Russia Current Affairs - 2019
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Iran announced it will pull out of some commitments under 2015 international nuclear agreement signed with world powers, called Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).
About Iran’s Partial Withdrawal
In a move of partial withdrawal from JCPOA Iran will pull out of some commitments such as:
- It will stop suppressing its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water, as these are needed by certain types of reactor for nuclear fission to take place.
- Reason: As per Iran, such action is required as European Union (EU) and other countries did not have power to resist US pressure. Also, such measures are necessary to secure Iran’s rights and bring back balance after United States exited from agreement in 2018.
- Iran’s Supreme National Security Council gave 60 days to remaining countries of deal, to implement their commitments, mainly in fields of banking and oil. It referred to commitments made by Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain, to lift sanctions on Iran in return if it curbs its nuclear activities.
- The decision comes after US dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group to Middle East.
- As per Iran this path is not that of war, but is of diplomacy with a new language and a new logic.
- China resolutely opposes unilateral US sanctions against Iran and called on all parties to uphold Iranian nuclear pact.
- Russia has also denounced US pressure and stands by Iran nuclear deal.
- Britain in contradiction has not welcomed Iran’s decision, as it could lead to new Western sanctions.
US Stand on Issue
- In May 2018, US President Donald Trump announced that US will unilaterally pull out of from JCPOA, re-imposing US sanctions on Iran. His administration found the deal to be “defective to the core”.
- US also announced to cancel waivers to countries (including India) who continue to purchase oil from Iran.
Reasons given for Withdrawal:
- JCPOA does not have binding restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and it does nothing to prevent Iran from sponsoring terrorism in its region.
- Most restrictions have a sunset-clause, which means that over the years JCPOA’s provisions will become less strict and this will enable Iran to move towards nuclear-weapon capability.
- It is an international nuclear agreement signed in 2015, between Iran and the P5+1. The P5+1 includes five permanent UNSC’s members (P5): China, Russia, France, United Kingdom (UK), and United States; and (+1) Germany.
- Under it, Iran agreed to make certain changes to its nuclear programme which included stopping export of enriched uranium stock, in return for United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the US revoking their sanctions against it.
- These Nuclear related sanctions on Iran were lifted by US from 1 January 2016.
Tags: China • Enriched Uranium • France • Iran • JCPOA • Joint comprehensive plan of action • Middle-East • Nuclear Agreement • P5+1 • President Donald Trump • Russia • United Kingdom (UK) • United Nation Security Council • United States • UNSC
At 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting held at Rovaniemi in Finland, India was re-elected as an observer to intergovernmental forum Arctic Council. India promised its commitment towards contributing more to Arctic Council.
About 11th Arctic Council
Major issues discussed at the Council meeting:
- With growing tensions worldwide, how to deal with global warming and jurisdiction of Arctic’s wealth of minerals.
- Concerns over renewed climate policies of US President Donald Trump.
- China’s (an observing nation in Arctic Council) “Polar Silk Road” plan (as melting ice has opened up new northern shipping routes), which it outlined in 2018.
- Russia’s Northern Fleet modernization and reopened Cold War military bases.
About Arctic Council
- It was established in 1996 by Ottawa Declaration.
- Headquarter: Tromso, in Norway.
- Members (8): Russia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark (representing Greenland and Faroe Islands), Canada and United States.
- Iceland currently holds council’s rotating chair.
- Representation: by Indigenous groups and council also has 13 observer states (are non-Arctic countries invited to council meetings but have no voting rights).
- Function: It is a high level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by Arctic states, its indigenous people and its other inhabitants. It seeks to promote coordination, cooperation and interaction among them on common issues but mainly on environmental protection and sustainable development in Arctic.
India and Arctic Region
- Indian researchers have been studying whether there is a co-relation between Indian monsoon and the Arctic region.
- National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an Indian institute under Ministry of Earth Sciences, has set up research station, ‘Himadri’, in Svalbard (Norway). It studies and works on mass balance of glaciers, effect of climate warming on marine system, clouds formation and precipitation, and also effect on biodiversity.
Tags: 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting • Arctic Council • Canada and United States • Denmark • Finland • Iceland • India • Northern Fleet • Norway • Ottawa Declaration • Polar Silk Road • Russia • Sweden