Connect with us

Global Affairs

Ukraine: What is a no-fly zone? The option that Russia would consider a declaration of war by the West | International

The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its allies to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine in a bid to stop Russia’s air strikes against the country. But while the United States and the European Union have mobilized to provide arms to Ukrainian forces, the Western powers have ruled out declaring a no-fly zone.

In this explainer, EL PAÍS looks at what the measure involves, how Russia has responded and what’s behind NATO’s refusal.

What is a no-fly zone?

A no-fly zone is a restricted area over which certain aircraft are not permitted to fly. The measure is typically aimed at prohibiting military aircraft from carrying out strikes, monitoring or surveillance.

What advantages would it give to Ukraine?

It would prevent Russian aircraft from dropping bombs and limit the capacity of the Russian army in its invasion of a country that is more than 600,000 square kilometers.

Have no-fly zones been declared before?

Yes, on more than one occasion. For example, a no-fly zone was declared during the conflicts in Libya (2011), northern Iraq (between 1991 and 2003) and in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1993-95).

What was the reason for the no-fly zones?

In the case of Libya, the measure was established to prevent the air force of the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi from crushing the Arab Spring uprising in the country. In other cases, no-fly zones have been declared for humanitarian reasons or to stop the persecution and killing of certain ethnic groups within a country.

How is a no-fly zone enforced?

It is enforced militarily. Any aircraft that enters a no-fly zone can be shot down.

Who enforces it?

That depends on each case. In Libya, the no-fly zone was enforced by an international coalition. In northern Iraq, US, British and French forces were tasked with this job. And in the former Yugoslavian republic of Bosnia, NATO was in charge of the operation.

What is NATO’s position on a no-fly zone in Ukraine?

NATO has ruled out declaring a no-fly zone. “We’ve agreed that we should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory,” Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, announced last Friday following an urgent meeting of the 30-member alliance in Brussels.

What are the reasons behind NATO’s refusal?

NATo has refused to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine out of fear that it will escalate the conflict and lead to a head-on clash between Russia and the main members of NATO – the US, the United Kingdom and France – all of which are nuclear powers.

“The only way to actually implement something like a no-fly zone is to send NATO planes into Ukrainian airspace and to shoot down Russian planes, and that could lead to a full-fledged war in Europe,” Stoltenberg explained on Friday. Experts also point out that the main mission of a no-fly zone is to destroy the anti-aircraft equipment of the potential enemy, which could lead to the bombing of Russian positions in Ukraine.

According to Stoltenberg, establishing a no-fly zone “could end in a full-fledged war in Europe, involving many more countries, and causing much more human suffering.” This statement by Stoltenberg was perhaps the first time that an international leader admitted that the invasion of Ukraine could lead to a Third World War.

What has Russia said on the issue?

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that any attempt to impose a no-fly zone would be met with reprisal. “Any movement in this direction [to declare a no-fly zone] will be considered by us as participation of the respective country in an armed conflict,” he said.

The warning came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Zelenskiy of trying to “provoke conflict” between NATO and Russia.

Putin also warned on February 24, when launching the offensive against Ukraine, that he would use all military means in his reach to prevent third countries from intervening in the conflict. The West interpreted this statement as a threat to use nuclear bombs. In the past few weeks, Putin and Lavrov have underscored on several occasions that Moscow is willing to use its nuclear arsenal. In one of their recent phone conversations, Putin also told French President Emmanuel Macron that the objectives of Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine will be “achieved in any case.”

On Sunday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned Ukraine’s neighbors, such as Romania, against allowing the Ukrainian air force to use their air bases. “The use of the airfield network of these [neighboring] countries for basing Ukrainian military aviation with the subsequent use of force against Russia’s army can be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” he said.

If it gets to that point, who would have to authorize or decide on the no-fly zone?

There are no clearly defined international rules on adopting the measure. In some cases, it was done with open approval by the United Nations. One example of this was Libya: the UN Security Council voted in favor of a no-fly zone (there were 10 affirmative votes and five abstentions from Germany, Russia, China, India and Brazil). In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UN also made a clear call for a no-fly zone to end the humanitarian disaster on one of the fronts of the Balkans conflict. In Iraq, on the other hand, the starting point were UN resolutions in favor of intervention for humanitarian reasons, but those documents did not include an explicit authorization to use military resources.

Would it be a costly operation?

Without a doubt. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe after Russia, so the area to be covered would be huge. The no-fly zone would require very frequent patrolling, and the final amount of the bill would depend on the duration of the conflict. Experts agree that Ukrainians’ resistance could lead to a long war, and note that US participation in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq cost around €700 million a year, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

Source link


Assessing The Potential of The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) Against China’s Belt And Road Initiative (BRI)

(THE VOICE OF EU) – In a recent address, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the newly unveiled India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) as a transformative force poised to shape global trade for centuries. While the IMEC undoubtedly presents a significant development, it’s vital to scrutinize its potential impact compared to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The IMEC was jointly announced by US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Delhi. Designed to fortify transportation and communication networks between Europe and Asia via rail and shipping routes, the project not only holds regional promise but also reflects a strategic move by the US in its geopolitical interests, particularly concerning China.

