The World This Week

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The World This Week
Return of the Iran nuclear talks, Pak-Russia rapprochement, Greenland elections, and Russia-Ukraine tensions

  GP Team

The World This Week #114, Vol. 3, No. 15

Poornima B, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, Harini Madhusudan and Chetna Vinay Bhora

Iran: Return of the JCPOA talks
What happened?
On 9 April 2021, a Joint Commission meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) members (excluding the United States) was held in Vienna. The meeting followed a virtual and in-person meeting held a few days earlier, resulting in two working groups. One group looks at the US sanctions imposed on Iran; the other will develop conditions that Iran has to comply with to execute the JCPOA. The US representatives stayed at a different hotel as the Iranian delegation refused to meet them directly. Messages about the negotiations were relayed to the US by the other signatories to the JCPOA- Russia, European Union, China.

As the talks' progress, the US and Iran will be involved in indirect talks from the coming week. Iran has expressed its willingness to negotiate provided the US also followed suit. The other parties expect that the negotiations will culminate with a credible outcome that outlines the measures needed to be taken by them to reignite the JCPOA. 

What is the background?
First, the JCPOA initiative, as an effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In 2015, President Obama signed the JCPOA to offer sanctions relief to Tehran in exchange to ensure a peaceful Iranian nuclear programme. Under this nuclear deal, Iran agreed to restrict the production of the nuclear material for ten years and dismantle its centrifuges, basically giving up the idea of developing its nuclear weapons. UK, France, China, Russia and Germany (P5+1) were also parties to the deal. 

Second, Trump disrupting the progress of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump pulled out of the deal, following criticisms about the deal by the US' close allies - Israel and Saudi Arabia, and citing Iran's aggression in the Middle East. The other parties to the deal opposed Trump's decision; however, he reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran began producing nuclear materials, and considerable advancement in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs was observed. 

Third, Iran's response. In December 2020, Iran's Supreme Council passed a nuclear law that directs the state to bolster its nuclear enrichment levels up to 20 per cent Ur-235. Despite President Hassan Rouhani's warning against the consequences of such legislation, the Supreme Council passed it. As of February 2021, Iran had produced 17kg of weapons-grade Uranium.

What does it mean?
First, disagreement over what sanctions to remove could be a potential hurdle for the negotiations. While Iran demands all sanctions imposed after January 2016 be lifted, the US does not want to remove non-nuclear sanctions. Moreover, President Trump had smudged the difference between nuclear and non-nuclear related sanctions by placing some into terrorism-related sanctions. A major challenge for the US delegation would be deciding whether to stick to these designations or look beyond them. The US will also have to convince its allies in the Middle East. 

Second, the negotiations have to fructify before the Iran presidential elections in June. If a hardliner replaces Rouhani (who is considered a moderate), Iran could revisit its negotiations. The deal must see the light for the moderates to retain their face amid widespread call for a hardliner Presidential candidate in Iran. Such political change could delay the talks' outcomes, as opposed to what the other parties aim to achieve. 

Pakistan: A "new era" with Russia
What happened?
On 7 April, the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov arrived in Pakistan for a two-day visit, the first in nine years. On his arrival, he met with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, who termed the meeting as the beginning of 'a new era' with Russia. The two held wide-ranging talks during which they reviewed their bilateral cooperation in energy, security, including counter-terrorism and defence, besides having an in-depth discussion on the situation in Afghanistan. Lavrov said Russia was ready to build further counter-terrorism potential by providing military equipment to Pakistan. He said: "This is in the interest of all states of the region," adding that both sides also agreed on joint military exercises and drills.

FM Lavrov also met Imran Khan and General Bajwa. Khan reiterated the importance Pakistan attaches to Russia's relations as a key foreign policy priority and reaffirmed Pakistan's resolve to expeditiously conclude the requisite legal process for the "Pakistan Stream" (North-South) Gas Pipeline project and commence the work soon. 

What is the background?
First, the warming up of Russia-Pakistan relations. FM Lavrov's visit to Pakistan is the first by a Russian foreign minister in nine years, marking the recent shift of ties between them. Over the last few years, both have made a substantial effort to improve ties by building a stronger and mutually beneficial relationship through engagement at bilateral and multilateral arenas. 

