India, backed by the US and Europe, launches alternative to Belt and Road

Democratic Security Outlook 2023: 11 September-17 September

11 September 2023

The announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor at the G20 meeting in New Dehli and the inclusion of the African Union into the grouping marks India’s and the West’s challenge to China’s ambition to lead the Global South. The price for striking the deal appears to be watered-down language on Ukraine.

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EU/REGIONAL

  • The United States, EU allies, India and Saudi Arabia agreed to launch the “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor”, a project to boost trading and energy infrastructure at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The plan, forged at the sidelines of the G20 summit in India, comes along with an agreement to boost World Bank lending to the Global South and inclusion of the African Union into the group. The initiatives are seen as a challenge to China’s Belt and Road.
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will make the last State of the Union speech of this EU parliamentary term on 13 September. She is likely to focus on displaying the bloc’s achievements in countering Russia’s war on Ukraine, weening the continent off Russian energy sources and advancing strategic resilience.
  • European Parliament’s committee on Research, Industry and Energy (ITRE) adopted the Critical Raw Materials Act, to be voted on in this week’s plenary in Strasbourg. Strategic autonomy priorities include reducing EU dependence on China and strengthening cooperation and coordination with like-minded partners.
  • Tensions are rising between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorn-Karabagh, with both sides accusing each other of preparing armed hostilities even as a compromise over opening roads to and from the enclave was reached over the weekend.
  • Russia’s war on Ukraine has weakened its position in the Caucasus and reduced its ability to support ally Armenia. The EU sees Azerbaijan as a key alternative supplier in its drive for less dependence on Russia and China.
  • The EU sanctioned additional Russian officials involved in waging war and committing crimes against civilians in occupied parts of Ukraine.
  • Turkey will receive $18 billion in new loans from the World Bank after returning to an orthodox monetary and fiscal policy.

Europe catches up with the US in military aid to Ukraine 

UKRAINE

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