MOSCOW, 18 Jul — RIA Novosti. Expiring 2018 cemented the turning international politics from the diplomatic methods of settling disputes and adherence to international agreements to the days of information wars in the spirit of highly likely.
The leaders of the major international powers believed in the current year possible to make completely unsubstantiated accusations, to enter on the basis of sanctions, to unilaterally withdraw from the major bilateral and international agreements.
But, of course, was in international politics is not only negative. In 2018, for example, was the first full meeting of the leaders of Russia and USA Vladimir Putin and Donald trump, although not leading to immediate improvement of relations.
Positive developments emerged in the perennial problem of the Korean Peninsula. Held a historic trump talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN, his meeting with South Korean President mun Jae Otherwise.
Expiring 2018 will be remembered also by the end of two eras: in Cuba, the Castro family, and in Germany Angela Merkel. The latter resigned as leader of the ruling party, which has held for nearly 20 years, although it remains Chancellor of Germany. But Raul Castro, who ruled the country since 2006, has finally resigned as head of the state Council and the Council of Ministers of Cuba.
Year highly likely
In the past year a number of Western countries made accusations against Russia that she supposedly leads in their territory intelligence activities. The Russians, under this pretext, were detained in Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, UK, USA.
In the Hague Russian citizens accused of cyber espionage for the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. Moscow denies such accusations, saying that spying on the OPCW her makes no sense. In the United States and the Russian Maria Butina accused of conspiring to work an agent of a foreign government. In Moscow it is considered a political prisoner and demand that it immediately released.
The most notorious of the “spy scandal” was the attempt of a poisoning in the UK former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia. Convicted earlier in Russia for treason Skripal for several years lived in English Salisbury, according to some media reports, continued to work for foreign intelligence. In March he and his daughter was poisoned, according to the London — nervously-paralytic substance A234, developed in the USSR.
The British authorities immediately, before carrying out any thorough investigation blamed the incident Russia, not bringing, however, no evidence. The most significant “evidence” were the words of Prime Minister Theresa may that the involvement in the case of the Russian authorities “very likely” (highly likely). No court, of course, such “evidence” would not accept but Western politicians, this was enough: the case Skrobala provoked an international scandal, followed by some of the mass expulsions of Russian diplomats from EU countries and the USA.
Lack of evidence base also did not prevent London to present charges against two Russian citizens — Alexander Petrov, and Ruslan Bashirova, which in the UK accepts members of the GRU. Suspects in the only interview that they gave, claimed to have visited Salisbury, as tourists, didn’t know about Skipala and work in the fitness industry.
Moscow categorically denied the involvement of the Russian Federation to attempt to poison Skrobala. The Russian side indicates that the design and study of a class of substances, which, presumably, was used in Salisbury, was engaged in the West. Moscow is also trying to get access to Scriply, but in London though, and claim that both victims have recovered, the public they do not show, the location and condition Skrobala unknown.
Love can not be
This background was a welcome warming of relations between Russia and the United States. On the contrary, Washington has repeatedly imposed sanctions against Russia. Expected and new — in the us Congress is considering a bill with a whole set of anti-Russian measures, including sanctions against a new state debt of Russia and the state banks of the Russian Federation.
Hope for improved ties laid last summer in Helsinki, the first and only full meeting of Putin and trump. However, the desired breakthrough summit in the Finnish capital did not bring. Moreover, immediately upon return to Washington, trump has been criticized by those who oppose the normalization and development of relations with Russia. The second year for the meeting, trump and Putin was held in early December on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, but at the last moment the American leader has cancelled her under the pretext of an incident with Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait.
Overall, Washington is reluctant to have contact with Moscow. So, the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once crossed paths with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo since his appointment as Secretary of state in April this year — before the summit in Helsinki. In any other multilateral event heads of diplomatic departments of the two countries never met, although technical possibilities were. Sharply reduced the interaction — at least public — and Syrian issues, although the hot line between the military of Russia and the United States continues to work.
The “Hand Of Moscow”
Autumn in the United States was one of the key events of American politics — midterm elections to Congress, which became a vote of confidence in the Trump.
Contrary to predictions the results of the vote are not brought triumph to the Democrats. On the wave of sentiment they Antitrombotic, mobilizing the electorate, held a large-scale campaign to increase the turnout, but promised a “democratic tsunami” turned out to be only a strong tide. Democrats won control of the house of representatives but did not win the Senate. The Republicans even managed to consolidate its position in the upper house of Congress.
However, the results of the vote can have a serious impact on determining foreign policy of the United States, since the investigation of spectracolor Robert Mueller against trump now will not be actively blocked in the house of representatives. One aspect of this investigation relates to alleged Russian interference in the presidential elections of 2016.
