Ukraine has rejected a deal to decrease the price it will pay on a disputed Russian gas debt during long-running price negotiations.Ukraine said that an offer from Russia of a discount of $100 for every 1,000 cubic metres of gas was part of a “trap”.Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine would not agree to any discounts within its current gas deal.Russia and Ukraine are in talks in Brussels to try to resolve the issue.
The Turkish Consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul was seized on Wednesday and the head of the diplomatic mission as well as 24 staff members were kidnapped by members of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said ISIL fighters has seized 28 Turkish truck drivers.
Two of the United States’ most recognizable military aircraft – a pair of B-2 stealth bombers – caught the eyes of residents as they arrived in Europe this week for training. The bombers’ unique radar-evading design always draws attention, as does this training mission in particular, which comes at a time of conflict in Ukraine. The mission for the pair of stealth bombers is to conduct flights in Europe and to become familiar with air bases and operations in the area.
Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters
Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi replaced several top ministers on Wednesday amid rising popular discontent driven in part by power cuts and high prices. The changes announced by state news agency Saba included new finance, oil, electricity and foreign ministers, among others. Wealthy Gulf neighbors and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.
Simon Denyer / The Washington Post
China’s government released a key policy document on Tuesday formally spelling out its interpretation of the “One Country, Two Systems” model that was negotiated as part of the territory’s handover from British rule in 1997. That system, enshrined in Hong Kong’s “Basic Law,” had granted the territory a high degree of autonomy within China. Many in Hong Kong now worry that those liberties are under threat as Beijing asserts what the South China Morning Post called its “total control.”
Christopher Coats / Forbes
The list of challenges facing Egypt’s new president is seemingly endless, from restoring some sense of political stability to rebuilding an economy that has struggled to stay afloat for the last three years. However, few carry the weight and consequence of addressing the country’s fragile energy situation. Facing billions in debt to foreign oil and gas firms, dwindling local production and an unsustainable rule subsidy, el-Sisi has to act fast or risk having his administration undercut by yet another burst of public frustration.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Victoria Burnside Clapp
On Wednesday, Ukrainian leadership rejected a Russian proposal which intended to reduce the cost of natural gas for Ukraine more than 20%. The two countries are now at an impasse over the rescinded rebate, which could have significant implications for the gas market moving forward.
Out assets in space grow in both importance and vulnerability with every passing day, and the ability to replace them is a primary national security concern.
Kiribati, a Pacific island nation with over 100,000 residents, may be completely underwater within the next 30 years according to the governmental Panel on Climate Change.
On June 2nd, 2014, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the winning proposals of the Rebuild by Design contest. Initiated in response to the widespread destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Rebuild by Design seeks to develop policy-based solutions that will protect U.S. cities most threatened by extreme weather events.
BGen Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret) and Matthew Wallin
June 6th marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history. On that day over 150,000 troops landed in German-occupied France, and thousands never returned home.
June 12 @ 6:30 – 9:30PM
Join the HBS Club on June 12, 2014 at the Embassy of France as they discuss new research on improving the education system of the United States.
INVITE – The 2014 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review: A Blueprint for State and USAID
June 24 @ 12:30 – 1:30PM
A Briefing and Q&A about the QDDR with Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, Assistant Administrator Alexander Thier and Special Representative for the QDDR, Thomas Perriello.