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
Kazakhstan to launch customs monitoring to avoid circumventing Russia sanctions

Kazakhstan has announced that it will launch an online system that will track all goods crossing its borders from 1 April in an attempt to demonstrate that it is complying with Western sanctions on Russia.

patrickn97 Fri, 03/24/2023 - 11:15
Saudi Arabia and Syria discuss resuming consular services

Saudi Arabia and Syria are in talks to resume consular services between the two countries, the Saudi outlet Al-Ekhbariya TV said on Thursday (23 March).

Citing a Saudi Foreign Ministry official, the TV channel said, "within the framework of the Kingdom’s keenness to facilitate the provision of necessary consular services between the two nations, discussions are underway with officials in Syria to resume consular services."

The statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry followed reports in international media earlier on Thursday.

patrickn97 Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:51
Borrell urges Serbia and Kosovo to implement all parts of normalisation deal
The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Thursday (23 March) urged both Serbia and Kosovo to implement all parts of an EU-brokered normalisation deal that was struck on Saturday (18 March). On his way to an EU leaders' summit, Borrell told reporters that “the agreement was agreed, it has to be implemented, and there is no room for picking and choosing. Any attempt to question this agreement is futile," Borrell added, stressing that the deal "is a whole, has to be implemented by all parts. I would advise them not to point at anyone but to do their work," he said. During a visit to Vienna on Wednesday (22 March), the Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said that the EU-brokered deal "is not an agreement on the recognition of Kosovo" and that Belgrade would implement it based on their "red lines". Dačić added that "this means that we will not recognise [Kosovo] and we will not approve Kosovo's membership to the United Nations", thus prompting Borrell's intervention the following day.
patrickn97 Fri, 03/24/2023 - 10:00
Editorial: the parallel struggles in Georgian politics
At the moment in Georgia, "on the one hand there is the struggle for power between elements of the government and elements of the opposition. There have been plenty of examples in the past of these elements being willing to sacrifice anything to hold on to this power," writes commonspace.eu in this editorial. "There is also however a parallel struggle, that is based on values and foreign policy orientation [...] The prospect is now emerging that the next political struggle will be about values. The quicker Georgian politicians understand this, the better. And for their own sake, as well as that of their country, they should make sure they position themselves on the right side of history."
patrickn97 Thu, 03/23/2023 - 12:09
Russia begins deploying Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after "significant armored vehicle losses"

Open source intelligence (OSINT) groups are reporting that Russia has begun to deploy Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after reportedly suffering "significant armoured vehicle losses".

After receiving photographs of a train transporting tanks in Russia's Far East to the west, the Georgia-based OSINT group Conflict Intelligence Team has identified them as T-54 and T-55 tanks. Although Russia's use of the later T-62 tank has been previously reported, this is the first recorded instance of Russia deploying even older tanks, they report.

patrickn97 Thu, 03/23/2023 - 10:26
Muslims around the world welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan
Muslims across the world are welcoming in the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Wednesday and Thursday (22 and 23 March). Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago. Throughout the month, observing Muslims fast from just before the sunrise prayer, Fajr, to the sunset prayer, Maghrib. The fast entails abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual relations to achieve greater "taqwa", or consciousness of God. Some people are however exempt from observing Ramadan, including children who have not yet reached puberty, the young or elderly who are not physically or mentally capable of fasting, as well as pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and travellers. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. In Arabic, it means "festival of breaking the fast". Depending on the new moon sighting, Eid al-Fitr this year is likely to fall on 21 April. On the occasion of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan the editorial team of commonspace.eu extends its best wishes to all our Muslim readers, subscribers and contributors across the world. Ramadan Mubarak!
patrickn97 Wed, 03/22/2023 - 08:04
Healthcare in Yemen: realities in wartime and prospects for peacetime

In this piece for commonspace.eu, Samar Al-tashi discusses the desperate current state of the healthcare system in wartime Yemen, and offers some prospects and recommendations for the healthcare system in peacetime, stressing its importance in the post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation process.

patrickn97 Wed, 03/22/2023 - 07:35
IMF reach staff-level agreement to give Ukraine $15.6bn loan
On Tuesday (21 March) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) located in Washington D.C. announced that it had reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine for a 48-month financing package worth about $15.6 billion. The BBC also reports that it is the first loan that the organisation has granted to a country at war. In a statement, the IMF announced that the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) "aims to support the Ukrainian authorities anchor policies that sustain fiscal, external, price and financial stability, and support the ongoing gradual economic recovery, while promoting long-term growth in the context of post-war reconstruction and Ukraine’s path to EU accession". The agreement must however still be ratified by the IMF's board, and follows months of negotiations between IMF staff and Ukrainian authorities. The executive board of the IMF is expected to discuss approval in the coming weeks.
patrickn97 Wed, 03/22/2023 - 07:18