Second, the multifaceted expansion in the relations. The deepening relation between Pakistan and Russia is not restricted to a single domain. The relation between the two is moving into more significant economic engagement, defence cooperation, and a strategic component. For example, in 2020, trade between the countries stood at almost USD 350 million, a 45 per cent increase from the year before. Further, the two have also been involved in significant infrastructure projects, with Russia constructing a major gas pipeline along the length of Pakistan.

Third, the Russian and Pakistani interests in each other. Both Russia and Pakistan have their reasons for cooperating and strengthening ties with each other. Pakistan seeks to enhance defence cooperation and align itself with Russia, given the recent developments in Pak-US relations. Conversely, Russia is trying to make new allies in South Asia. Its multi-frontal engagement with Pakistan could be seen as efforts to secure its backyard in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Further, their interest in Pakistan lies in its strategic location, the CPEC project, the future of Afghanistan, markets for defence, and strategic sales, including space cooperation.

What does it mean?
First, a paradigm shift in Pak-Russia relations when compared to the 1980s. Although Pakistan and Russia have no history of a substantial relationship, their strategic realities have caused the current shift, which is a positive development for both Islamabad and Moscow.

Second, the Afghan factor is the start of something new. Their mutual interest in Afghanistan has brought the countries together. However, this factor can be seen as the start of bringing Russia and Pakistan towards further engagements. 

Greenland: Opposition's electoral victory  will affect the rare earth mining
What happened?
On 6 April, Greenland's main opposition party, a left-leaning Community of the People party, or Inuit Ataqatigiit, secured more than a third of votes in the snap parliamentary elections. In the 31 seats Greenlandic National Assembly, this indigenous, pro-environment, and pro-independence party has secured 12 seats, with a 37 per cent share of the votes. The ruling centre-left Forward or the Siumut Party won 10 seats, with 29 per cent of the votes. 

Inuit Ataqatigiit's leader Múte Bourup Egede who campaigned with an anti-uranium stance, stated that "the people have spoken" and revealed that the project would be halted. The head of the Siumut Party, Erik Jensen, admitted that the controversy surrounding the Kvanefjeld mine to be "one of the main reasons" for its defeat.  

What is the background?
First, the controversy over the mining project and the collapse of the government. Two issues dominated the current elections: the people's living conditions and the health and environmental concerns. At the core of the snap elections stood the proposed international mining project by Greenland Minerals - an Australia-based company with Chinese ownership. Greenland Minerals has been seeking a license to operate the Kvanefjeld mine in southern Greenland. Despite the intentions to break away from its economic dependence on Denmark, many concerns have been raised about the potential for radioactive pollution and toxic waste in the farmland surrounding the proposed mine. A strong disagreement over the project within the Parliament led to the collapse of Greenland's government earlier in 2021. 

Second, the eco-geopolitics of rare earths and the mining industry. So far, China accounts for more than 90 per cent of the global rare earth production. The Kvanjefeld is near the Ilimaussaq Alkaline Complex in southern Greenland. The project has promised a large-scale, low-cost, long-term supplier of products. The location has year-round direct shipping access and is comfortably situated less than 10 km from tidewater. Uranium estimates show the Kvanefjeld mine could hold the largest deposit of rare-earth metals outside China. The calculation has led to international interest in Greenland's natural resources. While the winning party has announced to halt the project, on 9 April, Greenland Minerals, which has been operating in the region since 2007, revealed that their environmental and social impact assessments would run till 1 June. The company has met the requirements for public consultation and had been accepted by the Greenland government. 

Third, the role of rare earths projects in the local economy. Greenland's economy relies on fishing and subsidies from the Danish government for almost half of its budget. Due to the climate impact on the region and the melting ice, mining opportunities increase throughout the lower Arctic region. This is coupled with an increasing sentiment within a part of the Greenland society to move away from their dependence on Denmark. While Kvanefjeld's development strategy is focused on the production of rare earths, almost 80 per cent of the project revenue is expected to be generated with Uranium, Zinc, and Fluorspar byproducts. Greenland minerals have often asserted that it is focused on the rare earths and not just Uranium. These production strategies of the company have raised strong concerns over the impact on the pristine environment of Greenland. However, it also remains one of the very few sustainable options for the independence of the Greenland economy.  

