Brexit was prophesied as a disaster, but Britain is sitting rather comfortably in the new European order. The United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal negotiations with the European Union (EU) were arduous, to say the least. Talks were characterised by intransience from Brussels and sheer immovability from the UK’s unflappable chief negotiator, David Frost. But an eleventh-hour agreement now outlines future EU-UK relations and Britain has reason to be pleased.
The United States and the European Union jointly announced on Tuesday sanctions against senior Russian government officials in the case of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested and jailed upon arrival in Moscow in January after being poisoned last year and seeking treatment in Germany.
The tensions in Armenia continue to escalate. This week people took to the streets with many demanding the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign. There is a possibility of the military coup in Armenia. Earlier this week, Pashinyan fired one of the military leaders, which resulted in the large protests.
The Russian army is working on the antidote for the electronic warfare systems. According to the Russian defense experts, the technology is one of a kind and thus far only Russia has it. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian army lost the completive edge with the US.
The battle for 6G is already intensifying, although this communication standard remains purely theoretical, but it highlights how geopolitics is fueling the technological rivalry, especially between the US and China. However, it is highly likely the 6G technology will not be available until 2030.
This week, European Union High Representative Josep Borrell spoke at the conference organized by the US. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the conference was held in the online format. Recently, Mr. Borrell visited Russia and the topic of Alexey Navalny came up. It should be noted that Mr. Borrell did not meet with Mr. Navalny during his visit.
The European Union on Monday approved new sanctions against Venezuela and added 19 officials in the government of President Nicolás Maduro to its list of people subject to restrictive measures for their role in “acts and decisions that threaten democracy” in the country after the fraudulent elections held in December.
The president of Russia Vladimir Putin and the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will hold the talks in Sochi this week. The talks are on the eve of the February 23rd, which traditionally is the holiday that honors men in Russia. Lukashenko arrived in Sochi well an advance and this is the first time, Lukashenko left Belarus after the beginning of the protests.
On February 20th, Alexey Navalny had two court hearings. Alexey Navalny returned to Russia in January 2021 and has been detained at the Moscow airport. Subsequently, he was given a prison sentence of the 2.8 years. Navalny legal team appealed the sentence and on February 20th, his appeal was heard.
IHS Markit announced that the initial value of the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry in the Eurozone in February was 57.7, and the expected value is 54.3. During the period, the initial value of the service industry PMI was 44.7, and the expected value was 45.9.
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, have a scheduled meeting in Sochi next week. It is expected that the talks will include discussions regarding the financial and economic spheres. There is also a possibility to unify the credit operations between Russia and Belarus.
The General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) in France has fined Google over €1.1 million after finding that the search engine company had committed breaches of data protection rules in its search results. In 2021, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google misled users when it came to hotel star rating systems.
Last week, very strong statements were made by the Kremlin regarding the possibility of ending all ties with the European Union. The tensions between Russia and the European Union are ongoing. Nevertheless, the recent events with Alexey Navalny, and the response by the West, is pushing Russia too far.
The president of Turkey Recep Erdogan is actively pushing his agenda and falsely claiming that Turkey has geopolitical, economic, scientific and technical prospects. The PR machine constantly produces “new” publications and social media posts to cater to the wide range of audience.
Russia threatened to break ties with the European Union on Friday if it dares slam it with new sanctions. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, assured that Moscow is ready to break relations with Brussels if the umbrella body, comprising of 27 member states, introduces new sanctions that cause risks in sensitive sectors of the Russian economy.
Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, British businesses have had to deal with many uncertainties. Even as Brexit drew closer, there was little indication of what form it would take, or how trade would be affected.
A withdrawal agreement which kept the UK within the EU’s single market until 31st December 2020 prevented new regulations being created during this time, and a post-Brexit trade deal was finally struck by EU and UK negotiators on December 24th 2020.
The European Union lowered the economic growth rate of the Eurozone this year to 3.8%, which was previously expected to rise 4.2%. Among them, the economy is expected to contract by 0.9% year-on-year in the first quarter. The EU pointed out that the current risk is still quite high.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a major factor around the world. Currently, there are over 107 million infected and over 2.3 million deaths around the globe. Many countries are experiencing shortages of the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 restrictions continue to hurt the global economies.
European warehouse demand surges are taking place because of the rising popularity of e-commerce giants. Europe is no longer a continent just about supplies, but it is now a major consumer market with a population of over 447.7 million people. The European Union’s single market comprises 67 countries and a quarter of the world’s total population.
Russia on Monday defended itself from widespread criticism for its decision to expel three European diplomats for allegedly participating in unauthorized protests in support of the country’s jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalni. Their expulsion coincided with the visit to Moscow by Josep Borrell on Friday.
The government of Russia expelled three diplomats from Germany, Poland, and Sweden on Friday, owing to their alleged participation in one of the demonstrations held in recent weeks in favor of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has claimed that diplomats participated in “illegal meetings” held on January 23.
