Warsaw Institute Articles
On March 29, 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Secretariat General of the Arab League held a video conference on data security. During it, a joint agreement on China-Arab cooperation in this field was signed.
In the October of 2019 Facebook have removed a dozen of authentically looking fake profiles, which have worked together in a coordinated way to gain influence and carry out a disinformation campaign in Africa – all the fake profiles could be connected to Russia. The profiles could be connected to a well-known oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is a very close ally of President Vladimir Putin.
Two Russian diplomats flew back to Moscow on April 1 as Italy expelled them shortly before. Employees of the Russian embassy’s military attache were involved in a spy scandal as an Italian naval officer was detained on March 30 on spying charges, marking the most serious espionage incident since the Cold War. This may bring severe consequences since Italy is one of the countries within the European Union and NATO with the warmest relations with Russia. Another nation having such a cordial link to Russia is Bulgaria whose authorities smashed a Russian spy ring a dozen or so days ago.
On the verge of the third decade of the twenty-first century and after many years of being associated with operations abroad, the North Atlantic Alliance is returning to its roots by performing missions to ensure collective defense. What remains the chief adversary of NATO is Russia, but the military bloc is also aware of the China challenge.
On March 22, the European Union, along with the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, imposed personal sanctions on four Chinese officials responsible for repression in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. This was the first such act since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. In retaliation, Beijing introduced penalties on the members of the European Parliament, scientists and research centers that criticized the activities of the CCP.
Throughout 2020, U.S. companies bought a great deal of crude oil and related products from Russia. Nonetheless, this is a brief situation and has no political background. The United States remains self-sufficient for fuels and the recent increase in imports from Russia stems mostly from its struggle to keep output at a constant level amid the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, these are just temporary problems.
72 years ago, on April 4, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. As a result, NATO, the most important defense organization in the world, was officially established. After the Cold War, despite initial skepticism, the organization gradually began to open up to new members.
The Russians are sure to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on time. As the U.S. administration has not introduced any new sanctions, Russia is going ahead with the construction of its controversial energy link. Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for carrying Russian natural gas to Europe will be completed this year, Viktor Zubkov, the chairman of Gazprom’s board of directors, said on March 26 while visiting Berlin. Gazprom’s board chairman said that work on Nord Stream 2 was already 92.5 percent complete while intense work was underway to complete the link.
Tensions are on the rise on the frontline in Donbas. Last Friday, on March 26, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in shelling as Russian forces and pro-Russian separatist fighters opened fire. Among the killed was Lieutenant Colonel Serhiy Koval. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the leaders of the so-called Normandy Format, a diplomatic process involving Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France aimed at resolving the conflict, to tackle the conflict amid the increase in fighting in Donbas.
The arrest and then the removal of the governor of the Penza region on suspicion of taking a bribe suggests a new wave of criminal cases against senior officials in Russia. Right before the election, the Kremlin seeks to accomplish two goals: show people that the government is ruthlessly pursuing high-level corruption cases and discipline local elites ahead of the State Duma vote in September this year. Targeting the governor of Penza shows that even those officials who are most loyal to the Kremlin cannot feel secure in their positions.
Tatyana Voronova, a senior official in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, has got a lucrative job in the private energy giant Novatek. Voronova has long been a protege of Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament. These two in the past worked together in the Kremlin.
The first talks between senior US and Chinese officials were held in Anchorage, Alaska on March 19 and 20. The Chinese pro-government media outlets and people associated with the Chinese Communist Party commented on the tense atmosphere and mutual accusations among the participants.
The State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, has approved a law that gives the incumbent president the right to run for two more terms. Importantly, the new legislation resets all presidential terms held before the updates came into effect. This means that Vladimir Putin is eligible to serve as Russian president for two more terms once his current one expires.
The Russian government approved a development program for liquefied natural gas (LNG), as earlier prepared by the Ministry of Energy. The paper sets LNG exports as a priority and stipulates the opening of as many as ten new gas liquefaction facilities.