EU Current Affairs - 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a decree for extending Moscow’s embargo on food products being imported from the European Union (EU) to the end of 2020. This decision was in continuation of Russia’s s retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine.
A decree signed by President Vladimir Putin posted on Moscow’s official government website, reads that ban on produce, dairy, meat and most other foods imported from EU will now stretch to December 31, 2020.
Background: In 2014, following the international sanctions imposed by United States and other countries over Russia for its annexation of Crimea and support of east Ukraine’s separatists, Moscow in August 2014 imposed counter sanctions on most food imports from the European Union, US and several other countries. The international restrictions were primarily targeted at finance, energy and defense sectors of Russian economy.
Recently on 20 June 2019, EU further extended their punishing economic sanctions against Russia (over conflict in Ukraine) for a further 6 months period.
Sanction Result: The Western economic restrictions being faced by Russia as well as country’s own embargo have affected Russian economy by pushing up food prices. Western sanction have deprived Russian economy of $50 billion on the other hand EU has lost $240 billion.
Russia has now managed to benefit from Western economic pressure as it has started phasing out its imports and replacing them with domestically made products, even in sectors in which Moscow did not have any experience, thus giving boost to domestic producers.
The 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia was hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
Key Highlights of Summit
- Agenda: The official agenda of meeting was to address ‘current issues in Muslim world’ and ‘recent developments in a number of OIC member states. Also, amid soaring tension between Iran and the US and its Gulf allies the OIC summit discussed the regional security issues. The Mecca summit supported Palestinians and backed Saudis in Iran standoff.
- Background: In December 2017, The United States President Donald Trump broke the decades of established protocol by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In May 2018 US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The suit was soon followed by Guatemala.
- Political leaders and heads of state from Islamic nations unanimously condemned countries including United Sates decision of making “illegal and irresponsible decision” to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- In a joint statement at OIC summit in Saudi Arabia, the leaders called on countries that have moved their embassies to Jerusalem (by recognizing it as Israel’s capital) to rethink their strategy and which OIC considered as a serious violation of international law and international legitimacy.
About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
- It was established in 1969 by 24 member states and presently has 57 member states from four continents.
- Members: Out of total 57 member states the organisation has several significant non-Arab member states, like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. The 22 members of the Arab League are also part of OIC. It has five observer members, including Russia and Thailand.
- With a collective population of more than 1.8 billion, it is the second largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations (UN).
- Objective: As per OIC charter, it aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend national sovereignty and independence of its member states and also to contribute to international peace and security.
- OIC states itself as ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ and works towards protecting interests of Muslim world.
- Summit: OIC holds an Islamic Summit once every three years at which heads of state discuss ways to achieve OIC’s charter’s objectives and make policy decisions that concern its member states.
- OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the European Union (EU)
- Its official languages are Arabic, English and French.
Tags: 14th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Summit • EU • European Union • Guatemals • Islamic Summit • Jerusalem • Mecca • OIC Summit • Palestine • Saudi Arabia • Tel Aviv • UN • United Nation • United States • US-Israel