World View: Sixth Eurozone Country May Need Bailout
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- Slovenia may become sixth euro country needing a bailout
- Iraq to purchase air defense systems from Russia
- U.N. General Assembly passes purely symbolic resolution condemning Syria
- Russia still considering naval bases in Vietnam, Cuba, Seychelles
- India/Vietnam planning joint oil exploration in South China Sea
Slovenia may become sixth euro country needing a bailout
They're falling like dominoes. Eurozone country Slovenia has just had its debt downgraded by Moody's to just two steps above junk status. Slovenia is a small country with an export-oriented economy that's been hard hit by the global economic crisis. It seems likely that Slovenia will ask for a bailout, and if it does then it will be sixth eurozone country to do so, after Ireland, Greece, Portugal Spain and Cyprus. Deutsche-Welle
Iraq to purchase air defense systems from Russia
Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq's air force was one of the largest in the region with hundreds of mainly Soviet-designed jets. But its military was disbanded after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 deposed Saddam, and now Iraq has no capability to defend its air space. A delegation, headed by Iraq's defense minister, is negotiating with Russia to supply early warning systems, radars and some other civil defense apparatuses. Last month Baghdad vowed to apply to the U.N. seeking condemnation of countries that violate Iraqi airspace, including Turkey. Hurriyet (Ankara)
U.N. General Assembly passes purely symbolic resolution condemning Syria
The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a resolution criticizing the Security Council's failure to act on the Syria conflict, and also condemned "the Syrian authorities' use of heavy weapons including indiscriminate shelling from tanks and helicopters" and demanded the government refrain from using its chemical weapons. The resolution was purely symbolic, as the General Assembly has no enforcement authority. The vote comes one day after Syrian peace envoy Kofi Annan resigned in failure. Australian Broadcasting
Russia still considering naval bases in Vietnam, Cuba, Seychelles
On July 28, I quoted Russia's Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov as saying that Russia was planning naval bases in Vietnam, Cuba and the Seychelles (off the eastern coast of Africa). Just as I was posting the article, I heard a BBC report that Chirkov was denying the quote, so I added an update to the story. However, it appears that there's a lot more to the story. Chirkov has apparently been reprimanded by Vladimir Putin for making the remarks, though the official explanation is that the Ria Novosti reporter was at fault and was "unethical and incompetent," cooking up a "sensational fantasy." We hope that he doesn't spend the rest of his life in Siberia for his "crime." Of course, Putin would love to restore Russia's navy, which he himself cut in the early 2000s because of a severe budget crunch. But Chirkov's announcements were premature, because talk of a naval base in Cuba would inflame the Americans, and talk of a naval base in Vietnam would inflame the Chinese. So now Russia's Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry have clarified the situation by saying that Russian warships will indeed be sent to the three locations, but only for "rest and replenishment of the crews." They will not, according to the statement, be military bases. Jamestown and Pravda
India/Vietnam planning joint oil exploration in South China Sea
India is evaluating Vietnam's offer for oil exploration in the South China Sea, provided it can find a suitable partner. The announcement has infuriated the Chinese, who have indicated plans to annex the entire South China Sea region, including areas historically belonging to Vietnam and other countries. According to Beijing's Global Times:
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The strategic intention of India's renewed involvement in the South China Sea issue is obvious. New Delhi wants to further complicate the issue and seeks to pin down China in the area so it could gain dominance in affairs across the region. ...
Under such circumstances, China must first insist on exerting political pressure over both India and Vietnam, warning them that their joint exploration activities in the South China Sea are illegal and violate China's sovereignty. If they conduct oil and gas exploration in waters under China's sovereignty, China should give a strong response.
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