european union – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 03:46:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://guwiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/guw-150x150.png european union – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ 32 32 The Ukrainian crisis marks the beginning of a reaction against American excess https://guwiv.com/the-ukrainian-crisis-marks-the-beginning-of-a-reaction-against-american-excess/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 03:00:39 +0000 https://guwiv.com/the-ukrainian-crisis-marks-the-beginning-of-a-reaction-against-american-excess/ How long would the United States lecture the world and get away with it? Maybe not for very long, judging by the straws in the wind. Even America’s closest friends and allies are becoming resistant to American moralizing and unilateralism. “I just don’t care… We don’t have the right to lecture you in America… It’s […]]]>

How long would the United States lecture the world and get away with it? Maybe not for very long, judging by the straws in the wind. Even America’s closest friends and allies are becoming resistant to American moralizing and unilateralism.

“I just don’t care… We don’t have the right to lecture you in America… It’s the same the other way around,” replied Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince. of Saudi Arabia, when asked if Biden had misunderstood things about him. . Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) and the UAE Crown Prince are in no rush to heed the US President’s call for them to pump more oil to avoid a sharp rise in oil prices, following US sanctions against Russia.

The United States has an amazing ability to move in and out of one conflict after another, entangling both partners and adversaries, who must then pick up the pieces. Whether in Iraq or Afghanistan – remember the American leaders who said they had no part in nation building? After handing over the unfortunate Afghan people to the Taliban and turning Nelson’s eyes to the ensuing humanitarian crisis, the Biden administration has now turned its guns on Russia. That Ukraine be destroyed and innocent civilians killed is inevitable collateral damage to the world’s oldest democracy.

Recently, President Biden hinted at the most dreaded eventuality. “…while we provide this support to Ukraine…we will defend every square inch of NATO territory…If they move once…okay, if we respond, it’s World War III, but we have a sacred obligation on NATO territory… (but)… We will not fight WWIII in Ukraine. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!

Scripting a man-made tragedy

But how was this man-made tragedy in Ukraine scripted? President Biden had branded Putin a killer, accused him of interfering in US presidential elections and planning cyberattacks. Then came the carrot in the form of a three-hour meeting last June in Geneva between the American and Russian presidents, at the end of which the former remarked that there were “real prospects for improvement significance of relationships.

However, the United States continued to supply kyiv with lethal and non-lethal munitions, including Javelin anti-tank missiles. In 2021, security assistance worth $450 million was made available. The United States has also stepped up training for the Ukrainian military, deploying some 150 members of the Florida National Guard’s Task Force Gator, as well as an unknown number of men from Special Operations Command Europe.

As tensions over Ukraine rose in January, Biden threatened Russia with serious consequences if it invaded Ukraine, adding a caveat: “It depends on what (Russia) does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight over what to do and what not to do…. It was left to White House aides to soothe frayed nerves in kyiv.

After Russia recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk – separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine – President Biden promised tough sanctions against Russia but made it clear that the United States will not would not engage Russia militarily and would only protect the territorial integrity of NATO members. This position has since been reiterated several times. It is intended to assure the American public that the United States does not allow itself to be drawn into another conflict and also to anticipate outside pressures at a later date. But could this unusual public stance have emboldened Moscow to launch a full-fledged invasion?

As if anticipating that Russia would swallow the bait, the United States quickly implemented the toughest economic sanctions in history, allegedly in coordination with Europe. Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were personally targeted along with other political figures. Just when it was most needed, the scheduled meeting between Secretary Blinken and Lavrov was called off.

A one-sided story?

The West has since added fuel to the fire by supplying Ukraine with all sorts of weapons, including anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles. Efforts are underway to persuade Poland to transfer its Russian-made fighter jets to kyiv as well, except the former is playing hardball. Moreover, according to unconfirmed reports, ex-US marines (and Chechen fighters on the Russian side) are heading towards the conflict zone in large numbers. Doesn’t it take a lot of imagination to decipher who pays the mercenaries? This effectively means American boots on the ground, which is sure to provoke Russia further.

The information war is at its height with the West controlling the narrative and demonizing Russia. On March 5, Russia was accused of attacking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine with missiles. Hardly anyone bothered to look at the map or ask what Russia would gain from such a mishap, given the physical proximity of its own territory and population would have been subjected to nuclear radiation. It turned out that during the crossfire, one or two shells accidentally fell about half a kilometer from the reactor, which was never in danger.

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to be pounded as invading Russian forces, keen to limit civilian casualties, slowly gain ground. President Zelensky’s dogged resistance turns into bluster as he persists in harassing Putin, calling Russian action genocide and terrorism and demanding Western military and material support. He insisted on the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which is a ruse to draw NATO into a direct confrontation with Russia. He refuses to see the writing on the wall and seems to preside over the decimation of his country. Only time will tell if he would be hailed as “David” or likened to Nero who kept playing the violin while Rome burned.

And then there is the European Union (EU), which has generally deferred to the United States rather than defending its interests, in part because of its security dependence on Washington. The EU and Russia are neighbours; the United States is one ocean away. The EU and Russia have interdependencies; the United States, especially its large corporations, are more concerned with safeguarding their economic interests in China. France, a major player in the EU and NATO, is unlikely to forget or forgive being caught off guard by Biden on the AUKUS deal. NATO also cannot understand why Biden decided to fast-track the US exit from Afghanistan without even token consultations.

