Week 3

19th September 2016

  1. Senator Rand Paul said that a bipartisan group of US senators is planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday that objects to US arms sales to Saudi Arabia
  2. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Ismail Mohsen discussed on Monday the crucial steps for effective and consolidated fight against Daesh militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry said
  3. Vietnam’s National Assembly will not discuss ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Polish journalist Andrzej Rozenek recently published an article in the Polish news weekly NIE, in which he argued that 18 Polish special forces soldiers were deployed near Donbass at the order of the Polish Defence Ministry
  4. South Korea and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) are expected to embark on talks to discuss a free trade agreement (FTA) on October 5 at the level of deputy ministers
  5. Beijing has traditionally adhered to a policy of non-interference when it came to dealing with international conflicts, but this stance is about to change as China appears to be pushing for greater military engagement in Syria
  6. Moscow and Ankara should cooperate even more closely to tackle issues related to the Middle East, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Umit Yardim said
  7. A group of EU employees has started a petition against the former President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, taking up a post at Goldman Sachs investment bank’s London headquarters
  8. The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) may result in a boom of investor lawsuits against the governments of the European Union and Canada, which are likely to be resolved in favour of the investors
  9. The UK government has announced that they will stop any attempt made by the EU to develop the European army, as they believe it will duplicate and rival NATO, as well as pose a threat to their own defence infrastructure
  10. The success of the ruling United Russia party in the 2016 parliamentary elections in Russia means President Vladimir Putin won an “impressive vote of confidence,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
  11. Business confidence in the United Kingdom sank to a four-year low following the British citizens’ decision to leave the European Union, a Lloyds Bank report revealed
  12. UK Attorney General Jeremy Wright “shut down” an attempt of former country’s Prime Minister David Cameron to close an inquiry into alleged abuses of UK troops in regard to the Iraqis
  13. Japan is planning to discuss with Russia specific proposals on participation of its entrepreneurs in development of agriculture in Russia’s Far East
  14. The Haitian Senate President recalled an attempt by Bill Clinton’s White House to bribe him into supporting regime change in Haiti, says Clinton Foundation stole “billions” from the country
  15. Daesh seems to accept any foreigners in its ranks, including those who don’t speak Arabic, know nothing about theology and have no previous experience of military training. However, a large number of foreigners might not only be beneficial for the group, but rather pose a serious threat to its existence.

20th September 2016

  1. Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said that Switzerland would welcome a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the country in the near future
  2. Erdogan reaffirmed his commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity, stressing the military operation in its north only aimed to bring peace to the region
  3. As Saudi Arabia continues its war with Yemen, new evidence suggests that the kingdom has relied on white phosphorus munitions, likely supplied by the United States government
  4. As Daesh continues to lose territory — and therefore their means of collecting revenue through oil — in Iraq and Syria, it is believed that the violent extremist group has resorted to trafficking children, and their own members’ organs
  5. An attack that hit the UN aid convoy en route to Syria’s Aleppo may be regarded as a war crime if investigation proves its intentional character, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) said
  6. Planning is underway for Slovenian President Borut Pahor to visit Moscow, Pahor said while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York
  7. Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday to discuss Brexit and bilateral economic issues, Ambassador of Slovenia to the United Nations Andrej Logar said
  8. The Swiss and the Russian foreign ministers will discuss situations in Syria and Ukraine during a meeting at the UN General Assembly
  9. Pentagon’s Plan to Spy on Russia, Iran is a ‘Signal of a Decline in US Global Hegemony’
  10. There will be no resolution of the UN Security Council on the agreement on Syria that Russia and the United States reached as Washington is refusing to make the deal public, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said
  11. Russia and Saudi Arabia will discuss the Syrian situation on the sidelines of the 71th UN General Assembly
  12. The Council of the European Union on Tuesday included the issue of relations between Brussels and Moscow in the agenda of the forthcoming Council summit, the state secretary for foreign affairs of Slovakia said
  13. There are fresh calls for an independent investigation to be carried out into alleged Saudi humanitarian law breaches in Yemen, with the Dutch government calling for an inquiry during a meeting with the UN human rights council
  14. The new Estonian foreign minister said it was important for Tallinn to have good relations with Moscow
  15. Czech President Milos Zeman said Tuesday he would vote for US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump if he were a US citizen, in a video interview with local media
  16. Russia will present over 20 of its regions at the Eighths International Fair of Chinese Investment (COIFair-2016) in Beijing in October, Director of Outbound Negotiation Office of China Overseas Development Association (CODA) He Zhenwei said
  17. Stefano Stefanini, former representative of Italy to NATO, called the recent EU informal summit a failure, adding that the bloc became more divided without the United Kingdom
  18. CFTC accused Russia’s banking institutions VTB Bank and VTB Capital of executing fictitious futures contracts on the US financial market
  19. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that a high level visit to Russia is on Australia’s agenda
  20. China is going to create the first yuan clearing bank in the United States and will welcome US banks willing to become clearing banks, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said

