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Monthly Review June 2020

Monthly Review June 2020

Europe

France vs. Turkey and Russia

On June 22, French President Emmanuelle Macron declared at a joint press conference with Tunisian President Kais Said that “Turkey plays a dangerous game in Libya”. Later Macron also accused Russia of interference in the Libyan conflict. On June 29, French President said he was concerned about the presence of PMC Wagner in the region.

Earlier, the French Ministry of Defense reported that a Turkish warship off the coast of Libya refused to carry out an order to inspect the cargo from a French ship participating in the NATO operation. The French military suspected that the ship was transporting weapons to Libya. In response, the Turkish ship took aim of the French ship using a missile guidance radar system, which Paris assessed as “extremely aggressive”.

Franco-Turkish conflict as a symptom of NATO’s death

France supports Khalifa Haftar in Libya. However, it is now actively opposing both Turkey (which supports the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, or GNA) and Russia, which is also more sympathetic to Haftar, and Paris. Obviously, the French leader is concerned about the growing influence  of both countries in Libya and hopes to drive them out of the region altogether. However, Turkey is still the main target, as Paris and Ankara have a variety of problems with one another, including France’s ousting Turkey from the Eastern Mediterranean and Paris’ support for the PKK.

Alliance of contradictions: Turkey has no place in NATO

Prosecution of the President of Kosovo

On June 24, the Kosovo War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague accused the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, of war crimes, including one hundred murders and numerous instances of torture, kidnappings and rape. In addition, nine of his former fighters were indicted.

Hashim Thaçi is the founder of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which fought for independence from Serbia. In early 2016, he became president of the partially recognised Republic of Kosovo. As a result of the prosecution, a summit in Washington involving Thaçi and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was disrupted. Negotiations and a possible agreement between Thaçi and Vucic could have opened the doors to Serbia to the EU and NATO, but the process is currently at an impasse.

Withdrawal of American troops from Germany

The number of American military personnel in Germany will be reduced to 25,000, US President Donald Trump said on Monday. According to him, the decision was made because Germany has not fulfilled its obligations on financing NATO. He specified that about 52,000 US servicemen are currently in Germany.

On June 24, during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump said that some troops from Germany will be redeployed to Poland.

The issue of the American troops in Germany demonstrates the duality of the Trump administration’s policy. On the one hand, it operates within the paradigm of American isolationism demanded by its electorate, reducing military presence in Germany, believing that the US is not obliged to ensure the security of Germany.

On the other hand, troops will likely just be moved to other zones around the world, including Poland, closer to Russia’s borders. It is not excluded that part of the troops will be in the Middle East or the Pacific region. This means that the US is only restructuring its hegemony, but will not abandon it completely.

Eurasia

Armenia: Repression and Soros

On June 16, the Parliament of Armenia granted the Prosecutor General’s petition to deprive the head of the largest opposition party “Prosperous Armenia” Gagik Tsarukyan of parliamentary immunity and to initiate criminal proceedings against him on charges of bribery in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

The parliamentary session was held against the background of mass actions in support of Tsarukyan organized by his supporters in Yerevan, despite the state of emergency operating due to the coronavirus. During these actions, at least 154 people were detained in the Armenian capital. Gagik Tsarukyan considers the initiation of a criminal case against him political persecution. On June 5, the politician announced the necessity of resignation of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his cabinet.

Most opposition parties accused Pashinyan’s regime of political repression. At the same time, it is indicative that Pashinyan, who before coming to power on a wave of street protests in 2018 as a pro-Western activist, is oriented to support George Soros. On June 23, “Open Society Foundations-Armenia” organization founded by George Soros called Pashinyan for political purges in Armenia against supporters of the former authorities.

Middle East

Syria: war between HTS and Hurras ad-Din

In Syrian Idlib, clashes broke out in June between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Huras al-Din. Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham successfully stormed the headquarters of Huras al-Din and arrested a number of fighters and captured three of the group’s strongholds.

It has also been reported that Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham is using tnks against its rivals in Syria. The reason for the clashes is that the terrorists of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham want to whitewash the organization to make themselves appear as the country’s “moderate opposition” in the eyes of the international community.

Iraq: pro-American tilt

Iraqi security forces arrested thirteen members of Kataib Hezbollah (45th Brigade) from predominantly Shiite “Popular Mobilization Force” (“Hashd al-Shaabi”), on the night of June 26. They are accused of launching missile strikes against the American military in the Arab Republic.

The actions of Iraqi security forces can be correlated with the pro-American bias in the country’s overall politics. Counterterrorism Service commander Abdulwahab al-Saadi was appointed to the post last month by Iraq’s newly elected Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi. Under the new head of government, Iraq and the US began a “strategic dialogue” on a number of bilateral and regional issues. The arrests can be seen as the beginning of a new phase of the US-Iranian hybrid war in Iraq.

“Claw-Eagle” and “Claw-Tiger”

On June 15, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced the launch of Operation Claw-Tiger against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq. On the first day, according to official data, the Turkish Air Force in Northern Iraq destroyed more than 80 objects belonging to the formations of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

On June 17, the Turkish military deployed the second operation in northern Iraq in recent years. According to the Ministry of Defense of Turkey, the land campaign called “Claw-Tiger ” is being conducted to eliminate the facilities of the Kurdistan Workers Party. Air Force, artillery and SAMs have been used for this purpose.

The Government of Iraq has raised formal objections. However, both Iraq and Turkey are interested in fighting the Kurdish separatists.

Asia

Sino-Indian conflict

20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in a disputed section of the border between the two countries. The conflict took place on the night of June 16 in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas. None of the soldiers used firearms – only rocks and metal rods. This is the first clash on the India-China border in 45 years that has resulted in casualties.

