Communist Tax Lawyer

A news, research and discussion platform for monitoring the evolution of Communist and ex-Communist countries to market economies


Archive For January, 2010

Romania Urges Moldova to Join EU

January 29th, 2010

Romanian President Traian Basescu advised Moldovans to carry out the requisite reforms needed to join the European Union on Thursday, during a meeting at a state university in Southern Moldova’s Cahul.Moldova - Romania Presidents

“I tell you, Moldova’s place is in the EU. You need to take a decisive road to the EU,” President Basescu said to a large gathering of students. “This means sacrifices, to be accepted by the political class and the population. But these are worth it because the EU means you can aspire to prosperity.”

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova has been lead by a series of communist, pro-Russia administrations who kept the country as a middle path between Moscow and Bucharest. Read the rest of this entry »

Russia Gives Iran Arms Deal the Go Ahead

January 29th, 2010

S-300 AA System

In a controversial move, Russia’s state-run arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, said yesterday that there were no international agreements preventing the sale of arms to Iran.

This news comes as Russia continues to expand their role as one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers and exporters. That’s all nice, but what peeves some other players on the world stage (namely the U.S. and Israel) is their willingness to deal with so-called ‘pariah regimes.’ i.e. countries that the U.S. doesn’t have under their heel.

Russia lists China, India, Syria, Venezuela, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria among their foreign clientele. So, in short, business is booming. Read the rest of this entry »

Kazakhstan, NATO Agree on Afghan Transit Deal

January 28th, 2010

The final piece of the puzzle, Kazakhstan has agreed to an overland transit deal that would grant NATO a more reliable supply route to Afghanistan than is currently being provided through Pakistan.

Ukraine, Russia, and Uzbekistan had already agreed to similar terms, but the northern supply line was impossible without the approval of the largest Central Asian country.

“This allows supplies for our forces to start moving from Europe to Afghanistan, beginning in the coming days, complimenting the very important transit route through Pakistan,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

The agreement is contingent on only non-lethal supplies passing through the area, but nevertheless, is of huge importance to NATO’s Afghanistan campaign as the Pakistan supply route through the Khyber Pass remains under frequent Taliban attacks.

Update: (New York Times) Militants Strike Convoy with NATO Supplies in Karachi

North Korea Resumes Firing near South Korean Border

January 28th, 2010

For the second straight day, North Korea fired artillery shells which fell just north of the Northern Limit Line’s (NLL) maritime border – near the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.North Korea is Dark

After declaring a no-sail zone in the area earlier this week, the North fired at least 30 rounds yesterday morning as part of an “annual training drill,” which the South responded to with 100 warning shots of their own.

“We have confirmed North Korea’s firing of several artillery shells, but they did not cross (the maritime border)” said Joint Chief of Staff Park Sung-woo yesterday, according to Yonhap. “We are on high military alert.” Read the rest of this entry »

EU: Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta Fixing Budgets

January 27th, 2010

European Commission responds to updated budget cut proposals from ailing Eastern European economies Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta:

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–The European Commission on Wednesday said Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta are taking “effective action” to cut their budget deficits, but warned Hungary that its public finances face “considerable risks” this year.

Hungary likely hit its deficit target last year, with a shortfall worth 3.9% of gross domestic product, according to the commission, the European Union’s executive arm. But state revenue and spending are at risk this year and planned tax cuts next year could further hurt the country’s bid to bring its budget gap back below 3% of GDP by a 2011 deadline, the commission said. Read the rest of this entry »

Armenia, Azerbaijan Make Progress on Nagorno-Karabakh Resolution

January 27th, 2010

Nagorno-KarabakhArmenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have reportedly come to an agreement on some basic principles regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute that has been going on for almost 20 years.

While meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a ski resort near Sochi on Monday, the two leaders reached an understanding on the preamble to a new and improved version of the 2007 Madrid document, which outlined a step-by-step resolution to the conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

Energy Wars: Russia’s Neighbors Get Even

January 27th, 2010

A great write up on the recent gas dispute between Russia and Belarus, from TIME:

It is becoming a New Year’s tradition in Europe to wake up on January 1 with a big Russian headache. At the beginning of 2006 and 2009, Russia cut off energy supplies to Ukraine after a disagreement over natural gas prices, which subsequently caused fuel shortages in the European Union in the dead of winter. This January, all eyes are trained on Belarus, which has been having its own quarrel with Moscow over oil prices, threatening European energy supplies once again. But three weeks into the current standoff, there’s been a twist: Kazakhstan, another ex-Soviet republic, stepped in last week to offer Belarus its own oil. Now the Kremlin’s most reliable tool for controlling its neighbors — energy blackmail — is at risk of blowing up in its face. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Matchmaking Taking Off for China’s Wealthy Elite

January 26th, 2010

Wedding Show

Who said money can’t buy love?

An elitist and largely exclusive online matchmaking site for China’s growing upper class is taking off as the country’s wealthy bachelors look to spend their money (or their parent’s) on finding the most beautiful partner money can buy. Read the rest of this entry »

Lao PM Praises Bilateral Relations with Vietnam

January 26th, 2010

Lao Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavat praised cooperation between Laos and Vietnam over the years as a Laos inspection committee met with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi yesterday.

For the second straight year, Vietnam has been the largest investor in Laos’ economy with 48 projects worth US$1.42 billion in total capital, followed by China and Thailand.

“There are many bright prospects for bilateral economic ties,” said Prime Minister Somsavat, who is also the chairman of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Sup-Committee. “Laos has strong potential for hydro-electricity, land, and minerals while Vietnam has capital, capability, and technology.”

Same Plot, Different Story on the Korean Peninsula

January 25th, 2010

South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Tae-young stated last week that his country would have no choice but to launch a preemptive strike on North Korea if they thought the threat of a nuclear attack was imminent.

The statement has been met with cross words from the North yesterday, claiming that such words constitute a declaration of war.

“Our revolutionary armed forces will regard the scenario for ‘preemptive strike,’ which the South Korean puppet authorities adopted as a ‘state policy,’ as an open declaration of war,” said a spokesman for the armed forces general staff, according to North Korea’s state KCNA news agency.