21st September 2016

  1. Ban Ki-moon asked Iran for help in getting the peace process back on track in Syria and Yemen.
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed bilateral cooperation and the situation in Syria
  3. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the US Federal Reserve will focus its supervision on large banking institutions after the abuses exposed at Wells Fargo
  4. North Korea is undergoing economic reforms that have resulted in a blossoming middle class, Professor Andrey Lankov, an expert in Korean affairs at Seoul’s Kookmin University said
  5. Veteran German politician Willy Wimmer said that the US military bases in his country are long overdue for closure. Wimmer emphasized that US bases installed during the Cold War no longer protect Europe; instead, they serve as a logistics hub for NATO’s wars of aggression
  6. Non-profit environmental law organization ClientEarth has initiated a legal challenge against the Belgian regional government over its failure to handle pollution crisis in Brussels
  7. The US Defense Department refuted Russia’s accusations of a US-led coalition drone flying over Syria’s Aleppo where an aid convoy was attacked, Pentagon spokesman Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said
  8. South Korean companies plan to invest 2.6 billion rubles ($40 million) in priority development areas (PDAs) in the Russian Far East and the Free Port of Vladivostok
  9. The European Union should consider the sanctions against Ukraine for aiding radical groups concentrated in the south of the country, a Crimean official said
  10. The Iraqi parliament has passed a motion of no confidence against corruption suspect Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari
  11. Studies conducted by Chinese and Canadian groups of scientific researchers have revealed that the quantum teleportation of particles can be achieved over distances of 6 to 7 kilometres, using simple urban fibre-optic communication channels
  12. Commenting on the second defeat in a row for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in Berlin on Sunday, Russian experts have begun considering the possible collapse of the CDU-led coalition in federal elections next year
  13. Following the failure of EU leaders to reach agreement at the Bratislava summit last week, the US press has commented that Europeans are experiencing a “loss of faith in the EU,” while national leaders are becoming increasingly vocal in the criticism of Brussels and Berlin
  14. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that advanced missile systems produced by Russian defence companies allow the Armed Forces to boost combat capabilities of missile units by 2-4 times
  15. Germany’s Foreign Minister outlined steps needed to curb global migrant crisis, including tackling it at its root
  16. Turkey and Iran may play a crucial role in the counterterrorism fight in the Middle Eastern region, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said
  17. The UK government has no broad global strategy to try and defeat Daesh, while it is failing to achieve its goals related to the ongoing military action in Syria, a critical UK parliamentary report has found
  18. Video evidence proves that Syrian militant groups did violate the latest ceasefire agreement by sporadically shelling the government forces
  19. Restoring relations with Egypt remains one of the Turkish government’s top priorities, Fevzi Sanverdi of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party said
  20. Ukraine will have the lowest official salaries in Europe, according to calculations by lawmaker Oleksander Vilkul
  21. India has plans to sign a security agreement with Russia on expanding data sharing on terrorism and cybercrimes, local media reported
  22. Russia and Vietnam both want to expand use of the national currencies in bilateral trade and investment, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said
  23. Beijing will start retrieving illegal assets of the graft suspects who have fled China, in the framework of an anti-corruption campaign, local media reported
  24. Argentina plans to expand its relations with Russia, President of Argentina Mauricio Macri said on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York
  25. The Indra-2016 will take place from September 23 to October 2 in the Primorsky Territory, the Russian Eastern Military District’s Black Sea Fleet spokesman said

