeking to strengthen ties as Iran emerges from years of economic isolation. The train, carrying 32 containers, arrived in Tehran after a 14-day, 10,399 kilometer (6,462 mile) journey from Yiwu city in east China, Iran's ISNA news agency reported. The agency didn't say what kind of goods were shipped on the train on a route that took it via countries like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

rferl.org. “Kazakhstan Prolongs Pretrial Arrest For Journalist"- A court in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, has prolonged pretrial arrest for journalist Guzyal Baidalinova. Baidalinova's lawyer, Inessa Kisilyova, told RFE/RL that the Almaly district court ruled on February 16 that her client must be kept in detention until at least March 23. Baidalinova, the owner and editor of the Nakanune.kz online news portal, was detained on December 23 after one of Kazakhstan's largest banks, Kazkommertzbank, filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of "organization and publishing false data."

reuters.xom. “Ukraine ruling coalition cracks after confidence vote"- A junior ally in Ukraine's Western-backed coalition quit on Wednesday, spelling more trouble for Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk's government just a day after he survived a no confidence vote in parliament.

afp.com. “Hezbollah says Turks, Saudis dragging whole region into war” - Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday accused Ankara and Riyadh of dragging the entire region into war and said "victory" was imminent for his Shiite Lebanese group and its Syrian regime allies. "They (Turkey and Saudi Arabia) are ready to drag the region into a war," Nasrallah said in a video address to supporters in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a Hezbollah bastion. He said the two countries have been pushing to send in international ground forces because they "are not ready to accept a political solution to the conflict in Syria, which is why they want to continue the war and destroy it".






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