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Talking Europe 20.05: Europe – Asia relations, airline travel

Rafał Tomański and David Kennedy clashed on the topic European – Asian relations, ranging from the ties between the Russian armaments industry and India to Japan’s efforts to tighten ties with the US and western Europe. They also discussed air travel in Europe at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Euro-Asia relations

The first topic of today’s episode of Talking Europe revolved around the different relations between European and Asian countries mostly, