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SOUTH ASIA:

MYANMAR:

  • The European Union has suspended its support for development projects in Myanmar to avoid providing financial assistance to the military after it seized power last month. The EU’s decision follows international condemnation of the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar that overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

SOURCE: REUTERS


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Expert Analysis

Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

24 FEBRUARY 2021

Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed puzzlement over the West recently discussing global issues without her country during last week’s Munich Security Conference, though Russia should do the same without the West through the SCO in order to pioneer alternative means for addressing these collective concerns even though it would obviously be better if the whole world worked together.

Russia’s Response To Munich

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made some excellent points when criticizing last week’s Munich Security Conference. As reported by TASS, her relevant statement on the topic is as follows:

Considering that the announced agenda had such global items as ‘Priorities for Global Action,’ ‘Fighting the Pandemic’ and ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the list of participants is at the very least puzzling. Essentially, the problems faced by the whole humanity are planned to be discussed in a very narrowed format. The organizers invited the US and EU leadership as well as the UN secretary general and the WHO director general to join the discussion. There was no mention of inviting other countries, including Russia and China. On the contrary, they were viewed by the discussions as threats and opponents who need to be countered. We once again are forced to note the trend of the past few years when our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rule-based world order’”.

Everything that she said deserves to be seriously reflected upon, but it’s about time that Russia finally fights fire with fire if it’s serious about containing the US like Deputy Foreign Ministry Ryabkov recently suggested.

The Global Relevance Of RIC

Russia should discuss global issues without the West if the latter doesn’t want to cooperate with it to address these collective concerns. Moscow mustn’t be left out of constructive global processes just because it wasn’t invited by its rivals to offer its insight on solving them. The SCO is the perfect platform for Russia to work together with its closest partners to this end, particularly China and India through the RIC format. No matter what rhetoric Western representatives might spout, their strategists would be forced to take notice if these three Great Powers reached agreements on globally relevant topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Even if they tried to ignore this potentially game-changing outcome for as long as possible, the rest of the international community that’s mostly comprised of Global South nations would likely ignore them instead should the RIC countries present viable solutions for addressing these issues.

Perfect Timing

This month’s surprise synchronized disengagement agreement between China and India along the vast Line of Actual Control (LAC) between them will greatly reduce bilateral tensions, thus enabling them to work towards restoring their previously strategic relations, perhaps also with tacit Russian backing. Moreover, Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla’s successful visit to Moscow last week patched up their unexpected disagreements over the past few months after many Indians overreacted to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s criticisms of the US’ growing anti-Chinese influence over their country in December. The stage is now set for a revival of RIC, and while some sensitive issues between them might remain unaddressed such as India’s refusal to participate in China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), these three Great Powers could restore the trilateral goodwill between them by pioneering creative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change as a first step.

Reversing The Strategic Dynamics

At present, the strategic dynamics are such that Russia feels compelled to respond to the West whenever it’s left out of what should ideally be all-inclusive processes such as the Munich Security Conference’s discussions about global issues. Russia must reverse these dynamics at all costs. Instead of Russia responding to the West, the West must be compelled to respond to Russia, but his can only happen if Moscow is successful at reviving RIC in a manner which imbues it with global significance such as if this format proposes creative solutions to the same global issues that the West wants to resolve without any of those three Great Powers. At the end of the day, East and West will have to work together in order to guarantee that these pressing concerns are adequately dealt with, but the only way for that to happen is if the West stops trying to isolate the East. That won’t change until the RIC-led East collectively takes the lead and compels the West follow them instead.

Concluding Thoughts

Mrs. Zakharova’s criticisms about last week’s Munich Security Conference were spot-on, but it’s about time that Russia moves beyond rhetoric and towards tangible responses in reaction to the West’s countless snubs. The Eurasian Great Power has the diplomatic capabilities to revive the RIC format considering the positive developments that have recently taken place within this triangle, and it must see to it that these three countries take the lead in guiding the rest of the Global South. At the moment, the West believes that it can compel the East to react to its proposals, but this strategic dynamic must be reversed otherwise there can never truly be equal cooperation between all. Without that outcome, these pressing global issues will never be adequately addressed, which in turn works out to everyone’s collective detriment. Since the West won’t change its ways on its own, it’s incumbent on the RIC-led East to encourage them to do so by taking the lead instead.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, India, China, RIC, SCO, US, EU, Global South.


