- The Guardian
- Issue #2084
NAURU: Nauru switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, leaving Taiwan with only 12 diplomatic allies that recognise it as a sovereign state. Nauru’s decision came only two days after Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections. The Nauruan government considered the move to be “in the best interests” of the country and its people to seek full resumption of diplomatic relations with China. “This change is in no way intended to affect our existing warm relationship with other countries,” the Nauru government stated.
RUSSIA: Russia is preparing legislation to ban British fishermen from the Barents Sea. It’s one of the biggest and richest fisheries for cod and haddock in the world. The move to end the 1956 Fisheries Agreement with the UK comes in response to the termination of Russia’s most favoured nation trade status by the UK in March 2023. The 1956 Fisheries Agreement, originally between the USSR and the UK, granted British fishing boats the right to operate in the waters of the Barents Sea along the coast of the Kola Peninsula and other areas.
PAKISTAN: The recent flare-up in Pakistan-Iran relations seems to have been resolved without becoming a full-scale military confrontation. The British partition of India in 1947 resulted in dividing that particular part of the territory between Pakistan and Iran. The region on both sides of the border is home to some separatist and terrorist groups. A series of terrorists’ attacks in Iran provoked a retaliatory action against the perpetrators on Pakistani territory. Pakistan’s response was to launch a similar attack against Iran. High-profile US publications were very quick to report on these events and gave full support to Pakistan. It’s an open secret that the west is trying very hard to push Iran into military confrontation in the region. An additional reason for creating another problem in the region is the disruption of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that runs through Iran and Pakistan. The geopolitical chaos benefits the US and its allies’ interests as it disrupts China’s project. However, Pakistan and Iran have managed to avoid further escalation by diplomatic means.
NATO: Around 90,000 NATO military personnel will take part in the largest war exercises in Europe, ‘Steadfast Defender 24’ from February to the end of May. Under NATO new defence plans, its chief adversaries are Russia and terrorist organisations. US General Christopher Cavoli, NATO’s supreme allied commander said that “the alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area via transatlantic movement of forces from North America” and it would demonstrate “our unity, our strength and our determination to protect each other.”
LITHUANIA: The Lithuanian Economy Minister, Aušrinė Armonaitė has appealed to citizens to invest in the defence industry, telling them to “invest in tanks” rather than keeping their savings to themselves. She insisted that the government should be more active in telling the people what’s expected of them. “There are ways, for example to borrow money from residents [for military spending],” Armonaitė said, while pointing out that citizens should not expect substantial returns on any investments. “I have heard criticism of the idea of such bonds, but there is a lot of money that people still have. Maybe it’s better to stop keeping it in a sock, but to invest in a tank,” she stressed. That’s what is called a true NATO spirit!