Talked about hackers and other “machinations” of the Moscow and in the November congressional elections. Trump, commenting on their results, even did not hesitate to joke that they probably should blame Russia. But in Washington, even jokes about the “hand of Moscow” are perceived quite seriously. Indeed, despite the fact that on the eve of a vote by U.S. intelligence, it was confirmed that signs of interference is not fixed, the Pentagon chief James Mattis later said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “again tried to muddy the water.”
Russia, in turn, has repeatedly stated that it does not interfere in the Affairs of other countries, including in elections, and pointed to the absence of any facts that would pokepet such accusations.
US on the way out
In 2018, the United States continued to withdraw from international agreements: after a loud parting with the Paris climate agreement in 2017 Washington said that will no longer be a member of the Joint comprehensive plan of action (SVPD) on the Iranian nuclear program. Inadmissibility of SVPD for Washington to the current occupant of the White house said during the election campaign, and in may 2018 announced the withdrawal from the agreement officially.
A historic deal was concluded on July 14, 2015 between Tehran and six international mediators (Russia, USA, Britain, China, France, Germany) when the supervising role of the European external action service. The implementation AGREEMENT was removed from Iran’s previously imposed economic and financial sanctions by the UN security Council, US and EU.
After the announcement of withdrawal from the agreement, the United States announced the restoration of all sanctions against Tehran. As expected, the most painful blow to the Iranian oil industry, but Washington has granted temporary exceptions from sanctions to China, India and several other importers of fuel from Iran. Against this background, the remaining members of the Iranian nuclear deal, agreed that the EU will create a financial mechanism for payments to Iran in circumvention of U.S. sanctions.
Another major statement about breaking international agreements was the US intention to withdraw from the Treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty). This was done under the pretext that Moscow allegedly did not comply with its provisions. As stated by trump, America will increase its nuclear capability as long as the others “comes to her senses”, then Washington will be ready to stop this process.
Russia has repeatedly stated that strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Also in Moscow warned that if the United States will continue to unilaterally withdraw from various agreements and arrangements, Russia has no choice but to take retaliatory measures, including military-technical nature.
Duty for duty
Did USA noise in the field of international economy by unleashing a trade war with another shopping heavyweight — China. Washington in July increased customs duties on Chinese products by 25%, mirror Beijing not long in coming. War duties continued in the autumn of their next promotion.
These events have an impact not only on China stock exchange, but stocks the entire Asia-Pacific region (APR) and the United States. It seemed that the end of the war in sight: trump even threatened to impose a new duty for another $ 250 billion of Chinese imports.
However, contacts with the leaders of China and the United States on the sidelines of the G20 summit gave global stock markets a small but encouraging. Chinese President XI Jinping has promised to rectify the situation with the trade imbalance and start to purchase significant volumes of agricultural and other goods from the US. In turn, trump has agreed from January 1, to raise from 10 to 25% duty on goods from China import volume at $ 200 billion, if the parties will be able within 90 days to agree on a certain range of issues. The US President said that China agreed to “reduce and remove” duties on cars imported from the US, which currently amount to 40%.
In Beijing, commenting on these agreements, said that they will help to prevent a further escalation in trade and a positive impact on the entire global economy.
Conversations about a nuclear-free Korea
One of the main positive outcomes of the year was the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang and the warming of relations between North Korea and South Korea.
North Korea and Washington have changed the mutual threats of missile strikes to negotiate. The first ever U.S.-North Korea summit was held in June in Singapore. There the parties agreed to work to achieve ambitious goals: the abandonment of the DPRK nuclear program, the normalization of relations between the two countries and the termination of a formal state of war on the Korean Peninsula.
At first everything looked optimistic. DPRK authorities have stated that the renunciation of nuclear tests, as proof of his intentions, spent nuclear proving ground Pungere in the presence of foreign journalists. USA, in turn, suspended joint military exercises in Seoul. But then everything came to a halt, and now Pyongyang and Washington exchanging mutual accusations of inaction and put everything off until the second summit.
More stable was the thaw in inter-Korean relations. In addition to activation of working contacts in the humanitarian and military fields, the leaders of North Korea and South Korea managed to hold three of the summit, one of which took place in Pyongyang. Now moon Jae-In waiting, Kim Jong-UN with a return visit, which should become the first ever visit to South Korean capital with North Korean leader.
Waiting for the leader of the DPRK and Moscow. Personal meeting the North Korean leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin is particularly relevant in light of discussions on the easing of the sanctions regime against the DPRK. Moscow considers it necessary to discuss this issue in the framework of the UN on the background of reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
From missile strikes to the world
Largely stabilized over the past year the situation in Syria. In the country gradually returns to a peaceful life. Although some areas remain militants of terrorist groups “Islamic state”* and “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra”* (banned in Russia), most of the territory controlled by Syrian government forces. In many respects it became possible thanks to Russia, Turkey and Iran areas of de-escalation.