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Latvia’s Anti-Russian Hybrid War Exposes The Reality Of European Exceptionalism

22 FEBRUARY 2021

Latvia

Latvia is at the forefront of an intense Hybrid War between the West and Russia, but not as the victim of Moscow that it’s deceitfully misportrayed as by the Mainstream Media, but as the villain that aggressively wages anti-Russian information warfare against the Eurasian Great Power and continues to discriminate against its own Russian minority with impunity.

The Manipulative Western Media Narrative About Latvia

The average Westerner that casually follows contemporary geopolitics probably has a lot of sympathy for Latvia after being told by the Mainstream Media that it’s the victim of an unprovoked Russian Hybrid War. This weaponized narrative alleges that President Putin is salivating at the thought of restoring the Soviet Union, in pursuit of which he’s pulled out all the stops to bring Baltic countries like Latvia to heel in creative ways designed to avoid sparking World War III. Western governments have portrayed Latvia as the vanguard of their civilization, bravely withstanding a never-ending onslaught of Russian asymmetrical attacks yet somehow miraculously still standing as a modern-day David that refuses to fall to Goliath. Latvia’s example is intended to inspire other countries to continue funding supposedly “defensive” operations aimed at protecting their people from these threats. The reality, however, is altogether different as will now be explained.

The UK-Latvian Anti-Russian Information Warfare Nexus

Latvia isn’t the victim of the intense Hybrid War being fought between the West and Russia, but one of its villains. The small country aggressively wages anti-Russian information warfare against the Eurasian Great Power, including by hosting the Russian-language Meduza outlet that RT’s Kit Klarenberg recently revealed is backed by the mysterious UK government-funded “Zinc Network” according to leaked documents that were shared with the world by the Anonymous hacktivist collective. His report details the shadowy connection between foreign governments and some self-professed “independent media” that are literally being advised by an organization that described itself as being concerned with “weakening the Russian state”. Latvia therefore isn’t the innocent victim that it portrays itself as, but is actively fighting on the front lines of the information war against Russia through Meduza.

Latvia’s Anti-Humanitarian Crusade Against Its Russian Minority

That’s not all though since Latvia recently banned 16 Russian-language programs and even dramatically declared that those who are caught listening to them will be fined. It goes without saying that Western governments would react with moral outrage if Russia dared to do anything of the sort, yet they’re strangely silent in the face of Latvia embodying everything that those states claim to be against when it comes to what they’ve fearmongered for years that Moscow itself might one day do. Even worse, Latvia actively discriminates against its Russian minority. Not only are they mistreated as second-class citizens, but their identity is under threat after recent so-called “reforms” aimed at phasing the Russian language out of the educational sphere despite it being spoken by around one-third of Latvians. The EU almost always supports minorities anywhere in the world, but this time they tacitly approve of Latvia’s anti-humanitarian crusade against Russians.

The Nazi SS Origins Of Latvia’s Anti-Russian Hatred

This state-sponsored campaign went even further after Riga arrested seven journalists last December who worked with two Russia-linked outlets. Moscow condemned this as a “flagrant attack on democracy”, and one of the persecuted activists shared his view that the “Latvian authorities are trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia, to be able to slap a criminal case against any person who has professional contacts with Russia.” This appears frighteningly accurate in hindsight considering the fact that Latvians who listen to any of the now-banned Russian programs will be fined, prior to which they might even be jailed if they’re unable to pay up or even refuse to do so as a matter of principle. The worst part about all of this is that it eerily resembles the run-up to Nazi-era crimes against humanity. About those, Defense Minister Artis Pabrikis praised Latvian SS-Waffen legionnaire veterans as “heroes” and “the pride of the Latvian nation and state” just a year and a half ago.

