THE NEW GEOPOLITICAL BALANCE OF POWER AFTER BIDEN’S ELECTION

By Dr. Panagiotis Sfaelos

The new US administration under Joe Biden has begun to unfold its agenda regarding the US’s position in the world. Former US President Donald Trump had withdrawn the US from international cooperation by withdrawing from various international treaties and international organizations. He also pursued a protectionist policy in the economy. Joe Biden’s presidency created optimism for the return of USA to international co-operation. The return of the United States to international cooperation, however, seems to be accompanied by a hegemonic US presence on the planet and an invasive attitude. Already, the first moves of the new President indicate a shift on US foreign policy. The attack on Iran, the row with Russia and China show a new ambitious US policy towards its geopolitical competitors. And we are still at the beginning…

USA – Russia

A new Cold War seems to be emerging on the planet. The US President calls Putin a “murderer” while Russia recalls its Ambassador from Washington. Already, since the Trump presidency, there have been allegations of Kremlin’s interference in the Trump election, creating a climate of mistrust between the two countries. Competition between the US and Russia is expected to intensify in the future, especially in the energy sector, as the EU and Germany in particular depend on Russia for energy.

In fact, the agreement on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which provides for additional transport of gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, sparks geopolitical developments. The pipeline will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Russia to Germany resulting in the EU’s further dependence on Moscow in order to meet its energy needs. The US is affected by this development as it would prefer to sell its own Liquidated Natural Gas (LNG) to the EU, as it already sells to Asian countries. The United States is threatening to impose new sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, demanding the withdrawal from the German-Russian pipeline.

The new tension in US-Russian relations is a continuation of Putin’s growing power in Russia. From the mid-2000s, US-Russian rivalry gradually intensified as NATO was expanding dynamically in Eastern Europe, threatening Russian interests. Ukraine has been at the center of US-Russian geopolitical rivalries. Russia responded to NATO expansion by invading and annexing Crimea, which also gave it a port of strategic importance in the Black Sea. Even US interest in the Western Balkans is due to Russian influence in the region, especially Serbia. So in order to prevent further Russian penetration in the Balkans, the US definitely wants the Western Balkans to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

USA – China

The relationship between the US and China is very competitive as China becomes a world power. The United States has criticized China’s unfair economic and trade practices, as well as China’s stance on Hong Kong and Taiwan. China considers Hong Kong and Taiwan to be internal affairs and denies any outside intervention by the United States or other countries. New US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken directly accuses China of “genocide” against Muslim minority Uighurs, “Hong Kong, Taiwan, and cyberattacks against the United States, as well as economic sanctions towards our allies. Each of these actions threatens the rule-based order that guarantees global stability. That is why it is not just a matter of internal affairs”.

China is a rising giant in the international geo-political and geo-economic arena and of course poses a threat to the United States, especially in technology, trade, investment and infrastructure. China is steadily and dynamically building the “One Belt One Road” or Silk Road, a development strategy that focuses on cooperation and connecting the countries of Eurasia by sea, rail and land. This is precisely the creation of Eurasia that the British political geographer Halford Mackinder (1861 – 1947) had talked about saying that whoever controls the Eurasian region, controls the whole world. China and Russia have studied the benefits of the Silk Road and the geostrategic importance of Eurasia. The US is reasonable to worry about this geopolitical development. As Henry Kissinger put it: “Sovereignty by a single force in the two main spheres of Eurasia – Europe or Asia – remains a good definition of strategic risk for America.”

USA – EU – Germany

The EU hopes to rekindle relations with the US, since during the Trump administration, US-EU relations with were difficult. The US wants more convergence with the EU. But there have been frictions in Euro-Atlantic relations already before Biden’s arrival, such as the EU-China 2020 investment agreement. Germany has also advanced agreements with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. while also refusing to exclude Chinese Huawei from Germany’s 5G networks. These decisions of the German government displeased Biden, who has planned to put the solidarity of democracies at the center of his strategy against China.

The EU is in the middle of US-China competition and Chinese penetration of its European market will create friction with the US. In fact, to understand the magnitude of the situation, we must emphasize that China became the EU’s main trading partner for the first time in 2020, surpassing the US, thanks to its rapid economic recovery, which was less affected by the Covid-19 pandemic than the economies of the West. For the whole of last year, the EU trade with China amounted to 586 billion dollars against 555 billion for the USA, according to Eurostat data. This shows that EU-US relations may be squeezed harder to choose an alliance.

Overall, the geopolitical balance of powers is changing in the new multipolar world that is being created. China is emerging as the new global political and economic superpower, challenging the traditional US leadership role. But Biden will not follow Trump’s predecessor protectionist policies, but will move more dynamically in an effort to restore US hegemony on the planet, even if this involves interventions in various parts of the world. This will bring great reactions, competition and conflicts in the course of globalization. The geopolitical interests are huge and the conflicts will be many as in international relations there are no permanent friendships but only permanent interests.

*Dr. Panagiotis Sfaelos is Lawyer, Political Scientist, Journalist, Secretary General of the Association of European Journalists (Greek Section), Member of the Arbitration Committee of the International Board of the Association of European Journalists, Member of the National Union of Journalists (UK) and the International Federation of Journalists. Research Director of the Center for International Strategic Analysis (KEDISA) and Academic.

