Iran turns to cryptocurrencies to get around US sanctions
The other news of the day: China’s military exercises near Taiwan continue. Japan has 726,000 fewer inhabitants. Sri Lanka’s former president seeks refuge in Thailand. Modi's BJP loses power in Bihar. Pope Francis’s trip to Ukraine might happen soon.
The Islamic Republic used an unspecified crypto currency for its first import order, a way to get around the sanctions imposed by the United States over its nuclear and missile programmes. The transaction was worth US$ 10 million. At present, the value of cryptocurrencies is very volatile, which makes them difficult to use in large operations.
TAIWAN – CHINA
China conducted its seventh day of military exercises around Taiwan. Chinese naval units are still operating east and west of the Taiwanese coastline in response to the recent visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Some 20 Chinese warships are sailing opposite as many Taiwanese ships along the midline that informally divides the Taiwan Strait between the two countries.
Japan's population dropped by more than 726,000 in 2021 to 125.93 million people. This is the country’s largest population decline since 2013. The trend affected every prefecture except Okinawa.
SRI LANKA – THAILAND
Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is scheduled to arrive tomorrow in Thailand, where he is expected to seek refuge. On 14 July, he fled to Singapore after months of popular unrest with protesters demanding his removal from power.
The Indian state of Bihar, the third most populous in the country, is facing a major political crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost its majority after one of its allies, Janata Dal, a local party led by the state’s chief minister Nitish Kumar, joined the opposition to form a new majority.
UKRAINE – VATICAN
According to the Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See, Andriy Yurash, Pope Francis could visit Kyiv even before travelling to Kazakhstan in September. Yurash said that “Ukraine has been waiting for the pontiff for many years.” The Vatican has not excluded the possibility of such a visit earlier this month.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry remembered the 14th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its territory by complaining that Moscow continues to expand its illegal hold over the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to Tbilisi, the Russians refuse to respect the agreements reached with the mediation of the European Union that ended the conflict.