As Britain gradually rediscovers its global muscle memory, it should look to apply its China containment strategy gradually and impose its advantages selectively. As a point of reference, the designs of the UK Integrated Review are noble in nature where the UK should be commended for taking such a clear-eyed approach to China. The recent testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, portrayed as a spacecraft by government authorities, is a frightening reminder of its rapidly developing capabilities and potential willingness to introduce these weapons to a theatre setting. Outside of their immediate neighborhood, their proliferation of debt traps in the developing world and their trojan horse-like application of Huawei on 5G networks is further proof of their miscreant intentions. Too much of it can be deadly, while too little of it can be crushing. The Chinese containment strategy, and Britain’s role within it, will further profit under the QUAD umbrella which will provide London with the leading strategic platform to consult allied capitals on China. All of these alliances and partnerships will be key for London as they buy time to both scale up military staffing in key countries and ramp up defence capabilities. Protecting vital national interests and instigating a superpower will not be business as usual. With “Global Britain” back in action and reoriented towards Asia to contain the pacing threat of China, Downing Street would do well to manage expectations when juxtaposed against such a formidable rival. With a dash of hubris and good fortune “Global Britain” can do its part for itself and the world. Despite the delay, the resources currently at their disposal still hold great utility in the short and medium-term. To be clear, pursuing this ambitious strategy doesn’t come without the risk of blowback. Down the road, upgrades on the current class of destroyers and frigates will significantly enhance Britain’s capability and capacity to take on more responsibility. Consequently, as Britain embarks on another chapter of its storied statecraft, applying the right strategy and assets to meet its objectives in Asia has never been more critical for itself and the global community. Not everyone possesses the appetite to take on China, where many would bristle at the thought of receiving Xi Jinping’s vitriol or loss of investment. This feature will also positively feed into America’s strategy of distribution maritime forces in the Pacific that will contribute to more equal burden-sharing. London and its allies should expect an assortment of retaliatory action from China in both the military and economic domains. Despite the seduction of partnering with Beijing, the UK recognized the compromising position that comes with working China and made a bold statement by banning Huawei from its 5G rollout in November 2020. History is littered with nations that failed in their quest for increased international relevancy due to overextension or mission creep. This pushback theme has extended to the military domain where the British government’s approval for the largest rise in its defence budget, $21.9 billion over a four-year period, since the Cold War is a welcome announcement that will help it develop the necessary capabilities to match policy. Facebook

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Hubris is a fickle emotion. Its expanded assignment of military assets to the region will be part of a larger containment strategy that will allow it to make maximum impact. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>A dash of UK Hubris: Containing China

By Roger Hilton
Defense and Security Fellow, GLOBSEC

Members of the Royal Navy during an inspection in front of Buckingham Palace. Consequently, attempting to diminish China’s uninhibited action in the region and check their ambitions is a worthwhile policy objective given the litany of transgressions they are responsible for. A country with a long tradition of hubris on the international stage is the UK. The recent AUKUS pact was a major coup against China, confirming their collective seriousness in tackling the military threat it poses. At the moment the sum total of British military hardware does not match its regional objectives, where a fully ready British presence and strong “China-facing capabilities” won’t arrive until sometime in 2040. Thankfully the Cold War has taught the UK how to both withstand pressure and act with swagger to compete in the global arena of titans. Spearheaded by the United States, a community of like-minded nations are coalescing around checking China where diplomatic efforts to build a groundswell of support and commitment to this theme is as important as the military efforts. The sights of UK naval assets on longer and more regular deployments in the region will only grow as the UK stations two patrol vessels in the Indo-Pacific region and modernizes existing facilities to check China’s naval expansion. From their conquest of North America to Asia, British foreign policy is well acclimatized to both the risks and rewards that come with global ambition. From the construction of a second nuclear silo in Hami to the hoarding of anti-satellite weapons as well as the relentless military intimidation of Taiwan, Australia and others, China has acted with impunity for too long. For anyone who has read the UK Integrated Review, the hubris oozing from its pages are hard to overlook. The eventual delivery of the next generation subsea systems, in the 2040s, to replace the current fleet of Astute-class submarines will be transformational for Britain’s ability to project power vis-à-vis China or other rivals. To compliment the QUAD, the UK Integrated review has also pledged to increase contributions to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) as well as pursue closer defence cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.  
Just like its past engagements with a superpower, the UK is not looking to take China head-on. The UK will use its current Carrier Strike Group deployment in 2021 and beyond to boost its regional engagement and lay down a marker to China that its presence in the region is permanent.

In addition, according to Zahid Oruj, a member of the Milli Mejlis (Azerbaijani National Assembly), more than 25 Iranian banks and 400 companies used the Armenian-occupied territories to evade international sanctions. Cutler
Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Only then will the financial costs of the destruction be able to be determined. The presence of Russian forces on the Armenia-Iran border would likewise threaten a total cut-off of this major route through Armenia, by which the IRGC has smuggled drugs to Europe for 30 years. Red Cross jeeps pass through roads separating Azxeri and Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. Iran also pretends that its displeasure concerns Azeri cooperation with Israel; however, that is an excuse, because it is really about Turkey. PACE has issued a report (rapporteur, Paul Gavan) focusing on the humanitarian consequences of the conflict. For example, Azerbaijan states that Armenia violates CERD by “refus[ing] to provide comprehensive and accurate maps of the hundreds of thousands of landmines it planted in Azerbaijan’s territory.” Armenia is reduced to arguing that it has no obligation to hand over maps of minefields that it laid in the Azeri territories that it occupied for 30 years. By contrast, the developments at PACE are likely to have significant effects sooner, yet they have been comparatively overlooked. The last new developments that need to be noticed are parallel at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The present article reviews developments since the beginning of October, in order to make sense of this situation that is unfolding, and which is new again almost every day. Facebook

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Developments in the South Caucasus continue to race ahead of Europe’s understanding of them. One may expect that these financial questions will also eventually reach international courts. Georgia is making constructive attempts to complement existing multilateral initiatives with an approach to conflict-resolution that remains, however, to be further specified in public statements. By the time an event has been noticed, recognized, digested, and interpreted (whether correctly or incorrectly), other events have followed in a wave that necessitates the revision of any understanding already reached. And warfare in the South Caucasus is being converted to lawfare. It is necessary that UNESCO should be allowed to document those and other violations of the law of occupation by Armenian armed forces, as well as any by the Azeri side. The filings at the ICJ, by Armenia against Azerbaijan and by Azerbaijan against Armenia, with reference to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and some of the charges that they contain, have received a fair amount of publicity. According to the ninth point of the November 10, 2020, ceasefire accord agreed between Azerbaijan and Armenia through Russian mediation, “The Border Guard Service of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) shall be responsible for overseeing [such] transport connections.” Absent Russian connivance, such a presence would definitely close that major IRGC drug-smuggling route. There is photographic evidence of other mosques elsewhere having been transformed into pigsties. Why now? According to Garibashvili, the PNI would be designed to take into account “regional issues of common interest with our US and EU partners” in the “implementation of practical solutions” through “dialogue and confidence-building.” This characterization implies that it is intended not only, or even mainly, as an intergovernmental or transgovernmental forum (as the concept of the six-way platform appears to be). Iran had never held such exercises when they were occupied by Armenian armed forces. To summarize the most recent developments: Iran is a loser and is being nasty about it. To paraphrase the famous misquotation of Winston Churchill, at least “law, law is better than war, war.” (The correct original quotation is, “Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.”) Its prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, has met with Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev several times. One reason is that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is unhappy with the results of the Second Karabakh War. At the beginning of October, the head of Armenia’s Security Council declared his country’s readiness “to move forward and begin the process of demarcation and delimitation” of the border with Azerbaijan, “mediated by Russia.” In early October, the two countries agreed to open each other’s airspace for civilian flights operationally. The Lebanese Shi’ite scholar Sheikh Subhi Tufayli has said, in a broadcast interview, that the new Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told him that Iran wants “to sever Turkey’s ties with the rest of Turkish states” and therefore supports the Armenians “so that there is a barrier in front of Turkey.” Tehran cynically manipulates the Israel issue in the South Caucasus as it does everywhere else. In a related development, Georgia is becoming a leading mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The most unmistakable, indeed perhaps the most widely commented, development at the beginning of this month was Iran’s demonstrative military exercises on the border with Azerbaijan where the newly de-occupied territories are located. Indeed, the first flight from Azerbaijan proper to Nakhchivan took place, by coincidence, on the very day after Iran announced the closure of its own airspace to Azeri aircraft. Hezbollah, for example, has already shifted its drug smuggling to a route using the important Lebanese diaspora in West Africa. Yet Armenia’s refusal to do so is preventing 700,000 Azeris, ethnically cleansed by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia (as established in 2015 by the European Court of Human Rights), from returning to where their homes used to stand. This drug trade could also be the reason why Iran opposes the creation of the Zangezur corridor between Nakhchivan and the body of Azerbaijan proper. Azeri soldiers gather on the heights outside the village of Talysh, the site of heavy fighting during the most recent Karabakh War. This appears as an non-exclusive alternative to the “Six-way Platform” (with Iran, Russia, and Turkey instead of the US and EU; also called “3+3”), which has not yet got very far. One result of the war, for example, is the closure of Iran’s drug-trafficking route through the formerly occupied territories and Armenia to Europe. The profits from this drug trade have gone, among other places, to the financing of terrorist organizations and groups in other countries that the IRGC controls. Yet the unfreezing of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues. Garibashvili proposed his “Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative” (PNI) with a “3+2” format (the three South Caucasus countries plus the EU and US). What is necessary is the ability to recognize new patterns, rather than to project old patterns upon new events. At the opening of the UN General Assembly sessions in New York at the end of September. The ICJ cases will take years to hear and decide; nevertheless, they will be of fundamental significance. Rather, the PNI would complement other forums, including the important trilateral consultations among Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia, insofar as these may continue in the face of repeated Armenian hesitations. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>New political patterns in the South Caucasus

By Robert M. Notably, it “recommends that Armenia and Azerbaijan allow UNESCO unlimited access to all cultural heritage sites in both countries to assess the damage and assess the steps necessary to safeguard what remains.”
Such an even-handed approach will overcome the inordinate publicity given to the alleged shelling of a cathedral in Shusha by Azeri forces during the war, and balance it by an inventory of Armenian destruction of Azeri cultural heritage, beginning with the destruction of 16 out of 17 mosques in Shusha and the “re-branding” of the seventeenth as “Persian” (with Iranian architectural participation).