However, the IMEC faces a formidable contender in the form of China’s BRI, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year.

Despite facing some headwinds, including a slowdown in lending due to China’s economic deceleration and concerns raised by nations like Italy, Sri Lanka, and Zambia regarding debt sustainability, the BRI remains a monumental global undertaking.

With investments surpassing a staggering $1 trillion and over 150 partner countries, the BRI has transformed from a regional initiative to a near-global endeavor.

Comparatively, the IMEC may not immediately match the scale or ambition of the BRI. While the US, Japan, and the G7 nations have introduced similar initiatives like the Global Gateway and Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, none have achieved the expansive reach or influence of the BRI.

The emergence of these projects over the past five years, however, demonstrates the BRI’s pivotal role as a catalyst for global economic growth.

Viewing the IMEC solely through the lens of opposition to the BRI may not provide a comprehensive understanding of its potential.

Instead, the IMEC contributes to a broader trend of transactional partnerships, where countries engage with multiple collaborators simultaneously, underscoring the complex and interconnected nature of global trade relations.

Yet, realizing the IMEC’s aspirations demands meticulous planning and execution. A comprehensive action plan is expected within the next 60 days, outlining key governmental agencies responsible for investments, allocated capital, and implementation timelines.

Establishing a streamlined customs and trade infrastructure is equally critical to facilitate seamless transit, a challenge highlighted by the Trans-Eurasian railway’s 30-country passage through Kazakhstan.

Navigating geopolitical complexities between partner countries, particularly the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, poses another potential hurdle.

Ensuring these nations maintain a unified strategic vision amid differing priorities and interests requires careful diplomatic coordination.

Furthermore, the IMEC will compete directly with the Suez Canal, a well-established and cost-effective maritime route.

While the IMEC may enhance relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it could potentially strain ties with Egypt, prompting critical assessments of the project’s economic viability.

Beyond trade and economics, the IMEC ambitiously aims to incorporate diverse sectors, from electricity grids to cybersecurity.

This multi-dimensional approach aligns with discussions held in security forums like the Quad and, if realized, could significantly contribute to a safer, more sustainable global landscape.

As we contemplate the potential of the IMEC, it is with hope that the lofty ambitions outlined in New Delhi will culminate in a tangible and positive transformation for the world.

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

Safe Mobility Initiative Faces Challenges In Delivering On Its Promises For Latin American Migrants

In June, the United States introduced the Movibilidad Segura, or Safe Mobility, program, a new immigration initiative aimed at expanding legal routes for refugees and migrants from South and Central America.

The program’s objective is to reduce irregular migration and strengthen transportation and communication links between the Americas. While the intentions behind Safe Mobility are commendable, its execution has faced several challenges, leaving thousands of applicants in limbo.

For many hopeful migrants like Eliezer Briceño, a 40-year-old Venezuelan residing in Ciudad Bolívar, Colombia, the application process has proven to be a complex and tedious endeavor.

Briceño’s experience highlights the technological barriers that applicants face, emphasizing the need for reliable internet access and suitable devices for successful registration.

Unfortunately, these prerequisites pose significant challenges for those without adequate resources.

Migrantes Darién
Migrants cross a river in the Darién rainforest, October 2022.Fernando Vergara (AP)

The overwhelming response to the program has led to the temporary closure of the website in Colombia, further complicating the application process. With quotas quickly filled during the limited application periods, the backlog of hopeful migrants has grown, exacerbating the frustration and uncertainty surrounding Safe Mobility.

Of the nearly 29,000 applicants from Colombia, less than 1% have progressed through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) as of August 28. This statistic underscores the significant delays and challenges faced by applicants. Eliezer Briceño, like many others, anxiously awaits news about his application status, armed only with a receipt indicating a forthcoming call.

Safe Mobility, while a response to the migration crisis in Latin America, is one of several initiatives addressing the challenges faced by millions of displaced individuals.

Its collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) demonstrates a multi-lateral effort to find solutions to the region’s complex humanitarian, political, and economic issues.

Migrantes Tapón del Darién
A group of Haitian migrant women & their children wait to board a boat from Necocli, Colombia to Capurgana & then cross the Darién Gap to Panama.

However, the program’s operational secrecy, with undisclosed office locations, underscores the challenges faced by its administrators.

The need to protect both applicants and program staff from potential overcrowding and disruptions mirrors the situation in Tapachula, Mexico, where large groups of migrants have sought assistance, albeit without violent incidents.

