Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 06 July 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 min 48 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
FINLAND SEIZES RUSSIAN RAILCARS: Finland seized 865 rail freight cars belonging to Russian companies, in accordance with European Union sanctions. Finnish authorities say the seized equipment and cargo are valued at 82 million euros ($84.17 million). When the EU enacted sanctions, more than 5,000 Russian-owned rail cars were up for seizure, but Finland’s government allowed most to return to Russia. – D.M.
NORWAY & RUSSIA SUMMON DIPLOMATS OVER SHIPPING: The Kremlin is accusing Norway of violating a 1920 treaty that guaranteed economic passage to Russian vessels. Founding NATO member Norway is accused of refusing to allow Russia to pass cargo to a mining village on the Svalbard archipelago, causing each country to summon diplomats for explanation. Norway said it is simply enforcing international sanctions and that Russia could bring in supplies another way. Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Russia may consider revoking maritime sovereignty agreements with Norway to protect its national interests. – D.M.
RUSSIA SLASHES NORDSTREAM GAS SHIPMENTS: Over the weekend, Russia slashed its natural gas supplies to Europe via the NordStream pipeline due to maintenance. Goldman Sachs analysts said, “While we initially assumed a full restoration of NS1 flows following its upcoming maintenance event, we no longer see this as the most probable scenario.” Currently, the main gas supply to Europe is at 41% capacity, prompting Germany to halt Yamal-Europe supplies to Poland. European officials warn that a continued disruption to energy supplies could induce a recession or at least economic protectionism. – D.M.
CHINA DEFENDS COAST GUARD ACTIONS AGAINST JAPANESE VESSELS IN SENKAKU ISLANDS: Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the Japanese government lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing over two Chinese patrol vessels that tried to approach Japanese fishing boats in the waters off the Senkaku Islands on Monday morning. This was the 15th such incident this year. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded by saying, “Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands were part of China’s territory. The activities of Chinese vessels in the adjacent waters are legitimate and lawful. The Japanese side has no right to point fingers over these activities.” – M.M.
CHINESE COBALT MINE ORDERED CLOSED BY CONGO GOVERNMENT: Congolese courts have ordered China Molybdenum Company Limited (CMOC) to suspend marketing and export of products at the second largest cobalt mine in the world. The Congolese government suspects CMOC intentionally misrepresented reserve capacities at the Tenke Fungurume mine to reduce royalty payments to a Congolese state-owned mining company. Chinese Ambassador Zhu Jing has said that his government is following the events closely to ensure “the rights of Chinese companies are respected” and encouraging dialogue to avoid “using the apparatus of the state or resorting to brutal methods.” – R.P.
PHILIPPINE’S NEW PRESIDENT MARCOS REBOOTS FOREIGN AND DEFENSE POLICY: Philippine President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos broke with the Duterte government and filled two key positions with trusted professionals vice loyalist political operatives. Marcos appointed former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff and retired Army General Jose Faustine as the new Chief of the Department of National Defense. Additionally, Marcos appointed a career diploma, Ambassador Enrique Manalo, to head the Department of Foreign Affairs. The appointments of two strong pro-U.S. career professionals sets the tone for a more serious effort to balance the security requirements of the Philippines in the midst of the great power competition between China and the U.S. in the region. – M.M.
OPEC CALLS FOR END OF IRANIAN AND VENEZUELAN OIL EMBARGOS: Speaking at an energy conference in Nigeria, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo has said the global oil industry is “under siege.” Citing the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and global shortages resulting from a chronic underfunding of infrastructure as part of green energy initiatives, Barkindo has called for the release of Iranian and Venezuelan oil embargos to “unlock resources and strengthen capacity” as global oil demands continue to skyrocket – R.P.
DUTCH FARMERS FIRED ON BY GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES: Farmers protesting the closure of their farms over EU Climate regulations were fired upon by government security forces yesterday. According to police reports, the farmers were in the province of Friesland when police fired on their tractors to prevent them from accessing the motorway. There were no reported injuries. The incident marks a significant escalation in the conflict between farmers and the government over orders to close the farms to meet a planned reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxide and ammonia. Over the past week, farmers have blocked transportation nodes and stopped delivery of food products to grocery retailers leaving store shelves empty in many parts of the country. – M.M.
NAVY FAILS SECOND HYPERSONIC WEAPON TEST FOR ZUMWALT DESTROYER: The U.S. Navy failed its latest hypersonic missile test, according to a Department of Defense spokesperson on Tuesday. The missile test, which took place in Hawaii, failed after a boost motor malfunctioned and puts in doubt DoD’s plan to field hypersonic weapons by 2023. The Navy’s version of the missile was slated to be the primary weapon system on its troubled Zumwalt-class destroyer. The Zumwalt-class vessels were initially produced with an advanced gun system that fired guided projectiles that cost $800,000 each. After multiple reliability issues with the guns, the Navy decided to replace them with hypersonic weapons. The latest hypersonic program failure puts the U.S. Navy years behind its adversary in the Pacific, China, which has a fully functional hypersonic capability that includes sub-orbital bombardment systems. – M.M.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Dustin and Max discuss NATO’s new strategic concept and looming global food shortages. You can get access to his daily Early Warning report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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