Jeff Merkley—seemed receptive to such a policy, with hardly anyone else showing any enthusiasm for it. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, out of the entire Democratic caucus, only three—Bay Area Reps. We will need to champion our own progressive version of these positions rather than simply reject them outright. Of course, he has already appointed some dangerous extremists to important foreign-policy positions, and Trump himself is erratic at best… But some of his statements—his calls to work with Russia, end America’s destructive wars, and create more equitable trade agreements—are not so far removed from ones that we ourselves have embraced. Schwenninger could only shake his head at the spectacle of the otherwise intractable Trump opponents transforming themselves, in the blink of an eye, into his loudest cheerleaders when he decided to bomb Syria. The direction New America took in recent years was something of a sore spot for the otherwise equanimous Schwenninger, who was appalled by the turn it took in the years since it was taken over by Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as foreign policy adviser under Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Carden
Former adviser to the State Department and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative and The Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft. In the years following, long-established think tanks such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Atlantic Council have established in-house programs that promote a more realistic and restrained American foreign policy. He was also one of the first thinkers to promote an alternative to the stale liberal internationalism and neoconservatism that have dominated the foreign policy discussion in Washington. In an unsigned introductory note, Schwenninger wrote that “progressives would be wise to avoid two tendencies” in the coming years. foreign policy is concerned. I believe the honest answer is ‘no.’ That’s because we had no vital national interest in Afghanistan other than to prevent an attack on America’s homeland and our friends … The fundamental obligation of a President, in my opinion, is to defend and protect America … I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan.”
In doing so, Biden seems to have adopted a number of themes that scholars like Schwenninger have long advocated. By the time he and I became friends, the major organs of opinion in Washington and New York had become incredibly hostile toward the few of us who publicly objected to the idea that the US must wage not only nine illegal and unconstitutional wars but a two-front cold war with Russia and China as well. One of Schwenninger’s many gifts was his ability to anticipate far in advance trends that would shape US foreign policy and the global political economy. Though he sadly did not live to see it, perhaps history is finally moving in Schwenninger’s direction as far as U.S. Facebook

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During the autumn of 2020, the United States lost one of its most brilliant, incisive, yet unheralded thinkers in Sherle R. Needless to say, for years there had been hardly any enthusiasm for progressive realist ideas at the leading think tanks and graduate schools of international relations in Washington. All of a sudden, it now seems that space has opened up for those seeking to promote a kind of “Schwenningerian” foreign policy. Indeed, building a viable progressive foreign policy alternative after 2017 was made virtually impossible by the childish hysteria that marked the liberal reaction toward Trump. Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee and Oregon Sen. … I respectfully suggest you ask yourself this question: If we had been attacked on September 11, 2001, from Yemen instead of Afghanistan, would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan—even though the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in 2001? And attempts by Schwenninger and others on lobbying with stakeholders who should have been natural allies within the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign to adopt such a policy were met with frustration. “The second tendency we should avoid is falling into nostalgia for the Obama era.”
The advice he offered American liberals and progressives, which now hardly needs pointing out, was resoundingly rejected. Schwenninger. The first mainstream group that appeared willing to do so was the Charles Koch and George Soros-funded Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, which was founded in 2019. It was Slaughter who turned the organization into a well-funded platform for the very types of intellectuals Schwenninger distrusted most: Liberals in search of the next war. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>In US foreign policy, realists are finally on the rise

By James W. That these attacks were coming from liberals and progressives who were consciously turning their backs on their own tradition of anti-McCarthyism made this spectacle all the more pathetic. For Biden, this was the end of “an era of major military operations to remake other countries.”
In the speech by Biden on August 31, he further said:
“To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask: What is the vital national interest? At the same time, Schwenninger caught sight of another troubling trend: the emerging alliance between Silicon Valley, the Pentagon and Wall Street. According to Schwenninger, “The progressive realist critique is centered around international law; non-intervention; disarmament; and winding down the worst excesses of the post-9/11 period.”
The idea, progressive realism, was the focus of a special issue of the Nation on foreign policy that was edited by Schwenninger during the week Donald Trump took office in January 2017. Still more encouraging, in his speech announcing the end of the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden repeatedly invoked “national interest” in defense of his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. This was particularly true with regard to the New America Foundation, the think tank Schwenninger founded in the 1990s with Michael Lind, Ted Halstead and Walter Russell Mead, which is now known as New America. Schwenninger frequently lamented what he said was the “progressive totalitarianism” of the left when it came to foreign policy; during the Trump years, anyone who dared suggest that détente with Russia might be a sensible policy, or that, perhaps, the war in Syria was a bit more complicated than the pro-Islamist narrative being propagated by corporate media (particularly CNN and the Washington Post), would, more often than not, be immediately labeled as a Putin and/or Assad apologist… or worse. “The first is defining a progressive foreign policy as simply a rejection of whatever Trump says or does. But something has changed over the past year or so, owing, I believe, to a change in the “atmospherics” in Washington brought about by Trump’s departure.

The Navoiyazot facility is one of Uzbekistan’s largest chemical plants, producing mineral fertilizers by processing natural gas feedstock. The governments of the three countries plan to attract some $1 billion over five years. Turning to privatization, he said this is partly in response to continuing domestic energy shortages and partly a part of the privatization commitment. Utilities
Weafer said there are plans to deregulate gas and electricity markets.   Late last year the President said, “We need a lot of investments in this sector. According to a draft presidential decree published on January 18th, the state monopoly on the supply of electricity and liquefied gas to local enterprises will be abolished as early as this year,” he said. Fifteen projects are to be implemented in the field of inorganic chemistry, 23 in organic chemistry and 12 in the production of polymers. More than $55 million was invested into various private sector projects. The bank extended loans valued at $521 million to various projects in the country in 2020. One project aims to establish an innovation center that will be engaged in the research and development of new types of polymers made with gas feedstock and the training of specialists. The funds are to be allocated for the implementation of projects that support the electricity sector and for the construction of a water pipeline network to improve water supply in the Muzrabod district of Surkhandarya region, the ministry said. The draft also proposes the cancellation of customs duties and permits for the import of liquefied gas. Uzbekistan and the EBRD have signed loan agreements worth $150 million to finance infrastructure projects, the Ministry of Investment and Trade said on December 10. Loans worth $150 million were provided to support vital upgrades of electricity and water supply infrastructure in Surkhandarya region. By supporting this project, the EBRD contributed to Uzbekistan’s objective to generate 8 MW of solar and wind power by 2030. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Uzbekistan to expand energy sector, renewables

By New Europe Online/KG

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The Uzbekistan government’s key priority remains the expansion of energy and, especially, in the renewables sectors, Chris Weafer, co-founder of Macro-Advisory in Moscow, said, adding that at least $15 billion will be spent in this sector this decade. According to rough estimates, $15-20 billion would be needed in the next 10 years. Gas Sector
According to Weafer, Uzbekistan plans to implement 52 projects worth $9 billion as it moves into the deep processing of natural gas and production of value-added products, the press service of the presidential office said on November 25, 2020. The product is to be exported to neighbouring countries in the region, as well as to Turkey, Ukraine, and Georgia. The complex has the capacity to produce 660,000 tons of ammonia and 577,500 tons of urea. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and the US are to cooperate on the launch of the Central Asian Investment Partnership initiative, according to a joint statement signed on January 7. We are planning to attract $7.6 billion in FDI in 2021. This included a $40 million equity investment in the country’s leading food chain Korzinka, marking the development bank’s first equity investment in the country in a decade, a loan of $12.5 million to fertilizer producer Indorama Kokand and a loan of $2.8 million in local currency-equivalent to a leading domestic producer and trader of disposable medical goods, Healthline. Representatives of the three countries also said that they welcome other countries joining the initiative to promote regional economic partnership and prosperity. The project was financed with loans from Japanese banks worth $577 million and included a loan from the Fund for the Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan at $320 million. A Finance Ministry study calculated the total cost to build that capacity at “in excess of $15 billion”. The energy ministry will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of the roadmap for change and will allow enterprises to import electricity and gas from August 1st , the draft document said. The projects would allow the production of $4.1 billion worth goods, the replacement of imported products worth $1.1 billion, the export of value-added goods worth $1.45 billion and the creation of 6,500 new jobs, according to officials. The government expects demand for electricity to grow by 70% over the next decade. “The government has published a draft document that proposes abolishing Uzbekistan’s gas and electricity supply monopoly and opening it up to investors. Cooperation is scheduled with several European and Asian countries,” said Abidov. The EBRD published a report on its activities in Uzbekistan in 2020. During video-conferenced talks, the EBRD expressed its readiness to provide comprehensive support to accelerate reforms in the financial and banking sectors of Uzbekistan. “Last year, Uzbekistan saw $7 billion worth of FDI. These investments were channeled towards promising industries such as electrical engineering, IT, and so forth. The specific amount of new generating capacity is 30 GW, and the government strategy is to target new facilities in these categories: Thermal power plant (including steam and gas plants) – 19 GW (60%); Nuclear power plant – 2.4 GW (8%); Solar power plants – 5 GW (15%); Wind power plants – 1.7 GW (5%); Hydroelectric power stations – 4 GW (12%). Chemicals plant
Uzbek state-owned enterprise Uzkimyosanoat announced the commissioning of its $982 million ammonia and urea production complex in Navoiyazot. Foreign Direct Investment
Uzbekistan intends to raise $7.6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) by the end of this year, according to Badriddin Abidov, deputy minister of investment and foreign trade. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided $521 million in 2020. The funds are expected to go into projects that advance private sector-led growth and increase economic connectivity within Central Asia and the broader region. To support Uzbekistan’s green transition, the bank financed its first privately owned and competitively tendered renewable energy project in the country by extending an equity bridge loan for the construction of a 100 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan, Weafer said. In June 2019, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is running for re-election on October 24, signed a law ratifying the charter of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) — a decree from the same month set goals to allocate US$5.3 billion to 810 investment projects to develop renewable energy up until 2022. It is intended to allow local companies to buy electricity and liquefied petroleum gas on the open market, rather than from state monopolies. The funds were pledged to 18 projects to support the country’s banking sector, small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) access to finance, the upgrading of key infrastructure and the promoting of renewable energy development. In October, Canadian oil and gas company Condor Petroleum said it plans to invest over $1 billion in the operation of gas fields in Uzbekistan’s Bukhara province in 2021-24.

