Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
– The Navalny poisoning has even farther-reaching implications for geopolitics and oil than just the NordStream2 outcome. Under immense pressure for what masses of protesters say was a rigged election for a sixth presidential term, Aleksandr Lukashenko, the European continent’s last dictator, is now cozying up to Moscow for Putin’s support against protests that threaten to overthrow him. He is doing this in two ways: 1) He is trying to lend the Kremlin a helping hand by claiming to have intercepted German chats proving that the Navalny poisoning was fabricated in order to discourage Russia from intervening in Belarus on Lukashenko’s behalf (a weak argument, at best); and 2) By cutting a deal with Russia to potentially re-direct oil flows from Lithuania to the Russian port of Ust-Luga. This is, in part, Lukashenko’s retaliation over European sanctions due to electoral fraud allegations, for which he threatened to cut off European transit routes. Not coincidentally, Lithuania is hosting the U.S. military, which deployed tanks and troops on Friday for an extended two-month stint near the border with Belarus.
– NATO claimed Friday that Turkey and Greece had agreed to start to help reduce the risks of military accidents in the eastern Mediterranean over offshore energy rights. However, Greece denied any such agreement, saying that first, Turkey has to withdraw its vessels from the area where it is carrying out drilling research.