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Asia Pacific

Beijing ready to pass ‘anti-sanctions’ law against the US and the EU | Source: Asia News

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) is preparing to pass a law to counter sanctions imposed by other countries on China. Beijing wants to give legal status to its countermeasures against the punitive actions taken against China by the United States, the European Union and their allies.

Source: Asia News


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Europe

Georgia and EU jointly celebrate political agreement | SOURCE: EURO NEWS

European Council President Charles Michel, left, speaks with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, on screen, during a video conference at the European Council on April 19

Georgia and the EU celebrate a political agreement putting an end to a crisis that could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia’s progress along its European path. “The EU can count now on a stable, fiercely pro-European partner in a region essential to Europe’s values, security and connectivity “

SOURCE: EURO NEWS


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Europe

Russia Accuses EU of Stopping Access to Sputnik Vaccine | SOURCE: NOVINITE

The European Union is blocking Russia-made vaccines against Covid-19, the head of Russia’s external intelligence service said. Russia has repeatedly accused the West of political manoeuvring against the vaccine. However, Russian leaders also said early on in the pandemic that the country would not approve widely used Western vaccines made by companies such as Moderna and BioNTech.

SOURCE: NOVINITE


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GGN News on Geopolitics and Geoeconomics: Weekly Top 10.(From May 7 to May 13)



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Geoeconomics

U.K. and France Call in the Navy, Sort of, in Channel Islands Fishing Dispute | SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

French fishing boats at the entrance to the harbor in St. Helier, Jersey, on Thursday.Credit…Marc Le Cornu, via Reuters

An ugly spat over post-Brexit fishing rights has erupted between Britain and France, as naval ships from both countries converged in the waters off the island of Jersey, where dozens of French fishing boats were threatening to blockade a port. Relations between Britain and France had already soured on a range of issues as Britain and the European Union divorced.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES


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Geopolitics

EU Considers Training Mission To Quell Mozambique Crisis | SOURCE: VON GOV

The European Union will consider sending a civilian training mission to Mozambique to help the government withstand a growing insurgency. Mozambique’s government has been facing an Islamist insurgency since 2017, putting at risk natural gas projects. 

SOURCE: VON GOV


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Geopolitics

U.S. among first foreign countries to join EU defence project, diplomats say | SOURCE: METRO US

FILE PHOTO: Picture showing the room during a meeting of European Union defence ministers at the EU Council in Brussels

The European Union will allow the United States, Norway and Canada to join a project to overcome delays in moving troops across Europe. The decision means NATO members Norway, Canada and the United States also become the first foreign countries to collaborate in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact, which aims to deepen defence ties.

SOURCE: METRO US


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Geoeconomics

EUROPE:

EUROPE:

  • The European Union is planning to tighten the foreign investment rules in the bloc to make sure that local producers and industries are no longer undercut by non-EU investors that have faced slacker rules up to now. The plans will surely affect China, which has invested heavily in Europe.

SOURCE: AP NEWS


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what is happening in geopolitics?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? (APRIL 2021)

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • The Chinese air force sent a fleet of aircraft close to Taiwan in the latest sign of military intimidation against the separately ruled island.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

  • South Korea and the United States signed a deal marking what some say is a return to a stronger U.S.-ROK alliance.

SOURCE: NK NEWS

  • Vietnam and China agreed to strengthen military cooperation.

SOURCE: CHINA ORG

  • China cautioned Australia to abide by its ‘One China’ policy after a senior Australian warned of a potential conflict over Taiwanese independence.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • Australia will upgrade four military bases in its north and expand war games with the United States.

SOURCE: NEWS 18

  • Japan will hold a joint military drill with US and French troops in the country’s southwest. It comes as Tokyo seeks to deepen defense cooperation beyond its key US ally to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

SOURCE: THE DEFENSE POST

  • Hong Kong’s electoral reform bill has been introduced in the city’s legislature, setting in motion changes that will give Beijing greater control over the process while reducing the number of directly elected representatives.

SOURCE: IRISH EXAMINER

  • The European Union is preparing to impose new collective sanctions on the Myanmar military targeting its business interests.

SOURCE: STRAIT TIMES

  • Russia and China are blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo to Myanmar.

SOURCE: HUNDUSTAN TIMES

  • Russia is increasing arms sales to Myanmar’s military and steadfastly standing by Myanmar’s coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • The leaders of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei met in Jakarta to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT


EURASIA:

  • Japan held consultations with the European Union on security following joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea, as well as a joint port call on Djibouti. They aim to extend their cooperation to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

SOURCE: EEAS

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that he was against the idea of establishing NATO alliances in the Middle East and Asia, commenting on recent calls for establishing similar bodies in both regions.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR


SOUTH ASIA:

  • President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST

  • India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of United States from the country. India’s big worry is that instability could spill over into its Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Afghan and Pakistani troops opened fire at each other at a crossing point in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province in the south.

SOURCE: AFGHANISTAN TIMES

  • A car bomb blast ripped through a luxury hotel’s parking area in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, where China’s ambassador to Pakistan was staying. Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked before by Taliban militants.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Russia – which is helping to construct a gas pipeline between Pakistan’s port city of Karachi and eastern Lahore- will provide unspecified military equipment to Pakistan to fight terrorism.

SOURCE: RFE/RL ORG

  • India held a new round of talks with China to iron out differences over the next phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh.

SOURCE: THE DAILY STAR

  • India protested to the United States for a navy vessel conducting a transit through its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without consent, in a rare row between the friendly navies of the two countries.