During the visit, Obrador shared his decision to begin a structured transition toward the greening of Mexico’s energy sector and the strengthening of its energy independence. Mexico will step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly methane, as this gas has a global warming potential up to 34 times that of other gases. Mexican President Lopez Obrador and cabinet ministers warmly welcomed Kerry for a day-long visit to Palenque in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, including a formal exchange of views and an informal introduction to the region, including its people and history. The two countries will explore other opportunities to enhance ambition, including increasing energy efficiency, tackling methane emissions, and greening transportation. Mexico to cooperate with the US to accelerate deployment of renewable energy

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During his visit to Mexico, US Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced on October 19 an important step forward in the bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico on measures to address the climate crisis. Mexico and the US will work together to combat climate change ahead of the upcoming climate conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>US, Mexico to address climate crisis

By New Europe Online/KG

US Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry visits Sembrando Vida, a multi-state initiative Mexico has undertaken to plant trees, support the goal to eliminate deforestation, create sustainable jobs in the agricultural sector, and create opportunities for would-be migrants in their communities of origin, Mexico, October 19, 2021. Mexico previously announced its support for the Global Methane Pledge, and both countries recognize the critical importance of rapidly reducing methane emissions, the joint statement read.   The US and Mexico said the countries are committed to working together to enhance the climate benefits of this initiative and to promote nature-based solutions to climate, conservation, and development. Ebrard said that our country was one of the first to support the initiative promoted by Kerry. He also commented that Mexico and the US will be able to jointly develop new initiatives and seek financing for a green economy, given that it creates new sustainable sectors in the economy. Kerry indicated that the United States would support efforts to catalyze finance and technology, and both countries underscored the importance of strengthening North American relations, with an accelerated clean energy transition this decade to address the climate crisis including with Canada, the statement read. The two countries recognize the importance of global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and share the view that the 2020s are a decisive decade for climate action, the Mexican – US Engagement on Climate Change said in a joint statement. Obrador shared Mexico’s plans, including to cooperate closely with the US to accelerate Mexico’s deployment of renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, as a major step in Mexico’s commitment to strengthen the ambition of its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement next year. In Palenque, Kerry, accompanied by Obrador, witnessed the progress and results of the “Sowing Life” program, one of the green projects that has attracted the most attention from the world. Mexico has invested $1.3 billion of its own resources in the project, making it the most important global project for reforestation and for entire ecosystems, said the Foreign Secretary. Obrador introduced Kerry to Sembrando Vida, a multi-state initiative Mexico has undertaken to plant trees, support the goal to eliminate deforestation, create sustainable jobs in the agricultural sector, and create opportunities for would-be migrants in their communities of origin. At a press conference led by Obrador on October 19, Ebrard said that the US and Mexico share environmental goals thanks to their close relationship, which also respects and takes into account the possibilities of each, and Mexico’s decisions.

Meanwhile, Urquhart Stewart argued that Russia is keeping a tight grip on Europe’s energy market. The oil price will go up,” Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Regionally, a UK regional investment platform, told New Europe’s Energy Insider by phone on October 18. Only scenarios,” Weafer said. “If so, what price does OPEC+ target?” Weafer asked. Another factor over the medium term is whether US sanctions stay to block Iran oil. The proponents of both are simply ‘talking their own book’ as there is no definite trajectory. I think he has played this game before, and he is doing it again. follow on twitter @energyinsider The slow return of US shale is important both for the supply side and the unity within OPEC. EPA-EFE/ANDREI LIANKEVICH/FILE PICTURE

Green days coming bad news for black gold

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Oil prices hit multi-year highs this week as Covid recovery and coal, electricity and natural gas shortages are fueling demand for crude. Is there a Russian Bear paw on the gas tap which (Russian President Vladimir) Putin always denied but I suspect there is and will China take advantage of this as well to actually squeeze the West by putting the price up by increasing demand?” he asked. The critical supply event was, and remains, the agreement of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and oil producing allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, which took 10% out of global supply from the second quarter of 2020 and which is managing the return of that oil very effectively, Weafer said. “By the early 2030s, this will be the key oil price driver rather than OPEC+ actions,” Weafer said, adding, “How those countries manage after that will largely depend on how they use the next five-year oil boom receipts”. He added that cold temperature in northern hemisphere and Chinese growth are also boosting oil prices. Most big economies have seen a return to 2019 demand. “The fact that the environment lobby is so active in the US, and supported by the White House policy agenda, means that oil operators are under more pressure to cut debt and return money to shareholders. That drives gas prices up and that in turn will knock on to oil,” Urquhart Stewart told New Europe, adding, “But what’s interesting thing is China itself is seeing a slowdown but actually the demand for oil is going up which is making me believe there are political issues here”. Moreover, there is the question of US shale producers being able to ignore the climate action pressure groups and also add more oil. “What nobody knows is what shape will be the transition and how long it will take. According to Weafer, over the short to medium term, the single most important factor is OPEC+. Over the medium term, though 2022-23, the important known factors will include whether OPEC+ will continue to try to manage the oil price by adjusting supply to match any changes on the demand side. Producers within that group are set to make a lot of money over the balance of this decade if they can maintain the sort of unity seen in recent years. “Allowing the 2 million barrels per day currently blocked, to return, would increase internal OPEC pressure and make its response to demand changes a lot less effective,” Weafer said. Five to 10 years seems too pessimistic for the oil market while 15 to 20 years seems too optimistic. They have fewer resources to invest in restoring oil production,” Weafer said. The Covid recovery is also driving the oil price up. Another key driver is the continuing US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, which have also removed over 4 million barrels from global supply, he said, adding that also has helped OPEC+ to manage the market and to control the supply-demand balance. “It has a direct knock off effect, so people have been securing future oil and current oil and that is squeezing the market again. He noted that Russia is using sub -$60 per barrel for its 2024 budget while Saudi and others in OPEC need over $80 per barrel, although that will be lower if volumes continue to rise, he said, reminding that OPEC+ is more important than demand trends if it continues to dynamically manage supply to match demand changes. “It increases the level of squeeze and so put together with the breakdown of the rest of the supply chain, it was almost inevitable that people are trying to secure every other form of energy supply. “Here also, it will depend on how OPEC+ adjusts,” he said. Chris Weafer, co-founder of Macro-Advisory in Moscow, told New Europe’s Energy Insider on October 19 that after decades of false alarms, and alarming predictions, there is today no doubt that the oil industry has entered a terminal transition phase. “You have to be very innocent to not believe there isn’t a Russian gas bear paw on the Russian pipeline. “Political issues here. Regarding the dynamic changes when considering the longer term, the key driver then, and by the end decade, will be progress in renewable energy technology and how fast energy sources change from oil to electricity or something else in the transportation sectors in developed economies and as a source of power in developing nations, such as India and Africa, Weafer said. Apart of that there is again an issue with the tankers as well,” Urquhart Stewart said. Against that backdrop it is better to look at the oil price in terms of short, medium, and longer term, Weafer said, noting that over the short term a key driver has been the recovery in oil demand as the pandemic impact eases. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Covid recovery, supply chain woes ratchet up oil prices

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

The first pump station on Belarus territory of the Druzhba pipeline, near the village of Bobovichi, Belarus.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi σε συνομιλίες. “We remain convinced that the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves can serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Egypt, Cyprus and Greece ink deal to construct electricity interconnector

