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Guns for Bosnia

Guns for Bosnia

Here’s a story we need to keep an eye on. When the Dayton Peace Accords halted war in 1995, a destroyed Bosnia was divided into two parts: an ethnic Serb enclave called Republika Srpska and a Bosnian-Croat federation next door. Not everyone loved the arrangement, but it was the best way to reach a much-needed peace. In March of this year, a shipment of 2,500 automatic rifles is scheduled to arrive in Republika Srpska. Bad news?


Republika Srpska says it needs the weapons to fight terrorists. Reports say Russians will be training officers in how to use them. Local authorities deny that, but there is certainly a close relationship between Republika Srpska and Moscow. Local Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik has met with Vladimir Putin half a dozen times in less that four years. He has also cultivated ties with a sanctioned Russian paramilitary motorcycle gang called the Night Wolves.

Why might Russia be interested in Republika Srpska? Moscow is unhappy that the neighboring country of Montenegro joined NATO last June, and surely wants to prevent Bosnia from doing the same. One way to keep Bosnia off balance is to raise the temperature among Serb separatists in Republika Srpska.

Your Friday author can personally attest that Bosnia is a beautiful but politically fragile country with a troubled history that’s very much alive. The conflict that cost so many lives there in the 1990s was not so much ended as frozen. The entry of more weapons into Republika Srpska, at a time when Bosnia is struggling with the highest youth unemployment rate of in the world, could melt that stability fast. There’s a real risk of renewed violence here.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

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Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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