The United Kingdom will apply for membership of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement – Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – the British Ministry of International Trade announced on Saturday. International Trade Minister Liz Truss will officially ask for the UK to join this free trade agreement on Monday.
The European Union has applied a special article of the annex to the Brexit treaty to impose restrictions on the supply of coronavirus vaccines from the EU-member Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom Causing a sharp reaction in the UK.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Glushko stated that the European Union is on the slippery slope pertaining the possibility of the sanctions against Russia. According to the Glushko “The EU legislation provides for the possibility of making operational decisions in relation to specific persons involved in these sanctions regimes.”
Amazon Spain is going to pass the 3% tax that will be levied on income from digital services of large technology companies on to the companies that sell through its platform. The e-commerce company has communicated to external sellers by email that as of April 1st, it will increase the commission charged to them for intermediation by 3%.
The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw its controversial privacy updates and respect “the informational privacy and data security of Indian users.” The government has sent a long list of questions to the company on this issue, saying that a mild update to the tightening of Europe in India is discriminatory for Indian users.
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have asked Iran to renounce the production of uranium metal, which violates the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. The United States, for its part, has announced a new round of sanctions. Meanwhile, Tehran continues its military exercises, firing ballistic missiles at targets in the Indian Ocean.
The Russian government decided to withdraw from the Open Sky Treaty. The Open Sky Treaty is an important tool for the intelligence gathering purposes by the signatory nations, which include military inspections from the air. The Treaty was signed in Finland in the 1992 by the 27 members.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she will not lead her Christian Democratic Union into the upcoming election this September. Chancellor Merkel has been in power for the past sixteen years, and leaves a legacy of leading the largest economy within the European Union’s member states.
Russia is to start production of the Sputnik V Coronavirus Vaccine in Brazil this week. Currently, Russia has seven factories that are producing two Russian-developed vaccines. The Brazilian Pharmaceutical company Uniao Quimica partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to produce the vaccine in Brazil.
Top world leaders have strongly condemned the assault on the United States Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump Wednesday as the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential elections was being ratified. The leaders have called for a “peaceful” transition in the United States and have denounced “an unprecedented assault on American democracy.”
Citizens from the United Kingdom, with a residence in Spain, have been stopped from flying to Spain this weekend. Spain has strict COVID-19 regulations that prevented some Britons from flying to and from Spain. Several travelers have had trouble returning to their home countries after airlines refused to accept their proof of national travel cards.
On December 27, The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated that Turkey is ready for the military actions against the Libyan National Army. The leader of the Libyan Army is Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Russia. “Haftar and those who support him should know that they will be considered a legitimate target in any attempt to attack the Turkish military,” said Akar.
At the beginning of the new year, Portugal took over the rotating presidency of the European Council from Germany for a six-month term. In the face of the still severe new coronavirus epidemic, the task of the new rotating presidency will still be quite arduous. The slogan of the new EU presidency, Portugal, is “Start Action: Rebuild a Just, Green, and Digital Europe.”
The UK’s Brexit transition period came to an end on the last day of 2020, which means that the UK will completely break away from the European single market and customs union. Big Ben in London rang at midnight when Britain officially left the European Union, symbolizing the opening of a new chapter in British history.
When the epidemic swept through Europe and the United States earlier this year, companies scrambled to seek to raise funds, and some companies turned to the stock market to increase liquidity and tide over uncertain times. Subsequently, when central banks actively supported the financial market, the stock market rebounded.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter that the EU will purchase an additional 100 million doses of the new coronavirus vaccines, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The EU will have a total of 300 million doses of the vaccine. The vaccine has been administered throughout the EU and is considered safe and effective.
Turkmenistan is celebrating 25 years of the country’s neutrality. Turkmenistan is the only officially neutral country in central Asia. Neutrality, in the practical sense, is perceived in Ashgabat as a status that allows the country to isolate itself as much as possible from its neighbors and the entire world.
The European Commission today proposed the establishment of a Brexit Adjustment Reserve to help member states and departments deal with the economic losses and social impacts caused by Brexit, and to support affected businesses and employment-damaged fields. The total budget is €5 billion.
The global economy will be in trouble in the 2021. The economic challenges have been blamed on the Coronavirus pandemic,, which crippled the majority of the world. Even though, Covid-19 did cause an economic crisis, it is a mere smoke screen to shift the responsibility for the bad decisions certain politicians and organizations actually made.
Official media reported that a camp for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon was set on fire on Saturday night, after a quarrel between members of the camp and a local Lebanese family. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees confirmed that a large fire broke out in a camp in the Minya region in the north of the country.
The First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, Vladimir Dzhabarov, made a statement regarding retaliatory measures against the United States for imposing new sanctions against Russia. These sanctions would stem from the poisoning of dissident Alexey Navalny in August 2020.