Opinion: Europe finds itself in a double-bind over African gas

Europe needs to make sure that it does not unfairly exploit the area and it does not unduly oscillate between advocating for renewable energy while at the same time looking for fossil fuels in Africa, writes Alexandra Dumitrescu in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

patrickn97 Tue, 11/15/2022 - 09:38
Commentary: American mid-term elections enable continued strong US leadership at a time of global turmoil
The US mid-term elections held last week were expected to be a disaster for US president Joe Biden and his Democratic administration. A Republican surge was expected to sweep the party to comfortable majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the end none of this happened. The outcome of the election means that the gridlock that some had been predicting between President and Congress on many issues, including foreign and security policy is now not likely to happen, or in any case not on a scale to be a concern. In this Monday Commentary for commonspace.eu Dennis Sammut says that this is important not only for the United States, but also for the world. The current global situation is complicated and challenging, and US leadership is needed more than ever. Leadership is not hegemony. Nobody wants the US to dictate and impose its views on the world. Multipolarity, which some speak so enthusiastically about, should not be about how many nuclear missiles countries can point on each other, but rather on a competition of ideas and models. In this the world needs diversity. Yes, there are universal values, and these are already recognised in a number of documents adopted by nearly all countries, but on many issues there is room, and even need, for diversity.
dennis2020 Mon, 11/14/2022 - 09:08
Terrorism strikes at the heart of Turkey
Terrorism struck at the heart of Turkey on Sunday afternoon (13 November) At least six people were killed and 81 others injured, two seriously, when an explosion hit Istanbul’s iconic pedestrian street, Istiklal Cadesi, just off the city's Taksim Square. At all times of the day and night crowds congregate in the street. to shop, eat and drink, and often just to watch other people. The street attracts both local people as well as visitors from other parts of Turkey and from across the world, and for many Istiqlal Caddesi represents Istanbul and Turkey's vibrant diversity. An attack on Istiqlal Caddesi is indeed an attack on the heart of Turkey. Turkey has blamed the outlawed Kurdish organisation PKK for the attack.  Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said early Monday that the suspect who had carried out the attack had been captured He said 21 others linked to the bomber were also detained, adding the existing findings showed it was an attack perpetrated by the PKK/YPG terrorist group, referring to a branch of the PKK group in Syria's north. "We have evaluated that the instruction for the attack came from Kobani," Soylu told reporters, adding that the bomber had "passed through Afrin in northern Syria." Turkey has imposed a ban on reporting of the incident, but various sources say that the bomber was a woman.
dennis2020 Mon, 11/14/2022 - 08:21
Opinion: Harmonising the different formats in Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations
Over the last year multiple formats have emerged in Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations, and three main external players: Russia, the EU and the US are involved in the mediation process. This may lead to some confusion, says Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Big power rivalry may also negatively impact the process. Poghosyan argues some co-ordinating mechanism is necessary, and a format, at least involving Russia and the EU, could also help to combine their efforts.
dennis2020 Mon, 11/14/2022 - 08:00
Kherson: The end of the beginning
The withdrawal of the Russian army from the city of Kherson ends the first chapter of Vladimir Putin's misadventure in Ukraine, which started on 24 February when he ordered his army to invade. Ukrainians rightly celebrated, as the Ukrainian army returned to the city which Russia illegally annexed only a few weeks ago. Kherson was the only regional centre the Russians were able to occupy following their February invasion, which, let us not forget, initially aimed to take Kyiv and all other Ukrainian cities. But as the Ukrainian president, and other Ukrainian officials warned, the war is far from over yet. But the Russian army is still in Ukraine, and now consolidating its positions on the left bank of the Dnipro river.  The river will now serve as a natural defence barrier for the Russians in the face of Ukrainian attempts to liberate the rest of the territory under Russian occupation. And the coming winter may prove challenging for Ukraine in other ways too, given the Russian attempts to destroy key infrastructure and disrupt energy supplies. But still Kherson can be seen as the end of the beginning. The journey for the liberation of Ukraine will take longer. And after all Ukrainian territory is liberated, another journey will have to start: that of rebuilding Europe's security architecture on new foundations. Where Russia will stand in this is still not clear. Despite the facade of defiance and bravado, it is already evident that soul-searching has already started amongst the Russian elite about the Ukrainian adventure, and indeed about how Russia itself is governed. That, the Russian people will have to figure out by themselves, and the process is not likely to be either short, or easy.
dennis2020 Sun, 11/13/2022 - 05:07
EU announces €250 million financial package to Moldova to tackle energy crisis

The European Union has pledged Moldova another €250 million in financial aid to deal with the acute energy crisis.

The pro-European government in Chisinau fears that Russia could turn off the gas supply to Moldova at any moment, leaving it cold and without power.

Moldova is very dependent on Russian gas and Ukrainian electricity. Russia is using the gas tap to put pressure on the EU candidate country. The Russian military have also badly damaged Ukraine's electricity infrastructure, which also has repercussions for Moldova.

Maximiliaan va… Sat, 11/12/2022 - 10:04
Opinion: a Central Asian Cultural Revival is on the Horizon

Putin’s catastrophic full-scale invasion of Ukraine has created ripples throughout the post-Soviet space, not seen since the collapse of the Union itself in 1991. One region where change is in the air is Central Asia, where modest processes of reform and political and economic change had already started, but have, since February, considerably accelerated.  The impact of this is likely to be felt right across society including in the cultural sphere.

patrickn97 Fri, 11/11/2022 - 09:13
Did Russia give Iran the technology for a hypersonic ballistic missile?
Iran has announced that it has developed a hypersonic ballistic missile Iran’s Fars news agency quoted the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying on Thursday (10 November) that the country has manufactured a hypersonic ballistic missile with advanced technologies that can penetrate all types of advanced air defence systems. Speaking to reporters Brig. Gen. Hajizadeh said “The missile can target the enemy’s anti-missile systems and is a great generational leap in the missile field”. “I don’t think any technology would be found for tens of years capable of countering it,” the IRGC commander declared. The announcement appears to have taken defence analysts by surprise, and concern has been expressed in different quarters Hypersonic missiles can deliver nuclear weapons in the same way as traditional ballistic missiles, but they can fly at more than five times the speed of sound and are highly maneuverable, making them impossible to track and defend against. Unlike ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles fly on a low trajectory in the atmosphere, and are able to reach targets more quickly. Several countries have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, but the ability to track and take down a hypersonic missile remains elusive. Iran’s claim to have developed such a missile raises the question of where Tehran obtained the technology.
dennis2020 Fri, 11/11/2022 - 07:08