Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for May 12, 2022

Newsline: G7 top diplomats meet to discuss Ukraine war, impacts

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy nations gathered Thursday in northern Germany for a three-day meeting centered on Russia’s war against Ukraine and the wider impact it is having around the world, particularly on food and energy prices. (https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/world/2022/05/12/g-7-foreign-ministers-meet-discuss-ukraine-war-impacts/9748842002/) German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the meeting’s host, said the conflict already had become a “global crisis” because shipments of staple crops are stuck in Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter.

Newsline: Top U.S. Diplomat Blinken Heads to Europe for NATO, Trade Meetings

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Germany on Saturday for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on their response to the war in Ukraine, the State Department said on Thursday. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock last month invited the ministers to an unofficial meeting in Berlin. The meeting comes as Finland, worried by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, moves to join NATO. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-05-12/top-u-s-diplomat-blinken-to-travel-to-nato-meeting-in-germany-france) On Sunday, May 15, Blinken will travel to Paris with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for the second ministers’ meeting of the U.S.-E.U. Trade and Technology Council.

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador lashes out at China and Russia over new U.N. sanctions on North Korea

The United States clashed with China and Russia on Wednesday over their strong opposition to the U.S. push for new U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its missile and nuclear programs. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, this month’s council president who called the meeting, said the Security Council can’t wait until North Korea conducts “additional provocative, illegal, dangerous acts — like a nuclear test.” She said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — the country’s official name — has conducted 17 ballistic missile launches so far this year. The council imposed sanctions after the North’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years seeking to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cut off funding. But Thomas-Greenfield said that for the last four years, two members — a clear reference to China and Russia — “have blocked every attempt” to enforce the sanctions and update the list of individuals, companies and other entities subject to asset freezes and travel bans. (https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/US-clashes-with-China-and-Russia-over-North-Korea-17167034.php) In the sanctions resolution adopted in December 2017, the Security Council committed to further restricting petroleum exports to North Korea if it conducted a ballistic missile launch capable of reaching intercontinental ranges, Thomas-Greenfield said. This year, North Korea has launched at least three ICBMs, and the council has remained silent, she said. A proposed U.S. draft resolution would halve oil exports, among other sanctions.

Newsline: Chinese ambassador says Solomons pact no threat to Australia

China’s ambassador to Australia has called on the nations to reach “a healthy and stable relationship” after growing tensions in recent years, continuing a conciliatory tone five months into his posting in Canberra. “Both China and Australia are great countries,” Xiao Qian said in an editorial celebrating the nations’ 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, which was published in the Australian Financial Review. “Our peoples have sincere feelings for each other and are eager to exchange ideas, engage in mutual learning, deepen friendship and seek common development.” (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-top-diplomat-australia-urges-235150209.html) Australia’s relationship with China, its largest trading partner, have deteriorated in recent years, with Beijing placing tariffs on barley exports, and traders ordered to stop buying commodities including coal, copper and wine. Tensions sparked again last month when China signed a controversial security pact with Pacific Islands nation the Solomon Islands, a move that could allow Chinese military ships a safe harbor just 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from the Australian coastline.