From the start of the conflict, President Biden managed to convince the newly elected German Chancellor to put the Nord Stream 2 project in cold storage. However, the enormity of the challenge and the economic cost of disrupting Russian oil and gas supplies quickly took their toll on European majors, forcing them to be selective in replicating US sanctions.

READ ALSO | Russo-Ukrainian war: Europe’s costly energy transition has accelerated the race for great powers

Long-term impact of the Ukrainian crisis

Whether it is the EU, the Arab world, the ASEAN region, Taiwan, Japan or India, there is more than an underground anxiety about overreliance on of the United States as a world leader, which prompts a recalibration of geostrategic assumptions. Allow me to reflect on the India-US relationship that has grown from near alienation to global engagement over the previous two decades. Yet there is a sense of continued hesitation due to Washington’s reluctance to give due weight to New Delhi’s geo-strategic, security and socio-economic imperatives.

Whether it is terrorism emanating from Pakistan, importing oil from Iran, our longstanding defense cooperation with Russia, interests in Afghanistan or Myanmar, democratic institutions in India or of societal dynamics, the United States tends to be prescriptive or judgmental. After every presidential election, South Block holds its breath until the new White House incumbent reaffirms the status quo with India.

Coming back to the Russian invasion, it’s no surprise that the American media, which struggles to find anything positive about India even in normal times, has been very critical of our position, as do many members of Congress and members of the policy community. Official circles have shown some appreciation for India’s plight due to its critical dependence on Russian military hardware.

Privately, there has been measured pressure on India, including perhaps at the hastily convened Virtual Quad Summit on March 3. The possibility of the Biden administration imposing CAATSA sanctions on India cannot be ruled out, which would reduce ties and possibly temper India’s interest in Quadruple.

The Ukrainian crisis will have repercussions across the spectrum. Ukraine will regret its decision to separate from nuclear weapons in 1994 and will trust the solemn commitments of the great powers, but for which it would never have known the current fate. North Korea will feel vindicated. Talks with Iran will become more difficult. The global arms race, including the quest for weapons of mass destruction, would intensify. The Western military-industrial complex is going to blow up the bubbly; China may decide to test the resolve of the distracted United States, by undertaking a misadventure. Global economies will take a hit due to the rising cost of imports and supply-side disruptions.

The Swedish chancellor, Count Axel Oxenstierna, in a letter to his son in 1648 wrote: ‘You don’t know my son, how unwisely the world is ruled‘. The current generation of world leaders is determined to prove the Chancellor right!

The author is a former envoy to South Korea and Canada and an official spokesperson for the Department of External Affairs. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.

Read all the latest Ukraine-Russia war news, breaking news and live updates here.

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Ukraine Crisis: The Global Economic Fallout https://guwiv.com/ukraine-crisis-the-global-economic-fallout/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 18:40:53 +0000 https://guwiv.com/ukraine-crisis-the-global-economic-fallout/ posted on March 14, 2022 | Author Dr. RAJAN KATOCH Call it a crisis, a conflict, a war, whatever. This is happening right now in Ukraine and all over the world. Ukraine and Russia face off in a conventional military battle on the ground in Ukraine. The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) […]]]>

posted on March 14, 2022 | Author Dr. RAJAN KATOCH

Call it a crisis, a conflict, a war, whatever. This is happening right now in Ukraine and all over the world. Ukraine and Russia face off in a conventional military battle on the ground in Ukraine. The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) are extending their external support to Ukraine in terms of armaments and funding. They have also embarked on a merciless economic war against Russia. It is indeed a kind of world war.

There are merits and demerits of positions. Death and destruction are commonplace. There’s no way of knowing how this will end. Without going into the details above, what is certain is that this global conflict will have dire economic consequences, regardless of the outcome of the fighting.

The US-led coalition imposed severe and unprecedented financial sanctions on Russia. He actually launched a society-wide economic war against Russia. Russian foreign exchange reserves (denominated in US dollars) were frozen. Russian banks have been prevented from making interbank settlements via SWIFT, the global standard for this purpose. For the first time, private sector companies based in US/EU jurisdictions have been used as an economic weapon. Multinational tech giants like Apple and Tesla, credit card majors like Visa and MasterCard, consumer giants like McDonalds and Coca-Cola have all ceased operations in Russia.

Which direction will this go? The costs of war are always immense and will take a long time to overcome. Both fighters, Ukraine and Russia, are going to be very upset. Their GDP could contract by up to a third, according to some estimates. Ukraine is clearly suffering direct damage. For Russia, too, the financial sanctions will cause considerable disruption. Trading or doing business with Russia under these sanctions will become very difficult. The Russian economy and the economies of countries that have significant trade with Russia will be affected.

But these sweeping sanctions will also strike at the heart of the international capitalist order based on open trade and global affairs. Now, mere ownership (eg foreign exchange reserves) of assets does not mean control, it seems. Hitherto sacrosanct, international and intergovernmental commercial contracts can be easily repudiated! The private sector must also toe the line, at its own expense.

The ease with which age-old rules of the game can be changed overnight by American diktat will worry others outside the Western framework. This will shake their confidence in the existing international financial system. Today, Russia is the target. Tomorrow someone else may be at the reception.

