29 August 2014   Leave a comment

The United Kalavrvta is an oil tanker that was carrying about $100 million worth of oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq.  The Kurds have been trying to sell the oil from their territory, but the central government of Iraq claims that the oil belongs to Iraq and does not recognize an independent state of Kurdistan. Currently the Kurds receive about 17% of the value of the oil pumped from its territory.  Apparently, the Kurds decided to keep all the revenues because the Kalavrvta has disappeared from the electronic tracking system used by the US Coast Guard.  It is likely that the tanker will eventually reappear but without any oil.  We’ll see how the Iraqi government decides to pursue the matter.  If the Kurds can sell their own oil, it will be a huge step forward in their bid for their own state.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted an interview with various regional experts on the question: “Is the Islamic State a Flash in the Pan?”  The answers, some of which are inconsistent with each other, are quite thoughtful and revealing.  Generally, however, the answers tend to emphasize the problems the Islamic State is going to have governing such a large swath of territory in both Syria and Iraq.  The interview offers a good perspective on the power of IS which everyone should keep in mind as world leaders tend to focus on emphasizing the threat from the new organization.

Poland denied the right of the Russian Defense Minister’s airplane to fly through its airspace when Russia declared the flight as a military flight.  When Russia changed the characterization of the flight to a “civilian” flight, Poland allowed the flight to proceed.   Poland has been sharply critical of Russian actions in Ukraine, and the denial was an attempt to communicate to the Russians Poland’s displeasure.  Needless to say, the Russians were angered by the move.

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Posted August 29, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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