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Iranian-Saudi Negotiations

Iranian-Saudi Negotiations

The fifth round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran took place in late April this year. Previous talks have focused mainly on issues concerning pilgrimage to Mecca and have been led by lower-level officials. The latest talks involve the foreign ministries of both countries, which indicates the willingness of both sides to bring “their own efforts” (without U.S. involvement) to resolve the most difficult conflicts in the region that pose a threat to their economies.

Saudi Arabia. 9.6% GDP Growth in Q1 2022

Saudi Arabia. 9.6% GDP Growth in Q1 2022

The government of Saudi Arabia (the world’s largest oil exporter) says preliminary estimates indicate that the country’s economy grew by 9.6% in Q1 2022, and if those estimates are confirmed, it will be the highest growth rate since 2011, according to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

Siemens Departs Russia Over War with Ukraine

Siemens Departs Russia Over War with Ukraine

Siemens stated this Thursday, that it will exit the Russian market, due to the war in Ukraine resulting in losses and charges, which led to lower profits during its fiscal second quarter, at its train-making business.

Biden will participate in the QUAD Summit in Japan

Biden will participate in the QUAD Summit in Japan

The summit of the states associated in the QUAD alliance is to be held on May 24, 2022. QUAD is a partnership between Australia, the United States, Japan and India with the unofficial goal of repelling Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific. The planned meeting of the leaders of the allied countries is an important item in the foreign policy of the Joe Biden administration in the context of growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific.

Ukraine’s Kharkiv Offensive Foiled Russian Plans

Ukraine’s Kharkiv Offensive Foiled Russian Plans

The Ukrainian offensive near Kharkiv, which started in early May, is the first large-scale operation Kyiv started since the war has broken out. Indeed, Ukrainian forces recaptured considerable areas in the country’s north and northeast from where Russian troops had withdrawn. By their successful assault east of Kharkiv and some earlier efforts throughout the region, Ukrainian forces show their attempts to seize areas in the south are not just an empty boast.

Russia Targets Ukrainian Energy Facilities, Attacks Refineries, Siphons Off Gas

Russia Targets Ukrainian Energy Facilities, Attacks Refineries, Siphons Off Gas

Kyiv halted the use of a major transit route blaming interference by occupying Russian forces, the first time exports via Ukraine have been disrupted since the invasion. Kyiv says Russia intensifying its assault with attacks reported on oil facilities. The goal is to curb the fuel supplies available and cripple the whole economy.

The United States cautions Solomon Islands against cooperation with China

The United States cautions Solomon Islands against cooperation with China

Tensions are mounting in the Pacific after China began working with Australia’s immediate neighborhood, the Solomon Islands. The agreement concluded by the Beijing administration with representatives of the island state provides for the possibility of Beijing sending forces to “help maintain social order”. The US does not rule out military action if the Chinese decide to develop their permanent base on the territory of the Solomon Islands.

When Zelenskyy mentions Verdun: moving for convincing

When Zelenskyy mentions Verdun: moving for convincing

In addressing the French parliamentarians on March 23rd, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for “more help” and “more support”. To convince his audience, he compared Mariupol to Verdun. The memory of the Great War is important for French people and Zelenskyy knew it as he unfolded his argumentative speech.

Sanctions Against Russian Technology Companies

Sanctions Against Russian Technology Companies

Since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the European Union (EU) countries and the United States have been tightening export restrictions on Russia and Belarus. Their aim is to increase pressure on Moscow and Minsk as well as force the aggressors to stop escalating the conflict.

Prospects For Ukraine Joining NATO Are Dim

Prospects For Ukraine Joining NATO Are Dim

Kyiv is insisting on the set of peace proposals it submitted in late March in Turkey. The proposals mean that Ukraine would not host any military bases in exchange for security guarantees from most countries, including Russia. But recent occurrings may make Kyiv change its position.

No Armored Battle In Ukraine’s Donbas And On Southern Front

No Armored Battle In Ukraine’s Donbas And On Southern Front

The much-debated battle of Donbas unfolds differently than some expected. Vladimir Putin cannot announce the Russian seizure of the whole regions of Donetsk and Luhansk on May 9. Perhaps Russian forces will not be able to seize the very last Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol, either. They are seeking to attain some goals in the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia. A Russian invasion of Odesa or Kryvyi Rih is unlikely to succeed.

Russia Cuts Off Gas To Poland, Bulgaria

Russia Cuts Off Gas To Poland, Bulgaria

Russia’s Gazprom cut Poland and Bulgaria off from its gas for refusing to pay in roubles, which was a purely political move. Moscow somehow had to respond to the fact that European clients had rejected Vladimir Putin’s demand that foreign purchasers of Russian gas pay in the Russian currency. It was the Kremlin’s tit-for-tat move after the West imposed a batch of sanctions that crippled the Russian currency. It was a brazen demand as Putin’s demand to pay in roubles was a breach of contract. Once it is met, EU recipients would violate the sanctions against Russia. Putin thus incites some discrepancies within the EU while seeking to display the bloc’s weakness at the time of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany Ready To Confiscate Rosneft Oil Assets

Germany Ready To Confiscate Rosneft Oil Assets

The biggest Russian oil company is unable to award a tender to sell oil while Germany has signaled a change of control at the country’s Schwedt oil refinery that is run by Rosneft. In a major shift in its stance, Germany says it is prepared to ditch Russian oil supplies. Its cooperation with Poland could be vital in this context.

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