29 April 2018   Leave a comment

The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has announced that it will not nominate a candidate for Prime Minister, leaving the post open for Nikol Pashinyan who led the protest movement against a bid to keep the RPA’s candidate, Serzh Sargsyan, in power for an illegal third term.  Russia, which is always a factor in Armenian politics (Armenia was once part of the former Soviet Union), was favored by Sargsyan and, even though Pashinyan has tried to remain neutral on relations with Russia, it is highly likely that Russia fears a significant loss of influence in the country.  Pashinyan has called for Parliamentary elections on 1 May to form a new government.

Protests in Armenia

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited outside inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri test site to verify that it will be closed down.  Kim announced that the testing facility would be closed down prior to a formal agreement with South Korea and the US, a rather astonishing move.  The Punggye-ri site was used for all six of North Korea’s nuclear bomb tests, but it is widely believed that the site is seriously damaged and may no longer be usable.   But there have been reports of activity at the site which suggests that the government may be trying to rehabilitate the site.   It is very difficult to tell what the significance of the North Korean announcement may be.

 

Peter Beinart has written an interesting article for The Atlantic which argues that even though Iran has not violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the US has more than likely violated it.   The agreement calls on all parties to facilitate the reintegration of Iran into the global economy as the earlier sanctions against the country are lifted.  Beinart gives evidence that the US has not complied with these clauses and that the Trump Administration has in fact made it more difficult for Iran to interact with its trading partners for such commodities as aircraft parts.  Iran has always complained about US adherence to the agreement, but few countries have taken it seriously.

Posted April 29, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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