Here is today's one Foreign policy short: Representatives of the USA and Russia Meet to discuss nuclear arms control, disputes over Election results of Kyrgyzstan, and Nicaraguan President Ortega tries to suppress the opposition further.
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US allies worry that the White House will end the new START treaty
The United States and Russia will meet today in Helsinki, Finland effort Renegotiation and replacement of the new START nuclear weapons treaty, which expires in February 2021. New START is the only remaining agreement to limit nuclear weapons between the two countries. Marshall Billingslea, the chief arms negotiator in the US, will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to continue a previous meeting in Vienna in August.
The China factor. Much of the delay in renegotiating the treaty was due to Washington's insistence that China will be included in every new agreement. "The next treaty must be multilateral, it must include China, and the framework that we formulate together as two great powers, us and the Russians, will be the framework that China will join in the future." Billingslea told reporters in a briefing in August.
But the White House has since rolled back that state as Trump is embroiled in his re-election campaign, and now many U.S. allies are hoping Washington will seek a stand-alone deal with Russia before the deadline and another deal with China at a later time .
Losing hope. The United States has so far only proposed new terms for Russia, a move some officials fear is little more than a thinly veiled attempt by the White House to completely undo the deal. Billingslea is supposed to told Ryabkov during his August meeting that a new treaty would have to regulate the construction of short-range missiles in Russia that are not covered by the current treaty. "The ball is now in Russia's court," he said at the time.
How Foreign policyJack Detsch and Robbie Gramer recently reported"Former officials and arms control experts fear that the government may try to slow the deal to death by making impossible demands on Russia just months before the end of the treaty."
5th October. Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief negotiator for Brexit.
5th October. The United Nations is holding a high-level meeting to discuss ongoing peace efforts in Libya.
October 5th to 6th. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visits Ankara to meet high-ranking Turkish officials. He then travels to Athens to meet with Greek officials.
October 6th. Merkel meets with the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
October 7th. The US Vice Presidential Debate will take place between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris.
8th October. The United Nations Security Council meets to discuss the ongoing crisis in Mali.
9th October. The winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced.
October 11th. Parliamentary elections are held in Lithuania. If necessary, there will be a second round on October 25th.
October 11th. Tajikistan is holding its presidential election.
October 11th. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a de facto state that is not recognized by almost the entire international community, is holding its presidential elections.
What we are following today
Kyrgyzstan crisis looming? Two pro-government parties, Birimdik and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan, are to adjust for a strong performance in the Kyrgyzstan general election, held on Sunday, but it is still unclear whether they will find common ground and form a grand coalition. According to Birimdik and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan, only two of the 16 parties that contested the election appear to have exceeded the 7 percent threshold required to actually win seats. Opposition parties alleged widespread irregularities in the voting and held a non-violent protest in the capital, Bishkek, and the city of Talas. They have more rallies planned for today.
The aftermath of the elections in Kyrgyzstan could Russia create new problems. Moscow is already heavily involved in conflicts in Libya and Syria and is currently dealing with crises in neighboring Belarus and Azerbaijan. Another political crisis in Kyrgyzstan could embroil Moscow in another regional dispute.
Violence is spreading in Nagorno-Karabakh. Fight between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region escalated on Sunday after the Armenian Armed Forces launched a series of air strikes on targets in Azerbaijan's second city, Ganja. The city is located north of Nagorno-Karabakh and is close to an important number of oil and gas pipelines that lead from the capital Baku to Turkey. One person was killed and more than 30 others injured in the air strikes.
Nagorno-Karabakh leader Arayik Haratyunyan said in a tweet that he ordered the attack as an "act of self-defense in response to days of deliberate bombardment" of civilian areas in the region. Turkey, which supported Azerbaijan during the clashes, called the attack "a violation of all principles of international law".
Conflicting reports about Trump. US President Donald Trump could be unload According to his doctor Sean Conley at Walter Reed Military Hospital, although Trump's blood oxygen levels have dropped twice in the past few days. The apparent inconsistency has raised concerns that officials are painting an inaccurate picture of Trump's condition and failing to provide accurate information to the public.
Trump caused further controversy when he drove outside the hospital in a presidential vehicle to wave to his supporters. Despite wearing a mask, medics warned that he was likely still highly contagious and could have exposed the Secret Service agents who exposed him to the virus in an enclosed room. "He doesn't even pretend to care now," a Washington Post agent said after Trump's trip.
Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday and was admitted to Walter Reed on Saturday. Shortly after his admission, Conley told Reporters said Trump was "very good," an assessment that was quickly contradicted by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. He said Trump's vital signs were "very worrying" and "the next 48 hours will be critical". Trump is alleged reception the steroid dexamethasone, which is commonly given to patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
Sudan under pressure. US efforts to pressure Sudan to reach a normalization deal with Israel are leading to this Cracks to form within the Sudanese interim government. Military leaders who share power with civilian leaders have called for an agreement with Israel similar to that recently signed with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. "Like it or not, the removal [of Sudan from the terrorist list] is linked to [normalization] with Israel," General Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo said last week, referring to an offer from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to remove Sudan from the US state sponsor list of terrorism in exchange for normalizing relations with Israel.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, the top civilian leader of the transitional government, has pushed back, saying the military does not have the power to make foreign policy decisions of this kind.
Oppression in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is to attempt Enforcing laws that could criminalize political opponents and foreign journalists is an attempt to suppress Ortega's opponents ahead of next year's presidential election. A bill would need to register international journalists as foreign agents and would severely limit their reporting activities in the country. On the other hand, groups that receive funding from abroad would have to register with the government or face severe penalties.
Ortega's Sandinista party controls the country's legislature by a large majority and will have little problem enforcing the legislation. A vote is expected to take place this week.
The hashtag #ProudBoys went viral on Twitter over the weekend, but not because of anything the far-right, ultra-nationalist group did. After Trump put the group in the national spotlight during last week's presidential debate by calling on the group to "step down and stand by" thousands of men in same-sex relationships took on social media to regain the nickname Proud Boys and use the hashtag to share pictures and stories from their relationships. The impromptu campaign was an instant success. Several thousand tweets were posted with the hashtag.
That's it for today.
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Photo credit: Joe Klamar / AFP via Getty Images