These developments may in fact prompt other major countries to seek independent alternatives to the Western financial system (such as a SWIFT substitute or digital currency settlements). This is something that has not been seriously considered so far.

Globalization will reverse itself, and so will its projected benefits. For example, there is now a strong possibility of an increasing segmentation of global commerce, communications and even the Internet after the crisis is over.

In the short term, trade embargoes will impact commodity markets. The biggest impact would be on the oil market. Russia is a major supplier of oil and gas to Europe. So far, Russian oil and gas supplies to Europe have not been sanctioned. Sooner or later, these supplies are likely to be affected, exacerbating shortages. Oil is already trading at over $130 a barrel. Oil importers, including India and China, will face a difficult period.

The market for food raw materials will also be in turmoil. Russia and Ukraine together account for about a third of world wheat and maize exports. In edible oils, 80% of world sunflower exports come from these two countries. Supply shortages here will affect prices and affect importing regions, all the way to Africa.

Russia is a major fertilizer exporter. Fertilizer production in Europe depends on gas. There will be problems for countries that depend on imported fertilizers like Brazil and India.

The microchip shortage that is already plaguing the global industry in 2021 will continue. Russia is a major supplier of base metals like palladium, neon and platinum which are essential for the production of microchips. The automobile industry will be one of the main victims, in all countries.

Although part of the economic offensive against Russia, Europe will also face the backlash effect of sanctions. Europe is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Power shortages are likely and what is available will cost more. Germany has (for now) halted the commissioning of the $11 billion Nord Strom II gas pipeline from Russia. If launched, this pipeline would have made gas cheaper and more abundant in Europe. Shortages of oil, gas, food and fertilizer will cause prices to rise and inflation to rise.

For EU countries, there is a dramatic increase in threat perception from Russia. This means that European countries will spend much more on armaments. For example, even the normally hesitant Germany declared that it would spend another $100 billion on armaments. Needless to say, this would come at the expense of development and welfare spending. Other EU countries will have to follow suit.

As a result, the United States could win in the short term. In Europe, it created enormous additional demand for the production of its armaments industry, as well as for the export of gas. In one fell swoop, he managed to scuttle the growing trade relationship between Europe and Russia and strengthen his own economic ties with European markets.

The longer-term economic fallout for the United States is less certain. The militarization of private sector entities can threaten their multinational credibility. The current definition of Russia as “the enemy” also means a dilution of attention on China. For the United States, the main economic, technological and military challenge in the future will always come from China. By brilliantly reigniting Cold War hostilities, the United States may have taken its eyes off the ball. This could cost him dearly in the years to come, in ways that are still unpredictable.

Where does that leave India? Politically, India has kept the balance between the two sides. Whatever its political position, the Indian economy will be affected. Japanese research group Nomura predicts that India will be the hardest hit among major economies in Asia.

The main reason is that India imports 80% of its oil needs. Union budget estimates were based on an oil price of $70 to $75 a barrel. The prices are already much higher. This gap will widen both the budget deficit and the trade deficit. The rupee will depreciate. Fertilizers and edible oils will also become more expensive.

There is no easy way out. Prices will go up. Inflation is already at the upper end of the mandatory 4-6% band. Sooner or later, the RBI will have to raise interest rates to dampen inflationary expectations. GDP growth is expected to be more modest than expected. There’s no immediate silver lining in the cloud.

As an old saying goes, it’s a bad wind that doesn’t blow well!

(The author is a former civil servant who also served at the World Bank. He writes by invitation for RK)

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Hammad hopes effective economic policies will pull the country out of crisis https://guwiv.com/hammad-hopes-effective-economic-policies-will-pull-the-country-out-of-crisis/ Sun, 06 Mar 2022 18:08:54 +0000 https://guwiv.com/hammad-hopes-effective-economic-policies-will-pull-the-country-out-of-crisis/ Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar expressed the government’s willingness to pull the country out of the current challenges by pursuing effective economic policies. Addressing a public rally in Lahore on Sunday, Hammad Azhar said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken the decision to subsidize petrol and electricity in the public interest. Read more: Shaukat Tarin […]]]>

Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar expressed the government’s willingness to pull the country out of the current challenges by pursuing effective economic policies.

Addressing a public rally in Lahore on Sunday, Hammad Azhar said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken the decision to subsidize petrol and electricity in the public interest.

Read more: Shaukat Tarin hopes Pakistan will come out of FATF gray list this year

He said Pakistan pursues an independent foreign policy and wishes to forge friendly relations with all its neighboring countries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that Pakistan will not join any side in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

He said this while addressing a public rally in Mailsi on Sunday.

He said that Pakistan was not a slave to any country and would not follow and accept anyone’s dictation. Around 400 drone attacks have been recorded from 2008 to 2018. Never in history has a country fighting for another’s war been targeted.

Prime Minister Imran asked European Union (EU) ambassadors to Pakistan if they had written India the same letter they had sent to Pakistan.

He said it was Pakistan that supported NATO in the war on terror. The leaders of the time supported these countries.

He further asked the EU if it thanked Pakistan for supporting its war on terror when it was suffering greatly. The economy of Pakistan suffered a loss of 100 billion dollars, 80,000 Pakistani soldiers and civilians were martyred and 3.5 million people in the tribal areas were dislocated due to this so-called terror against war.