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

Τριμερής Σύνοδος Κορυφής Κύπρου-Ελλάδας-Αιγύπτου
Ξενοδοχείο Χίλτον, Αθήνα, Ελλάδα
Ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας κ. The three leaders underlined the importance of the respect of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all states in their maritime zones in accordance with international law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Greece, Cyprus and Egypt expressed their desire to continue strengthening their cooperation, through a series of agreements, on the exploration and transportation of natural gas. //
Cyprus-Greece-Egypt Trilateral Summit
Hilton Athens Hotel, Athens, Greece
The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of Egypt, Mr Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, hold official talks. In this regard, we once again welcomed the adoption of the statute of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF),” the leaders said in their joint declaration. PRESIDENCY OF CYPRUS

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el–Sisi met in Athens, Greece, on October 19 where they pledged to boost strategic cooperation, including energy. Hence, we called on Turkey to abstain, in a consistent and sincere manner, from provocations and unilateral actions in breach of international law, including from harassment of survey vessels duly licensed by Greece or Cyprus, thus helping to create conditions conducive to dialogue,” the three leaders said, stressing that productive and result-oriented dialogue cannot be conducted in an aggressive environment or under the threat of the use of force. “We reiterated that the EMGF as a regional organization based in Cairo is open to all countries that share the same values and objectives of the EMGF and willingness to cooperate for the security of the whole region and the welfare of its peoples,” Mitsotakis, Anastasiades and el-Sisi said. Νίκος Αναστασιάδης παρακάθεται μαζί με τον Πρωθυπουργό της Ελλάδας κ. “We welcomed the signing of the agreement for the establishment of a trilateral electricity interconnector between the grids of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece,” the leaders said in a joint declaration following the 9th Trilateral Cooperation and Coordination Summit among the three countries. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met in Athens, Greece, October 19, 2021. We also reiterated our condemnation of the continuous violations of Greek national airspace and territorial waters in the Aegean Sea and all other illegal activities in areas falling within Greece’s continental shelf, in contravention of international law. EMGF will support the Members’ efforts in unlocking the full gas resource potential in the region and monetizing their reserves in accordance with international maritime law and in particular UNCLOS. Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη και τον Πρόεδρο της Αιγύπτου κ. “In this context, we condemned the illegal drilling and seismic operations by Turkish vessels in Cyprus EEZ/continental shelf, in maritime areas already delimited in accordance with international law. “This project strengthens our economic cooperation and enhances the security of energy supply, not only of the countries involved, but also of Europe, as it will create a highway for the transmission of significant amounts of electricity to and from the Eastern Mediterranean. The Electricity Interconnector project, which connects the electricity grids of our countries, constitutes an important component of the strategy to accelerate the development of the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Corridor, providing an alternative source of energy supply from the region to the European Continent and vice versa,” the declaration read. Mitsotakis, Anastasiades and el-Sisi also discussed the Cyprus issue and reaffirmed their strong support to a just, comprehensive and viable settlement in line with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions that call for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship as well as in accordance with the EU acquis, values and principles. They noted that the establishment of EMGF is based on the fundamental principle of respect of the Members’ rights over their natural resources, in accordance with international law.

The new US-Greece agreement — actually an amendment to the U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) — expands on the one signed in Athens two years ago by then-Secretary Mike Pompeo and is said to give the United States increased access to two bases in central Greece and one at Alexandroupolis, near the Greek-Turkish border. Nor should Russia’s more aggressive naval diplomacy, focusing for now on the waters around Syria, be written off. Washington has turned down multiple offers from the Greek side over the years to station units on Aegean islands near Turkey.   Separate and above the operations in northern Greece, the permanent US naval base at Souda Bay Crete is actually the key to the defense relationship and the US and NATO’s force projection capability across the region. And as usual, most opposition parties are working hard to dig up “problems” with the agreement, some noting that it does not provide true security guarantees against Turkey in exchange for Athens’ agreeing to an almost “indefinite presence” of US forces in Greece, which most believed had been approved in the previous agreement signed in October 2019. Defense relationship already top tier, little to improve
Because the bilateral military-to-military relationship was already outstanding for so long, it was not easy for both sides to find significant areas for improvement and the document signed October 14 should be considered as part of an updating and modernization process, not an actual functional upgrade as some in Athens are portraying it. None of these would constitute new US deployments, and most of the US presence in the region occurs on a rotational basis, such as use of Greek training facilities in the winter when US bases in northern Europe reduce operations. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Greece again agrees to expand US defense cooperation

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS

Signing of Protocol of Amendment to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with Greece, Washington DC, October 14, 2021

US Department of State

Bilateral military cooperation has been outstanding for years, making it difficult to find improvements

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias traveled to Washington October 13-14 to participate in a scheduled session of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue, where he met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior US Government leaders and reviewed ongoing regional concerns. Over-inflation is normal
Again this year, the Greek side is continuing its standard practice of over-inflating the importance of new bilateral agreements with the US at every possible occasion, sometimes done to assist in the domestic ratification processes but not needed this year in view of the current government’s parliamentary majority. That otherwise routine and unexciting discussion, similar to those that Washington holds with many other countries in the “strategic dialogue” format, was dressed up this year (Round #3) with the signing of a new US-Greece defense agreement, formally amending previous bilateral arrangements, which was designed to further upgrade the outstanding defense cooperation both countries have shared for years. The amendments signed in 2019 and this week are intended to assure the US Congress that the long-term nature of the defense relationship will continue uninterrupted so that substantial funding for important base upgrades and other programs may be safely appropriated. Strategic considerations 
For the majority of the Greek population, the updated agreement that FM Dendias just signed will be seen as a vastly improved defensive link to Washington in case of trouble with Turkey, Greece’s primary potential opponent, as well as an American “vote of confidence” in Greece as a trusted ally and pole of regional stability. The ratification vote should be scheduled within the next two weeks. That is not an insignificant accomplishment but needs to seen in the context of a potential arms race with Turkey, something neither country can afford. There is some confusion over whether the latest agreement formally provides for the so-called “indefinite” US presence in Greece, as this was claimed to be the case in the 2019 MDCA amendment.  
In a separate Blinken-Dendias meeting the same day, the State Department saw fit to reveal that Blinken had thanked Dendias “for the constructive role Greece has played in supporting regional integration in the Western Balkans,” a signal to the disappointed EU accession candidates of Albania and North Macedonia that last week’s lackluster Brdo EU Summit outcome was something Washington had not forgotten. A separate letter from Secretary of State Blinken, so far unreleased, further warmed the bilateral atmosphere as it is said to include language which the Mitsotakis government is already representing as a form of US guarantee of Greece’s sovereignty over the Aegean islands and territorial waters, in accordance with the UN Law of the Sea Convention, something that Turkey aggressively disputes. Taken together with the Mitsotakis government’s recent and somewhat controversial defense agreement with France, it can be argued that PM Mitsotakis has done more to improve Greece’s alliance network and its military capabilities than any leader in recent decades. Greek media sources can only quote local government officials, not the US Pentagon, about the alleged US interest in a longer-term presence since current US strategy currently relies on short-term troop rotations instead of permanent bases.

Overseas Indians contribution to India as Global Soft Superpower
There are over 32 million Indians in 230 countries in sizable numbers and immensely contributing to the countries where they reside as also deeply involved in India’s progress. Smart and secured governance is a novel strategy that helps in the overall infrastructure development of the nation. This comes with great responsibilities of spreading its time-tested principles of peace and prosperity to all citizens of the world. Next, the population sees it as benefitting them and so they participate more enthusiastically, helping with the early completion of the project rather than being an impediment. This included interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>India is a soft superpower with a smart and secured governance strategy

By Dr. On June 21, the world will observe the International Day of Yoga for the first time ever. This is because the values that help guide Indian foreign policy and underpin its image are rooted deep in the country’s cultural history. The pursuit of this image continued a decade later, even after the Pokhran II nuclear tests when India clearly stated that the tests were not a repudiation of the disarmament goal. India has positioned rightfully as the “reluctant nuclear power” that the bomb was a last resort in a world of threatening nuclear states who make no pledges to refrain from first strikes and the use of nukes against non-nuclear states. It should be noted that GDP alone does not reflect the growth of parameters and must work with Happiness Index. Imagine a model where this valuation can be ploughed back into the project and benefit the people around. Most of the top enterprises globally are having Indian management, engineers, technologist and now India is becoming the hub for production and back-office support. For example, Ramakein, the national literature of Thailand and Kakawin in Indonesia, are local versions of Ramayana that have been adapted to theatre, dance forms and other crafts in these countries, contributing immensely to their culture and creative economy. With this India needs to expand by sending more Indians to all countries as its Ambassadors of prosperity as also welcome persons from other countries to come, learn and get into the liberated mind and all should see the world as a Global village for Human happy existence. India was said to have more credibility as a nuclear weapons state with itself having something to sacrifice in order to usher in global disarmament. When it came to humanitarian intervention, over the last 25 years India’s opposition or support was directly related to the level of intrastate violence entailed in intervening. This is in part due to its prominent role in the Non-Aligned Movement. India is a culture-driven soft power. introduced the term “soft power” in the international relations discourse back in the 1980s, countries across the world have embraced this idea to augment their global positioning and influence. The establishing of International Solar Alliance, for example, demonstrated India’s commitment towards mitigating environmental risks through multilateral cooperation. One example is the availability and appreciation of Indian cinema as a source of recreation even in various conflict-ridden countries like Afghanistan as well as advanced countries like the UK, Japan etc. It professes taking advantage of the valuation of assets created and delivering at negligible cost to the government. Any new connectivity, transport, road, or transit HUB will act as a growth driver, as these are expected to bring more population and ultimately, more demand. A further sign of this influence is the long public debate before going nuclear – a rarity amongst nuclear powers. India has an amazing variety of global leadership methods and a wealth of achievements that are part of one of the longest surviving civilizations in the world. Indian foreign policy holds out for its accepted principles and strong global leadership to further International progressive policy goals. The country’s cooperation at bilateral and multilateral forums for fighting COVID-19 through supplying hydro-chloroquine to the world as well as directing R&D efforts towards vaccine development highlight India’s contribution in the global pharmaceutical and wellness sector. Diversity of lifestyles, yet a coherent and shared identity and harmony between humans and nature are hallmarks of this philosophy. In part, it is self-created. It must lead as the Knowledge capital and complement knowledge from others in various spheres and sectors of the economy. Clearly, India is dipping into its ample soft power resources in its diplomatic engagements abroad. Similarly, Indian offers humanitarian aid to smaller mainland and island economies in times of calamity, while its contributions to the UN Peacekeeping forces are amongst the highest in the world. Speaking on the theme of India’s Global Connect at Namaste 2020, Anholt explained that the ‘goodness’ of a country is determined by its multilateral engagement and cooperation in addressing common global challenges. P. WIKIPEDIA

