ISRM announces latest Crisis Watch happening May 17


The Institute of Strategic Risk Management (ISRM) has announced this week’s Crisis Watch – number 275, taking place tomorrow, Friday, May 17 at 10:00 BST, where topics will include the recent assassination attempt of Slovak MP Robert Fico, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe, Ukraine’s military aid package from the U.S and the recent decision by President Biden to withhold an arms shipment to Israel.

The ISRM session will also touch on all of the stories that are catching our attention wherever we live in the world, and participants are invited to join in and add their voices to the conversation.

A summary of the topics is as follows:

Slovak PM Robert Fico wounded in assassination attempt

Slovakia’s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times and gravely wounded at an event in Handlova, nearly 140 kilometers from the capital. Despite the attack, his deputy prime minister believes Fico will survive. This incident, weeks before the European Parliament elections, has heightened political tensions in Slovakia. The attack, condemned by leaders worldwide, underscored the deep divisions within the country, exacerbated by Fico’s pro-Russian stance and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Europe amid trade and geopolitical tensions

Chinese President Xi Jinping completed a five-day European tour, visiting France, Serbia and Hungary to promote a multipolar world and discuss trade, investments and the Russia-Ukraine war. In France, President Macron pressed Xi on trade imbalances and urged him to influence Russia to end the war. Serbia and Hungary welcomed Xi with grand ceremonies. Despite no major concessions, Xi’s visit aimed to strengthen ties and mitigate growing trade tensions with the EU, emphasising strategic autonomy and a multipolar global order.

Ukraine receives major US military aid and urges change in strike policy against Russia

Following the passage of the national security supplemental, the US DoD announced a $1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine, including air defense systems and artillery, aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defense against Russian attacks. However, Ukrainian officials are now urging the Biden administration to lift the ban on using US-made weapons to strike inside Russia, arguing that it limits their ability to target Russian forces effectively. Despite this plea, the Biden administration maintains that US aid is for defensive purposes only.

Biden’s decision to withhold Arms from Israel marks unprecedented move

President Joe Biden signaled a significant shift in US-Israel relations by pausing an arms shipment to Israel, following pressure to address civilian casualties in Gaza. This decision marks the first time in four decades that the US has withheld arms from its key ally. Biden’s move, in response to Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah, underscores growing tensions as he balances domestic and international pressures. While Republicans criticise the pause, some Democrats welcome it, reflecting a nuanced stance on supporting Israel while advocating for humanitarian considerations in the conflict.

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