Russia’s foreign policy gets the world talking.
For several weeks, Russia has been on the news for its foreign policy and activities around the Ukrainian border and black sea. So, when President Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly this week, it was clear that he would address some of the reasons behind the Kremlin’s actions and state Russia’s stance. He did.
Putin complained of Western subversion in Russia and warned that although Russia wants to have good relations with all states and is not going to “burn bridges”, if necessary, its response will be “asymmetric, swift, and tough.” Still, on this topic, Russian state media reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months.
In reaction to this, the U.S and other European countries slammed this move and tagged it unprovoked escalation, adding that it could affect access to Ukrainian ports. In last week’s geopolitical supply chain rundown, I had highlighted that this was a risky possibility. Now that the indications are clearer we must begin to talk about what next and how to mitigate any risks that could come from this closure.
- The closure can escalate the situation between both countries, which will not end well.
- The closure can affect access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov connected to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait. This strait is of crucial importance for the export of grain and steel from Ukraine. Ukraine’s exports may reduce significantly if this closure persists until October as Russia has said it will.
Australia and China dispute – no end in sight.
The relations between Asia -pacific’s biggest trading partners have been fraught after Canberra pushed for an international probe into the origin of the coronavirus without diplomatic consultations with Beijing beforehand.
Beijing responded with several trade bans on Australia’s wine, barley, cotton, sugar, lobsters, copper, and coal.
Recently, Australia canceled a 2018 agreement signed between Victoria state and China’s National Development and Reform Commission to cooperate on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. According to the Australian Parliament, it gave the federal government powers to do this because of China’s increasingly open use of economic coercion to threaten Australia.
Again reminds countries of the danger of relying on one singular trade partner, as Ukraine now has to re-establish trade relations with other buyers.