IR INSIDER

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IR Insider is a production of NYU's International Relations Society. Our goal is to explain and discuss issues in IR in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion. We are written by students, for students, about issues students care about. 

Vienna Hosts OPEC+ Oil Summit

Vienna is set to host an oil summit between the leaders of OPEC and other major global oil producers between Dec 5-6. The meeting follows in the wake of a G-20 meeting held in Buenos Aires at the beginning of this month where Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly committed to continuing their previously established cooperative agreement, known as OPEC+.

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Poland, Pollution, and Paris: Climate Change and the Upcoming UN COP24

Poland is set to host the upcoming 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). From Dec. 2-14, the city of Katowice will welcome delegates and heads of state from across the world to discuss the creation of a new ‘rulebook’ on climate change to enable participatory states to credibly and effectively commit to environmental goals set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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Ukraine Declares Martial Law Following Kerch Strait Conflict

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Russia and Ukraine have been involved in an ongoing conflict. Tensions between the two nations recently escalated with a confrontation in the Kerch Strait on Nov. 25, 2018. Russia’s report of the incident differs from Ukraine’s report, with much disagreement over the exact details of the incident amongst the international community.

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Europe: Forging a Tenuous Path Towards Energy Security with The Nord Stream

A long-standing dispute over the role of the Nord Stream pipeline running across Europe from Russia to Germany has become a point of contention in both intra-European and European-American relations over the last few months. Since his time in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has vocalized his discontent over the energy relationship between Russia and the rest of Europe, fostered by a Russian primary supply and increasing monopolization over oil and natural gas resources to the rest of the continent.

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Academic Freedom: The Latest Target of Hungary’s ‘Illiberal’ Orban

An announcement on Oct. 25, 2018, revealed Central European University (CEU) plans to relocate its main campus from Budapest, Hungary to Vienna, Austria by December 1st of this year. The address comes after a nearly 18-month long, unsettled struggle between CEU officials and members of the Hungarian government, in regards to Hungary’s legal tightening and impositions of restraint on the autonomy and academic freedom of the university.

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How the Dissolution of the INF Treaty Plays into the Hands of Putin

On October 20, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intentions to lead the U.S. out of the Cold War-era nuclear arms agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or the INF. The INF treaty was signed in 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who as of late has publicly noted that this move by President Trump is a large “‘mistake.’”

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Georgian Presidential Election Results in Second Run-off Round

The presidential election in Georgia will employ a second run-off round, as no candidate was able to win a clear majority during the first round held on Oct. 28, 2018. This presidential election is the seventh to be held since Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and will also be the last time a president is directly elected, as Georgia is changing to a parliamentary system in which a 300-member group of government officials will elect the next president.

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Russian Oil Monopoly over Belarus Persists in Bilateral Trade Agreements

Long-time trading partners, Russia and Belarus, have recently revised a standing bilateral trade agreement concerning Russian exportation of crude oil and oil products to Belarus. Trade in oil has served as a foundational feature of relations between Russia and Belarus for years, and amendments to the existing oil trade provisions have become a regular point of leverage for Russia to maintain Belarus within the sphere of influence of the near abroad.

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Russian Legislator Claims Russia Able to “Shut Down the Whole Planet"

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian legislator, made comments about a new Russian defense system on a talk show on Oct. 15, claiming that it could “shut down the whole planet”. Zhirinovsky heads the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and often gives fervent speeches similar to the latest one. In one instance, he said that Russian children should learn how to use a rifle rather than learning English, asserting that the whole world will speak Russian.

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