At the beginning of the year, the situation was far from normalization. The flames poured of the US and its allies. In April, Washington has decided to take the unprecedented step — the coalition headed by the USA launched a massive missile attack on Syria in response to alleged in April the use of chemical weapons in the Duma and Eastern ghouta, where the US accuses the Syrian government forces. In Moscow a missile attack called a flagrant violation of international law and expressed fears that Washington might go to a new provocation in Syria. Now, however, Syria’s air defense reinforced with modern Russian anti-aircraft missile systems s-300. Their supply was a response to the tragic incident with the Russian reconnaissance aircraft Il-20, the blame for the loss of which in Moscow has accused the Israeli military.
While in military terms, there is the constant promotion of the political solution in Syria to achieve long managed. The boost he gave to the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, which was held in Sochi in January. Then on the same site, Russia brought more than half a thousand Syrians, representing different political, ethnic and religious groups in the country. The main outcome was the agreement on the establishment of the constitutional Committee of Syria, which may start functioning by the end of this year.
The murder, recorded on the Apple Watch
In October, Turkey was a tragedy that could potentially have a big impact on the situation in the world. Saudi journalist Jamal Casucci, who worked as a columnist American newspaper the Washington Post sharply criticized the Saudi authorities after the appointment of the crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing in Istanbul after he came to the Consulate of Saudi Arabia.
Almost immediately after its disappearance there were rumors that Casucci killed. The Saudi authorities initially claimed that the journalist quietly left the building of the Consulate, but then admitted that he killed the diplomatic mission allegedly in a quarrel.
Recent media details of a brutal murder Casucci, who was tortured and then strangled and dismembered, caused a wide resonance and a strong reaction of the international community. Some details about the murder of the journalist became known thanks to the missed killers details — Watch Apple Watch, which the journalist, according to media reports, put in a mode of the audio came into the Embassy. On the record, in particular, hear what last words Casucci of steel “I can’t breathe…”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the murder of the journalist involved, a person close to the Saudi crown Prince. Experts in different countries are also of the opinion that such offense was unlikely to be sanctioned without the knowledge of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as politicians need to take action against Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, however, all deny the charges, promising to punish those responsible.
Meanwhile, the victim Casucci along with several other journalists became the “Man of the year-2018,” according to Time magazine.
Cuba without Castro
A whole era ended in 2018 in Cuba — the island for the first time in several decades was headed by someone not from the family of Castro.
In April, Raul Castro resigned as the head of state Council and Council of Ministers. He led the country in 2006 after his brother Fidel, the legendary leader of the Cuban revolution, who ruled Cuba for nearly 50 years, has resigned because of health problems. Now it was replaced by 57-year-old Miguel Diaz-Kanel’, who previously held the post of first Deputy Chairman of the state Council.
During the years in power, the younger Castro has achieved a number of significant reforms in the first place — socio-economic: on the island was allowed a private business, a new law on foreign investment, created a free trade area, the residents will have access to mobile communications and the Internet, Cubans are able to travel outside the country without special permission.
International achievements of Raul Castro it is possible to allocate the restoration of diplomatic relations with the United States in the summer of 2015, although with the advent to power of the trump rapprochement between the two countries was significantly curtailed.
The end of an era Merkel?
Angela Merkel is in power in Germany, of course, not 50 years, but her reign an epoch. And now, it seems, and it is nearing completion.
In 2018 in Germany reached its peak of the political crisis. In mid-March, after a record five and a half months of difficult coalition negotiations, Merkel, for the fourth time took the post of Chancellor. That might not sit out in the chair before the end of the statutory term of office, it was said by many. But the fact that retirement looms in front of Merkel within six months after the beginning of work of the government, still came as a surprise.
Disagreements between the ruling parties and the resonance of anti-immigrant protests in the German city of Chemnitz, the political scandals, the continuing decline in their popularity, manifested in regional elections — all this puts into question the sustainability of the government of Merkel. Chancellor waited for solutions, but they were not.
Began to sound the opinion about the necessity of early elections, but Merkel no wonder he spent 15 years at the top of the German political Olympus and found a way out, though not without losses. The Chancellor announced that at the regular December Congress, it will not qualify for the post of Chairman of the ruling Christian democratic party. Merkel plans to remain Chancellor Dale end than the period up to 2021.
Now at the head of the CDU, a protege of the Chancellor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. With the arrival of new faces to the leadership of the ruling party internal political crisis in Germany temporarily managed to stop, but to pay for it — beginning of the end of the Merkel era.
*A terrorist organization banned in Russia
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