13 April 2015   1 comment

Russia has announced that it intends to honor a 2010 agreement with Iran to sell advanced missile systems.  The Russians deferred delivery of those systems as part of the UN sanctions designed to force a nuclear agreement.  The Russians also announced that they would begin a new trade agreement with Iran, buying Iranian oil in exchange for Russian products.  The Russian move is clearly premature since the final agreement is not supposed to be signed until 30 June 2015.   The decision could have two effects on US policy.  First, it could be used as evidence that the agreement with Iran is not enforceable and therefore scuttle the agreement.  Second, it could be used as evidence that the preliminary deal is better than nothing and that no additional sanctions would have any effect on Iranian policy thereby sealing the deal.  We will see how Congress decides to interpret the move.  The Russian move will also make any military action against Iran very difficult.  The new S-300 antiaircraft missiles will make bombing Iran very problematic.

UNICEF, the UN Children’s Emergency Fund, estimates that about 800,000 children have been displaced in Nigeria as a result of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram.  Many of these children have been kidnapped and sold as slaves by the group, and UNICEF believes that about 15,000 people have died since 2009 in the violence.  The previous government of Goodluck Jonathan was completely incompetent in dealing with the threat.  We can hope that the new President, Buhari, will be significantly more effective in restoring order.

The Financial Times is reporting that the Greek government is preparing to default on its government debt.  Greece went through similar crises in 2010 and 2012 but managed to survive those scares so it is difficult to figure out how accurate the report is.  The FT  has a paywall but here are some excerpts from the article:

“The government, which is rapidly running out of funds to pay public sector salaries and state pensions, has decided to withhold €2.5bn of payments due to the International Monetary Fund in May and June if no agreement is struck, they said.

“’We have come to the end of the road . . . If the Europeans won’t release bailout cash, there is no alternative [to a default],’ one government official said.”

The FT has an outstanding reputation for accuracy so this report should be taken seriously.

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Posted April 13, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “13 April 2015

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  1. Pingback: One Year Anniversary | Catherine Onyemelukwe

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