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Geoeconomics

SOUTH ASIA:

INDIA:

  • India has reiterated its call to OPEC+ to increase oil production from April as the alliance meets this week to discuss future steps. It’s not the first time India, one of the biggest buyers of the producer group’s crude, has urged the OPEC and its partners to pump more oil.

SOURCE: NEFTEGAZ RU


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MIDDLE EAST:

IRAN:

  • Iran is reaching out to its old customers in Asia to gauge interest in its crude as the Persian Gulf oil producer ramps up diplomacy in a bid to get U.S. sanctions lifted. Prior to the penalties — put in place to pressure the country into renegotiating a nuclear deal — China and India were Iran’s biggest buyers in Asia, followed by South Korea and Japan. Iran’s crude shipments dwindled to a trickle after sanctions by the former U.S. administration in 2018 and the end of waivers for some countries in 2019, although a number of Chinese refiners continued to take some oil.

SOURCE: BBN BLOOMBERG


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SOUTH ASIA:

SRI LANKA:

  • Pakistan’s offer to Sri Lanka to join its multibillion-dollar trade and infrastructure scheme with China under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has raised concerns in Indian policy circles, as New Delhi seeks to secure its influence in a region where China’s presence is growing. Indian strategic affairs observers said a proposal for Colombo to use Gwadar could be problematic for India’s security, as about 70 per cent of the goods that Sri Lanka’s ports now handle are transhipped to and from India. India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner, and the two countries also cooperate in areas such as security and defence.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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SOUTH ASIA:

INDIA-CHINA VACCINE DIPLOMACY:

  • India and China -that have disengaged frontline troops from their borders, putting an end to tensions in the region- have shifted their rivalries to a different field – seeking political influence through vaccine diplomacy. Since India produces 60% of global vaccines, it is trying to match China to use it as a diplomatic tool to expand influence in the neighborhood and beyond. The COVID-19 vaccine has emerged as an important form of diplomatic currency globally for the nations to showcase their soft power gains.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY


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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOECONOMICS? SOUTH ASIA:

MYANMAR:

  • While Western nations condemn the military coup in Myanmar, India is taking a cautious approach as it bolsters its connectivity to Southeast Asia and attempts to curb China’s influence. Myanmar and India share a 1,600 km border, giving India a gateway to greater economic integration with Southeast Asia. The neighbors also share a 725 km boundary in the Bay of Bengal, where India aims to boost maritime security cooperation with Myanmar and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as part of a broader effort under the quadrilateral security dialogue.

SOURCE: NIKKEI ASIA

 


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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? SOUTH ASIA:

KASHMIR:

  • Pakistan and India have agreed to immediately cease military hostilities in disputed Kashmir by restoring a 2003 truce to deescalate tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals. Bilateral tensions have escalated dangerously since August 2019, when India unilaterally revoked the semi-autonomous status of its administered Kashmir and split the region into two union territories. Kashmir has sparked two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since they both gained independence from Britain in 1947.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS


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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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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? SOUTH ASIA:

HIMALAYAN BORDER DISPUTE:

  • India and China had completed a pullback from a disputed part of their Himalayan border after months of heightened tensions. The statement said it was a “significant step forward” that provided a good starting point for the resolution of other disputes in the western sector of the contested border.

SOURCE: DAWN


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ASIA DEL SUD:

HIMALAYA OCCIDENTALE:

  • India e Cina hanno deciso di ritirare le truppe da un’area lacustre molto contesa nell’Himalaya occidentale, in una svolta dopo un mese di stallo sul confine conteso.

FONTE: NBC NEWS


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ASIA DEL SUR:

HIMALAYAS OCCIDENTALES:

  • India y China acordaron retirar tropas de un área de lagos disputada en lo alto del Himalaya occidental, en un gran avance después de un enfrentamiento de meses en la frontera en disputa.

FUENTE: NBC NEWS


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