What does it mean?
This election result, marks an end to the Forward Party's almost-continuous reign of the Greenlandic National Parliament since 1979. The increase in popularity of the Inuit Ataqatigiit, and the increase in awareness of the impact of climate change, can be seen in line with the growth of green/ pro-climate/ pro-environment political parties within Europe. 

Though the left-leaning party has emerged victorious, an estimated 34 per cent of the voters have not voted for either party, which could mean that the other concerns of the Greenland peoples took a back seat over the mining issue. 

Ukraine: Escalation of tensions with Russia
What happened?
On 10 April, Ukraine's defence minister warned against Eastern Ukraine's Donbas region's Russian exacerbation as a provocation. Kyiv has raised the alarm over Russian troops' buildup along the border that separates Ukraine and Russia in Donbas. The Kremlin rebuffed accusations of the troops being a threat. 

On 9 April, Russia admonished that in the event of an attack on the Russian population in the Eastern part of the country, Moscow might intervene to protect and aid the Russian speaking residents. Ukraine argued that two of its soldiers were killed due to the shooting by the pro-Russian separatists. According to the open-source intelligence reports, the satellite images showcase an increased presence of tanks, artilleries and short-range ballistic missiles transported to just 150 miles from Ukraine. The Ukrainian President has implored NATO to set up a membership path for Ukraine to join the military alliance to stop the confrontations with Russia. 

What is the background?
First, the conflict since 2014. The Russian intrusion in the region set in a significant rift with the West, propelling the European Union and the US to impose sanctions on Russia. The situation in Ukraine intensified into an international crisis, with the US-EU deadlock against Russia after a Malaysian Airplane was shot down at Ukrainian airspace, killing all passengers on board. In 2015, France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine undertook the mantle to broker a ceasefire through the Minsk Accords. 

Second, NATO's entry. In 2016, NATO disclosed that the alliance would set up four battalions in Eastern Europe to avert possible future Russian aggravation, particularly in the Baltics. However, efforts to reach a diplomatic compensation and assuaging resolution have been unsuccessful. 

Third, an increased focus of the US, under Biden. In April 2021, Biden's administration pointed out that the latest US-Russia friction is due to the military buildup in the region, disputes over arms control and human rights issues. Biden had extended "unwavering support" to the Ukrainian President in his confrontation with Russia. Subsequently, on a call, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany urged that Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull his troops back to mitigate the situation. 

What does it mean? 
Russia has been building its military presence in the region, causing instability. One of the objectives is to ensure that Ukraine does not side away with the EU or NATO and drain the Russian earnings from the region. Ukraine has also been an important location for the former USSR and now Russia in the post-cold war period. 

The intervention is also meant to support the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Putin has been backing the rebels to maintain a perpetual separatist crisis, maintain clout over the Ukrainian government, and encroach the region as he did in Crimea. 

The recent developments do not clarify the Russian move; it could just be an intimidation tactic or a prelude to a major escalation. However, the massive troop movements and the antagonistic attitude have caused a ripple in Kyiv and the other Western capitals.  The US and NATO will be obligated by Article 5 of the NATO treaty to retaliate. This could escalate into a war between Russia and the United States, and its NATO allies.

Also in the news …
By Sukanya Bali and Avishka Ashok

East and Southeast Asia This Week 
Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai and two other pro-democracy leaders plead guilty
On 7 April, Jimmy Lai, a former Hong Kong media tycoon with two former lawmakers, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum pleaded guilty, for taking part in an illegal anti-government protest organized on 31 August 2019. The charges carry five years of imprisonment. The ex-lawmakers admitted the same offence and said they did not regret their actions, which were a show of civil disobedience.

