12 abril, 2013

Peter’s Atlantic Round Up

Author: David Axe

<em>Photo: via</em> Der Spiegel.
Photo: via Der Spiegel.


There are increasing fears that the Russian government will begin to start enforcing a law known as the “foreign agent” law. Passed last July, it requires NGOs that receive funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents.”
Since the law has been passed it has not been enforced and no NGO has registered. This may have been due to a marked reluctance by the Justice Ministry to enforce the law. However, in recent months state prosecutors, tax officers and officials from the justice ministry have began to make spot inspections of dozens of NGOs across Russia.
The fear is that what started as demands for staff lists and tax records will turn into arbitrary orders to shut down. Golos, a vote-monitoring NGO, was subject to a campaign of harassment during Duma elections in December 2011 and Human Rights Watch has had its Moscow office searched.
On a more sinister level, every search so far has been accompanied by a TV crew from NTV, the state-owned channel, which points to the Putin administration using this latest crackdown as a propaganda tool.

Russia & Boris Berezovsky

The Russian government announced that it will be seeking the heirs to the fortune of recently deceased Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky’s fortune. The figure is estimated at £300 million ($441 million).
Berezovsky rose to power as one of Russia’s first oligarchs after gaining control of various lucrative assets in manufacturing and media. He was close to Boris Yeltsin but fell out of favor when Vladimir Putin rose to power and found his position in Russia’s power structure precarious. On November 2000, he failed to return home to Russia when summoned as a witness in a fraud investigation.
He was found dead on March 23 of this year at his home in Berkshire, U.K. A postmortem revealed that he had died from hanging and that there were no signs of a struggle. He had been due to give evidence at the inquest into the death of dissident Alexander Litvinenko.


Divisions have emerged over the best way forward for Europe to counter the increasing number of cyber-attacks, the most recent of which hit the Czech Republic in March, targeting a popular search engine, banks and the Prague Stock Exchange .
Since March there has been debate on which is the best path towards beefing up cyber security in the public and private realms. The E.U. Commission plans to deliver a new directive forcing companies to declare publicly whenever there has been a breach in their network security. The U.K. has opposed such moves saying that voluntary collaboration is better than compulsion.
It comes at a time when Britain has launched its own collaboration scheme which brings together the security services, the government listening post GCHQ, the government IT security body CESG and business bodies. The aim is to encourage public and private bodies to share information on breaches and threats.
NATO was one of the first to react to the threat of cyber-attacks by setting up the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn, Estonia, which helps improve collaboration across NATO and with select non-NATO nations.

Turkey & Israel

Talks have begun over compensation to be paid to the victims of a botched raid by Israeli commandos on the MV Mavi Mamara in 2010, which resulted in the deaths of 10 Turks and one Turkish-American, with several Israelis injured.
Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that an Israeli delegation will travel to Turkey in April and will work with the Turkish government and lawyers representing the victims families.
These developments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned his Turkish counterpart Recewp Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for the episode.
At the same time there is a debate ongoing over what prompted the sudden thawing in relations between the two countries. What is not in doubt was that it was an 11th hour intervention by Pres. Obama that brought the two sides together. There are other theories pointing to the events in Iran, Syria and even in the new gas fields of the eastern Mediterranean which have brought a new emphasis on continued collaboration between the two countries.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu however insisted that it was only by “heavy pressure on Israel on every diplomatic field” that broke the impasse.

No hay comentarios.: