Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 22 June 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 min 26 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
‘DEVASTATING RESPONSE’ TO LITHUANIA SHIPPING BAN: Russian governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, promised retaliation for Lithuania’s support of European Union sanctions. “Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions. Relevant measures are being worked out in an interdepartmental format and will be adopted in the near future. Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania,” he said.
RUSSIA: POLISH BRIDGING BOATS FOR INVASION: Citing a retired general, Russian state media said Poland is preparing to invade Belarus by purchasing French amphibious bridging vehicles. “This means that Poland is planning a tank operation against Belarus. It’s very serious. Warsaw does not need PFM for any other purpose, even hypothetically,” retired Major General Vladimir Popov said. The French bridging asset delivery timeline coincides with a 2026 delivery to Poland of 250 U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks.
RUSSIAN DUMA CONSIDERS REVOKING BALTIC INDEPENDENCE: The Russian Duma is considering revoking the post-Soviet collapse independence claims of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine. “There are a number of reasons why Lithuania should be the first on this list. Once the mechanism has been developed, we can also use it with regard to other NATO territories. And not only NATO. Ukraine, for example, also accidentally left the Soviet Union,” United Russia’s Yevgeny Fedorov said.
KUALA LUMPUR TO START DIRECT SUBSIDIES AS FOOD INSECURITY TAKES HOLD IN MALAYSIA: Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Wednesday that his government would begin distribution of $549 million in direct subsidies to low-income households this month to counter food insecurity and rising prices. The government is also considering an increase in direct subsidies for cooking oil. The subsidies will go to the bottom 40% of the population and are meant to offset the removal of price caps on food staples which had inadvertently decreased food availability to lower-income earners. Malaysia is a net food importer and follows its Indo-Pacific neighbor, Sri Lanka, struggling to provide sufficient imports due to inflation and a weakening currency.
PHILIPPINES NEW PRESIDENT MARCOS TO SEEK CHINA INVESTMENT INITIATIVE: At a speech before the Association for Philippines-China on Monday, Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos stated he would prioritize a network of “partnerships and alliances” with China to assist with the Philippines’ economic recovery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Marcos is looking for a way to cover the $60 billion in additional debt the Philippines has incurred during the pandemic. Marcos has rejected calls for austerity and promised further infrastructure spending to kick-start an economic recovery. Marcos is set to assume office on 30 June.
TAIWAN SCRAMBLES AIR DEFENSE FIGHTERS ON LARGE CHINA WARPLANE INCURSION: Taiwan scrambled a series of F-16V fighter jets on Monday to warn off an approaching Chinese strike package of 29 aircraft. The Chinese strike package consisted of 17 strike fighters and six long-range bombers as well as early warning, anti-submarine, electronic warfare, and aerial refueling aircraft. The incursion into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone was near Taiwan’s Pratas Islands – a potential target of the Chinese military in any future attempt to force reunification with the mainland.
BRICS TO MEET THURSDAY AMID SPECULATION THAT CHINA WILL PROMOTE NEW WORLD ORDER: Ahead of Thursday’s BRICS summit, a collection of the five nations that account for 25% of the global economy (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), China’s state-backed media is pushing the theme that BRICS is an ally of developing nations and a rebel against globalization and U.S. hegemony. Analysts believe China’s President Xi Jinping, will announce a new global security initiative to challenge U.S. geopolitical dominance. The meeting’s agenda is expected to include global economic recovery, deepening climate change coordination, and pandemic responses to public health threats. China is also planning to counter the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and provide an alternative vision to regional economies.
U.S. BEGINS BAN ON SLAVE LABOR IMPORTS FROM CHINA: The Biden Administration announced Tuesday that it would begin to enforce the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which was signed by the president six months ago. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is charged with enforcing the new law, which bans the import of products manufactured in Xinjiang unless the importer can produce documents that attest to the products’ manufacture without the use of forced labor. The law is expected to hit the garment industry hard as an estimated 20% of garments are imported by the U.S. each year, including cotton from Xinjiang.
CZECHIA TO ‘BURN EVERYTHING’ THIS WINTER: The Commissioner of Energy Security for the Czech Republic said his country might lift regulations on winter fuel sources if Russian gas supplies are cut off. “If the gas is turned off this winter, we will burn everything we can to warm our people and generate electricity,” he said. Despite a recent reduction in gas supplies from Russia to Germany, the Czech government said they have enough reserves to last through October.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike covers an update on Mexican cartels following a major campaign by the Mexican government, plus the latest economic and financial warnings from two top investment firms. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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