Thought for the day

"The more shocking a news story is, the more likely it's bullshit!" -- Michael Rivero

Few narratives spook Asia more than word of trouble in Thailand – even more so when foreign-exchange reserves are involved.

It was Bangkok’s devaluation in July 1997 that set in motion the Asian financial crisis. As foreign-exchange reserves ran out, the government and Bank of Thailand had no choice but to scrap the US dollar peg and drive the baht sharply lower.

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Armenia warned on Wednesday that fresh clashes with Azerbaijan could escalate into a full-scale war and called for more global attention on the situation.

“There is a clear risk,” Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan told Reuters when asked if the situation could turn into another war. “You know how fragile the situation is in our region. The situation as we just mentioned continues to escalate.”

On Tuesday, the military forces of Azerbaijan shelled territory in neighboring Armenia. “The hostilities erupted minutes after midnight, with Azerbaijani forces unleashing an artillery barrage and drone attacks in many sections of Armenian territory, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry,” reports to the Associated Press.

A ceasefire was holding Thursday on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, Yerevan said, after the worst clashes since 2020 killed dozens of troops and jeopardised a fledgling peace process.

The clashes that erupted on Tuesday ended "thanks to the international involvement" overnight on Thursday, Armenia's security council said, after earlier failed attempts from Russia to broker a truce.

A senior Armenian official said late on Wednesday that a truce had been agreed with Azerbaijan after two days of violence linked to a decades-old dispute between the ex-Soviet states over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

There was no word from Azerbaijan about a truce to halt the deadliest exchanges between the countries since 2020.

Russia is the pre-eminent diplomatic force in the region and maintains 2,000 peacekeepers there. Moscow brokered the deal that ended the 2020 fighting - dubbed the second Karabakh war - in which hundreds died.

The EU must immediately impose sanctions against Azerbaijan and stop buying gas from Baku, French MEP Francois-Xavier Bellamy told the EU Parliament on Tuesday. He was joined by a number of other lawmakers calling for the step after Armenia reported the deaths of dozens of its soldiers in the latest border clashes.

Escobar: Asia's Future Takes Shape In Vladivostok, The Russian Pacific MikeRivero Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:30

Sixty-eight countries gathered on Russia’s far eastern coast to listen to Moscow’s economic and political vision for the Asia-Pacific...

The heaviest fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the 2020 Nagorono-Karabakh war erupted early Tuesday morning, leaving at least 99 dead.

Armenia said Azerbaijan started the violence by launching intensive artillery shelling against Armenian military positions.

Azerbaijan claimed that its shelling was a response to “large-scale subversive acts” on the border that included attacks on its military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing everything he can to help de-escalate hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

"It is difficult to overestimate the role of Russia, and the role of Putin personally" in mediating between the two countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The president is making every effort to contribute to the de-escalation of tensions on the border. These efforts are continuing," he added.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have blamed each other for overnight clashes along the border.