China: The Philippines continue allegations over the South China Sea
On 5 April, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the Philippines should stop their allegation on the South China Sea. Earlier, on 4 April, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana urged the Chinese vessels that are still around the Niu'e Reef to leave early, as per the South China Sea arbitration. He also denied that the Niu'e Reef and its adjacent waters as traditional fishing grounds for the Chinese fishermen. 

Japan: Sanction extended on North Korea for two years 
On 6 April, Japan renewed sanctions and a ban on all trade from North Korea for two years. The cabinet approved the extension. According to Kyodo News, the measure aims to pressure North Korea to "give up its nuclear and missile programs."

Japan: Government set to release Fukushima power plant water into the sea
On 9 April, the Japanese government agreed to release treated radioactive water at Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The treated water contains radioactive tritium, which is a byproduct of a nuclear reactor. The government will hold a meeting with the related ministry next Tuesday to formally decide on the disposal issue. 

South Korea: Iran releases seized ship
On 9 April, Iran released a South Korean oil tanker after three months. The oil tanker was seized on 4 January, allegedly over oil pollution. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "At the request of the owner and the Korean government, the order to release the ship was issued by the prosecutor." The seize was seen as an attempt to pressurize South Korea for the release of Iran's seven billion tied up in response to US sanctions. 

Myanmar: Both the public protests and the military crackdown continue
As of 11 April, more than 700 people are killed by the security forces. On 8 April, an explosion by Tatmadaw while retaliating against the ongoing clashes in the Sagaing province killed 11 and injuring 30. In the Shan province, the conflict between the two ethnic armed forces RCSS and TNLA has forced villagers to escape. This has added to numbers of exodus to the neighbouring countries. In Kachin State, the Tatmadaw raids in the churches have garnered anger among the locals. On 7 April, a series of attacks in Yangon targeted the military establishments.

Myanmar: Ambassador to the UK, locked out of the embassy
On 8 April, the Myanmar ambassador was locked out of the embassy. He described the incident as another "coup". He also said the staff was threatened with "severe punishment if they don't continue to work for the military general." According to Reuters, Chit Win, Deputy ambassador, has taken over as chargé d'affaires in London.    

Indonesia: New cyclone Odette to hit central areas
On 9 April, Indonesia's weather agency (BMKG) warned of a second tropical cyclone. The head of the agency said: "a new cyclone, named Odette, was gaining traction and could hit Lampung province on the island of Sumatra, as well as the provinces of East Java and Central Java and the island of Bali." The cyclone Seroja has already killed more than 160 people in the eastern parts of the country.

Singapore: Deputy Prime Minister step down from future leadership role
On 8 April, Heng Swee Keat, Singapore's deputy prime minister, said he would be stepping down so that "younger leaders who will have a longer runway can take over." In his letter to Prime Minister, he also said he will step aside as a leader of the "4G team." Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he understands and respects Heng's decision called it "selfless."

South Asia This Week
India: 11th round of Corps Commander talks held with China
On 9 April, India and China held their 11th rounds of talks at the Chushul border. Both have agreed to maintain stability on the ground and to avoid new incidents in the eastern Ladakh region.  The talk focused on disengagement from Patrolling Points (PP) at Gogra and Hot Springs. Ministry of Defence stated: "The two sides agreed that it was important to take guidance from the consensus of their leaders, continue their communication and dialogue and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest."

India: Kazakhstan agree to enhance defense ties
On 9 April, India and Kazakhstan agreed on defense industrial cooperation and mutual capacity building. Ministers agreed to look for the possibility of co-production and co-development in defense production. The talk concluded to maintain, upgrade military equipment and set up of joint venture.

India: Russian Foreign Minister's visit
On 6 April, the Indian Foreign Minister and Russian Foreign Minister held talks in New Delhi. Both ministers agreed to enhance defense cooperation and explore the possibility of "additional" production of Russian equipment in India. The bilateral talks also addressed the regional issues, especially Afghanistan, and collaboration in the pharmaceutical sector.
India: First virtual talk held with Seychelles 
On 8 April, India and Seychelles held their first interaction between Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, and HE Wavel Ramkalwan, President. The meet was organized for the e-inauguration of Indian projects, a new magistrates court building, a new naval ship, one MW solar power plant, and 10 HICDPs (High Impact Community Development Projects). India also handed over a Fast Patrol Vessel to the Seychelles Coast Guard.