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Ever since the American political scientist Joseph S Nye Jr. Somewhat legitimately, Indian leaders asserted that the country’s nuclear weapons could act as bargaining chips to support its global disarmament agenda. It has arguably been the most passionate anti-nuclear campaigner amongst the world’s nine known or suspected nuclear weapons states, with one of the world’s most notable pleas for global disarmament. Owing to these and many other contributions towards the greater good for all, India is ranked 44th out of 160 countries in the Good Country Index (GCI). India can rightly be called ‘Global Soft Superpower’ with its all-round presence and achievements and growing by the day. Though India’s international engagement is guided by its security and strategic interests, it is also underpinned by the values of inclusivity, plurality, and welfare for all. Arts, fashion and handicrafts, literary works, and performing arts and tourism are other key aspects of Indian soft power. Here, some of top technologists and supporting staff are from India. India’s civilizational connect with any country or continent even in the past was never a consequence of a war or colonization, but rather an outcome of the exchange of ideas, traditions and culture that accompanied trade of various goods and even in those days India was a hidden Soft Power. Its relatively neutral, non-threatening, image will make India a uniquely attractive great-power partner for countries looking to hedge against future fallout between the US and China, and not wanting to antagonize either superpower. Another major cultural export is Indian gastronomy, be it turmeric latte sold in cafés, jackfruits used in gourmet preparations or the Australian PM Scott Morison’s display of Samosa diplomacy. Within the nuclear realm, the influence of non-violence is seen through the foot-dragging in relation to integrating nuclear weapons into military strategy and in relation to serial production of weapons. Film manufacturer: Kodak. India’s soft superpower has rare characteristics when compared with the other great powers of the emerging multipolar world: the US, China, Russia, Japan, and Europe (as a unified entity). This necessitates the involvement of all stakeholders, including artists, entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and civil society. Unlike many other nations that have homogenised or rather “westernized” their culture, India’s diverse yet coherent cultural fabric spreads across the length and breadth of the country. This preciously guarded national image is not merely a strategic ploy to increase India’s soft power with its Policymakers wish the country to be seen as non-violent, pluralistic and tolerant because India genuinely holds these values. They have a big role in India being a Global Soft Super Power as their contribution to international growth and India’s prosperity with the Leadership role as the Knowledge Capital of the World is commendable. India is the only modern great power that has held a largely continuous culture for several millennia. New Delhi's India Gate illuminated in the colors of the Indian national flag. What is soft power and why are countries looking to it in their conduct of diplomacy? India’s role in High Technologies including Space, Robotics, AI 
India has a good role in all spheres of Technology development and plays a significant role in development and support in Space, AI including high tech use in Agri etc. Ancient India’s cultural connection to its present-day manifestation is far stronger than ancient Greek, Roman or Anglo-Celtic culture is to present-day Western states, or the ancient Middle Eastern civilizations are to today’s Arab world. With each of these initiatives, official diplomacy has been buttressed by cultural exchange and efforts at increasing public knowledge and appreciation of India in foreign countries. The Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) are not only extremely scientific but also intricately intertwined with aesthetics and linguistics. In this sense, the practice of selflessness is embellished in India’s core identity that dates to millennia, even though the term is comparatively new in the foreign policy and cultural discourse. Alias: EIR. The 5,000-year-old temples that continue to boost their architectural grandeur or the Nataraja (dancing Shiva) statue that adorns the premises of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland convey the universal connection between humans and the cosmos that is espoused in IKS. This can also lead to cross-cultural cooperation and mutual learnings between cultural experts, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from across the world.   It would seem that India’s values of non-violence, pluralism and tolerance stem from the independence era when the country’s foreign policy and modern identity was crafted. It “reflected yoga’s immense popularity worldwide, underscoring its richness as a soft power resource,” an official from India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told The Diplomat. This understanding has served as the bedrock for countries to pursue public diplomacy and amplify their cultural engagement with both state and non-state actors. Film name: Kodak Aerochrome 1443 III. Besides setting up a public diplomacy division within the Ministry of External Affairs in 2006 and expanding the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) worldwide, it has roped in the Ministry of Tourism, which is behind the “Incredible India” campaign, and the Ministry for Overseas Indians “to showcase its social, political, and cultural assets abroad,” These government actors are working to leverage India’s soft power “by using it to support larger foreign policy initiatives such as the Look East Policy (now Act East), the Connect Central Asia policy, and developing strategic aid and trade partnerships in Africa. Developer maker: Kodak. According to Harvard political scientist, who coined the term, soft power is the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without resorting to force or coercion. India also is respected for its principles of non-violence in other areas of foreign policy. Bollywood film stars, Jackky Bhagnani (R) and Lauren Gottlieb (L), pose duringa promotional tour of their film ‘Welcome 2 Karachi’. India’s reputation extends beyond its nuclear posture. A country’s soft power essentially refers to its ability to attract other nations through its culture, foreign policy, and political values, rather than the use of military might. Secured Governance is a concept that is catching the attention of many as a holistic approach to infrastructure needs, promising a great deal. We have seen repeatedly that India’s leaders find it morally inconceivable that nukes could ever be useable tools of war. Many countries like Australia have chosen a wise time to solidify ties with one of the world’s most dynamic rising powers. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even long-time nemesis Pakistan is unlikely to have been as adventurous in its dealings with its much larger and more powerful neighbor had it not had firsthand experience of Delhi’s restraint – even before Islamabad claimed nuclear capability. In addition, enlightened persons had shed light on the need for global recognition of India as a non-aggressive eminent country, whose vision is inclusive and well needed global integration. In all of these cases, India and Indians wherever they are, are needed to support India as a global soft superpower. With some diplomatic craftsmanship, India is converting ethereal values-based soft superpower advantage into hard strategic and economic gains. For India’s soft superpower to achieve its full potential, it is imperative to have an integrated approach that amalgamates public diplomacy at the global level with a creative economy at the local level. When some of the world’s greatest debates over intervention occurred at the U.N., Indian ambassadors drenched their speeches with the language of non-violence. India’s international reputation has fared very well as its strategic peaceful interests have expanded throughout the Indo-Pacific and beyond. The depth of IKS is reflected in the tangible as well as intangible aspects of life – from science to cuisine to architecture. Grain: RMS 17. Infrastructure development plays a key role in value appreciation. Overseas, Indians contributing to the world’s growth exceed the expectations of a soft power. This was true regardless of who was intervening in whom, for what reason, and whether there were strategic gains in it for Delhi. So, what is behind India’s benign image? In this it is very important to point out that the worldview rests in the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family a well-knit Indian philosophy given to the world thousands of years ago. These values attained dominance during the formative stage of Indian civilization – the period between the Vedic era and medieval times when the greatest empires arose. To realize and maximize the potential of such traditions and practices, it is important to develop a robust cultural creative economy, giving more and more opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to take Indian culture across the globe. When the propagation of soft superpower is done with the idea of fostering mutual respect, shared understanding, and joint collaborations for cultural advancements between countries, it becomes the essence of cultural diplomacy. Mahatma Gandhi made India’s independence movement synonymous with non-violence. This is particularly clear in the realm of nuclear posture. Whilst India’s reputation in its own neighborhood even some globally hostile ones is quite different when in critical times it showed its muscle power and quickly withdrew once the objectives are met. India declared that its security would be enhanced and not diminished in a nuclear-free world. In relation to the norm of “Responsibility to Protect,” India voiced support for those aspects of R2P that encouraged and supported states to protect their own populations and expressed extreme caution at R2P’s coercive side. These are supported by its large contribution in spiritualism, yoga, movies and television soaps, classical and popular dance and music, its principles of non-violence, democratic institutions, plural society, and cuisine have all attracted people across the world. India the Global Soft Superpower 
India must take its rightful place as Global Soft Super Power and take its leadership role to make the world a better place for humans. India is blessed with immense cultural assets, be it Yoga, Ayurveda, literature, arts, heritage, culinary practices, sports and much more, along with being the largest democracy and having strong institutions and leaders. India’s opposition to intervention was compounded by its pluralistic worldview, with acceptance of all regime types. Developer: XTOL. Many of these needs’ changes in the present definitions and required modifications must be made in phases. For 70-plus years Delhi has favored cultivating the impression of a non-violent India. Despite having tested weapons in 1974 and 1998 and being a non-signatory to the NPT and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, India has been one of the most vocal advocates for global disarmament. While the idea of soft power is only a few decades old, many countries are globally acclaimed for their cultural assets and values that date back centuries and remain sought after still today. Since independence, the country has been viewed as a neutral and harmless power by most foreign audiences, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia. Though slower to yield results, soft power is a less expensive means than military force or economic inducements to get others to do what we want. The soft superpower of India with its cultural assets is becoming a subject of aspiration and admiration by the global community. The country leading by example is India, whose soft power is underpinned by its civilizational heritage and cultural prowess. EPA/EFE//FAROOQ KHAN
Yoga which is also a $100 Billion industry is among the themes that figured during the recent visit of India’s Prime Minister to China, Mongolia, and South Korea. In addition to this, the overall economic indicators such as GDP, purchasing power parity along with happiness and a decrease in the unemployment rate, also contribute to developmental growth in the long run. The Indian civilizational thought is rooted in the idea of co-existence with mother nature rather than conquering it. Soft power, he said, lies in a country’s attractiveness and comes from three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority). As it can be seen in the present Covid era India with Overseas Indians played a big role as acknowledged by global media in getting the World to fight this pandemic and getting a different world order. Furthermore, the rise of India’s global stature in recent decades at various multilateral forums, the increasing popularity of Yoga and Ayurveda, and the world community embracing Namaste as a greeting during the ongoing pandemic are some of the most evident examples of Indian soft power. Higher levels of involvement build positive perceptions about the country that in turn invite greater foreign investment and visitors, thus contributing to the country’s soft power and reputation in the eyes of common citizens. A United Nations resolution to this effect that India moved in the General Assembly last year was co-sponsored by an unprecedented 170 countries. They remit $85 billion every year, which is a fraction of their earnings, as they themselves constitute a trillion dollar Economy. In the Draft Report on Indian Nuclear Doctrine, the very first sentence of the first paragraph describes the use of nuclear weapons as the “gravest threat to humanity and to peace and stability.” The paragraph goes on to criticize the virtual abandonment by states of the goal of disarmament. Indian epics–Ramayana and Mahabharata–as well as Buddhism, travelled far and wide and continue to flourish even today, especially in Southeast Asian countries. First, the cost of the developmental project is reduced and can be at negligible cost to the government if carefully planned. Sekhar
Chairman, Unleashing India, Global Smart City