The interview process for Safe Mobility applicants introduces another layer of complexity, marked by confidentiality agreements.

While applicants are required to sign agreements consenting to share personal data with program partners, the imposition of non-disclosure clauses appears unusual and unprecedented.

The UNHCR argues that confidentiality is crucial for the protection of individuals in need of international refuge.

The uncertainty persists even after interviews, as those rejected receive prompt notifications while others remain in a state of perpetual waiting. The apparent randomness of selections and the lack of clear communication only heighten the frustrations of applicants.

As Safe Mobility nears the midpoint of its announced six-month pilot period, questions about its effectiveness and future persist.

While the initiative addresses a critical need, its slow start and operational challenges highlight the complexity of addressing the migration crisis in the Americas.

Cooperation from multiple nations, alongside initiatives like Safe Mobility, will be essential in finding lasting solutions to this pressing global issue.

Continue Reading


“The Creator”: A Glimpse Into A Future Defined By Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

By Cindy Porter

In “The Creator” visionary director Gareth Edwards thrusts us into the heart of a dystopian future, where the battle lines are drawn between artificial intelligence and the free Western world.

Set against the backdrop of a post-rebellion Los Angeles, the film grapples with pressing questions about the role of AI in our society.

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

While the narrative treads familiar ground, it is timely, given the rising prominence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

A Fusion of Genres

Edwards embarks on an ambitious endeavor, blending elements of science fiction classics with contemporary themes.

The result is a cinematic stew reminiscent of James Cameron’s “Aliens” tinged with shades of “Blade Runner” a dash of “Children of Men,” and a sprinkle of “Akira” This concoction, while intriguing, occasionally veers toward familiarity rather than forging its own distinct identity.

Edwards’ Cinematic Journey

The British filmmaker, known for his foray into doomsday scenarios with the BBC docudrama “End Day” in 2005, has traversed a path from indie gem “Monsters” (2010) to the expansive Star Wars universe with “Rogue One” (2016).

“The Creator” marks another bold step in his repertoire. The film introduces compelling concepts like the posthumous donation of personality traits, punctuated by impactful visuals, and raises pertinent ethical dilemmas. It stands as a commendable endeavor, even if it occasionally falters in execution.

Navigating Complexity

In his pursuit of depth, Edwards at times stumbles into the realm of convolution, leaving the audience grappling with intricacies rather than immersing in the narrative.

While adept at crafting visual spectacles and orchestrating soundscapes, the film occasionally falters in the art of storytelling.

In an era where classic storytelling is seemingly on the wane, some may argue that this approach is emblematic of the times.

AI: Savior or Peril?

“The Creator” leaves us with a question that resonates long after the credits roll: Will artificial intelligence be humanity’s salvation or its undoing? The film’s take on machine ethics leans toward simplicity, attributing AI emotions to programmed responses.

This portrayal encapsulates the film’s stance on the subject – a theme as enigmatic as the AI it grapples with.

“The Creator”

Director: Gareth Edwards.
Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Madeleine Yuna Boyles, Ken Watanabe.
Genre: Science fiction.
Release Year: 2023.
Duration: 133 minutes.
Premiere Date: September 29.


Top 5 Movies by Gareth Edwards:

1. “Monsters” (2010)

– A breakout hit, “Monsters” showcases Edwards’ talent for blending intimate human drama with towering sci-fi spectacles. Set in a world recovering from an alien invasion, it’s a poignant tale of love amidst chaos.

2. “Rogue One” (2016)

– Edwards helms this epic Star Wars installment, seamlessly integrating new characters with the beloved original trilogy. It’s a testament to his ability to navigate complex narratives on a grand scale.

3. “End Day” (2005)

– This BBC docudrama marked Edwards’ entry into the world of speculative storytelling. Presenting five doomsday scenarios, it set the stage for his later exploration of dystopian futures.

4. “The Creator” (2023)

– Edwards’ latest venture, “The Creator,” immerses audiences in a future fraught with AI warfare. While not without its challenges, it boldly tackles pertinent questions about the role of artificial intelligence in our lives.

5. Potential Future Project

– As Edwards continues to push the boundaries of speculative cinema, audiences eagerly anticipate his next cinematic endeavor, poised to be another thought-provoking addition to his illustrious filmography.

“The Creator” stands as a testament to Gareth Edwards’ unyielding vision and his penchant for exploring the frontiers of speculative cinema.

While it doesn’t shy away from the complexities of AI, it occasionally falters in navigating its intricate narrative.

As we peer into this cinematic crystal ball, we’re left with a stark question: Will artificial intelligence be our beacon of hope, or will it cast a shadow over humanity’s future? Only time will unveil the answer.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Cindy Porter

— For more information & news submissions:

— Anonymous news submissions:

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!