Russia’s latest military exercise could be it’s latest step toward claiming maritime borders in the Arctic.
Tensions have increased a notch in the Arctic with the news that the Russians have started a major military exercise in the region. Nearly 40,000 servicemen, 41 warships and 15 submarines will be taking part in drills to make them combat-ready—a major show of strength in a region that has long been an area of strategic interest to Russia.
Russia might be reshaping national borders in Europe as it reasserts its geopolitical influence, but the equivalent borders in the Arctic have never been firmly established. Historically it has proven much harder for states to assert sovereignty over the ocean than over land, even in cases where waters are ice-covered for most of the year. Continue reading
WASHINGTON—On September 23, the drill ship SAIPEM 10000 — built in South Korea at the cost of $250 million and flying the flag of the Bahamas — arrived in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus to begin exploring for gas under a license awarded to an Italian-South Korean consortium, ENI-KOGAS. The Cyprus government hopes that additional discoveries over the next 18 months in its EEZ will be sufficient to make its plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the island, to condition gas for export, commercially viable.
The Turkish authorities declared that the drill ship violated Turkey’s area of maritime jurisdiction and sent the Corvette Bafra to monitor operations. Another Turkish warship, the Gelibolu, engaged in planned maneuvers south of Cyprus ostensibly to ensure maritime safety in the eastern Mediterranean. The Cyprus foreign minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said that exploration would continue despite Turkey’s “potential harassment.” Continue reading
…and now we have factual proof as to why a German-led European Union had pushed Russia out of Cyprus and raided the cash vaults. It had nothing to do with corrupt Russian bankers, businessmen or shady politics. The hit was motivated by solidifying Europe’s future energy independence and positioning EU as a future world superpower. In previous posts, it was also mentioned that Greece would be the future corridor for forwarding energy from the Mediterranean, Middle East and northern African nations. Don’t count the ‘broke’ nation out of the game.
Turkey has sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast.
Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday.
In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities.
Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Wednesday that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.
President Obama will use his legal authority Thursday to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, demonstrating his increased willingness to advance a conservation agenda without the need for congressional approval.
By broadening the existing Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, Obama has protected more acres of federal land and sea by executive power than any other president in at least 50 years and makes the area off-limits to commercial fishing.
The proclamation will mean added protections for deep-sea coral reefs and other marine ecosystems that administration officials believe are among “the most vulnerable” to the negative impacts of climate change.
While the new designation is a scaled-back version of an even more ambitious plan the administration had floated in June, it marks the 12th time Obama will have exercised his power under the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect environmental assets. The decision to continue to allow fishing around roughly half the area’s islands and atolls aims to limit any economic impact on the U.S. fishing interests. Continue reading
China appears to feel that its naval buildup has progressed sufficiently to allow it to retaliate against the US naval presence in the East China Sea by sending surveillance ships to Hawaiian waters.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) electronic reconnaissance ship spotted in Hawaiian waters is most likely of about 4,000-ton displacement and is equipped with various electronic gear for eavesdropping on radio communications and tracking ships and aircraft. It is also believed to have jamming equipment to interfere with the radio communications of other ships. Continue reading
While “assassin’s mace” may sound like new vocabulary for some, it’s not. Assassin’s mace has been mentioned quite a few times by the PLA over the years as a method of catching the United States off guard by blinding it before it strikes the American homeland. Blinding US satellite capability is part of this strategy, which would in turn wreak havoc or severly hamper the US Navy’s ability to defend the Pacific or the US Air Force’s ability to fully function as it should. The US is overly reliant upon technology at its own peril, and at the same time refuses to enter the space arena where China and Russia are advancing their “Star Wars” programs in order to attain full spectrum dominance over America.
Further information on “assassin’s mace” can be found here:
China’s Assassin’s Mace weaponry (informative forum source)
Further information can be found on the “Star Wars” programs here:
China has revealed that its first fleet of nuclear submarines has started sea patrols, in the latest sign of its military’s growing confidence which has raised concerns in the region.
Xinhua, the official news agency, released photographs of what appeared to be Xia-class vessels – China’s first generation of nuclear-armed submarines, which are several decades old – saying they were being “declassified” for the first time.
It said the submarines would “gallop to the depths of the ocean, serving as mysterious forces igniting the sound of thunder in the deep sea”, and be an “assassin’s mace that would make adversaries tremble”. Continue reading
MOSCOW — Russia on Saturday announced an initiative to address climate change. But it had nothing to do with smokestacks.
Russia’s military said it planned to sail regular naval patrols along shipping lanes in its territory in the Arctic Ocean that opened to commercial vessels only in the last few years, as Arctic ice began melting at a record pace. Continue reading
Meet your new economic foundations of the European Union: Cyprus and Greece. From this point, it seems they are not likely to be kicked out of the union and could become part of the upcoming United States of Europe.
Cyprus, Israel and Greece have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of energy and water.
Speaking after the signing of the MoU, Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said “this is a monumental moment for the cooperation among the three countries”.
“The MoU is a framework which will determine the number of activities that the countries have agreed to jointly pursue, such as energy security supply, environmental concerns and a number of other issues which are common for us three”, he added. Continue reading
MANILA, Philippines – Taiwan has earmarked $110 million for the construction of a pier on Spratlys’ Taiping Island, which the Philippines has also laid claims, set to be completed by 2015.
The new project can hold frigates, radar-evading corvettes and Taiwanese Navy’s Kuang Hua VI-class missile boats, according to reports by Taiwanese media on Monday. Continue reading
MANILA–The Philippines has deployed a fresh batch of marines and supplies to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea, where a Chinese warship and surveillance vessels appeared last month and triggered a new standoff in the strategic waters, the Philippine defense secretary said Wednesday.
The new contingent of Filipino marines replaced troops at the Second Thomas Shoal, where the arrival last month of Chinese ships sparked diplomatic protests from the Philippines. Continue reading
China says it is ready to respond to “any escalation” by the Philippines, as a tense, month-long standoff continues over a disputed group of islands in the South China Sea.
The state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying as saying Beijing is not optimistic about the dispute over the Scarborough Shoal, located about 230 kilometers off the northwestern Philippines.
On Monday, Fu summoned a top Philippine diplomat in Beijing to make a “serious representation” over the situation. Fu told Charge D’affaires Alex Chua that Manila was escalating tensions and making it more difficult to reach a negotiated settlement.
China says the islands, known as Huangyan in China, are a key part of Chinese territory and that any Philippine claim to them is baseless. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its internationally recognized exclusive economic zone.
The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims in the South China Sea. China claims nearly the entire energy-rich region.
Full article: China Says Ready for ‘Escalation’ in Maritime Dispute With Philippines (Voice of America)