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New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, initiated on 24 February 2022, has caused significant environmental and climate damage, severely impacting global efforts to combat climate change. This is highlighted in the latest report from the Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Accounting of War (IGGAW), which analyses the environmental costs over the past two years. The report was published Thursday (13 June) by the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine in collaboration with climate advocacy groups. The IGGAW report estimates climate-related damages at $32 billion, attributed to activities such as the extensive use of military fuels and the destruction of landscapes and infrastructure. Over 24 months, the conflict resulted in the emission of 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of a developed country like the Netherlands.
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EU imposes import tariffs of billions of euros on Chinese electric cars

EU imposes import tariffs of billions of euros on Chinese electric cars

The European Union is poised to impose significant new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), a move expected to raise more than €2 billion a year despite warnings from Germany about the potential economic impact. Brussels is determined to impose additional tariffs of up to 25% on these imports from next month, arguing that subsidies given to Chinese EV manufacturers allow them to unfairly undercut European competitors. The decision has sparked controversy, particularly in Germany, where there are fears of sparking a trade war with China, the EU's biggest trading partner.

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Analysis
Analysis: an overview of the war economy in Yemen

Analysis: an overview of the war economy in Yemen

For many Yemenis, the continuous years of war have created a country without any clear destination. The country is grappling with overall economic collapse and millions are in need of emergency aid. In a country where major decisions are taken by external rather than local actors, weakness in the economy provided a ripe opportunity for actors to gain leverage and benefit from creating a war economy.
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Armenia and Iran extend energy swap deal for four years until 2030

Armenia and Iran extend energy swap deal for four years until 2030

Yesterday on Thursday (10 August), Armenia and Iran signed an agreement to extend an energy swap deal for another for years and increase its volumes. Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Gnel Sanosian said that the extension of the agreement is "one of the best manifestations of Armenian-Iranian friendly relations", adding that "the extension of the agreement is a profitable deal for both countries."
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Kazakhstan-Afghanistan business forum to take place from 3-5 August

Kazakhstan-Afghanistan business forum to take place from 3-5 August

A Kazakhstan-Afghanistan business forum is set to begin in the Kazakh capital Astana tomorrow on Thursday (3 August), lasting until Saturday (5 August). According to a statement from the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, around 150 Afghan entrepreneurs from different sectors of the economy including second-level banks will be in attendance, while from the Kazakh side the Ministry of Trade and Integration, the company Kazakeksport, second-level banks, and logistics companies will also attend.
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Saudi Arabia to strengthen partnerships with Hong Kong, China

Saudi Arabia to strengthen partnerships with Hong Kong, China

Saudi Arabia is keen to strengthen its partnernships with Hong Kong and mainland China, the Saudi communications and IT minister Abdullah Al-Swaha said on Sunday (2 July). Speaking at the "One Gateway Shared Vision — Hong Kong x Saudi Arabia" event in Hong Kong, Abdullah Al-Swaha said closer collaboration would help boost the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform agenda, a strategic framework to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil and diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as healthcare, tourism, education, infrastructure and recreation. "Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are going through very promising transformations, where both economies are financial hubs in their own regions. We have an opportunity to build an innovation bridge, to leapfrog into the future with an innovation-based economy," he said. A "pro-partnership and pro-openness" Saudi Arabia was willing to do business with "any partner that can comply with our security and regulatory requirements," he said. Saudi authorities would look to work closely with Hong Kong across a range of sectors, including health sciences and biotechnology, environmental, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and smart cities, he said. Al-Swaha's visit to Hong Kong the Arab-China Business Conference held in Riyadh last month, at which Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Kingdom could serve as China’s gateway to the Arab world.
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German President Steinmeier visits Kazakhstan, holds talks with Kazakh President Tokayev

German President Steinmeier visits Kazakhstan, holds talks with Kazakh President Tokayev

The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has held talks with the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during an official visit to Kazakhstan on 20 June. President Tokayev said that Frank-Walter Steinmeier's state visit "opens up good opportunities for further strengthening of comprehensive cooperation between Kazakhstan and Germany", according to an official read-out from the Presidential Administration.  "We have been anticipating your visit, which is regarded as a very important one in terms of giving additional boost to the development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Germany. Germany is considered here in Kazakhstan as a key partner in Europe. And we will be doing our utmost in order to enhance our cooperation in a variety of domains," said President Tokayev. On his part, President Steinmeier said that Germany is "not only looking back to the past 30 years of diplomatic relations, we are looking to the presence of our especially but not only economic growing relations, you are mentioning that many German companies are heavily invested in the meanwhile, here in Kazakhstan, and, you know, beyond economic relations."
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Commentary
Commentary: Kazakhstan throws a lavish party in honour of multilateralism

Commentary: Kazakhstan throws a lavish party in honour of multilateralism

"Such big jamborees as the Astana International Forum happen often, and are – more often than not – considered as talking shops with limited results. They are usually a part of a branding exercise by countries that can afford them. Most participants forget about them the moment they leave, and the impact beyond that is often negligible," writes commonspace.eu in this commentary. However, "the Astana International Forum marks the emergence of a new Kazakhstan on the international stage. This year’s event was the first. Future forums will be a good gauge for how this new Kazakhstan is performing." Writing for a blog on Al Jazeera on the eve of the opening of the forum, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister, Serik Zhumangarin described the Astana International Forum as “a global event aimed at renewing the culture of multilateralism”, and said that it was a part of Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy which seeks to engage countries in the north, south, east and west.