The Prime Minister said that instead of acknowledging these huge sacrifices, some countries in Europe blamed Pakistan for their failures in Afghanistan.

Read more: Marriyum Aurangzeb calls for immediate sales tax refund to tractor industry

“In Kashmir, India brazenly violated UNSC resolutions. That they criticized or severed ties with India or stopped trade? the prime minister asked a question.

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News conference focused on Ukraine invasion draws hundreds to City Hall https://guwiv.com/news-conference-focused-on-ukraine-invasion-draws-hundreds-to-city-hall/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 13:14:25 +0000 https://guwiv.com/news-conference-focused-on-ukraine-invasion-draws-hundreds-to-city-hall/ Press conference organizer Olga Litvinenko in a yellow coat greets the crowd outside City Hall, with co-host Dr. Inna Lazar to her right, with State Representative Harry Aurora to the left and Senator D ‘State Ryan Fazio at right. Photo by Anne W. Semmes By Anne W. Semmes A burst of yellow and blue colors […]]]>

Press conference organizer Olga Litvinenko in a yellow coat greets the crowd outside City Hall, with co-host Dr. Inna Lazar to her right, with State Representative Harry Aurora to the left and Senator D ‘State Ryan Fazio at right. Photo by Anne W. Semmes

By Anne W. Semmes

A burst of yellow and blue colors from the Ukrainian flag displayed by rally attendees beamed into a crowd of nearly 200 gathered outside Greenwich Town Hall during a midday press conference last Tuesday in support of the ‘Ukraine. Organizer Olga Litvinenko, former Miss Connecticut, USA 2017, a resident of Greenwich and originally from Ukraine, stood in her yellow Ukrainian coat before the rally.

“This situation that has escalated in Ukraine has been devastating,” Litvinenko began. “And we all watched and wondered what we could do to help all those fleeing Ukraine, currently stuck in Ukraine, and what can we do as Americans.”

To that end, Litvinenko had compiled an impressive list of state and local leaders to address the harsh Ukrainian realities ahead of the rally, including a zoom talk by Senator Richard Blumenthal speaking from Washington, DC.

Before her were protesters of Ukrainian descent from Greenwich and surrounding areas, as well as those who wished to stand up for the Ukrainian people in their desperate struggle to free themselves from the Russian invasion. Many of them shared with others why they were there.

“The reason we’re here is because we’re human beings,” said Joe Kantorski, who heads the Byram Neighborhood Association. “And we care a lot about people in Ukraine, and we’re all really connected.” Together with his wife, they both sang: “We all love peace.

Nearby stood a Greenwich resident of Russian descent who did not want to use her name. “These are my brothers and sisters – Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians.” But now his country, Russia, was fighting against Ukraine. “So I’m totally against it. We are all devastated. And we don’t know what to do. People try to take to the streets, but they are stopped right away.

State Representative Kimberly Fiorello addresses the crowd. Photo by Anne W. Semmes

“I am the granddaughter of North Korean refugees,” state Rep. Kimberly Fiorello told the crowd.

“And all my life I’ve known freedom was at stake… The people of Ukraine don’t deserve the misery inflicted on them by Putin’s forces. I stand with all the citizens of Connecticut who are impressed by the determination of the Ukrainian patriots who are doing all they can to push back the violence.

To help stop Putin’s aggression, Fiorello offered: “The US Senate, which has jurisdiction over international affairs, has had multiple opportunities to sanction the two Northstream pipelines to break Putin’s hold on the European market for energy. And they failed to do so. It shouldn’t take a hot war to make something obvious.

State Senator Ryan Fazio spoke of the “bravery and patriotism” of the Ukrainian people. “Men and women too old and too young to fight… take up arms to defend their country. Fathers tearfully say goodbye to their children fleeing the country. He then testified to Ukrainian history.

“This year will mark the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, where the Soviet Union under Stalin starved millions of Ukrainians during agricultural collectivization. Their country never gained independence until 1991. Yet the people of Ukraine are showing perseverance despite the historic crimes faced by their ancestors.

The co-host of the press conference was Dr Inna Lazar, an optometrist from Old Greenwich. Dealing with the invasion of her homeland has brought her to tears with the messages she receives. “People in Ukraine are absolutely horrified now. I have a lot of friends and family members who are still in Ukraine. Sorry, it’s very difficult for me to speak because I’m about to cry.
Senator Blumenthal spoke on-screen from Washington, DC, giving particularly fierce testimony about the plight of Ukraine. His description of Putin as “a thug” and “a war criminal” prompted an explosion of applause. He described current efforts in Washington to impose crippling sanctions on Putin and penalties on Russia, then added: “We need to do more.

Congressman Jim Himes wrote that he was focused on Congress and the Biden administration “to secure funds, aid and weapons for the people of Ukraine, as well as to impose severe sanctions on the economy Russian, shutting down their ability to bank or do business with the rest of the world.” He stressed the importance of working closely with our allies, “especially NATO and the European Union. Together, we have a much better chance of ending this conflict quickly and saving as many lives as possible. »

But it was Jaroslaw Palylyk, Chairman of the Ukrainian Congressional Committee of its Westchester branch, who shared the most urgent calls for what must be done to save innocent lives in Ukraine.

