Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 05 July 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 min 43 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
FINLAND & SWEDEN OFFICIALLY JOIN NATO: All thirty NATO members signed the accession documents to expand the alliance, providing the new members access to intelligence and diplomatic resources. Finland and Sweden’s foreign ministers signed their portion, leaving each current and new member’s country to ratify the documents in their legislatures and implement NATO’s common defense provision. Turkey’s foreign minister said the U.S. will supply 40 modernized F-16s in exchange for their cooperation. – D.M.
ENERGY EMERGENCY POSSIBLE IN BALTICS: The Baltic states are preparing for possible emergency disconnection of electricity from Russia. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia will join the European decentralized grid called ENTSO-E no later than 2025. The Baltic states said they could make the switch “immediately,” but customers will face higher prices until grid infrastructure upgrades are complete. – D.M.
U.S. WANTS ARMS INSPECTORS IN UKRAINE: Jed Royal, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said the Biden administration is considering sending arms inspectors to Ukraine. Royal stressed it will not be “some kind of operational detachment or anything along those lines.” Russia may claim it needs its own inspectors to operate alongside the U.S. or that these inspections are masking the Pentagon’s true purpose in Ukraine. The call for inspectors comes after reports of U.S. weapons winding up in black markets in Europe and the Middle East. – D.M.
U.S. BEGINS SANCTIONS OF CHINESE COMPANIES FOR AIDING RUSSIA: The Commerce Department added five Chinese companies to the export blacklist over allegations the companies were aiding Russia in its military operations in Ukraine. The sanctions take effect today, Tuesday, 5 July, and mark the first time the U.S. has sanctioned Chinese companies for their participation in the war in Ukraine. A Commerce Department spokesperson said the companies had supplied material to Russia in advance of the invasion of Ukraine and had ongoing contracts with sanctioned Russian entities. – M.M.
SOUTH KOREA ACCELERATES NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT: The government of newly elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to significantly boost its nuclear power output to guarantee its energy security. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy released the new administration’s energy blueprint earlier today. According to the new plan, South Korea will increase its nuclear energy share of the national energy portfolio to 39% by 2030. The new plan will cut South Korea’s heavy reliance on imported energy and bring their nuclear energy program on par with Finland and Sweden and well ahead of the U.S. and U.K. – M.M.
SRI LANKA BANKRUPT, OUT OF OIL, BAILOUT HOPES DIM: Sri Lanka’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have fallen into near hopelessness as the country is now officially bankrupt and out of oil. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister informed lawmakers over the weekend that recent discussions with the IMF have become more difficult as the nation is now participating in the negotiations from a position of bankruptcy. The government shut schools this past week and ordered all citizens to remain in their homes. The country remains gripped by food shortages as inflation approaches 60%. Officials in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, are currently in discussions with Indian, Japanese, and Chinese officials to form an aid consortium to head off the approaching humanitarian disaster. – M.M.
BIDEN SET TO ANNOUNCE ROLLBACK OF CHINA TRADE TARIFFS: Janet Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He early on Tuesday to discuss international trade and supply chains. Yellen raised concerns over China’s long record of “unfair, non-market economic policies” in what a Treasury Department official described as a “candid and substantive” discussion. Despite Yellen’s taking China to task over unfair trade practices, President Biden is set to roll back Trump-era trade tariffs on Chinese-made consumer goods. The action would mark his first major policy step on trade with China. According to unnamed White House officials, the Biden plan to roll back tariffs on China is part of an effort to offset inflation in the U.S. – M.M.
ARGENTINA ECONOMIC MINISTER RESIGNS AMID MOUNTING ECONOMIC CRISIS: Among deep splits in the ruling coalition over how to proceed in the face of mounting economic issues, Argentina’s economic minister resigned over the weekend. Minister Martin Guzman was the chief architect of a recent deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over restructuring its sovereign debt. Guzman had clashed with Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over Kirchner’s plans to increase spending as a means of reducing poverty. Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy, is facing an unsustainable sovereign debt load, 60% inflation, and its peso hit an all-time low against the dollar last week. – M.M.
TAIWAN AND INDO-PAC ARMS SALES FAST TRACKED BY U.S.: Two U.S. lawmakers, Young Kim and Michael McCaul, both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill late last week that aims to expedite and track the delivery of U.S. arms sold to Taiwan. The bill seeks to ensure that “defense equipment already purchased from the US by Taiwan and other allies in the region is tracked and delivered as efficiently as possible as the Chinese Communist Party eyes further aggression,” Kim said in a statement. The bill would require US President Joe Biden’s administration to submit a report to Congress before March 1 next year listing the approved sales of US defense articles or services worth US$25 million or more to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand that have not been fully delivered. – M.M.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike discusses further constraints to the global oil and gas industry and what that means for domestic consumers. You can get access to his daily Early Warning report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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