Stories about International Relations from July, 2011
Poland: Smolensk Report Blames Both Polish and Russian Sides
On July 29, Poland presented its final report on the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, in which 96 people died, including the then president of Poland Lech Kaczynski. While putting the major blame on the Polish pilot's error, the report also pointed at the fault of the defective lighting at Smolensk airport and Russian air controllers.
Vietnam: Resolving the dispute over Spratly Islands
Vietnam Talking Points uploads an article by Thi Quang Lam, a former general in the South Vietnamese Army, who writes about the dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea involving Vietnam, China, and other Southeast Asian nations.
Russia: US Support of Opposition?
LJ user grad46 (Maxim Petrovich) claims [ru] that several Russian opposition groups are funded by US-interests. Until recently an opposition activist himself, Petrovich publishes corroborating documentation, accuses several leading opposition activists of taking American money, and is interviewed [ru] on the issue by Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
U.S.A., Japan: The US Declares War On The Japanese Mafia
Investigative journalist Jake Adelstein reported [en] that US President Obama has officially declared war on the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, as it represents an “extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” Japansubculture.com also published the text of the actual executive order.
Russia-USA: Pest and Cholera of Russia Policies
Vadim Nikitin at Foreign Policy Association blog finds US Russia-policies of both the Democrats and the Republicans negative, after Russian ambassador Sergei Rogozin recently met with two US senators.
Poland-Russia: Passing Out Blame for Kaczynski Plane Crash
Streetwise Professor comments on the Polish report about last year's plane crash that killed the country's president, and goes on to argue that, whereas Polish pilots where mostly to blame, Russian air-traffic control was probably also to blame.
Slovenia: New Twists in Arms Bribery Affaire
Sleeping With Pengovsky posts an update about new developments in Slovenia's scandal over bribery in the Patria affaire concerning purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers from a Finnish company.
Russia-USA: 20 Years Since START I
Hans Kristensen at FAS Strategic Security Blog commemorates the 20th anniversary of START 1, the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty beween the Soviet Union and the USA curtailing the number of nuclear missiles.
South Korea: Controversies on the Return of Korean Royal Books
Koreans celebrated in May 2011 the return of a collection of Korean Royal books, looted by French troops in 1866. As it was later found out that the return was a de facto 'rent' of the treasure, many people have expressed resentment toward the French and Korean governments for failing to fulfill their long awaited wish.
Kenya: Facebook Should Unfriend John Mwau
A Kenyan blogger, Daudi Were, has raised an interesting question about whether the U.S. government will be willing to enforce the Kingpin Act against Facebook for apparently doing business with a Kenyan national Mr Harun Mwau who had earlier this year been designated as a drug lord under the Kingpin Act.
South Korea: 35 Million Users’ Information Leaked in Cyber Attack
Thirty-five million Koreans’ information stored in the South Korean portal site Nate and Cyworld, was hacked in cyber attack from China. One net user from Daum Agora website blamed [ko] Nate's default setting in checking emails- reading the emails without preview function- for involuntarily opening doors to mass hacker attacks.
Bulgaria-Russia: Refinery Shutdown Causes Oil Crisis
John Helmer of Dances With Bears reports that a Bulgarian government-imposed shutdown of the Lukoil-owned Burgas refinery threatens to create an oil crisis in the country, and goes on to describe the political game behind the crisis.
Lebanon: Maritime Dispute with Israel Escalates
Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has exclaimed that God had given Lebanon an opportunity to rid itself of a crippling debt, and become a "rich country" by providing it lucrative offshore oil and gas reserves. However, the reserves potentially lie in a disputed maritime border zone with Israel.
Hungary: International Critique Against New Constitution
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum reports on how US representatives are becoming increasingly concerned about the new Hungarian constitution and how the Hungarian government reacts to US and European crtitique against it.
The Balkans: Trials of Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić
At OpenDemocracy.net, Eric Gordy writes on what there is to expect from the upcoming ICTY trials of Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić.
Armenia: Nationalist links alleged after Utøya attacks
Unzipped comments on claims that Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian responsible for the 22 July terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya which killed at least 76 people, had online connections with extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis in many countries including Armenia. The blog says that the local security services should investigate...
Belarus: Schengen Visa=Guilty
Pyotr Kuznetsov mentions [ru] a Belarusian police officer who interpreted a Schengen visa in the passport of one of the women detained at a protest rally as a solid proof that she was not a law-abiding citizen. He said this to a colleague who used to know the woman and...
Belarus: Overview of Political and Economic Situation
An overview of the political and economic situation in Belarus – by Natalia Leshchenko at OpenDemocracy.net.
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) Blog launched a series “that will cover immigration throughout the hemisphere from a variety of different perspectives.” COHA Research Associate PoLin So kicks off the series with a post on Chinese-Argentines and their struggle to fit into Argentine society.
Belarus: East and West and Nothing in Between?
"East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." This chronically misused Kipling phrase seems to catch the realities for an increasing number of Belarusians, who, waking to a wild and hostile world, are asking: "Who cares about Belarus?"
Russia: Upsides to Tandemocracy
Edward Lozansky at Russia Blog argues that so called Tandemocracy – power sharing – between Russia's President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, on the whole has had positive effects for the country, not least in foreign policy.