“NATO says a no-fly zone would be an unacceptable escalation with Russia. Is this policy still valid if Putin scales up like he did in Aleppo, Syria and Grozny in Chechnya, where he killed the innocent civilian population to take control of these areas… Are we going to wait for hospitals, maternity wards and orphanages to become destroyed?”

His pleas included: “Tell President Biden and the US government to stop buying Russian oil…We need to remove Russia from the UN Security Council…International courts must convict Putin and adopt procedures to convict Putin as war criminal and for crimes against humanity… We must stop Russian airlines, sea freight and other companies from using airports, seaports and international trade routes around the world… Media networks social must burn communications from Russia.

Finally, he called for a boycott of Russian products, such as Russian vodka. “To start, each of you today can go to a bar or restaurant you frequent and ask the owner-manager to remove any Russian vodka in solidarity with Ukraine and its people.”

The press conference ended with thanks from first coach Fred Camillo to Olga Litvinenko and Dr Inna Lazar, “and everyone who came here today”. He added: “When you are on your knees tonight or laying your head on the pillow, remember what everyone is going through in Ukraine.”

“And now,” Litvinenko said, “I will play the Ukrainian national anthem as we stand in solidarity with our flags and have a few silent moments of prayer and thought for Ukraine.”

Postscript: Those wishing to contribute humanitarian support were directed to three organizations, the United States Ukrainian Congressional Committee, Razom for Ukraine and Revived Soldiers Ukraine.

Nearly 200 Ukrainian supporters gathered outside Greenwich Town Hall last Tuesday. Photo by Anne W. Semmes

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Press conference with Baltic Foreign Ministers, 3 March 2022: opening statement by the Foreign Minister https://guwiv.com/press-conference-with-baltic-foreign-ministers-3-march-2022-opening-statement-by-the-foreign-minister/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 13:20:42 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-conference-with-baltic-foreign-ministers-3-march-2022-opening-statement-by-the-foreign-minister/ Thank you, Minister Landsbergis, for bringing us together here in Vilnius. The UK stands with its allies in doing all it can to support Ukraine against President Putin’s war of choice. We must ensure that Putin fails in this horrible enterprise and that his ambitions go no further. We were delighted to support Lithuanian leaders […]]]>

Thank you, Minister Landsbergis, for bringing us together here in Vilnius.

The UK stands with its allies in doing all it can to support Ukraine against President Putin’s war of choice. We must ensure that Putin fails in this horrible enterprise and that his ambitions go no further.

We were delighted to support Lithuanian leaders who referred war crimes to the ICC.

I am here today in Vilnius with our Baltic friends because I want to say that the UK’s commitment to the Baltics and Article 5 is unyielding.

Our Baltic friends know what is at stake, having lived for a long time in the shadow of Russian aggression, and I admire your courage. We work together to achieve two clear goals.

First, Putin must lose in Ukraine. We are helping Ukraine to defend itself. Our UK defensive weapons are now used to stop Russian tanks. But we need to do more.

Second, we must contain this aggression. We are strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and supporting European security through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.

We are here in the Baltic region – we are leading and have doubled our enhanced forward presence in Estonia. Our allies are leading troops across the Baltic. British Military Intelligence is working with the Lithuanian Army to strengthen border defences, including in the Suwalki Gap. 200 soldiers are currently participating in joint military exercises and we are working together on maritime security.

At the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers tomorrow, we will work together to strengthen our collective defense in light of the evolving security situation across Europe. In terms of supporting Ukraine with defensive armaments, the UK was the first European country to provide defensive military support to Ukraine – and we are now supporting it with humanitarian aid as well. We have pledged £220m in aid to Ukraine – and we are Europe’s biggest donor. And we will do more.

We have also been at the forefront of tightening the noose on the Kremlin through sanctions, and it is vital at this stage that we keep our foot on the accelerator.

We worked with the EU, US and G7 to cut off funding for Putin’s war machine, kicking Russian banks out of the financial system.

We have also closed our airspace to Russian planes, and we are rapidly advancing sanctions against Russian oligarchs, but we need to go further.

We must ensure that no Russian bank has access to SWIFT, and we must go further in reducing dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, including oil, gas and coal. We have also launched sanctions against Belarus for aiding and abetting aggression.

I will raise these issues tomorrow at the G7 and also at the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, alongside the United States, Canada and Ukraine, who have also been invited in these extraordinary circumstances.

This is a struggle not just for Ukraine’s freedom and self-determination, but for our common freedom and security. By continuing to react with force, together we will ensure that Putin loses.

And we stand with our brave allies here in the Baltics to make it happen.

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director Samantha Power travels to Poland and Belgium | Press release https://guwiv.com/director-samantha-power-travels-to-poland-and-belgium-press-release/ Fri, 25 Feb 2022 23:08:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/director-samantha-power-travels-to-poland-and-belgium-press-release/ Administrator Samantha Power will travel to Poland and Belgium Feb. 26-28 to discuss the U.S. government’s coordinated response with its allies and partners to Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine. . Sarah Charles, USAID assistant to the Office of Humanitarian Assistance administrator, and Nancy Izzo Jackson, senior official in the State Department’s Bureau […]]]>

Administrator Samantha Power will travel to Poland and Belgium Feb. 26-28 to discuss the U.S. government’s coordinated response with its allies and partners to Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine. . Sarah Charles, USAID assistant to the Office of Humanitarian Assistance administrator, and Nancy Izzo Jackson, senior official in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, which leads the US response to refugees, will also join the trip.