President Putin’s Official Response To Recent Events In Latvia

President Putin was so disgusted with this recent turn of events in Latvia that he told State Duma party leaders last week that “They have clamped down on 16 of our media outlets, but the only reaction to this is silence. Why have the Western truth seekers not provided any assessments of what is happening to freedom of expression there, in Europe? No, there are no evaluations, as if this is how it should be, because they are allegedly fighting propaganda. As if what they are doing is not propaganda. What is it then? This is an instrument of attaining their geopolitical goals, in this particular instance, with regard to our country.” In other words, he’s implying that Latvia is protected from Western criticism for its undemocratic actions due to what can objectively be described as European Exceptionalism, or the belief that European nations should be held to different moral and other standards because of what they regard as their civilizational superiority over others.

The Perfect Embodiment Of European Exceptionalism

Latvia is the perfect example of European Exceptionalism in action. It blocks foreign media, fines its citizens for listening to these newly banned programs, arrests those who cooperate with some of those outlets, hosts UK-backed anti-Russian infowar sites, mistreats Russian speakers as second-class citizens, is gradually attempting to erase their identity, and proudly praises Nazi veterans as “heroes” and “the pride of the Latvian nation and state”. Not only would Russia never do any of these terrible things, but pretending that it did even one of them just for conversation’s sake (especially the rehabilitation of Nazis SS fighters), it would be mercilessly criticized and the entire world rightly made aware of its severe moral transgressions. The very fact that none of this has happened with Latvia despite it literally doing everything that was described above proves that European Exceptionalism is the bloc’s unofficial ideology and that principles take second place to geopolitics.

Concluding Thoughts

Far from being an innocent lamb facing imminent Hybrid War slaughter by the Russian bear, like the Western Mainstream Media deceitfully misportrays it as, Latvia is actually a ruthless practitioner of Hybrid Warfare against both its Russian neighbor and its own Russian population alike. Riga gets a free pass for everything that it does because it’s a member of both the EU and NATO. Its European Exceptionalism is on full display to the point where even the rehabilitation of SS Nazis is accepted by its partners due to the mistaken belief that this reprehensible historical revisionism will somehow enable them to make geopolitical gains at Russia’s expense. The Western masses are gaslighted into thinking that Russia’s overreacting to Latvia due to their conventional power asymmetries, but the David and Goliath optics are deliberately misleading and mask the dark truth that even tiny states like Latvia can be formidable Hybrid War threats to much larger ones such as Russia.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Latvia, EU, Russia, Hybrid War, Regime Change, Infowars, World War II.


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geopolitics

AFRICA:

ETHIOPIA:

  • EU joins the US in calling withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia, says they are “fueling the conflict in Tigray”. Shows that there is a transatlantic consensus regarding Tigray’s armed conflict, which started on November 04/2020.

SOURCE: ADDIS STANDARD


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EUROPE:

MEDITERRANEAN:

  • The European Union has decided to hold off on sanctions against Ankara following the positive spirit created by the latest bilateral engagements and exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST EYE


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SOUTH AMERICA:

VENEZUELA:

  • The European Union will continue working with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, the European Commission’s chief foreign affairs spokesman said. The EU expressed regret that the new Venezuelan national assembly assumed its mandate on the basis of non-democratic elections.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK


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MIDDLE EAST:

EU-IRAN:

  • The European Commission said it regretted that Iran has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, breaching a 2015 nuclear pact. The move is the latest Iranian contravention of the accord, which it started violating in 2019 in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 and the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.

SOURCE: REUTERS


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Geopolitical conflicts

Europe

EUROPE

  • BELARUS: EU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock and imposed sanctions on Belarus. It´s against about 40 officials accused of rigging August’s presidential election (see also GGN September 2020).

SOURCE: NEW EUROPE

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Europe

EUROPE

  • EU leaders are set to meet today in Brussels to begin a two-day special summit aimed primarily at untangling the two major crises currently gripping the region—the political upheaval in Belarus and the dispute in the eastern Mediterranean. Attendees will also discuss ongoing issues with China as well as the unfolding conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

SOURCE: FOREIGN POLICY

 

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Europe

EUROPE

  • The European Union took legal action against Britain over its plans to pass legislation that would breach parts of the legally binding divorce agreement the two sides reached late last year. The EU action underscored the worsening relations with Britain, which was a member of the bloc until Jan 31.

SOURCE: NEW ZELAND HERALD

 

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