The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic declares a state called Malorossiya
Separatists in Eastern Ukraine proclaimed last week a plan to create a new state in place of present Ukraine, but most observers regarded the declaration as frivolous. The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ("DPR") Alexander Zakharchenko announced on 18 July that “representatives of regions of former Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea, have agreed that the new state shall be called Malorossiya, as the very name of Ukraine has discredited itself.”
Turkish government warns of ‘unwanted consequences’
Turkey reiterated its opposition to an independence referendum in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region on 19 July following media reports that Ankara had softened its stance. In a statement, a foreign ministry spokesman stressed Ankara’s “unambiguous views that preservation of Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity is among the irrevocable principles” of its foreign policy.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said last Tuesday that Moscow has reserved the right to take retaliatory measures against the US after a meeting in Washington a day earlier ended without a deal on returning seized Russian diplomatic property.
New US sanctions put pressure on Iran
The US imposed new economic sanctions against Iran last Tuesday while at the same time warned Tehran that it would face consequences for breaching "the spirit" of the nuclear deal with world powers.
Saudi-led bloc makes step back in Gulf crisis
The four Arab nations leading a boycott against Qatar are no longer insisting it comply with a list of 13 specific demands they tabled last month, news wires reported. Instead diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the UN they now wanted Qatar to accept six broad principles, which include commitments to combat terrorism and to end provocation and incitement.
Moldova passes divisive election law amid protests
Moldova's parliament voted last Thursday to change the country's electoral system, as thousands of opposition activists massed outside against the overhaul, news wires reported.