Photo information:
Film type: 135. Beyond cultural and civilizational heritage, India has been recognized for its role in addressing global challenges and being at the forefront of various development-related initiatives. Only over the past decade or so that India has begun to play its soft power cards more systematically. All other South Asian states do not see India as a threat in the way that many of India’s neighbors of other big powers are viewed. As a civilizational state, India’s soft power is manifested in its millennia-old traditions and wisdom that holds relevance still today. According to Anholt, the creator of GCI, the underlying idea is that in the ongoing contest for soft power in the world where countries increasingly seek to lead and steer conversations around power dynamics, there is an increasing desire and necessity to connect with each other’s culture and communities.

Before I walk you through the details, let me underline that today’s package has the potential to make a real, tangible difference on the ground,” he said. Once again, up to 50 percent of the current formalities will be removed. That involves the EU changing its own rules on medicines,” he said. “In effect, we are proposing an alternative model for the implementation of the Protocol. He explained that this means, for instance, that Great Britain can continue acting as a hub for the supply of generic medicines for Northern Ireland, even though it is now a third country. “Today, the European Commission has proposed a robust package of creative, practical solutions, designed to help Northern Ireland deal with the consequences of Brexit, while further benefitting from the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland,” Sefcovic said. He noted, however, for all this to work in practice, however, the UK government needs to do its part – for example, by ensuring that permanent Border Control Posts are up and running, as agreed a long time ago. The VP stressed that the EU has an unwavering commitment to the people of Northern Ireland – and for this reason, to the implementation of the Protocol, which brings about unique advantages of dual access to both the UK and EU markets. So if you are transporting a hundred different food products, only one certificate is needed instead of a hundred,” Sefcovic said. We have listen to, engaged with, and heard Northern Irish stakeholders – from political leaders to businesses and a cross-section of civic society. For example, more small and medium-sized enterprises could benefit from this scheme, while goods covered by this scheme are free of customs duties because they stay in Northern Ireland,” Sefcovic said. We are showing great flexibility but the remaining controls must be done properly – I believe, understandably – to protect the integrity of our EU Single Market. More than 80 percent of the identity and physical checks previously required will now be removed. EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE

Plans to protect EU internal market

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European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on October 13 the UK government should engage with European Union earnestly on the bloc’s package of enhanced opportunities. This will significantly ease the process for bringing food supplies from Great Britain to Northern Ireland,” the VP explained. “Our proposed solutions aim to improve the exchange of information by establishing structured dialogues between various stakeholders and the European Commission,” Sefcovic said, adding, “Northern Irish stakeholders would also be invited to attend some meetings of the Specialised Committees. Combined with the EU’s proposed solutions in the area of sanitary and phytosanitary rules, this will create a type of “Express Lane”, vastly facilitating the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, Sefcovic said. “Similarly, a lorry transporting different food products, like dairy, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, from Great Britain to supermarkets in Northern Ireland will now just need one certificate stating that all goods of different types, class or description meet the requirements of EU legislation. On the one hand, the flow of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be facilitated for goods that are to stay in Northern Ireland,” he said, adding that on the other, robust safeguards and monitoring mechanisms should be put in place to make sure they stay in Northern Ireland. And we also aim to create a stronger link between the Northern Ireland Assembly and the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly”. This is possible, if the right safeguards are put in place, ranging from real time access to databases, to better market surveillance, to a termination clause,” the VP explained. In practice, British wholesalers of medicines will be able to continue supplying Northern Ireland from their current location in Great Britain, Sefcovic said, adding that they will not need to relocate infrastructure, including testing facilities, or regulatory functions to Northern Ireland or the European Union. “We are ready to put forward a legislative proposal to this end,” he said. “We also need specific safeguards in place, like clear labels and the ability to monitor every link of the supply chain. “With these proposals, I believe we could be in the homestretch when it comes to the Protocol,” he said. We have put a lot of hard work into this package, explored every possible angle of the Protocol, and at times, went beyond current EU law,” Sefcovic said. “Here, we propose to expand the scope of the existing scheme on ‘goods not at risk’ of entering the EU’s Single Market to a wider group of businesses and products. “The reason why I am so confident is simple. “We also propose to cut in half the customs formalities and processes that are required today for these goods. “Let me illustrate what this means: imagine you are a Northern Irish business importing products of animal origin, like yoghurt, cheese or chickens, from Great Britain. “Now turning to our first proposal: on medicines. We are talking about a significant range of retail goods that would be for sale to end consumers in Northern Ireland only. We are similarly ambitious in the third part of our package, concerning the customs area,” he said. Lastly, in response to a clear and strong demand on the ground, the EU is proposing ways to enhance the participation of Northern Irish authorities and stakeholders in the implementation of the Protocol, while fully respecting the UK’s constitutional order. These would benefit from both simplified certification and an approximately 80-percent reduction of checks and controls required today,” Sefcovic said. “Turning to the second part of our package: the area of public, plant and animal health and the movement of sanitary and phytosanitary goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Sefcovic says EU stands united behind Northern Ireland

By New Europe Online/KG

Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic speaks on the Commission's proposal on bespoke arrangements to respond to the difficulties that people in Northern Ireland have been experiencing because of Brexit. You may recall that during my visit to Belfast in September, I said that for my part, I would do whatever it takes to guarantee the uninterrupted long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Our proposed solutions are a direct, genuine response to concerns they have raised. “Ultimately, our number one priority remains to ensure that the hard-earned gains of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement – peace and stability – are protected, while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and maintaining the integrity of the EU Single Market. And indeed, we have completely turned our rules upside down and inside out to find a solid solution to an outstanding challenge. “If I were to label these proposed solutions, I would dub them the ‘package of enhanced opportunities.’ This is in fact our core purpose,” he added. For instance, a Northern Irish car dealer ordering car parts from Great Britain will only need to provide basic information to the customs authorities, such as the invoice value of the car parts and the parties to the transaction.

You always used it as a language in your films. NE: Regarding the scenes chosen for the film, did you want to create scenes similar to a painting to say that history repeats itself? Many reporters have been caught for this very reason. While Atlantis was set in 2025, after the imagined end of the war, his latest movie is set in 2014, during the first year of the conflict. We no longer talk about the war because it has been there for many years, but it is a duty to tell the public about torture. Were you inspired by someone? VV: It is very difficult for me to accept that there is still torture going on in Europe and that nothing can be done. VV: Yes, the pigeon story was true, and it happened while I was with my family. NE: Did the UN manage to intervene? NE: Were you ever afraid to tell this story and show torture in this way? The only solution to this is to end the war, but what can we do individually? VV: I like choosing the right location because I was a director of photography some years ago and that’s what I love to do the most. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Interview with Ukrainian filmmaker Valentyn Vasyanovych: The horrors of modern warfare in Eastern Europe come to life on the screen