22nd September 2016

  1. Kiev’s envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine said that conflicting parties will begin pulling out their troops from three locations in eastern Ukraine, with troop withdrawal to begin in four additional locations on October 5. The sides involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine signed a framework agreement on the withdrawal of forces at three locations along the line of contact
  2. In an attempt to abandon the use of Russian-made fuel assemblies for its nuclear power plants, Kiev has announced plans to set up the joint production of the assemblies with Kazakhstan. The only problem with the plan is that even if it buys the assembly from Kazakhstan, the enriched uranium itself will still be coming from Russia
  3. The Catalan authorities are developing identification cards (DNI) that will be issued to the residents of the autonomous region in case of its separation from Spain, local media reported
  4. The demand for Russia’s additional sovereign Eurobond issue has exceeded $6 billion, a source in the banking sector said
  5. Russia’s Investigative Committee will forward airspace and primary radar data relating to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in east Ukraine to Dutch authorities, the committee’s spokesman said
  6. The mantra that all political careers end in failure was given added credence by US President Barack Obama’s address to the 71st UN General Assembly in New York. It was like listening to a leader so divorced from reality it was a surprise to see his shirt buttoned up properly.
  7. The visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to Canada was an important signal that bilateral relations between the two countries are improving. On September 21 Keqiang arrived in Ottawa for an official visit, the first time a Chinese premier has visited Canada for 13 years
  8. A vast majority of US firms, operating in Russia, consider the country to be one of its strategic markets, a new research carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Russia revealed
  9. The end of “the era of air dinosaurs”, such as the A380 and the Boeing 777 jets, may open up new prospects for the development of the Russian aircraft industry and its brand-new MC-21 passenger aircraft.
  10. Georgia’s Prime Minister said that Tbilisi is trying to normalize bilateral relations with Russia so as it would be possible to carry out work
  11. The interest of German business to the investments in Russia remains in place, and greater cooperation and development is expected in this regard, the German and Russian economy ministers said on Thursday
  12. Indonesia is interested in purchasing Russia’s Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft, the deputy chief of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosobonexport said
  13. Russian Parliament’s Upper House Speaker Valentina Matvienko on Thursday proposed to sign inter-parliamentary agreement with the upper house of Malaysia’s parliament
  14. EU member states are seeking ways to suspend sanctions imposed on Russia via Ukraine, US Vice President Joe Biden said
  15. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has repudiated the address given by the US Secretary of State at the UN Security Council regarding Syria, calling it a “show for the mass media and millions of people” where “he confessed he is in parallel universe in Syria”
  16. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, during which they expressed their commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on refugees, Greek media reported
  17. An Italian decision to leave the Eurozone could help keep the country’s economy afloat, Claudio Borghi, a member of the Italian political party Lega Nord said
  18. Portuguese President would like to come to Russia and have Russian leader Vladimir Putin visit Portugal.
  19. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida could visit Russia in October, ahead of the planned visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, Japanese media reported
  20. A spokesperson of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said Russia’s 56th humanitarian aid convoy for residents of Ukraine’s troubled southeastern areas has departed for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions

