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Opinion: The future of the China-US-Russia triangle after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
Since February 24, 2022, the international community's focus was concentrated entirely on the war in Ukraine and the growing Russia – West confrontation. It seemed that nothing could change the situation until the end of hostilities in Ukraine. However, on August 2 and 3, almost everyone’s attention shifted from Ukraine to Taiwan. As the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, stated her intention to visit Taiwan, up to half a million people were watching the trajectory of her plane on air flight tracking sites. The negative reaction of China, including the warning of President Xi during his conversation with President Biden that those who played with fire would be perished by it, created hype around this visit. Many were discussing the possibility of Chinese military jets closing the airspace over Taiwan and preventing Pelosi’s plane from landing in Taiwan, while some enthusiasts were even contemplating the possibility of a US-China direct military clash. As Pelosi landed in Taiwan and met with the Taiwanese President, the global social media was full of amateur assessments about the strategic victory of the US and the confirmation of the US global hegemony. However, as the dust settles down, and information noise and manipulation eventually decreases, a more serious assessment is needed to understand the real consequences of this visit.
patrickn97 Thu, 08/04/2022 - 13:52
Landmine Free South Caucasus campaign releases educational videos on consequences of landmines in five languages

The regional campaign LANDMINE FREE SOUTH CAUCASUS has released a series of educational cartoons on the consequences of landmines and explosive remnants of war in the South Caucasus.

The videos have been produced in five languages: Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, English, and Russian.

The Georgian version can be viewed here.

The Armenian version can be viewed here.

patrickn97 Mon, 05/29/2023 - 13:13
Kazakhstan and UK to increase flight frequency, Kazakh aviation expanding

Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom have agreed to increase direct flight frequency, from to five to up to fourteen flights per week by the end of the year, reports the Kazakh Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). This news was released after negotiations in London on 24 and 25 May.

The "importance and complexity" of the negotiations was particularly acute as the current agreement between the UK and Kazakhstan, which allowed for five direct flights per week between London and Almaty, was due to expire on 15 June.

patrickn97 Mon, 05/29/2023 - 09:42
Erdogan wins another five years as Turkish president after hotly-contested campaign
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won another five years as the President of Turkey in a run-off against his main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The first round which took place on 14 May saw Erdogan winning just shy of an outright majority, forcing a second round vote yesterday (28 May). According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, incumbent Erdogan won 52% of the vote while Kilicdaroglu won 48% of the vote. Erdogan's victory means that, assuming he sees out his coming five-year term as the Turkish President, he will have been either Prime Minister or President of Turkey for 25 years. Speaking to a victory rally in the Turkish capital, Ankara, President Erdogan said "today nobody has lost. 85 million have won as a whole. As required by the responsibility that our nation gave us, we are not upset, sad, resented or raged against anybody." "Now it is time to leave all the discussions and debates from the election campaigning process. And to unite and get together around our national goals and dreams," he said. Meanwhile, responding to Erdogan's victory, defeated challenger Kilicdaroglu complained about what he called the "most unfair election in recent years".
patrickn97 Mon, 05/29/2023 - 09:02
Georgia celebrates Independence Day, events around the world to mark occasion

On Friday (26 May), Georgia is celebrating the 105th anniversary of the establishment of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia.

The Democratic Republic of Georgia declared independence from the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (TDFR), which consisted of much of the present-day territory of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, on 26 May 1918. Two days later, both Armenia and Azerbaijan also declared independence from the TDFR, which was formed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

patrickn97 Fri, 05/26/2023 - 09:52
Moscow and Minsk to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, use remains “extraordinarily unlikely”
Yesterday on Thursday (25 May), the Russian and Belarusian defence ministers Sergei Shoigu and Viktor Khrenin signed documents on placing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. According to the Russian state-controlled news agency Interfax, Shoigu said at the meeting that decisions over the control and use of the nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus would remain under the control of Russia.  Shoigu added that Russia may take "additional measures" in the future "to ensure the security of the Union State [of Russia and Belarus] and respond to the military-political situation". Russian President Vladimir Putin, and especially TV propagandists, have consistently threatened the West with nuclear weapons as Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched on 24 February last year has foundered. On 25 March this year, President Putin threatened to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus "for training", although Belarus has worked towards this development for some time.In their daily assessment of the Russian offensive campaign against Ukraine, the Washington DC-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the chance of Russia using the nuclear weapons in Ukraine or elsewhere is "extraordinarily unlikely".
patrickn97 Fri, 05/26/2023 - 09:12
Briefing: Pashinyan ready to sign, not everyone in Stepanakert is happy, Baku hopeful but keeping up pressure
As Armenia and Azerbaijan edge closer to signing an agreement ending decades of conflict between them, the future of the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh remains one of the most crucial outstanding issues, writes Intense discussions and negotiations have been ongoing throughout May, with meetings in Washington, Brussels and Moscow involving the leaders of the two countries, their foreign ministers, and other senior officials. In a lengthy press conference on 22 May, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that he wants to reach an agreement "as soon as possible". The international community's perception of the negotiations is that Armenia and Azerbaijan should, without reservations, recognise each other's territorial integrity of 29,800 square kilometers and 86,600 square kilometers, respectively, said Pashinyan.
patrickn97 Thu, 05/25/2023 - 14:13