Ukraine Current Affairs - 2019
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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg (France) has voted in favour of restoring Russia’s voting rights, 5 years after they were revoked over its illegal annexation of Crimean Peninsula.
Background: In 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Russia was stripped of its voting rights. Russia then responded by boycotting assembly and since 2017 the country also refused to pay its share of 33 million Euro to human rights watchdog.
Recently, Russia had also threatened the assembly of quitting the body altogether if it is not allowed to take part in election of a new secretary general to body.
Vote: The Parliamentary assembly voted with 118 in favour and 62 against, and 10 abstentions. The voting was undertaken despite strong opposition from Ukraine.
Outcome: This move now paves the way for Russia to participate in election of a new secretary general for pan-European rights body.
About Council of Europe
It is European continent’s leading human rights organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The organisation is separate from European Union (EU).
It was established in 1949 with Headquarters in Strasbourg, France.
Objective: to achieve a greater unity between its members countries for purpose of safeguarding and realising ideals and principles which are their common heritage and also to facilitate their economic and social progress.
Members: It includes 47 member states (including 28 members of European Union).
Russia’s annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is being held from 6-8 June 2019. It is an annual international forum that discusses key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and world at large stage. The Saint Petersburg is Russia’s former imperial capital.
Key Highlights of SPIEF
- Background: The first SPIEF was held in 1997. Now over past two decades, it has become one of leading global platforms for communication between business representatives and discussion of crucial global economic issues. Since 2006 it has been held under auspices and participation for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The SPIEF 2018 edition brought together around 17,000 participants from more than 140 countries. At the event Russia tries to boost its appeal to international businesses and investors.
- St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019: brought together high-profile politicians, leaders from participating countries, leaders of International organisation, representatives of major international companies and organisations as well as experts from various fields. In 2019 session delegations from nearly all European Union (EU) countries, including Hungary, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Belgium among others and also senior officials from Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Central African Republic (CAR) are taking part in various business sessions of forum. Chinese President Jinping will also attend SPIEF 2019 edition.
- Theme for SPIEF 2019: Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda
- Following Rusian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and role in pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine, the country has been hit by five years of international sanctions on its economy. It is also not immune to effects of U.S-China trade war which is putting brakes on global growth. The Western sanction over Russia is now followed by Russia’s pivot to the east with gradual dependence on China.
- The Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to SPIEF 2019 marks a new era of friendship between China and Russia and reinforcement of economic ties that had benefitted from Moscow’s isolation from West. This visit holds milestone significance in development of bilateral relations.
- Both countries show strong political mutual trust such as politically they seem consistently aligned and often vote in unison as permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They also support each other firmly on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.
Tags: China-Russia • Crimean Annexation • Russian Sanction • SPIEF 2019 • St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 • Ukraine • UN Security Council • UNSC • US-China • US-China trade dispute • US-Russia