The World After a Week December 8, 2019

Diplomacy and Russia:

– Bulgarian diplomat expelled from Russia in tit-for-tat move after Sofia asked the Kremlin to recall a diplomat under suspicion of espionage. Bulgaria also declined granting visa to a Russian defense attache (basically an ambassador). Given the strong cultural ties and energy relations between the two countries, this response of Bulgaria causes surprise (more).
– Germany accused Russia of assassinating a Chechen rebel in Berlin and expelled two Russian diplomats, who according to German reports were working for the Russian military intelligence, the GRU (more). It will not be surprising if Russia retaliates by expelling two German diplomats.

Regimes and Posts:

In the traditional fairy tale the carriage turned into a pumpkin at the end of the day. Will the pumpkin turn into a peach at the end of the year?

– Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne resigned (more).
– Malta’s Prime Minister is expected to step down over corruption. The protests are related to the handling of a journalist’s murder case (more).
– Adil Abdul Mahdi, the Iraqi Prime Minister promises to resign after two months of anti-government protests (more).
– In the United States House Democrats are about to draw Impeachment Articles against Trump (more).

Turkey and Libya (The UN-Supported government) signed a controvertial deal concerning maritime boundaries without Greece’s approval, whose Crete island is obviously affected. The Greek Government reacted by ordering the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador. At the same time Cyprus petitioned the International Court of Justice to safguard its off-shore mineral rights (more).

The NATO summit successfully took place in London. President Donald Trump kept high tones both with French Emmanuel Macron, who described the military alliance as brain dead and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau for supposedly mocking Trump on camera. NATO is now 70 years old (more).

Mass strikes in France as a reaction to pension reform (more).

Angela Merkel visited Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial for the first time as a Chancellor (more).

Iran frees a Chinese-American scholar in exchange for a US-held iranian scientist (more).

World food prices increase in November, mostly because of meat and vegetable oils (more).

Nineteen crew members of a Greek oil tanker were captured by pirates close to Nigeria (more.)

The new Sino-Russian natural gas pipeline is now operating (more).

China suspended US Navy calls in Hong Kong (more).

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