”το παγκακι” με το σπυρο μπιμπιλα

Το Παγκάκι που πριν 8 χρόνια συγκλόνισε το θεατρόφιλο κοινό με την αληθινή ιστορία του άστεγου που ζούσε έξω από τον Λευκό Πύργο στη Θεσσαλονίκη και κατέγραψε την ιστορία του ο συγγραφέας γιατρός Ζάχος Βασιλείου, έρχεται με ένα κλικ στα σπίτια μας μέσα από το Viva.gr/tickets στις 17,18,19, και 20 Απριλίου σε video on demand.

Ο Σπύρος Μπιμπίλας σε σκηνοθεσία, σκηνικά και φωτισμούς Βασίλη Πλατάκη στον καλύτερο ρόλο της καριέρας του στον σπαρακτικό αυτό μονόλογο.

Η δραματική ιστορία ενός ανθρώπου και της οικογένειάς του μέσα από τα τραγικά γεγονότα που έζησε η Πατρίδα μας τα τελευταία 100 χρόνια. Η Ελλάδα της κρίσης, της φτώχειας και των μνημονίων μέσα από τα μάτια αυτού του άστεγου.

Μηv το χάσετε…

ΟΛΟΙ ΜΑΖΙ ΒΟΗΘΑΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΑΝΔΡΕΑ ΝΑ ΚΕΡΔΙΣΕΙ ΤΗ ΜΑΧΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΖΩΗ

Ο μικρός Αντρέας χρειάζεται τη βοήθεια όλων μας. Έχει δώσει ήδη έναν τεράστιο αγώνα επιβίωσης που φαίνεται να κερδίζει, μετά από επέμβαση στον εγκέφαλο για κακοήθη όγκο και εξαντλητικές χημειοθεραπείες. Τώρα πρέπει να μεταβεί άμεσα σε Παιδο-Ογκολογικό κέντρο στην Ιταλία για να υποβληθεί σε συνεδρίες Ακτινοθεραπείας με πρωτόνια, μια μέθοδο που δυστυχώς δεν εφαρμόζεται στην Ελλάδα. Σας παρακαλώ. Ας τον βοηθήσουμε όλοι να κερδίζει τη μάχη για τη ζωή. Γιατί ένα παιδί δεν ανήκει σε κανέναν. Γιατί ένα παιδί δικαιούται να ζήσει και να είναι χαρούμενο. Η οποιαδήποτε συνδρομή σας μετράει.

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FAKE FOLLOWERS-ΨΕΥΤΙΚΟΙ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΟΙ

By Despina Dimotsi

Instagram tends to be the future “King” of the social media, as it gains more and more users, advertisements etc. So, the majority of people want to get more followers by running give-aways in case they want to be famous instagrammers on any social media platforms.
By paying and buying fake followers many users become famous faster but this method doesn’t last for ever. This is quite obvious because these people have thousands and millions of followers but their likes are quite few. For example, we see someone who has ten thousands followers but each picture has maximum fifty likes. These followers are fake of course! Many influencers are fraud but they don’t accept it. There is no way someone with fifty thousand followers to be more famous than someone with half a million followers. There was a Greek reality show in which the winner had fifty thousand followers and the runner up one million followers! Guess what really happened. Remember this, the psychology of the masses is fully applicable in cases like the social media. One influences the other uncountably.
Do you need to be famous in the social media? Find your own method but please don’t pay for fake followers, it’s ridiculous!

Από την Δέσποινα Δημότση


Ο νέος “Βασιλιάς” των μέσων κοινωνικής δικτύωσης είναι φυσικά το Ίνσταγκραμ. Όλο και περισσότεροι χρήστες το προτιμούν για να διαφημίσουν προϊόντα ή για να κερδίσουν δώρα και χρήματα εάν είναι οι ίδιοι δημοφιλείς στο κοινό. 
Οι περισσότεροι όμως είναι διάσημοι με ψεύτικο τρόπο, πληρώνοντας ακόλουθους οι οποίοι μετά από λίγο είτε χάνονται ή τα “μου αρέσει” στις φωτογραφίες τους είναι ελάχιστα σε σχέση με τα προφίλ που ακολουθούν το συγκεκριμένο πρόσωπο. Μια γελοιότητα δηλαδή. Σαν ένα γνωστό ριάλιτυ μόδας στην Ελλάδα όπου η νικήτρια είχε μερικές χιλιάδες ακόλουθους και η δεύτερη κοντά μισό εκατομμύριο. Ε, δεν είναι φως φανάρι τι πραγματικά παίχτηκε; Είναι άκρως γελοίο λοιπόν να έχουμε χιλιάδες ακόλουθους αλλά μέσα οι φωτογραφίες να έχουν χαριστικά πενήντα “μου αρέσει”. 
Θέλεις να γίνεις δημοφιλής στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης; Βρες τον δικό σου τρόπο, όχι πληρώνοντας αλλά σκέφτωντας κάτι καινοτομικό, μην πληρώνεις ακόλουθους λοιπόν διότι είναι γελοίο! Οι άνθρωποι επηρεάζονται σε μεγάλο βαθμό από αυτής της μόρφης επικοινωνίας.

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