Thousands of supporters of recently-deported former Georgian President and Odessa mayor Mikheil Saakashvili marched
in Kiev, Ukraine on February 18. The ministry of internal affairs estimated turnout at around 3,000, while journalists reported that an estimated 10,000 had participated in the demonstration.
The supporters demanded the impeachment of current President Petro Poroshenko, a former Saakashvili ally who has recently been the target of much criticism from the opposition politician.
Saakashvili has been banned
from entering Ukraine until 2021.
Kazakhstan has once again opted
to alter its alphabet, after switching from a Cyrillic to a Latin system last year. New changes will dispense with the unpopular and unwieldy asterisk convention, replacing them with accents instead.
In finance news, a Belgian courts has frozen
$22.6 billion worth of assets held for Kazakhstan's Sovereign Wealth Fund. The ruling is one of several imposed by European courts in relation to a multi-vector suit by Moldovan energy investor Anatolie Stati.
Armen Sarkissian has officially accepted
the nomination of current President Serszh Sarkisian to run for the Armenian presidency on March 9. Armenia will then transition to a parliamentary system of government wherein many of the presidential powers will be transferred to the Prime Minister.
HUNGARY & POLAND:
Polish EU Affairs Minister Konrad Szymanski spoke out
against EU plans to tie measures of judicial independence with EU financing from 2021 onward, citing infringement of sovereign rights. In talks on the subject, Italy has also been advocating linking funding to migration policy. Poland has exhibited resistance against granting asylum to migrants.
Fellow Visegrad group member Hungary has also been firmly against taking in migrants. While campaigning for Fidesz in the leadup to the April elections, current Hungarian President Victor Orban stated
that “Christianity is Europe’s last hope,” reinforcing the current focus on anti-migration advocacy in the ruling party's platform.
In other news, Poland was also censured
by the European Court of Justice on February 20 for logging in a protected forest in violation of EU law.