India: Army Chief on a five-day visit to Bangladesh
On 8 April, India Army Chief Gen MM Naravane met the Bangladesh Air Force and Navy Chief. He also paid tribute to martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War in Dhaka Cantonment. On 9 April, he visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This year marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and
India: Spike in COVID-19 cases
On 9 April, the cases in India rose to 145,384 in 24 hours, adding the total to 13,205,926.  The nation recorded 794 deaths the highest since 18 October. States like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu have reimposed COVID-19 restrictions.
India: Opposed US naval exercise in India's EEZ
On 9 April, India protested over the US patrolling in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone in the western Indian ocean. India's Ministry of External Affairs said: "the Government of India's stated position on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) does not authorize other States to carry out in the EEZ and on the continental shelf, military exercises or manoeuvres, in particular, those involving the use of weapons or explosives, without the consent of the coastal state."

Central Asia, Middle East and Africa This Week
Azerbaijan: Defense ministry launches two-day joint military exercise
On 8 April, Azerbaijan's defence ministry announced two days of joint military exercise with Turkey. The exercise is aimed at "developing the military decision-making, initiative, and management skills of operational unit commanders." There is a heightened military cooperation between the two countries after the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. 

Jordan: Prince Hamzah pledges support to the king and royal court 
On 5 April, Prince Hamzah of Jordan signed a letter signifying his unfailing support to the king and the royal court after he was accused of instigating instability in the kingdom. The Prince said: "I place myself in the hands of His Majesty the King. I will remain committed to the constitution of the dear Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and I will always be of help and support to His Majesty the King and his Crown Prince." Earlier, the government accused the former crown prince of abetting with foreign powers to destabilize the regime. 

Palestine: The US promises to resume aid
On 7 April, the US Secretary of State announced resuming financial support to the Palestinian people in West Bank and Gaza strip. The aid package, previously discontinued by Donald Trump, includes funding  USD 235 million, which will be used for development projects and peacebuilding exercises in the two conflicted regions. Blinken said: "US foreign assistance for the Palestinian people serves important US interests and values." Over USD 150 million will be used for the UN Relief and Works Agency, while USD 75 million will be spent on economic and development assistance in the region. 

Israel: President Rivlin tasks Netanyahu with forming the government
On 6 April, President Reuven Rivlin announced choosing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the position after the elections ended in March. Netanyahu now has 28 days to negotiate with other parties and create a coalition, failing which the President will ask another leader to form the government. President Rivlin said: "This was not an easy decision. This is how all previous Israeli presidents have acted, this is how I acted in previous elections and this is how I will act now." 

Ethiopia: Egypt and Sudan accused of obstructing talks on the construction of dam
On 6 April, the foreign ministry of Ethiopia blamed Egypt and Sudan for the failure of the meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is perceived as a threat to the water supply in the two countries. The GERD is set to become the largest hydroelectric project in the continent. The Chair of the African Union facilitated the meeting in an attempt to resolve tensions over water-sharing of the Nile river. The statement made by the ministry said, "The meeting failed due to Egypt and Sudan's rigid stance to make the negotiation and the outcome a tool to affirm their self-claimed water share and foreclose Ethiopia's share."

African Union: Discards the plan to buy from India's Serum Institute after a delay
On 8 April, the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the African Union drops plans of buying vaccines from the Serum Institute of India. The Serum Institute of India, which was supposed to supply the COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX alliance for distribution in African nations, had to back out because of an acute shortage of vaccines in India. The African Union expressed concern over the delay in supply of vaccines which would create an obstacle in the vaccination drive in Africa. The African Union will now explore its options with Johnson & Johnson. 