In Poland, the administrator will meet with Polish government officials, the U.S. Ambassador to Poland, and the Ukrainian diaspora to outline the U.S. humanitarian response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and its impact on the continent. While in Poland, the Administrator will also meet with disaster experts from USAID’s Disaster Response Team (DART), which leads the US humanitarian response in Ukraine, as well as staff of the Agency’s mission in Ukraine.

In Brussels, Belgium, the administrator will meet with European Union (EU) officials as well as U.S. representatives to the EU and NATO to discuss the U.S. government’s coordinated response with NATO allies. NATO and European partners and anticipated humanitarian and development needs as Russia steps up its assault. about Ukraine, its democracy, the freedom and well-being of the Ukrainian people.

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Press freedom declines rapidly over the years https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-declines-rapidly-over-the-years/ Wed, 09 Feb 2022 17:03:45 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-declines-rapidly-over-the-years/ Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of undemocratic and illiberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom, Media Freedom said on Thursday. Coalition, a group of media professionals. The global coalition also said challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or […]]]>

Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of undemocratic and illiberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom, Media Freedom said on Thursday. Coalition, a group of media professionals.

The global coalition also said challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or unlawful surveillance, censorship, undue interference in the flow of information online, and physical violence; these challenges are exacerbated by financial threats, which compromise the independence and sustainability of the media.

The members of the coalition recently concluded their third World Conference on Media Freedom, which took place on February 9-10 and was hosted by Estonia and the Estonian Institute for Human Rights.

“Women Unfairly Treated”

The coalition, in the statement issued after their engagement, also said that women journalists are disproportionately targeted by online harassment, threats, sexist hate speech and trolling.

“In many cases, women journalists are subjected to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence due to their sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, ethnic origin or gender identity. gender, as well as other reasons. This can lead to such self-censorship that women choose to withdraw from the public sphere, which undermines media pluralism and democracy as a whole.

He added that despite the challenges faced by journalists around the world, the coalition would continue to work together “to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists online and offline, both at home and abroad.” As representatives of governments, it is our responsibility to ensure that the people of our countries can freely enjoy all their human rights. »

The declaration was signed by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belize, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, l Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Montenegro, Netherlands , New Zealand, North Macedonia, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and United States.

Please read the press release below:

World Conference for Media Freedom: Joint Communique
February 9, 2022 – Global Affairs Canada

Media freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. Free and independent media are necessary to ensure accurate information and informed public debate and discussion, to hold governments to account and to draw attention to human rights abuses, and they serve as a watchdog for the interest public.

Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of anti-democratic and anti-liberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom. Challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or unlawful surveillance, censorship, undue interference in the flow of information online, and physical violence; these challenges are exacerbated by financial threats, which compromise the independence and sustainability of the media.

Women journalists are disproportionately targeted by online harassment, threats, sexist hate speech and trolling. In many cases, women journalists are subjected to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence due to their sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, ethnicity or gender identity. gender, as well as other reasons. This can lead to such self-censorship that women choose to withdraw from the public sphere, which undermines media pluralism and democracy as a whole.

By joining the Media Freedom Coalition, we have committed to continue working together to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists online and offline, both at home and abroad. As representatives of governments, it is our responsibility to ensure that the people of our countries can freely enjoy all their human rights.

Today, we recall the commitments made in the Global Commitment on Media Freedom. We are committed to speaking up and acting together: by joining forces to share information, where appropriate, and to act where journalists and the media are at risk; highlighting violations and abuses of media freedom, bringing them to the attention of global audiences and working for accountability; joining together to advocate at the highest level with the governments of countries where media freedom is under threat and to show solidarity with countries working to build media freedom; and considering all available measures to address violations and abuses of international human rights law related to media freedom.

We reiterate our commitments to increase local coordination through our diplomatic missions around the world, to defend media freedom, and to increase support and engagement with journalists and independent media under threat.

We support measures aimed at tackling the precarious working conditions and poverty of journalists, which compromise their independence.

The Media Freedom Coalition expresses its gratitude to Estonia and the Estonian Institute for Human Rights for shining the spotlight at the World Media Freedom Conference on the important topics of disinformation and freedom of expression, protection of journalists and the links between media freedom and Internet freedom. We also thank them for creating the Media Freedom Coalition website, which provides coalition members with a platform to continue to fight together against attacks on media freedom.

We salute the tireless work of all journalists and media workers who defend and defend media freedom. We pay tribute to all journalists and media professionals who have been the target of intimidation, violence or arbitrary detention or who, in the most extreme cases, have been killed in the exercise of their profession.

We once again wholeheartedly congratulate Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, which highlights the importance of independent journalism.

We need journalists to report the facts, keep us informed and hold those in power to account. When violence against journalists prevails, the media cannot be free and democracy cannot function.

We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, a milestone in media freedom and the protection of journalists.

We welcome the ongoing work of the Independent Panel of High-Level Legal Experts on Freedom of the Media to advise governments to ensure the protection of media freedom in legislation, and we note the recommendations contained in the reports of the group. We also warmly welcome the newly appointed Vice-Chairs of the panel, Can Yeginsu and Catherine Amirfar. We look forward to working with them.

