THE WORLD IN 2014: GEOPOLITICAL TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Dr Aristos Aristotelous
In the year 2014, the world will continue to be characterized by a mixture of peaceful processes, political and economic developments and problems, geopolitical differences and conflicts, challenges and adjustments. Some of the most important trends and developments are outlined here below.
The global economy is expected to show a growth rate of around 2.5 - 3%. The USA will have a rate of growth of 2.5 – 2.7%, China 7% and the Eurozone 1%. (OECD). Cyprus will undergo an extremely difficult phase since the total production for the years 2013 and 2014 is expected to fall by a cumulative 12% (IMF), with all the potential economic, social and political consequences and the risk of social unrest.
In the field of international relations, the Iranian nuclear program, the full implementation of the agreement reached last year and the further normalization of relations with Tehran will be the main topics of concerned in Washington. Also bearing in mind that the US considers Asia as one of the most important areas for its interests, it will continue diverting its attention there, where China is extending its influence, and commercial and military competition is intensified. Also, China's anti-aircraft zone, while considered by Beijing an important development for its security, on the other hand, it is an issue causing concern among neighboring countries and the USA. Under the circumstances, the likelihood of an accident in the region and the creation of tension seems to be high.
Russia, after succeeding to control adverse geopolitical developments in its periphery, from the Caucasus to Eastern and Central Europe, in 2014 will focus on the consolidation of its position in the region. On the other hand, events in Ukraine can pressurize the Americans and Brussels to get more involved there, in favor of the pro Europeans against Russia’s wishes. However the U.S. cannot...