Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 14 July 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 min 13 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
EUROPEAN UNION MAY LIFT SANCTIONS: The European Union is considering some sanctions relief on Russian imports to Kaliningrad. The change comes after weeks of tension over Lithuania’s blocking of supplies to Kaliningrad. The Russian government said it would review the proposals carefully, but the EU won’t vote on the change until October. Russian officials previously said they would take unspecified action to ensure Kaliningrad receives supplies. – D.M.
GERMAN GREEN ENERGY FAILS TO COPE WITH ENERGY CRUNCH: German power prices have doubled in the wake of the Nordstream 1 pipeline closure. A localized heatwave with little wind has amplified energy shortages across the country as wind turbines fail to meet rising demands. To cope with rising demands, the German legislature has passed measures reducing gas power generation and allowing the reactivation of coal power plants previously abandoned under green energy initiatives. – R.P.
HUNGARY DECLARES ENERGY EMERGENCY: Hungary’s Minister of the Prime Minister’s office said there is “unlikely to be enough gas in Europe for the autumn and winter heating season.” Gergely Gulyas said, “To protect Hungarian families and provide energy like many other countries, the Hungarian government is declaring a state of emergency in the energy sector.” Hungary joins Germany and the Czech Republic in declaring energy emergencies due to emerging gas shortages. – D.M.
CHINA INCREASING INCURSIONS INTO JAPANESE SENKAKU ISLANDS: According to Japan’s Defense Ministry, Chinese vessels have been discovered in Japan’s Senkaku Islands for the last 81 days in a row. Presently Tokyo reports that a Chinese Lhasa type-055 guided missile destroyer and two other warships were loitering in the Izu Islands south of Tokyo. Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi described the incursions as a clear breach of international law and said Japan would respond to China’s actions “calmly and resolutely.” In May, Japan lodged protests with Beijing and Moscow after observing Chinese and Russian warships operating in its waters off the Senkaku Islands. – M.M.
CHINA READIES ITS FIRST INTERCONTINENTAL DEEP STRIKE STEALTH BOMBER: China’s Noth Industries Corporation, also known as NORINCO, recently released photos of China’s first stealth bomber, the H-20. Analysts are reporting that the H-20 is preparing for its first test flights. The new bomber reportedly has a 5000-mile combat radius, is a flying wing design, and is capable of carrying a variety of air-launched cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs, including nuclear weapons. China watchers estimate that the H-20 will be fielded sometime near the end of this decade, but an exact timeline is unknown. – M.M.
AUSTRALIAN OFF-SHORE GAS FACILITIES CLOSED: Shell shuttered production at its offshore Prelude LNG facility in Australia earlier this week in a move expected to last until at least July 21st. The shutdown comes in the wake of ongoing worker shortages due to protracted legal battles between Shell and the Offshore Alliance union. The union, which represents workers at the Australian terminals, is negotiating for increased pay and benefits. The worker shortages have prompted Shell to release “unable to supply” notices to customers in the region, adding to rapidly increasing global energy woes. – R.P.
U.S. AND ISRAEL SIGN ANTI-IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT: U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint declaration committing both countries to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The statement was released following a Thursday morning meeting between the two leaders on Biden’s second day of a four-day visit to the Middle East. The joint declaration says the U.S. will use “all elements of national power” available to deny Iran the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Biden also reiterated the U.S.’ support for Israel and pledged to continue military aid to the ally. In a press conference following the signing, Israel’s Lapid said, “The only way to stop a nuclear Iran is if Iran knows the free world will use force” against it. Lapid added, “there will be no nuclear Iran.”
U.S. STEPS UP TO THE PLATE WITH MEXICO: Following a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced that U.S. companies had pledged to invest over $40 billion in Mexico over the next two years. AMLO spoke at a meeting of U.S. and Mexican business executives yesterday and called the investment pledges “great news for Mexico.” Billions in foreign investment by countries like China have been held up or nullified by Mexico’s nationalization of its vast lithium deposits. AMLO reportedly told Biden on Tuesday that Mexico was ready to work with the U.S. to help secure energy supplies and promote better economic integration in North America.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike discusses the weekly economic outlook. You can get access to the daily Early Warning report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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