We recognize the importance of media development work, which helps media organizations become more viable and resilient and improves the enabling environment for media. We are committed to working together to improve the effectiveness of this work, including through the Coalition’s Media Development Working Group.

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We underscore the important role played by international and regional organizations in protecting and promoting freedom of the media, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Union European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of American States, the African Union and the Council of Europe. We also note the complementary and fundamental role of other like-minded initiatives, such as the Freedom Online Coalition and the International Partnership on Information and Democracy.

We commend the work of the Global Media Defense Fund, administered by UNESCO, to strengthen the legal protection of journalists and improve media freedom by supporting investigative journalism and strategic litigation.

We commend the work of civil society organizations, and in particular that of the Coalition for Media Freedom – Advisory Network, co-chaired by IFEX, ARTICLE 19 and the Pakistan Press Foundation, in providing the Coalition for media freedom expert advice and strategic guidance.

Finally, we would like to thank the Maldives, Germany and Latvia for their commitment to media freedom as members of the executive group of the Media Freedom Coalition, and we welcome the Czech Republic and Estonia as new members of the Executive Group, as well as Ireland, which officially joined the Media Freedom Coalition as its 50th member.

We would like to express our gratitude to the UK for initiating the work of the Media Freedom Coalition and serving as its co-chair. We are also grateful to the UK for launching the Media Freedom Coalition Secretariat, which will ensure the sustainability of the coalition.

We also thank Canada for its continued leadership as co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition since 2019 and welcome the Netherlands as the new co-chair of the coalition. The Netherlands will provide strong leadership in this role.

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To find both the root of the problem and the solution, look at the story https://guwiv.com/to-find-both-the-root-of-the-problem-and-the-solution-look-at-the-story/ Sun, 06 Feb 2022 00:30:53 +0000 https://guwiv.com/to-find-both-the-root-of-the-problem-and-the-solution-look-at-the-story/ In recent weeks, the international strategic community has focused on a European crisis involving the US-led West and Russia, with military deployments around Ukraine fueling fears of a devastating war. There are many versions of what is happening. One version suggests that an innocent and helpless orphan (Ukraine) is about to be engulfed by a […]]]>

In recent weeks, the international strategic community has focused on a European crisis involving the US-led West and Russia, with military deployments around Ukraine fueling fears of a devastating war.

There are many versions of what is happening. One version suggests that an innocent and helpless orphan (Ukraine) is about to be engulfed by a menacing bear (Russia), but the knight in shining armor (US-led West) arrives to stop the beast . This version, however, belongs, as the symbolism suggests, to the land of fairy tales. Another version, equally reprehensible, ignores Moscow’s desire to establish clear zones of regional and global influence, and portrays Russia as an innocent victim of multiple diabolical plots by the West.

The seeds of the current tensions were sown in 1999 when, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, a triumphant North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided to admit new members from Central and Eastern Europe . Russia protested vehemently but was too weak to prevent this expansion, compromised in part by the pact it signed with NATO in 1997. The pact did not explicitly ban NATO expansion, but the nato has agreed not to deploy troops or nuclear weapons on the territories of the new members. Subsequently, NATO expanded eastward in stages to enlist most of the former Warsaw Pact members.

This desire for expansion encouraged Georgia in 2008 to try to recover what it considered its territory – Abkhazia and South Ossetia. NATO did not intervene when a resurgent Russia retaliated against Georgia’s misguided efforts to redraw its borders. Then, in 2014, a Western-backed regime change effort resulted in the ousting of a venally corrupt but legitimately elected Ukrainian president. The result of this action is that Crimea is now part of Russia and the rebels control parts of eastern Ukraine.

This digression into history is necessary to understand that the current mess is not a sudden development but a long-term crisis waiting for the right combination of circumstances to burst.

Currently, from Russia’s point of view, the conditions are met. Russia believes it has the necessary resources – political, economic and military – to fight for what it sees as existential security needs. This is underpinned by the perception that the United States is weakened by domestic political divisions and international challenges – the inexorable rise of China – requiring the most geopolitical attention from the United States in the Indo-Pacific.

From Russia’s point of view, this crisis is not about Ukraine but about renegotiating existing security agreements in Europe taking into account Russia’s interests, which have been significantly affected by NATO enlargements, even if it means restricting the choices that some nations have. Also, Moscow seems clear that it is not willing to discuss this issue endlessly. The West, on the other hand, politically driven by the ideal of the right of peoples to self-determination, clearly finds Russia’s demands unacceptable.

This incompatibility of these two divergent views seems to create an insurmountable obstacle.

But given the unacceptable cost that Russia would have to pay in the event of a full-fledged war, it seems that the current Russian military build-up around Ukraine appears to be a tactic to pressure the West into finding a mutually agreeable diplomatic solution. It is also important to remember that while for Russia security at its borders is an existential issue, for the United States any fight for Ukraine is not a core interest that would justify a potentially catastrophic war with Russia. .

Another digression suggests that even twentieth-century European history offers solutions. A study of the German and Austrian experiences would be instructive. Germany in 1945 was divided by agreement between the Allies and the USSR into West Germany and East Germany. This result would of course be unacceptable for Ukraine. Meanwhile, Allied and Soviet troops occupied Austria until 1955. This ended when the USSR and the West agreed that Austria would remain neutral, thus ensuring that the country would remain united and free. of foreign troops. Later, Austria was able to join the European Union without objections from the Soviet Union. This, in the current context, should be an acceptable outcome for Ukraine.

