- Russia and China sign ‘historic’ energy deal
- As reality sets in, east Ukraine public turns against Russian separatists
- Boko Haram strikes again, this time in northern Nigeria
- President invokes War Powers Act, sends troops to help Nigeria
Russia and China sign ‘historic’ energy deal
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and China’s president Xi Jinping inShangai signed an energy deal that specifies that Russia, starting in2018, will deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year toChina, meeting a quarter of China’s current natural gas demand of 150billion cubic meters. Over 30 years, the deal, which is beingdescribed as “historic,” is expected to be worth around $400 billion.
Putin was extremely anxious to get this deal signed. As the Ukrainecrisis has unfolded, the Europeans have increasingly discussed beingless dependent on Russian energy. Furthermore, the gas to be suppliedto China will come from Russia’s Far East, where there is no naturalbuyer except China. On the other hand, China has a number of otherpotential sources.
The announcement was something of a surprise, and occurred after anumber of news reports had said that Putin’s visit to China had failedto produce an energy deal. However, details of the deal, particularlythe price, were not revealed, and it’s believed that China forced adesperate Vladimir Putin to accept a rock bottom price, much lower than he would have liked. Many analysts believe that 2018 dateis extremely optimistic, and that a 2020 date is more realistic.Whether the deal continues to appear “historic” remains to be seen.Forbes and AP
As reality sets in, east Ukraine public turns against Russian separatists
A new survey shows that only 22% of people living in eastern Ukraine, whereseparatists are active, of the people want Ukrainealigned with Russia, while 32% say it should be closer to the EuropeanUnion. This is happening because the initial “revolutionary”excitement is dying down and reality is setting in. Rotting garbageis piling up in the hallways of the government office building seizedby separatists in eastern Ukraine. And the separatists who aresupposedly government separatist in reality have almost noauthority over anything except themselves. According to one analyst,the annexation of Crimea is already causing problems for Russia: “It’salready too costly for Russia to swallow Crimea. It will be justimpossible to swallow the east of Ukraine, but the public is expectingit. So that’s the difficulty.” Washington Post and VOA
Boko Haram strikes again, this time in northern Nigeria
A day after a double bombing in the central Nigerian city of Joskilled 118 people, a Boko Haram assault on three villages in northernNigeria on Wednesday killed 48 people. The terrorists attackedvillages, forcing people to hide in the bush, from where they couldwatch as their homes were burned down.
As Boko Haram has abducted over 200 schoolgirls and perpetrated oneterrorist bombing after another, Nigeria’s government has appeared tobe increasingly helpless, and Nigeria’s army has been almostcompletely invisible. National Post
President invokes War Powers Act, sends troops to help Nigeria
The United States is sending 80 military personnel and at least oneunarmed Predator reconnaissance aircraft drone to Chad as part of theinternational effort to defeat Boko Haram. The unmanned drone willjoin similar aircraft based in Niger that have already beenparticipating in the search for the kidnapped schoolgirls. ThePresident sent a letter to Congress invoking the War Powers Act:
“Approximately 80 U.S. Armed Forces personnel havedeployed to Chad as part of the U.S. efforts to locate and supportthe safe return of over 200 schoolgirls who are reported to havebeen kidnapped in Nigeria. These personnel will support theoperation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissanceaircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surroundingarea. The force will remain in Chad until its support in resolvingthe kidnapping situation is no longer required.
This action has been directed in furtherance of U.S. nationalsecurity and foreign policy interests, pursuant to myconstitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and asCommander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep theCongress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution(Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress inthese actions.”
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Vladimir Putin, China, Xi Jinping,Ukraine, Crimea, Nigeria, Jos, Boko Haram, Chad