Views:677
sarbiya-kosovo

  The victory of Vetevendosje, the Movement for Self-Determination, in Kosova’s October elections has generated concern about the future of the planned talks with Serbia. However, the new government in Prishtina may actually provide much needed realism in the revived American approach to the most persistent frozen dispute.   The White House is seeking results in the Prishtina-Belgrade dialogue before the 2020 presidential elections. President Donald Trump wants to claim a historic foreign policy success in the Balkans and lay the groundwork for the withdrawal of remaining American soldiers. Together with troop evacuations from Syria and Afghanistan, he can then declare during the election campaign that he is finally ending America’s “endless wars.”   In addition to the responsibilities of Matt Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the West

Views:2475
lng_vessel

  The effect of LNG and newly sourced gas in the Southern Gas Corridor will spread across the CEE and the SEE and put the heat on Russia’s gas monopoly. In other words, if hidden and overt preferential treatment for Gazexport is revoked, this will result in lower prices or market shares for the incumbent monopoly. Reverse supplies via the Trans-Balkan Pipeline could start as early as January 1st, 2020, bringing gas from Turkey, Greece, and the Southern Gas Corridor to clients in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Slovakia even before Turk Stream gas crosses the Bulgarian border.   Demand for Nord Stream-2 south and eastbound gas exports via Opal and Eugal gas pipelines should wane with lower price differentials amid rising competition from the Southern Gas Corridor and LNG.  

Views:2437
elections 2020

  Democratic presidential hopefuls in the United States are finally beginning to get serious. By serious I mean they’re starting to drop out. The crowded field that featured over 20 candidates at the beginning of the year lost five in the past two months due to inadequate support and inability to reach necessary donor requirements to appear in the democratic primary debates. This is the only measure of the party getting serious however, the candidates who still believe they have a chance at running against Donald Trump continue to make normal people scratch our heads with bizarre stories about run ins with gang leaders like “Corn Pop”, praise for parents who use a nine year old transgender child to virtue signal, promises to “tell the public about aliens,” and claims

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erdogan_trump

  The presidents of the United States and Turkey are finding common ground where seemingly there is none.     There could be many reasons why Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are not meant to be friends. For one, the U.S. is protecting Erdogan’s archnemesis, Fethullah Gulen. Another is that Washington and Ankara have fractured relations over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.   Several other issues pit NATO allies Washington and Ankara against one another, though none larger at the moment than the matter of the Syrian Kurds. To Washington, the Syrian Kurds were the most trusted ally in the fight against the Islamic State. To Ankara, the Syrian Kurd military branch, the YPG, is one and the same with the PKK, which has long waged

Views:3369
Cartoon by Rebel Pepper
Photo: RFA

“Without meaning to say that the foreigners harbor such destructive intentions in their hearts, we yet positively assert that from their inordinate thirst after gain, they are perfectly careless about the injuries they inflict upon us! And such being the case, we should like to ask what has become of that conscience which heaven has implanted in the breasts of all men?”   The full text of Lin Tse-hsu impassioned open letter to Queen Victoria imploring her to intervene in the illegal smuggling of opium onto the shores of mainland China is a profound plea to morality. Delivered in 1839 in the months preceding the escalations that would result in the first Opium War, the letter fell on deaf hears by the time it was received in England. However, 180

Views:4849
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Michael Vadon

Somebody should remind him why he won in the first place. The recent bout of mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas and Daytona, Ohio have further illuminated the depths of Donald Trump’s disloyalty to his own constituency. In the aftermath of the two mass shootings Trump addressed the public and called for increased tech censorship as well as the implementation of a nationwide red flag gun law, an interesting strategy for a president who won a majority vote with gun owners in 49/50 states.   Red flag gun laws can vary depending on what county and state you’re in, but the general idea is to give family members and close acquaintances the ability to petition a judge to temporarily remove the firearms from a person that they

Views:5710
syria

  Anyone who has been following the events in Syria and the region over recent years would not deny that the stalemate in the northern regions of the country is not unexpected. After more than a year of negotiations – most of them without much effect or emotion – the United States and Turkey continue to fail to resolve their differences with regard to the establishment of the so-called “buffer zone” along the Turkish-Syrian border. President Recep Erdogan has repeatedly stressed that his country intends to intervene in northern and north-eastern Syria to secure its territory from possible penetration by PKK forces, currently part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Washington-backed coalition. The latest threats for an offensive came just as Ambassador James Jeffrey was visiting Ankara to hold talks

This entry was posted in The Region and tagged , , , , , , by Ruslan Trad.

About Ruslan Trad

Ruslan Trad is an analyst, author and freelance journalist, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. He was a lecturer at the Sofia University, the New Bulgaria University, the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NATO. He has published reports from Lebanon, Southeast Turkey, Tunisia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Thailand. In 2014 he made a documentary in Iraqi Kurdistan on the front lines of the war with Islamic State. In 2016 he shot a film in Tunisia about the political crisis in the country and the war in Libya. In 2017 his book "The killing of a revolution" about the war in Syria was published. He is the co-founder of De Re Militari, a journal about military conflicts. His works have been published in Bulgaria and abroad. In late 2019 he will publish his second book on Russian mercenaries, co-authored with Kiril Avramov.
Views:6348
kofite

  Despite ample evidence to the contrary, environmentalists are certain the planet is on its death bed sweating out its final breathe while humans turn up the thermometer. Although their estimation for exactly how much longer we have seems to change every time we reach their previous projection unscathed, the certainty grows. Decades of blatant misrepresentations of data should arouse anyone’s suspicion regarding the shrill of environmentalist propaganda, but lies are best served with a short-term memory and this time your imminent demise is really coming. In fact, according to controversial US freshman lawmaker Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, “the world is gonna [sic] end in 12 years.” In typical neoliberal “clown nose on, clown nose off” fashion she later professed that anybody who actually believed what she said had the intelligence of

Views:5468
chinа1

  For the past several months now, the US media is obsessed with dire predictions of a calamitous trade war between China and the US, following numerous statements by  president Trump that the Chinese trade surplus is intolerable. Indeed, at $506 billion of Chinese exports against only $130 billion of US ones, it does look very unfair. However, things look a bit different if looked at from a different angle. The Chinese value added, for instance is only 45%, which means that 55% is first imported there to be assembled and re-exported. The US value added is 92%, India’s 87%. Secondly, German trade surplus with the US is not far behind China’s and, unlike China, which fills the aisles at Walmart with cheap goods, Germany produces and sells large numbers

Views:11462
trump-mueller

  The Muller report is in and there is no doubt that it will leave a huge and shameful mark in American history. For what happened was a two-year long conspiracy to remove a legitimately elected American president by the democratic party, the main stream press and most disturbingly, the Department of Justice and large part of the intelligence community, including the FBI and the CIA.   To start with the press, as the perceptive Lee Smith has written in the Tablet Magazine, “None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensible partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation.” Virtually the entire main stream press, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and