While the resolution of the current crisis in Europe still seems far away, diplomatic overtures have begun. The first round of exchanges does not suggest that the United States, NATO and Russia have come closer in their views. The dangers of an involuntary war still loom on the horizon. However, it is important that behind the fire and brimstone of public proclamations, calm and determined diplomatic interactions take place. It is equally important to understand that the result will be a security redistricting of Europe. The only question is whether or not the demarcation line will cross Ukraine.



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Taliban: At the Oslo talks: the West insists on the need to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan https://guwiv.com/taliban-at-the-oslo-talks-the-west-insists-on-the-need-to-resolve-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-afghanistan/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 03:45:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/taliban-at-the-oslo-talks-the-west-insists-on-the-need-to-resolve-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-afghanistan/ WASHINGTON: Special representatives and special envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Oslo on January 24 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, including sessions with Taliban representatives and civil society actors. In a joint statement, the Western envoys underscored the urgent need to resolve […]]]>
WASHINGTON: Special representatives and special envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Oslo on January 24 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, including sessions with Taliban representatives and civil society actors.
In a joint statement, the Western envoys underscored the urgent need to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and highlighted the steps needed to help alleviate the suffering of Afghans across the country.
Participants acknowledged the steps taken to facilitate access for humanitarian workers, both men and women, while expressing their concern that certain obstacles persist, and participants also reiterated the importance of rapidly removing all conditions and all obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid. added.
They stressed the importance of respect for human rights and the imperative need for an inclusive and representative political system to ensure stability and a peaceful future for Afghanistan.
The Special Representatives urged the Taliban to do more to stop the alarming increase in human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, media repression, extrajudicial killings, torture and banning education for women and girls, employment and the freedom to travel without a male escort.
“Noted with deep concern the absence and limitations of access to secondary schools for girls in many parts of the country and stressed the importance of higher education for women as well as job opportunities for women in all fields,” the joint statement read. .
During the meeting, the envoys clarified that their meetings with the Taliban in no way imply a sense of official recognition or legitimization of the interim government announced by the Taliban in September 2021.
The Oslo talks took place in response to a request from a number of Afghan organizations and in consultation with Western allies.
On Sunday, a day-long meeting took place between the Taliban delegation and other Afghans from diverse backgrounds. These included women leaders, journalists and people working to safeguard human rights and address humanitarian, economic, social and political issues.
On Monday, meetings were held between the Taliban and special representatives for Afghanistan from Norway and other Western countries.
Afghanistan is grappling with drought, a pandemic, economic collapse and the effects of years of conflict. Some 24 million people are acutely food insecure.
According to United Nations estimates, more than half of the population will face starvation this winter and 97% of the population could fall below the poverty line this year.
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UNAMA, media support organizations slam Taliban for banning Afghan Media Federation press conference https://guwiv.com/unama-media-support-organizations-slam-taliban-for-banning-afghan-media-federation-press-conference/ Thu, 27 Jan 2022 12:05:09 +0000 https://guwiv.com/unama-media-support-organizations-slam-taliban-for-banning-afghan-media-federation-press-conference/ Kabul [Afghanistan], Jan 27 (ANI) The UN mission and a number of organizations supporting free and fair media criticized the Taliban for banning an Afghan Media Federation press conference on Wednesday, calling it a restriction on the freedom of expression. The organizations also called on the Taliban not to interfere with the activities of the […]]]>

Kabul [Afghanistan], Jan 27 (ANI) The UN mission and a number of organizations supporting free and fair media criticized the Taliban for banning an Afghan Media Federation press conference on Wednesday, calling it a restriction on the freedom of expression. The organizations also called on the Taliban not to interfere with the activities of the federation, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) commented on the incident and said: “Banning a press conference is a restriction on freedom of expression. The Taliban are asked to support dialogues between Afghans and not to restrict those who have different opinions. reported the news agency. The Free Speech Hub (FSH), an organization supporting freedom of expression, also alleged that prior to the press conference, some security forces “threatened and pressured” members of the federation to quit. ‘they’re canceling the event, the news agency reported.

In addition, the FSH organization urged the international community, the European Union representative in Kabul and UNAMA to use diplomatic channels to prevent “the voice of the people from being stifled”. Notably, the Afghan Federation of Journalists and Media conference was to be held in Kabul on Wednesday and the press conference was to be given by 11 representatives of various media organizations, Tolo News reported.

“The Afghan Federation of Journalists and Media was scheduled to hold a conference today. Both national and international media were going to cover it; however, unfortunately, due to the verbal order of the Islamic Emirate officials, the conference has been cancelled,” said Ali Asghar Akbarzada, head of the National Syndicate of Afghan Journalists. Federation members said the Islamic Emirate had ordered them not to hold the conference until they received permission, Tolo News reported.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate to finalize their decision in the future. They should take the decision as soon as possible and give us a permit so that we can hold our conference on this basis,” Akbarzada said. According to statistics, more than 43% of media activities have been interrupted and more than 60% of media workers have lost their jobs since the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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