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Russia marks Crimea annexation anniversary MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday marked one year since the annexation of Crimea by President Vladimir Putin in a redrawing of Europe's map that shattered ties with Ukraine and the West but sent his approval ratings soaring at home.Crowds were expected to flock to a concert by the walls of the Kremlin and festivities around Crimea as part of highly-choreographed celebrations of the takeover of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine.The Kremlin strongman was due to hold a meeting in Moscow with loyal leaders from Crimea to discuss the region's development ahead of a possible triumphant appearance on stage before supporters. The events will be the culmination of days of officially sanctioned festivities to laud the anniversary of the annexation that was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab but heralded by many Russians as correcting a historic injustice.Amnesty International accused the region's pro-Kremlin authorities of an ...

Greece hits out at EU opposition to 'humanitarian' law ATHENS: Greece has responded sharply to apparent pressure from the EU not to pass on Wednesday a "humanitarian crisis" law that would provide free electricity and food stamps for the poorest households.Athens was reacting to an apparent message from Declan Costello, a representative on the European Commission team monitoring Greece, telling the Greek government not to proceed with the vote."We would strongly urge having the proper policy consultations first, including consistency with reform efforts," Costello ...
Bulgarian jobless rate edges down to 11pc in February SOFIA: Bulgaria's jobless rate edged down to 11.0 percent in February from 11.1 percent a month earlier, the state employment agency said on Tuesday, as Europe's poorest economy battles to generate growth. The agency said 361,176 people were unemployed in the Balkan country of 7.3 million people in February, 2,788 fewer than in the first month of the year, mainly due to seasonal factors. The figure was lower than in February 2014, when more than ...
Ukrainian parliament offers special status for rebel east KIEV: Ukraine's parliament approved on Tuesday a draft law to grant special status and limited self-rule to separatist-controlled parts of east Ukraine provided regional elections are held there under Ukrainian jurisdiction. President Petro Poroshenko submitted the draft law to parliament, saying it was required under the terms of a four-power peace agreement worked out in Minsk, Belarus, last month. Parliament also approved an appeal by Poroshenko to the UN Security Council to support the dispatch ...
German probes into suspected IS militant returnees soar: prosecutor BERLIN: Germany's federal prosecutor says investigations into suspected fighters with the Islamic State group who have returned to the country have sharply increased within a year, to number nearly 70.Some 106 returnees suspected of having fought alongside IS militants are being investigated in Germany in 68 preliminary or criminal inquiries, chief federal prosecutor Harald Range told reporters late Monday.That compared to five investigations against eight suspects at the beginning of last year, he said, adding ...
Russian MPs refuse to hold minute's silence for murdered Nemtsov MOSCOW: Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday refused to hold a minute's silence for murdered opposition activist Boris Nemtsov, with only two lawmakers standing in a show of respect.Opposition lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov proposed that the lower house of the Duma hold a minute's silence at its first full session since the brazen assassination of one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics sent shockwaves around the world.The 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, who was ...
Greek PM to visit Russia on April 8: officials ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Russia on April 8, a month earlier than a scheduled May visit, the government said on Tuesday."The prime minister will visit the Kremlin following an invitation by Russian President Vladimir Putin," a government source said.Tsipras was due to visit Moscow on May 9 for Russia's annual Victory Day parade, which will this year commemorate the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II.The Greek PM's ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
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WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
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