SE Asia politics, CEE relations, strategic communication
Robert Rajczyk is a journalist and political scientist. He is an assistant professor at the University of Silesia. He specializes in the analysis of policies in the CEE&SE Asia regions as well as mass communication and propaganda. He has been Taiwan Fellowship’s Programme recipient in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
A new chapter in the Russia-Ukraine war was a turning point for the security architecture in Europe. Although plainly local and between two states, the war in Ukraine is a proxy war that involves NATO and EU states and the Russian Federation. In consequence, other countries could be dragged into the conflict, including those that remain in the sphere of influence for many superpowers.
Representatives of all the most important countries located in the Indo-Pacific region met during the 21st Asia Shangri-La Security Summit in Singapore. Representatives of 42 countries attended the summit, including 37 delegates at ministerial level and over 30 senior defense officials. The Singapore meeting was an occasion for talks by leading allies opposing Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific region, led by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
At the beginning, the historic significance of the summit was explained by NATO’s Deputy General Secretary Mircea Geoana at the NATO Public Forum: “It is the most important summit for generations. Generations that never believed that after the atrocities of the First and Second World War, war is still possible in our continent. It shattered the assumptions in which our societies, our security, our economies were built.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Nowak visited the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. He met with Anton Alikhanov, the region’s governor, to discuss efforts to strengthen the exclave’s energy security. Perhaps Russia is seeking to go tit-for-tat after Lithuania had banned the transit of some goods to the Kaliningrad region over EU sanctions.
The fierce Ukrainian defense operation in Donbas serves its purpose: as more troops are killed and the Ukrainian army is running short of weapons, Ukrainian forces try to encircle many Russian troops in a relatively small area. It takes a few weeks for Russian troops to claim a major town or city in Ukraine. But they have no military potential to conduct campaigns elsewhere. The authorities in Kyiv seem to have adopted a strategy that consists in delivering heavy losses to the enemy, but this comes at a substantial cost for Ukraine, too. Its officials hope to receive more advanced heavy weapons and additional financial support to stave off Russia’s unprovoked invasion. This tactic needs to bring fruits.
India is seeking to double down on Russian oil imports while Russia is sending more oil from its Kozmino port in the Far East. China suspends imports while other countries, including Sri Lanka, evince growing interest in Russian hydrocarbons. Russia sells oil at heavy discounts, overtaking oil-rich Gulf monarchies that would send its hydrocarbons to the east. They are forced to cut oil prices to make Russian oil less attractive in the long run.
State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, received a draft federal law on “special economic measures” that in fact introduced a centrally planned economy and make private businesses dependent on the state.
Quite surprisingly, Russian gas giant Gazprom has decided not to pay dividends on last year’s results, which were record high.
The price of Russian gas for Moldova increased by 11 percent, to $980 per thousand cubic meters in July, the head of state energy firm Moldovagaz Vadim Ceban said in a statement. Moldova has so far paid $880 per thousand cubic meters of gas.
There has been an increased number of attacks against pro-Kremlin officials in Ukrainian regions that have come under Moscow control, notably in Kherson and Zaporizhia. The southeastern city of Melitopol has been at the heart of the Ukrainian resistance movement while there have been more attacks targeting Russian troops in Kherson and adjacent villages.