23rd to 25th September 2016

  1. Economic growth across the 19-country Eurozone has fallen to a 20-month low as the German economy, in particular, loses momentum
  2. The International Monetary Fund is painting a bleak outlook for bailout-dependent Greece, where it expects unemployment to stay in the double digits for more than three decades
  3. The Russian government commission on foreign investments approved the purchase of a 24.99 percent stake in Pulkovo Airport by the Qatari sovereign fund
  4. Gazprom is planning to build a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform as part of its Sakhalin II oil and gas project in a bid to boost gas export to Japan
  5. Britain’s central bank has warned that growing Chinese debt is a threat to global financial stability. Chinese firms are borrowing faster than the GDP is growing, according to the bank
  6. The governor of the Central Bank of Russia has criticized the easy money policies of other central banks. Elvira Nabiullina told CNBC that quantitative easing programs have not translated into investment in the real economy
  7. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is not concerned if American rating agencies like Fitch, S&P or Moody’s downgrade his country to junk status. Erdogan told Bloomberg that Turkey’s economy is strong and the ratings are biased
  8. Chinese companies invested a record $145 billion abroad last year which is 18.3 percent more than in 2014. The country overtook Japan to become the world’s second-biggest cross-border investor, after the US
  9. A Versailles appeals court has found former trader Jerome Kerviel “partially responsible” for the €4.9 billion loss which pushed French bank Societe Generale (SocGen) to the verge of bankruptcy in 2008
  10. If the global economy enters a new economic crisis it may lead to epic debt defaults, according to trade economists at the United Nations
  11. Russian troops will take part in two-week military exercise, a first in the two countries’ modern history
  12. Turkey’s President Erdogan has accused the US of supplying arms to Kurds fighting against Islamic State in Syria. Erdogan equated the Kurdish forces with IS militants, and referred to previous cases when American weapons were seized by Islamists
  13. A US U-2 spy plane intending to fly over Iran was chased away by the Middle Eastern country’s air defence troops, an Iranian general has said
  14. A special cyber security unit of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) conducted its first offensive cyber operation abroad when it broke into an internal network of an Afghan mobile operator while assisting in a hostage release operation, it has emerged
  15. It’s crucial to avoid the collapse of the US-Russia agreements on Syria, meaning a fair and impartial investigation of the Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor incidents is needed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the UN General Assembly in New York
  16. Russia will “no longer take seriously” requests that its own or Syrian forces make unilateral concessions regarding the ceasefire, without the Western coalition providing proof it’s trying to separate moderates from terrorists, the foreign minister said
  17. The US lacks the “political will” to “respect the terms of its own agreement,” which includes targeting terrorist groups in Syria, Syrian envoy to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said
  18. Former EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has come up with passionate defense for his choice to join Goldman Sachs’ London arm weeks after the Brexit vote by insisting the bank is not as bad as it seems and definitely “not a drug cartel.”
  19. Latin American nations accused the US of “neo-colonialism” at the UN General Assembly, with Venezuela going as far as calling Washington “the biggest exporter of violence in the world,” while also arguing for the removal of stumbling blocks to development
  20. France and Austria have demanded the suspension of controversial TTIP negotiations until a new president takes over the White House
  21. The recent bombing of Syrian troops by the US-led coalition was no mistake, Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, said at the UN General Assembly, calling America and its allies accomplices to crimes committed by Islamic State and other terrorists
  22. The biggest radio telescope located in China’s Guizhou Province is now operational. Featuring a reflector the size of 30 football pitches, it took five years and $180 million to construct
  23. The Al-Nusra Front in Aleppo keeps receiving tanks and heavy weapons shipped by their Western backers as the US turns a blind eye, Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told the Security Council. He added that securing peace “is almost an impossible task now.”
  24. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, lashed out at the British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson after he claimed in an interview with the BBC that Russia is “guilty of protracting” war in Syria and potentially of committing war crimes
  25. Militants from Ahrar Al-Sham, a hardline Islamist group, are planning to use white phosphorus in an attack on civilians to later blame it on Syrian armed forces, UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari told a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday
  26. Russian Railways and Swissrail Industry Association have signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation as part of an effort to implement rail transportation projects in Russia and other markets
  27. The French tax authorities have requested the largest Swiss bank UBS to provide them with personal information about 45,000 French clients as part of the ongoing tax fraud investigation
  28. The Central Bank of Iran allowed the country’s financial institutions to issue credit cards for the first time in Iran’s history
  29. Iran has delivered 38 metric tonnes of heavy water, a material used in nuclear reactors, to Russia this month, Russia’s Rosatom nuclear agency CEO Sergei Kirienko said
  30. Russia entered the international capital market for the second time this year, taking advantage of the appetite for Russian bonds despite Western sanctions against Moscow. Russia successfully issued $1.25 billion in 10-year Eurobonds, according to the Russian Finance Ministry
  31. The balance between supply and demand for oil may be restored in late 2017 even without any output restricting agreements between oil producers, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said
  32. The Wall Street Journal says that Russia has successfully tapped into high investor demand for Russian debt to reach its international borrowing targets for 2016, despite pressures from the US and European governments on Western banks, clearing houses and investors not to do business with the country
  33. Russia in July managed to beat Saudi Arabia in oil production volume, having produced an average of 10,597,000 barrels a day, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service said in a report
  34. Following the lifting of the Western sanctions regarding its nuclear program, Iran seems to now be in the focus of European and Asian businesses
  35. Amid a record-setting harvest, Russia’s agricultural sector is giving the Russian economy a powerful and much-needed boost; according to some observers, the sector even has the potential to gradually wean the country off its dependence on the export of hydrocarbons
  36. Catalonia after gaining independence from Spain through a referendum will make the utmost to have good relationships with Russia in all spheres, International Secretary of the Catalan Solidarity for Independence Coalition J. Enric Folch Vila said
  37. Defence Secretary Ash Carter joined by leading defence officials say that they were not consulted before President Obama made the decision to make payments to Iran, which they feel has sullied the name of the armed forces and emboldened Iranian forces
  38. The so-called “moderate” rebels turned off the water to 1.5 million civilians living in West Aleppo in retaliation for a Syrian Army airstrike on East Aleppo
  39. India’s car manufacturing industry has surpassed South Korea’s to become the world’s fifth largest in terms of output so far this year
  40. A strategic alliance between China’s Dalian Wanda cinema chain operator and Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group opens up new horizons for the world’s cinema and television industries, Zhang Fei, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce expert said