Rwanda: UN Secretary-General issues a message on International Day of Reflection on the 1994 genocide
On 7 April, Rwandans remembered the victims of the genocide of 1994 that killed over a million people in a matter of three months. The United Nations Secretary-General said that in order to avoid a repetition of such catastrophic event, "we must take a hard look at today's world and ensure that we heed the lessons of 27 years ago." He called on the people to honour the dead and also reflect on the anguish and resilience of those who survived the ordeal. Referring to the ethnic polarization and gap between communities which led to the genocide, Guterres urged the international community to prevent history from repeating, which "requires countering these hate-driven movements that have become a transnational threat."

Europe and The Americas This Week
Turkey: Over 14 retired army admirals arrested over shipping treaty declaration
On 5 April, the chief prosecutor's office in Turkey arrested 14 admirals for propagating the declaration of 103 admirals that questioned the Justice and Development Party and their commitment to the Montreux Convention. It also raised questions about the maritime access to the Black Sea, which has stirred discussions regarding previous coups in the country. Four detained admirals have been given three days to turn themselves in because of their advanced ages. The arrested individuals will face charges on "conspiracy to commit crimes against the security of the state and the constitutional order." The declaration is perceived as a call for a military coup by many in the government circles.

The UK: Coroner declares a third-party involvement in the death of Russian critic
On 10 April, the West London Coroner's court announced that there was evidence to suggest the unlawful killing of Nikolai Glushkov, which may have involved a third party's involvement in his death. Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian businessman critical of Vladimir Putin, seeking political asylum in the UK since 2010, was found dead in his apartment on his court hearing in 2018. He was charged with stealing over 87 million pounds from Aeroflot during his time as deputy director. 

The European Union: Medicine regulator lists blood clot as a rare side-effect of AstraZeneca
On 8 April, the European Union's Medicine Agency said that unusual blood clots must be listed as a rare side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The research conducted by the agency concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks and thus, can be continued. The agency also clarified that the report could not find particular risk factors such as age, gender or previous medical history. 

The US: President Biden pushes for gun control legislation
On 8 April, the US President revealed a series of actions to tackle increased gun violence in the country. While quoting the extremely large number of casualties due to gun-related violence, he said, "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it is an international embarrassment." He urged the US lawmakers to support effective legislation that will help in amending laws, rectifying loopholes and protecting the rights of citizens. Even though the US House of Representatives passed a bill that pushes for background-checks in March, the bill will definitely face obstacles in the House of Senates. Biden's statements were directly aimed at "gun violence" instead of "gun control", which might show positive results in the country's fight against the irresponsible use of weapons. 

The US: Police chief and medical expert's statements fortifies the case against accused
On 5 April, the Minneapolis police chief testified and stated that the police officer who detained George Floyd used excessive force and violated police policies at the time of his arrest. The medical experts investigating Floyd's death also testified that he died of asphyxia. The report read that George Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." Further, the medical expert clarified that the drugs in his body were within the legally allowed amount. 

Mexico: Over 172000 migrants detained at US-Mexico border
On 6 April, the US Homeland Security stats revealed a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors being taken into custody by the Customs and Border Protection. At present, there are over 20200 unaccompanied minors in US custody. In the last month, immigration authorities detained at least 172000 migrants from the Mexican border. With the quick expulsion of adults during the Trump era and the continuation of such policies, there has been an increase in the number of children being detained by the US authorities.

Brazil: Supreme Court orders probe into President Jair Bolsonaro's decisions on pandemic
On 8 April, the Supreme Court of Brazil ordered an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic and barred the opening of churches due to the increasing number of cases in Brazil. The COVID-19 outbreak in the country is spiralling out of control, with hospitals running dangerously low on medical supplies, oxygen cylinders, vaccines, ambulance services and recording as many as 4000 deaths every day. On 9 April, President Jair Bolsonaro claimed that he was a victim of "excessive judicial activism" and said that the Judiciary and the senate are playing politics at a very crucial time.

About the authors:
Poornima B is a PhD scholar from Manipal University, Abigail Miriam Fernandez and Sukanya Bali are project associates, Harini Madhusudan is a PhD scholar and Avishka Ashok is a research assistant in the School of Conflict and Security Studies at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Chetna Vinay Bhora is a Research Scholar from the University of Madras.

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