By Federico Grandesso
Italian Editor, Journalist

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New Europe spoke with Ukrainian director Valentyn Vasyanovych, who was back at the Venice Film Festival, with his new film Reflection. VV: In the contemporary world, in which we have too much information, “new” news easily becomes “old” news. The war in Ukraine has been going on for many years now, but no one had ever talked about torture. That territory is occupied and no one can face or force the Russian secret services to stop it. I think it’s my mission to tell the world about these tortures. New Europe (NE): Should a director explain his film to the audience or not? The photograph was almost reminiscent of a painting by Caravaggio. It is up to the sensitivity of the individual viewer to find the details that strike them the most. VV: Personally, I’m not afraid, otherwise I wouldn’t have told it. There were feathers and blood left, that inspired me for the title of the film. We should stop the whole banking system that runs Russia, and everything related to raw materials (i.e. It is difficult to keep the public’s attention on anything, even a war. The image that the pigeon left on the window was very particular, it looked like that of a small fallen angel. Aesthetically, I wanted some sort of distance to make it tolerable for the public, despite its violence. NE: Was the pigeon story in the film true? Because it actually feels much stronger and harder to bear
VV: I prefer to give a complete picture of the scene because I want the viewer to be attentive to every detail. Has anything happened since the cases of torture have become known to the public? Like his 2019 drama, Atlantis, which won Best Picture in the Horizons section and was nominated for an Oscar in 2020, Reflection brings the horrors of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war right to the feet of the audience. He is captured by Russian military forces in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, where he is forced to assist his kidnappers and witness brutal torture and humiliation. I think it is absurd that in Europe these inhuman tortures are still happening and are almost more atrocious than the war itself. Instead, a director to share thoughts and opinions and listen to what really comes from outside. NE: In general, colors are used to give a particularly oppressive atmosphere. When you represent such a cruel theme as torture, in an artistic way, you have to convey that sense of oppression and violence. But I know that there are many Russian agents in Ukraine and I know that anything can happen. What did it mean? Valentyn Vasyanovych (VV): I believe that a director should create a dialogue with the audience about the film, but not explain it. I think there is a way to end the war. You can’t shoot a drama in a place full of beautiful colors. VV: No, I wasn’t thinking about the repetition of history, but it is true that I worked on the shots as if they were paintings to better render the atmosphere. A pigeon crashed into our window and this really affected my daughter, who started asking me a whole series of questions about life and death. Ukrainian surgeon Sergey (Roman Lutsky) is looking for work to cope with his daughter’s problems and finds life difficult when he spends time with his daughter, his ex-wife and new partner. In practice, the pigeon thought he was flying in the sky and instead crashed into a reflection of it, which is what happens to us when we dream of something or idealize it and then we collide with the reality of things. NE: Was this distance that is created in the film able to show torture as it is? I prefer to assemble the scene as if it were a mosaic to be built. gas, oil), but it is absolutely impossible to achieve. So, it depends on the sensitivity of whoever is watching. NE: Why did you choose to portray Ukraine’s war with Russia and the cases of torture that have occurred during the conflict? The right location is always a good start for a movie. How is it possible that nothing has been done yet?

Notwithstanding, trilateralism among the three states remains non-existent. Washington should convince Seoul that we cannot indefinitely dwell on the past and must not jeopardize the future. He must clarify that those are merely defensive measures taken against China’s coercion and intimidation of late. With increasingly well-developed power derived from economic growth and political stability, Beijing has emerged as a global power. Tokyo and Seoul’s long-lasting bitterness over the issue of comfort women and their constant territorial dispute over the Liancourt Rocks claimed by both Japan and South Korea (referred to as Takashima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean) in the Sea of Japan have severely damaged their relationship. However, this initiative, called the AUKUS security pact, may not be enough to influence the strategic environment in the region nor to encompass a free and open Indo-Pacific. The rise of Beijing and nuclear threats and sporadic missile launches from Pyongyang provide the primary basis for these relationships. This makes it imperative that the two bitter nations must resolve their differences. More importantly, the denuclearization negotiations have stalled for the past two years. It has become one of the most serious and credible threats to American hegemony. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>The need for trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

By Christopher Lee
Researcher focusing on geopolitical, military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. Understandably, China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific will shape the global community’s stability and future. These collective factors foment the political imbalance that hinders cohesion between the two countries and precludes trilateralism from smoothly operating as a unified body. Future decades may see even more significant increases in Chinese power and influence. In short, an evolving regional security climate prompted Japan to expand the role of its national self-defense forces for purposes of its survival. Likewise, while in South Korea, President Biden should reaffirm Washington’s commitment to a stronger alliance with Seoul and its people. Recent cruise missile launches show that Kim is fulfilling his promise to establish diverse and sophisticated means to deliver nuclear weapons. Second, President Biden should act as a mediator to bring the US’ two biggest allies – Japan and South Korea – together. The US recently unveiled this same triangle concept – to build a bulwark against China – with Australia and the United Kingdom to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific. The US alone cannot uphold trilateralism – as it is a triangle – that depends on harmony and balance between three countries striving for a better, more connected future. He is a graduate of West Point and holds an MA from Columbia University. All share strong democratic values, and Washington is a security partner of Tokyo and Seoul, committed to their defense due to defense treaties with both in 1953 and 1960, respectively. Biden should remind Moon that recent developments in North Korea call for more fierce endeavors for denuclearization. Triumphant trilateral cooperation means a more demanding security commitment in the Indo-Pacific to restrain China’s economic growth and deter it from its coercion and intimidation. Therefore, enhanced trilateral cooperation to deter North Korea’s provocation is imperative. While showing compassion towards the Korea fatigue concerning the comfort women issue, he should persuade Prime Minister Kishida to discontinue Japan’s provoking rhetoric – such as paying homage to the controversial Yasukuni shrine – regarding the matter. Therefore, a revamped security partnership between the US, Japan, and South Korea is essential to counter China’s dominance and prevent North Korea’s provocation. During future visits to Tokyo, President Biden should practice great diplomacy to unite his fellow ally state rather than an affront. That said, the US can mitigate this crisis by also forming a similar trilateral security partnership with Japan and South Korea. In a Joint Statement released at the summit talks between President Biden and South Korean President Moon, Jae-In on May 21, 2021, they launched a plan to facilitate trilateral cooperation over the North Korea problem set. Should Japan and South Korea fail to reconcile, then trilateralism’s ability to work as a reputable concept is doomed, and all the stakeholders fail to protect their interests. Concurrently, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un continues to defy United Nations Security Council resolutions by launching ballistic missiles and fortifying his nuclear weapons programs. Beijing’s influential regional power, its foreign policy, and economic strong-arm tactics play a substantial role in reforming international institutions that are consistent with its global status. Also, Biden should endorse that Tokyo’s latest security and defense reforms do not signal remilitarization. Along the same lines, the trilateral cooperation will neutralize the North Korean threat and complete America’s strategic rebalancing towards the Indo-Pacific. Accordingly, the ongoing strain between Tokyo and Seoul upsets the required balance and deteriorates Washington’s mission – to achieve peace and prosperity – in the Indo-Pacific. The president should emphasize to Moon that a volatile, yet nuclear North Korea still exists in the Korean Peninsula to date and is the actual threat to his country. Losing either one of these longstanding allies – Japan and the South Korea – would be devastating to the US  That said, to achieve rapprochement between the two, President Biden should act firmly to repair relations. To exacerbate the situation, North Korea presents an immediate threat to the Indo-Pacific and even the continental US  Pyongyang has been steadily developing its weapons systems to include its nuclear arsenal. The support remains high in both countries for the continuation of these alliances in the foreseeable future. In case of Pyongyang’s demise, Seoul should review collapse scenarios and develop joint contingency plans with Tokyo to potentially respond to this. The ongoing comfort women issue and island disputes between Japan and the ROK have mostly forced the US to play a lesser role instead of directly stressing the importance of good relations. American and South Korean military police stand guard at the border separating the Communist North from the South. In addition, President Biden must highlight that the cooperation between the US, Japan, and the ROK is critical to resolving a range of political challenges provided by China and North Korea. Because of their posture in the Indo-Pacific, a trilateral security partnership between the US-Japan-South Korea possesses better defensive measures than the AUKUS to contain China and in the event that Kim acts on his threats. With a new administration established for Japan, it is time to revisit the idea of trilateralism among these three nations. Facebook

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A coercive China and a nuclear North Korea are peripherally affecting the U.S.’ security interests in the Indo-Pacific. The two leaders called for the significance of trilateral cooperation (US-Japan-South Korea) for the denuclearization of North Korea. Nevertheless, Washington could assist Tokyo and Seoul to rise above their historical disputes by facilitating an amicable agreement between President Moon and Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. One cannot deny that China’s extraordinary economic growth and active diplomacy are already transforming the Indo-Pacific. President Biden should also encourage Moon to accept Tokyo’s sincere apology regarding comfort women and move on from this troubling part of history. Therefore, Biden must convince Moon and Kishida to work toward a better future for the next generation. Given contested territorial rights, interconnected economies and shifting politics in the Indo-Pacific, all the stakeholders share a common interest: instituting a united front against China’s intimidation and containing an unpredictable North Korea. With less than 10 months before his five-year term ends, Moon has yet to visit Japan. It seems that Japan is willing to forget the past, but the ROK cannot see beyond history.

