In the period April – September, the Warsaw Institute had the honor to perform the public task “The Young Sovran – 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence.” The project was co-financed by the Multiannual Program “Niepodległa” (“Sovereign”) for 2017-2022.
As part of the task, the Warsaw Institute conducted four expert meetings, which took the form of discussions, debates, and lectures. The following events were organized.
Shortly before the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, back when Donald Trump was in power, Poland and the United States signed a strategic agreement to cooperate on the development of the former country’s civil nuclear power program.
Yang Jiechi, a Member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, met with Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, in Zurich, Switzerland on October 6. The summit was widely regarded as successful. Chinese experts note that bilateral relations are improving, but are also aware of the long-standing rivalry between the two countries.
In recent weeks, China has been facing a severe electricity shortage, which affected millions of households and manufacturing companies. The problem is particularly grave in the northeastern provinces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Moldova is now on the verge of a gas crisis after Russia imposed exorbitant conditions for gas supplies. Gazprom seeks to repeat the same scenario in Romania. In addition, Russia is waging an information campaign involving ambassadors and President Putin himself to force the EU, now in the middle of an energy crisis, into concessions to Gazprom, and to be able to launch the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. At the same time, Moscow no longer hides that halting gas transit through Ukraine is just a matter of time.
In recent months, there have been protests by the Muslim population which have rapidly taken on a tense, aggressive and violent character. Arabs clashed with the law enforcement forces and there have been reports of individual incidents of violence against the Jewish population. On the other hand, a march was organized by Jewish nationalists in Jerusalem, who attacked counter-demonstrators. Over time, the clashes developed into a large-scale incident, with Arab youths confronting the police, resulting in dozens of officers and several hundred young people being injured.
Relations between the governments of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) have been, from a geopolitical standpoint, one of the hotspots in the Asia-Pacific region since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The administration of the incumbent President of the PRC Xi Jinping is emphasizing the special role of the island in Chinese policy and strategy.
On September 29, 2021, Fumio Kishida won the vote for the leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He took office as the country’s Prime Minister on October 4. Chinese media note that he is known for a moderate stance, but during the election campaign he made accusations against China. Nevertheless, a change in Beijing’s foreign policy to an even more confrontational one should not be expected.
Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev accused Washington of meddling in the recent State Duma elections and fueling tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. For his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there was a risk that U.S.-Russian relations could worsen, a comment he made during the visit of U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland to Moscow. This was the first top-level U.S.-Russia meeting since a summit in Geneva where the presidents of the United States and Russia held talks.
State authorities in Russia are seeking to break the deadlock in relations with the Taliban and gain some influence in Kabul, hence an idea of an international conference in Moscow, attended by new Afghan authorities. So far, the Taliban have reneged on promises to make their government more inclusive, contrary to what Moscow had expected. Russia and China are urging the Taliban to take Afghanistan on a more moderate political course to facilitate international recognition of the new government of the Central Asian country.
In just a couple of days, Russia’s biggest oil and gas company announced it would mark a significant footprint in Caspian gas and crude oil exploration in Azerbaijan. Lukoil has bought shares from BP and Petronas, following approval from Azeri authorities.
The period after the end of World War II was a time when European countries had to rebuild damaged economies. Nonetheless, the Swedish economy was soaring as the country’s authorities continued to trade with both sides for most of the war. A stable economic policy was followed since the early years of the twentieth century despite two world wars.
The fall in Vladimir Putin’s popularity ratings is bucking the trend. So is that of the public trust in the army yet it came first in the popularity ratings. The trust in secret services is also falling dramatically but is far higher than that for the Orthodox Church and media outlets. This shows that the Russian regime is now redoing so state authorities resort to fraudulent, manipulative, and forcible practices more often than before.
In early September 2021, Polish authorities donated 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, which was enthusiastically welcomed by Taipei. However, this does not translate to a deterioration of relations between Warsaw and Beijing and a sudden strong support for Taiwan in its efforts to be recognized as an independent state.
On October 5, 2021, Liliana Śmiech, Director of the Analysis in the Warsaw Institute met with the Polish Ambassador to Germany, Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Przyłębski. The conversation concerned the aftermath of this year’s elections in Germany.
The price of gas commodities contracted for November is now four times higher in Europe than last year. If this winter is similar to the last one, the European Union will face a major energy crisis. Gazprom is taking advantage of the whole situation to push for European concessions on Nord Stream 2.
Possibly by sending its gas through Ukraine, Russia could refrain from offering more generous support to pro-Kremlin rebel fighters while the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could come as a threat to both energy and national security of many European states.
On June 29 and 30, 2021, the Defence24Day x SOFAST conference was held, the media partner of which was the Warsaw Institute. Among the invited speakers there were, among others Mariusz Błaszczak Polish Minister of National Defense, Paweł Soloch Head of the National Security Bureau, Wojciech Skurkiewicz Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense and the Polish Ambassador to NATO Headquarters Tomasz Szatkowski.
The conclusion of a deferred prosecution agreement between the US Department of Justice and Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO in Canada, allowed her to return to China and end the house arrest she had been under since December 2018. At that time, Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada at the request of US authorities on suspicion of helping to violate sanctions on the Iranian government. The case of Huawei’s CFO has been widely reported by Chinese media.
Russia’s oil giant Lukoil would help Kazakhstan develop oil fields located in its portion of the Caspian Sea, according to Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The statement was made during the 17th Interregional Cooperation Forum of Kazakhstan and Russia held online on September 30.