Producers of Hunger (II)
EU lifts obstacles to deliveries of Russian fertilizer to Africa after an eight-month blockade. The blockade already aggravated hunger on the continent.
BRUSSELS (Own report) – Following an eight-month blockade, the EU lifts obstacles to supplying African countries with vital Russian fertilizers. According to UN data, the global grain harvest has already slumped by 2.4 percent this year due to the lack of fertilizers. It is expected to drop significantly more next year – up to 20 percent. The main reason is that due to EU sanctions, Russian fertilizers could no longer be delivered to African countries. Russia is one of the world's main fertilizer producers. The EU has continuously denied this publicly, but has now implicitly admitted its responsibility. The existing sanctions have already impeded fertilizer shipments to Africa, it was remarked prior to Thursday's decision to alter the sanctions regime. In the future, EU states are permitted to ease punitive measures against several Russian billionaires, if it facilitates supplies of Russian fertilizers reaching African countries. This was heavily resisted by Poland and the Baltic states, who prioritize the struggle against Russia to the struggle against hunger in Africa. Read more
“Bloc Politics” in Southeast Asia
EU seeks to strengthen its position in Southeast Asia at first summit – at the expense of Russia and particularly China. Singapore increases military cooperation with Berlin.
BRUSSELS/BERLIN/SINGAPORE (Own report) – At yesterday’s first summit with the Southeast Asian alliance ASEAN, the EU tried to strengthen its position in the power struggles with Russia and China. In Brussels yesterday, both sides agreed to increase future economic cooperation. This should facilitate companies from Germany and the EU to shift their supply chains from China to Southeast Asia. Experts, however, see only limited chances of success for this plan. In yesterday’s summit declaration, the EU was unsuccessful in its attempt to seriously damage ASEAN-China relations by mentioning Taiwan. The EU also failed to reach agreement on taking an explicit anti-Russia position. Regarding the war in Ukraine, several ASEAN member states still refuse to openly condemn Moscow. The West is primarily successful in Singapore, which is the only Southeast Asian state participating in the Russia sanctions and in Western maneuvers targeting China – also together with Germany’s Bundeswehr. Singapore is one of the German arms industry’s most important customers. Read more
Unrest in Kosovo
EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner calls for immediate end to unrest in Kosovo. They attest to the EU's utter failure in the region that was illegally seceded from Yugoslavia 23 years ago.
BELGRADE/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) – EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell is calling for an immediate end to the unrest in Kosovo. "This situation has to end," Borrell demanded yesterday in view of the protests that erupted last weekend because of the deployment of Albanian-speaking police, including special forces, in Serb-speaking northern Kosovo, which included the erection of blockades of various roads. A vehicle of the EU’s EULEX mission in Kosovo came also under attack. Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić called for the deployment of Serbian repressive forces in northern Kosovo – for the protection of the Serbian-speaking minority. Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani accused Vučić of harboring a 1990s "mentality,” which, at the time, had led to "war" and the "killing of 150,000 civilians." Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti admonished Serbia, calling it a pro-Asian state – presumably a negative counterpart to a "pro-American" Kosovo. More than 23 years after Kosovo was separated from Yugoslavia through the illegal war of aggression, the EU’s efforts to build up the impoverished region has proven an utter failure. Read more
Patriots for Poland
Berlin will deploy Patriot air defense systems in Poland, de facto thereby integrating that country into the European air defense initiative, which Warsaw, so far, has shunned.
WARSAW/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin prevailed against Warsaw’s opposition and will, at last, deploy Patriot air defense systems in Poland. This was confirmed by the defense ministers of both countries. Only details of the deployment must still be agreed on. German air defense units would thus be deployed in a second EU member country – besides Slovakia. This is in line with Berlin's efforts to establish the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) under German leadership, in which Poland refused to participate because, until now, it has been organizing its air defense in close cooperation with the United States, on which it is militarily oriented. With US assistance, Poland seeks to create "the most powerful ground forces in Europe,” according to Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. “Poland has become our most important partner in continental Europe,” a senior US Army official confirms. With the deployment of the Patriot systems, Berlin is not formally, but de facto, integrating Poland into ESSI. Two of its three systems are Germany-produced – in the future the US patriot system also. Read more
Letter of Warning from Doha
Germany's ambassador in Qatar warns that Berlin's approach to that Emirate has led to a loss of confidence and threatens to massively weaken Germany.
DOHA/BERLIN (Own report) – In a letter of warning, Germany's ambassador to Qatar warns of serious harm to diplomatic relations with that Middle Eastern country and urged Berlin to quickly change its strategy. The German government's campaign-like attacks against the Emirate based on double-standards, have provoked widespread resentment, not only within the general population, but also particularly in business and political circles. According to the ambassador, Germany has “lost” the “ significant confidence bonus” it had enjoyed in Qatar. The current mood is “miserable.” If Berlin does not want to lose further influence in the Middle East, a high-ranking public praise of the World Cup is urgently required. Already in the runup to the World Cup, German government advisors had been calling for expanding relations to Qatar. This is important not only in view of the emirate's huge natural gas reserves, but also because of its considerable political influence. Washington has just approved multi-billions worth of arms deliveries to Doha, not least because of China's growing influence throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Read more
The Last Stronghold in the War Zone (II)
Following its failure in Mali, the EU prepares a military deployment in Niger. Until now, its president cooperated closely with the West, now Moscow’s influence grows also in his country.
BERLIN/NIAMEY (Own report) – Following the total failure in Mali, the EU is now preparing a military operation in neighboring Niger. The decision on the deployment, recently announced by EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell, could already be made during the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in two weeks. Unlike Mali, whose cooperation with Russia is steadily growing, and Burkina Faso, which is also orienting more toward Moscow, Niger’s government, until now, loyally cooperated with the West. It already hosts numerous western troops, including a US base for drones and a Bundeswehr airlift base. Borrell had described the planned deployment as a “partnership mission” – acknowledging “that we have to be working with the Nigerian army on an equal basis.” Just recently Borrell had compared Europe to a “garden” and the “rest of the world” to a “jungle,” that the EU had to prevent from invading. As the EU seeks to entrench itself in Niger, that country, for its part, is beginning to open up to Russian influence – as had Mali, Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic before. Read more