“The Commission is looking at whether there is some form of technical assistance that can be offered. “Whoever has it, is the kingmaker and Moldova did not have it – that was the problem, always,” she added. “The original catalyst for Nord Stream 1 was the disruption of gas transit across Ukraine in 2009. With a length of about 150 kilometers, of which 110 kilometers on the territory of Moldova, Iasi-Ungheni IP interconnects the networks of gas from Romania and Moldova, providing Moldova access to the European energy market. “We saw during our visit that Republic of Moldova is ready to embark on pro-European reforms. The price of political stubbornness,” Weafer argued. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU mulls technical assistance to Moldova amid Russian gas shortage crisis

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

A pumping station of the Moldovan-Romanian gas pipeline. Antonia Colibasanu, chief operating officer, senior analyst at Geopolitical Futures, told New Europe on October 12 all this is political. Moldova has asked neighbouring Romanian TSO which is working to complete its interconnector this month when it was going to bring it online. EPA/DUMITRU DORU/FILE PICTURE

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The European Union is looking for ways to help Moldova following a supply shortage of natural gas and the absence of a new energy deal with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, a European Commission source told New Europe. Transit country problem
Weafer noted that the issue, as stated by Gazprom, is the terms it is being offered by transit countries. The company points out that even this summer, when it suffered a production disruption due to the fire at Novyi Urengoi (this is a source of gas delivered via the Yamal -Europe pipeline), the company used gas from its domestic storage to fulfil delivery contracts. According to Weafer, gas supplies to Germany increased by 39%, to Italy by 15%, to Romania by 344%, to Serbia by 124%, to Poland by 12%, to Bulgaria by 51%, to Greece by 16%, and to Finland by 23%. Moldova wants to negotiate gas supplies from neighbouring Romania and Ukraine while hoping to sign a new contract with Gazprom by the end of October. But there should not be”. said on October 15 the European Union, but also bilaterally, as EU member states, have discussed with Sandu how they can help Moldova in concrete terms. Hence, the company has booked only a third of transit capacity through Poland for October and has not taken any ‘spot’ or ‘informal’ transit through Ukraine,” Weafer said. follow on twitter @energyinsider Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan, Vice President of the EPP. After that, Germany decided it no longer wants to take transit country risk and opted for Nord Stream 1 and then Nord Stream 2 to ensure it has a reliable route which would not be subject to political disruptions,” Weafer argued. Hence it now needs to rebuild these before Russian winter,” he argued. Caught in a struggle for influence between Moscow and the West, Moldova elected pro-EU President Maia Sandu last year. Gazprom boosted exports in August alone by 18% month on month to 16.8 billion cubic meters (bcm). And this is exactly what I expected to see with the current energy problem”. Colibasanu told New Europe that was the purpose for which the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline was built. So maybe I am wrong and there was some political change over the distribution system,” Colibasanu said. This EU neighbouring country deserves now our support more than ever. Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement (Oliver) Varhelyi has already discussed the situation with the Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu,” the source said on October 13. “Republic of Moldova needs our help now more than ever. This is because the transit country could cancel the spot arrangement at any time and leave Gazprom not able to deliver to customers. Moldova’s State Commission for Exceptional Situations has reportedly declared a “state of alert” in the gas sector. Gazprom is seeking to recover this debt and not have it grow even higher, Weafer said. “The only problem that I know of is that while Romania can supply, it is Russia (Gazprom) who has control over the Moldovan Transmission system. “It clearly is absurd, i.e., political, to say that Russia is causing the price spike in Europe,” Weafer argued. Asked if she expects this problem with Russian gas supplies to be resolved any time soon, Colibasanu said, “I don’t, really. “Gazprom always positions itself as a reliable provider and has never not delivered on a contract. “Gazprom is also increasing the volume of gas it is adding to domestic storage, as concerns about gas availability in the event of a very cold winter, are not exclusive to EU states,” he said. “Gazprom says that it is using all available ‘fixed transit’ terms but refuses to take the risk of ‘spot transit’. High oil prices
Asked if high gas prices are affected by high oil prices, Weafer said, “One may ask the other way round given that the price of Brent is up 64% since the start of the year while the gas price is a multiple of that higher”. President Sandu told DW in the summer that neither she nor the government would negotiate gas prices with Gazprom, as this should be handled by the leadership of Moldovagaz. The total amount of Moldovagaz’s debt to Gazprom as of November 2020 was estimated at $7.24 billion, the Moldovagaz press service reported. It is out duty to help now,” Muresan wrote in a tweet. Being 100% dependent on Russian gas makes it more vulnerable than any other European country in face of increased energy prices. So that is the problem. The average price based on the previous contract was approximately $200 per 1,000 cubic meters. Moldova said that it is in negotiations with Gazprom for a new contract but, at the same time, states publicly that it is also looking for gas elsewhere, Chris Weafer, co-founder of Macro-Advisory in Moscow, told New Europe on October 15, noting that Gazprom and Moldovagaz — itself 50% owned by Gazprom — signed a 1-month contract extension of the previous contract but at the new price of $790 per 1,000 cubic meters. It is our duty to help now,” he wrote. There is no mathematical correlation between the two energy sources, at least not over the short to medium term, as users can not switch from one to the other without major investment,” Weafer said, adding, “But there is an indirect psychological impact in that, as we have seen many times historically, when one energy price rises it does term to drag others with it. I have not checked on how much maneuvering the current government can do. “When completed it can do the job,” she said. Weafer said gas supplies from Russia to Europe in 2021 are at historic highs as Gazprom has increased gas production by 18.4% year-on-year and gas exports to Europe in the first half of 2021 grew by 31.5 billion cubic meters, or 33%. “It means that Moldova was very late starting to look for a contract extension and prices moved badly against them in this period.

The new supporters are Canada, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malta, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Sweden, and Togo. Successful implementation of the Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050. The EU, the US, and other early supporters will continue to enlist additional countries to join the Global Methane Pledge, ahead of its formal launch at COP26. The co-convenors and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen affirmed the critical importance of rapidly reducing methane emissions as the single most effective strategy to reduce near-term global warming and keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach, the EU Commission said in a press release. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU-US mobilise further support for Global Methane Pledge

By New Europe Online/KG

Frans Timmermans, European Commission’s Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal with John Kerry during the PreCop26 event in Milan, Italy

EU Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who leads the EU's international negotiations on climate, and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry meet in Milan, Italy, October 2, 2021. At the MEF on September 17, President Ursula von der Leyen and President Joe Biden announced, with support from seven additional countries, the Global Methane Pledge—an initiative to be launched at the World Leaders Summit at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Countries joining the Global Methane Pledge commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030 and moving towards using highest tier IPCC good practice inventory methodologies to quantify methane emissions, with a particular focus on high emission sources. With these commitments, 9 of the world’s top 20 methane emitters are now participating in the Pledge, representing about 30% of global methane emissions and 60% of the global economy. In addition, more than 20 philanthropies announced combined commitments of over $200 million to support implementation of the Global Methane Pledge. EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/PIERO CRUCIATTI

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Ahead of the UN climate summit in Glasgow, European Union Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who leads the EU’s international negotiations on climate, and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry hosted on October 11 a virtual ministerial meeting to mobilise further support for the Global Methane Pledge. Following initial announcement of support by Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), 24 new countries announced on October 11 that they will join the Global Methane Pledge. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accounts for about half of the 1.0 degree Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era, making methane action an essential complement of energy sector decarbonisation.

The authorisation procedures for new wind farms in France have been significantly delayed, making the current pace of build-out inconsistent with France’s PPE. These 10 measures provide for even higher standards of project appraisal at regional level, with prefects mapping out suitable areas for new wind farms, take account of local environmental issues, and the appointment of a mediator at the Ministry. This expansion is indispensable for a successful energy transition, not just to get more renewables in electricity but to help decarbonise the rest of France’s energy mix, notably in industry and transport. And there’ll be increased support for community projects and the creation of a Fund for the safeguarding of local natural and cultural heritage, Dickson said. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Responsible deployment of wind to help energy transition in France

By New Europe Online/KG

France's Programmation Pluriannuelle de l’Énergie (PPE). Wind is now 8% of France’s electricity and holds second place in renewable energy production after hydropower. And the sector contributed €220m in local tax revenues last year, primarily to small and rural municipalities. France aims to have 34 GW of onshore wind by 2028, up from 18 GW today, according to its Programmation Pluriannuelle de l’Énergie (PPE). 80% of French people think wind has an important role to play in the energy transition. They were tabled in parallel with the launch of a new platform by the wind sector listing 19 propositions aimed at enriching the debate around the future of wind energy in France. This will ensure high standards in environmental protection, happy coexistence with local communities and preservation of France’s cultural heritage, Dickson said. Permitting remains too slow and too complex, Dickson said. They also give strong guarantees to local residents with limitations on noise and light emissions, and end-of-life rules such as the removal of turbine foundations – plus new recycling targets. Last week the French Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, and representatives of the wind industry jointly presented 10 measures for a “controlled and responsible” deployment of wind. Hybrid wind and solar projects should also be further encouraged. Local mayors will now also be more involved in the expansion of wind with the creation of regional “energy committees”. According to the WindEurope CEO, these measures are the result of a successful collaboration between Government and industry. Major investments in the grid are also needed to ensure that the electricity produced locally by wind can reach its final consumers. The share of electricity produced by wind in France exceeded that of fossil fuels last year for the first time ever. Fossil fuels currently account for 60-70% of France’s total energy mix. 23,000 people work in wind in France and this number is rising. And the EU must get its new State Aid Rules right to accelerate the deployment of wind, crucially by allowing national governments to hold technology-specific auctions, design good revenue stabilisation mechanisms such as two-sided Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and to support storage and renewable hydrogen technologies. According to Dickson, wind energy is not only a must-have for France and other countries to reach their climate targets, it also benefits their society and local communities. But France isn’t building enough renewables to deliver its decarbonisation goals: it’s building only 1.3 GW of new onshore wind each year when it should be building 2 GW. Facebook

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Wind energy is indispensable for a successful energy transition in France and it brings additional benefits to citizens, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told the 11th Colloque National Éolien in Paris, organised by France Énergie Éolienne, on October 14.