Blood in the Himalayas: how to stop rising tensions between India and China

After the clash, there were massive anti-Chinese demonstrations in India and calls for a boycott of Chinese goods. The aggravation of India-China relations is likely to be used by the US to undermine the multipolar world and further weaken BRICS and SCO.

Japan is giving up on US missile defense

On June 15, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono announced that Tokyo is stopping a bid to purchase two Aegis Ashore missile defense systems from the US, which were supposed to be deployed in the north and southwest of the country. They were to cover the entire territory of Japan from a ballistic missile strike.

The closest US ally in the Pacific region for the first time denied Washington the placement of military facilities on its territory. Formally, this was explained by the desire to protect residential areas from the possible fall of parts of anti-missile units. However, possible reasons could be: the ineffectiveness of American weapons against Chinese and Russian systems, fears of deterioration of relations with China and Russia, and finally – fatigue of the local population from the American military presence.

North Korea blows up liaison office

On June 15, North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong. The explosion took place a few hours after the DPRK military announced plans to return to the demilitarized zone.

Why did North Korea blow up its joint liaisons office with the South?

In June, the North Korean leadership repeatedly criticized the South Korean authorities, promising to cut ties completely. They were motivated by the actions of South Korean ultra-right organizations that send propaganda leaflets to DPRK in balloons insulting members of Kim Jong-un’s family. However, there are other reasons for DPRK to act decisively. The main thing is the lack of progress in relations with the US and South Korea and the denial of sanctions against the DPRK, despite the coronavirus. At the same time, the DPRK renounced nuclear tests and even destroyed part of the infrastructure for conducting such tests.

North America

BLM protests in the USA

The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 triggered mass protests in the United States. While the protests originally started as peaceful protests against police violence and racism, many turned into clashes with police and the National Guard, as well as arson and shoplifting under the slogans Black Lives Matter (BLM).

The Deep State and Regime Change in the USA

Health experts warn that riots can accelerate the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19. US President Donald Trump spoke out harshly against the protesters. In Seattle, a part of the city was occupied by protesters and declared “Autonomous Zone of Capitol Hill”. The leadership of the Democratic Party, on the contrary, is using the protests in every possible way to increase Joe Biden’s chances to defeat Trump in the presidential elections in November 2020. One of the results of the protests was a sharp drop in Donald Trump’s rating.

Bolton vs. Trump.

Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton published a book in June which criticized the president’s approach to foreign policy. Immediately after that, Bolton became a guest of the liberal media such as CNN. The White House tried to discourage the publication of the book by claiming that Bolton was revealing classified information, but the court took Bolton’s side. Simultaneously with Bolton’s attack, there were questions in the American media about Trump’s weakness in relations with China, Russia and Turkey. This was all part of a coordinated attack on Trump, where liberals joined forces with neocons.

Latin America.

Sovereignty over the Malvinas (Falklands)

On June 10, Argentine President Alberto Fernández announced that three bills that referred to Argentina’s sovereignty claim over South Atlantic islands and adjoining maritime spaces would be sent to Congress.

The event was planned for June 10 because it is the Affirmation Day of Argentina’s Rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the adjoining maritime spaces. The Argentine Foreign Ministry expressed its intention to seek the return of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands by peaceful means using as a tool contradictions between the UK and EU on Brexit .

Africa

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan GERD negotiations

In June, talks resumed between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. However, Egypt and Ethiopia have interpreted its results differently:

As a result of the Ethiopia-Egypt-Sudan Summit held on June 26, 2020, the countries agreed to establish a technical committee to work out a final document on the GES Renaissance Dam;

Ethiopia has pledged not to begin filling the post-discharge GERD dam, despite its earlier announcement this month that filling would begin despite the existence of any agreement.

In its statement, Ethiopia stated that while the parties have agreed not to take unilateral action, construction of the GERD dam will continue; Ethiopia expects to reach an agreement within 2 weeks, after which the country will start filling the dam.

Is war between Ethiopia and Egypt inevitable?

On June 29 Egypt called on the UN Security Council to oblige Ethiopia to refuse from filling the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until a solution is found for these disputable issues. Egypt, which receives 90% of the Nile River’s water reserves, is very concerned about the construction of the HPP in Ethiopia, as it is located downstream of the Nile River and fears drought as a result of the project. The lack of compromise has led Egypt to seek other solutions, including military ones.

Libyan crisis: Egypt is threatening an invasion

On June 6, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar and head of the eastern Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) Akila Saleh in Cairo. As a result, the head of Egypt announced the “Cairo initiative”, which includes a ceasefire throughout Libya since June 8 and the terms of a political settlement. The initiative was supported by the US, Russia and a number of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while the GNA and Turkey opposed it. The statement was made after the forces of the UN recognized government had broken the LNA with the support of Turkey and came to the city of Sirte, the center of the main oil region of Libya.

Egyptian sea power and relations with Turkey

At the same time, on June 21, the Egyptian President addressed the army, saying that Egypt could legally carry out an invasion of Libya. The House of Representatives of Libya approved the entry of Egyptian troops, if there is sufficient reason to do so. The situation in Libya leads to the danger of a clash between Egypt and Turkey, which could become a trap for Ankara.

The trap being set for Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

Oceania

A number of political, governmental and private organizations in Australia have allegedly been subjected to cyberattacks by a “state-based cyber actor”. This was reported by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference in Canberra on Friday, June 19.

China is considered by the country’s authorities as the main suspect, sources close to the Australian government say. Hackers have been hunting for COVID-19 related files, among other things.

 
United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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