Are the two separate agreements signed in Istanbul last Friday by Russia and Ukraine with the United Nations and Turkey that pave the way for the export of 22 million of Ukrainian grain which remained blockaded in three Black Sea ports, as well as the export of Russian grain and fertilizer, really a "beacon of hope" for millions of starving people, or just an illusory dream?
The holiday season is not only a time of celebration, but of contemplation of things past, present and future. It's crystal clear that in this age of global pandemic, probable climate catastrophe and digitization and artificial intelligence that the world is at a global inflection point.
The choice concerns the fighter plane for Finland's future air defence. I am not competent to assess which criteria are most important in the selection, performance, or finances. Therefore, it is best to abstain, even if the price tag is something that any layperson can have opinions about.
So, it has happened again. Riots in Jerusalem. Random rocket fire and precision bombings, both with civilian casualties. The parties are involved in a spiral of revenge with the goal of exhausting the opponent. The pattern is repeated year after year. The outside world demands a cease fire; mediators sign up. This has been the case throughout my adult life. No lasting peace for Israel, no solution for the stateless Palestinians. Cease fire is fine, but for how long?
Generous social benefits aren’t enough to change the life prospects of kids from low-income families.
Nordic nations are proud of their social policies—justifiably so. As we know, high taxes fund social security, education, disability, housing and unemployment benefits that reduce inequality and increase social mobility.
"We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept in order to get back into the JCPOA" US president Joe Biden said at a press conference in Jerusalem on July 14. "We’re waiting for their response. When that will come, I’m not certain, but we’re not going to wait forever."
"The decisions we have taken in Madrid," North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said as a summit of the alliance's members closed in Madrid on June 30, "will ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values."
At the end of May, I came to Helsinki as the 20th Ambassador of China to Finland. At the moment I arrived, I was deeply impressed by the beautiful scenery of Helsinki and the Finns’ honest and hospitality immediately. Later I called on the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and presented the Letter of Credence to President Sauli Niinistö on 2 June.
Many people, both at home and abroad, have wondered about the easy and unbothered way in which Finland has left its military non-alignment policy behind. Nostalgia for the past seventy years, with its assertions of neutrality, politics of friendship, and bridge-building, is limited in a tense new world.
The decision by Finland to apply for membership in NATO stems from obvious and unarguable security concerns engendered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, this decision is so predictable from the Realist perspective on international relations that it will surely be used in future textbooks.
As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.