World Today: OSCE Vienna talks, Chinese imports of sanctioned crude oil

Zbigniew Rau, the Polish Foreign Minister and chair of the OSCE as of this year, participated in the third round of diplomacy talks this week aimed at defusing tensions at the Russian Ukrainian border. However, no breakthrough was achieved. On the other side of the world, the amount of crude oil that China imports from Iran and Venezuela has hit a three-year high, despite US sanctions. These topics were discussed and expanded upon in the most recent episode of the “World Today” programme.

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“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” the Polish Foreign Minister said after the meeting in Vienna, adding that there has been no breakthrough in the talks with Russia.

How to communicate with Russia

The first guest on the programme was political sciences professor, Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski. He talked about how best to communicate with Russia to achieve a breakthrough.

“The West has the potential to stop Russia. The problem is with the will to use that potential and if we manage to demonstrate the unity and the determination of the West and communicate in a proper way to Russia, this can work. So, as I have said, it depends on how we understand the dialogue. A policy of appeasement and concessions is to be the best path to disaster. A policy of clear communication of the consequences of aggressive policy, is something that is really necessary,” the professor said.

He stressed that the Polish-Belarusian border crisis is not at its peak and that Poland managed to deal with it. Nevertheless, there is still a threat of rising tensions at the border. In his opinion the OSCE is not the right organisation to deal with dictators such as Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

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Chinese uses an opportunity to get cheap oil

The second topic discussed on the programme was the high increase in the amount of crude oil that China imports from Iran and Venezuela which are both under US sanctions. The second guest on the programme, Michał Bogusz from the Centre of Eastern Studies came on to provide some more information on this issue.

“Chinese secured themselfves, there is a clause in their contract with Iranians for example that if the Chinese shipping companies will be sanctioned by the US then the terms of selling the crude oil to China will be changed from FOB to DES, so from Free On Board of the ship to the Delivery Ex Ship. This means that the Iranian side will be responsible for the delivery of the crude oil to Chinese ports and this way they will put the pressure out of the shipping companies,” said Mr Bogusz.

He added that “Chinese will use an opportunity to get cheap oil, especially in the situation when the price is going up. And if it gives them the opportunity to cross America they will do it.”