SOURCE: REUTERS


MIDDLE EAST:

  • Iran’s foreign ministry has said the country is open to direct talks with Saudi Arabia. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic ties since January 2016.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • Iran began enriching uranium to its highest level ever to pressure talks in Vienna aimed at restoring its nuclear deal with world powers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Iran has blamed regional arch-foe Israel for a sabotage incident at its key Natanz nuclear site and threatened to exact revenge, in what appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit will ‘reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership.

SOURCE: HAARETZ

  • The US and Iraq reiterated their mutual intention to continue bilateral security cooperation.

SOURCE: ASHARK AL-AWSAT


EUROPE:

  • Russia ordered a total of seven diplomats from three Baltic nations and Slovakia to leave in a quid pro quo response to the countries’ expulsion of Russian Embassy workers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Russian troops began pulling back to their permanent bases after a massive buildup that caused Ukrainian and Western concerns.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • The United States imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for bullying Ukraine (and interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, and other alleged malign actions).

SOURCES: REUTERS – YENISAFAK

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened Turkey a gainst any more purchases of Russian weapons.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

  • Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not found enough common ground in order to restart peace negotiations on a formal level after a three-day summit.

SOURCE: RT


AFRICA:

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pressed for an easing of tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia as fears grow of a spillover from the bloody Tigray conflict.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY


LATIN AMERICA:

  • Venezuela announced that it is to deploy more troops to the border with Colombia, which has seen heavy clashes between the army and Colombian irregular armed groups.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS


brian

 

 By Bernardo Foster/

 International Relations Analyst


To read daily news on geopolitics and geoeconomics you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook


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Expert Analysis

The EU Parliament’s Anti-Russian Resolution Is Dangerous

30 APRIL 2021

The EU Parliament

Russia is a major world power, and if the EU can attempt to bully it in such a dangerous way, then there’s nothing stopping the bloc from doing the same to comparatively weaker countries.

The European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on Thursday threatening very serious consequence against Russia if it carries out an “invasion” of Ukraine. These include immediately stopping oil and gas imports from the country and cutting it off from the SWIFT payment system, as well as freezing the assets of so-called “oligarchs” and their families on top of canceling their visas. The text also condemns alleged Russian intelligence operations in Europe, including disinformation operations and the latest claims that its agents were behind the 2014 munitions blast in Czechia. They also want to stop Nord Stream II.

The EP also supports meddling in Russia’s internal affairs. Examples of this include criticism of the country’s recent jailing of anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny due to his parole violations and the authorities’ decision to investigate whether his organization is extremist. The resolution expresses support for unsanctioned rallies in Russia too while criticizing the authorities’ response to them. One of the most disturbing proposals put forth is to seriously consider the UK’s proposal for a “Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime”, which could predictably be exploited for political purposes considering the tense relations with Russia.

The EP’s resolution is therefore very dangerous because it shows that ideologically driven anti-Russian political forces in Europe are serious about imposing extreme costs on Moscow solely for warning that it might defend its legitimate border interests and those of its citizens in Eastern Ukraine in the event that Kiev launches a military operation there. Cutting Russia off from the SWIFT payment system might be akin to an unofficial declaration of war considering the country’s international financial dependence on it. In addition, it’s counterproductive to stop importing Russian oil and gas when no viable alternatives exist at the moment.

Russia, like all countries, has an obligation to enforce its laws. Navalny’s jailing was done in accordance with existing legislation on this issue, as is its breaking up of unsanctioned rallies and temporary detainment of their participants. As a case in point, some EU countries have also detained participants of unsanctioned rallies that were organized against their COVID-19 lockdowns in recent months, especially whenever they clash with police. Furthermore, France is currently investigating various organizations as extremist ones, just like Russia is doing too. The basis of Brussels’ proposed meddling in Moscow’s internal affairs is therefore hypocritical.

The rest of the world is rightly concerned after this resolution was just passed. Russia is a major world power, and if the EU can attempt to bully it in such a dangerous way, then there’s nothing stopping the bloc from doing the same to comparatively weaker countries. In addition, similar resolutions might one day be tabled against China too on a similar basis as well. Basically, nobody would be safe if the EU succeeds in cutting Russia off from SWIFT and so openly meddling in its internal affairs by criticizing its law enforcement agencies and their work. That’s why this resolution is so dangerous to world peace.

COVID-19 is still sweeping across the world, and the extended effect of lockdown has been disastrous for the EU member states’ economies, not to mention the psychological health of their citizens. There are much more urgent tasks at hand for the EP to tackle than concocting a list of threats and criticisms to officially make against Russia. It’s disappointing to see that it’s more focused on such issues than those much closer to home. Their supporters might argue that Russia’s alleged assassinations, attacks, and disinformation plots constitute pressing domestic threats, but none of these have been publicly proven and thus remain speculation.

The EU is approaching an historic crossroads whereby it can finally become more independent of American influence or it can continue to languish under the boots of US neo-imperialism. Judging by the latest resolution, it regrettably appears that the EP is opting for the latter after jumping on America’s anti-Russian bandwagon to score political points with their patron across the Atlantic. This is dangerous and counterproductive to EU interests. What’s more, it’s also deeply unfortunate too since the EP can and should put its legislative skills to work trying to solve more urgent crises like COVID-19 instead.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: EU, Russia, SWIFT, Ukraine, Nord Stream II, Navalny, Color Revolution, Regime Change, Hybrid War, Sanctions, US.


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