The US government is seeking to economically drown Venezuela and Iran by wanting to seize fuel that Tehran is sending to Caracas. This is part of a sustained aggressive and illegal policy against both countries. The US Attorney’s Office requested before a court on July 2 to embargo Iranian fuel that is being exported to Venezuela. It is an aggression that goes beyond the legal borders of the US, meaning the embargoes are extraterritorial and violate international law.
District of Columbia prosecutor Zia Faruqui accused Iranian businessman Mahmoud Madanipour of organizing the fuel shipment from Iran to Venezuela through fictitious firms registered in the United Arab Emirates to circumvent Washington’s extraterritorial sanctions against both countries. In this sense, the US is provoking a deepening of the economic crisis in Venezuela and Iran, largely caused by American sanctions. Washington intends to deepen what it created, that has not only triggered an economic crisis in Venezuela and Iran, but also a humanitarian one. Very few international ship-owners dare to challenge US threats and have therefore mostly severed their relations with Venezuela.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was due to meet Kosovo leader Hashim Thaçi on Saturday at the White House. This was at the behest of US envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, after his much-publicized success in organizing the meeting. However, his success was short lived after Thaçi became indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity on June 24 by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.
The US meeting has been put on hold until further notice, but as Vučić revealed, the EU will take over discussions between Belgrade and Pristina at a later date. It appears that France and Germany specifically will spearhead these meeting with the French Embassy in Kosovo saying on Thursday that "France and Germany expect Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to resume soon. Together with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron remains ready to host a Summit in Paris." German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt tweeted: "Our governments stand ready to be helpful with [a] proposed meeting in July."
Due to prosecutors in The Hague indicting Thaçi’s alleged war crimes during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, Kosovo’s new prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, said he could not travel to Washington to conduct talks with Serbia.
Berlin is insistent on maintaining problematic relations with Moscow by making claims against Russia. Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused Russia in the Bundestag that she was the target of Russian hackers, adding that she had concrete proof of the "outrageous" spying attempts, without actually providing any evidence. She even went on to suggest that sanctions could be placed against Russia.
The German Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 28 that "The Russian ambassador was informed that on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the federal prosecutor’s office on May 5 against Russian national Dmitry Badin, that the German government will seek in Brussels to use the EU cyber sanctions regime against those responsible for the attack on the German Bundestag, including Mr. Badin."
The World Bank warns that there is a global poverty increase as tens of millions of people have fallen back into poverty because of the pandemic. Up to 60 million people worldwide may fall into extreme poverty due to the coronavirus, said David Malpass, head of the World Bank.
"Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years, and our forecasts indicate a deep recession," Malpass said on Tuesday.
According to him, the bank is trying to help people by providing loans in 100 countries and pledged to provide $160 billion in loans up to mid-2021. Malpass did add that these efforts were not enough. He called on creditor countries to join the G20 initiative – a ban on debt repayment for some developing countries.
The North Macedonian House of Representatives unanimously approved on Monday for their country to accept the NATO Accession Protocol, taking the former Yugoslav Republic a step closer towards accession into NATO which is expected to be completed and finalized in the spring. North Macedonia’s rapid accession into NATO is only possible because of the Prespa Agreement signed between Athens and Skopje in June 2018, bringing an end to the name dispute between the two countries that emerged in 1991 with the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The Prespa Agreement, named after a lake that traverses the borders of Greece, North Macedonia and Albania, defined exactly what was meant by "Macedonia" and "Macedonian." For Greece, according to the agreement, these terms denote an area and people of Greece’s northern region, who continue the legacy of the Ancient Macedonian Hellenic civilization, history and culture, as well as the legacy of Alexander the Great. In reference to North Macedonia, these terms denote the modern territory of North Macedonia, the Slavic language and Slavic people with their own history and culture unrelated to the Ancient Macedonians. The agreement also stipulates the removal of North Macedonian irredentist efforts against Greek territory and to align them with UNESCO and Council of Europe’s standards.