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Topic - Lilit Gevorgyan
Russia is paying a heavy price for its annexation of Crimea, with its financial markets crashing, economic growth falling, and foreign investors and citizens pulling money out of the country at a frenetic pace.
The Kyrgyz parliament approved a new coalition government this week, choosing a prime minister lawmakers hope will be able to soothe the volatile nation's glaring north-south political divide while holding together the shaky alliances of the new administration.
Kyrgyzstan's online forums have buzzed with angry discussions about Economics Minister Akylbek Japarov since he told parliament in April that $100 is enough to live on for a month.
The Kyrgyz government is pushing to speed the construction of a trans-Asia railway, but the massive foreign investment needed to build Kyrgyzstan's stretch of the project has sparked a heated debate over the price the Central Asian nation would pay for the funding.
Kazakh officials hope that recent trade deals with Germany and France will lead to a trade pact with the European Union that will fuel the Central Asian nation's economic development.
Celebrations to mark Kazakhstan's 20 years of independence last week were marred by the most significant unrest seen in the country since Soviet times, with police opening fire on oil workers who have been striking since May.
Europeans are debating immigration and multiculturalism with new urgency after the massacre of 77 people in Oslo, victims of a mass murderer who says he wanted to ignite a crusade against Islam.
"Russia is not totally invincible and in some ways the damage is already done," with its economy suffering for the foreseeable future, said Lilit Gevorgyan, European economist for IHS Global Insight.
"To inflict immediate economic pain on Russia, EU and U.S. have to impose far more serious economic and energy embargoes, cancel large contracts, freeze assets of a whole range of state-run Russian commercial entities, and target far more government-linked business people over a sustained period of time to send the Russian economy into dramatic decline, wiping away the wealth of the country's business brass," she said.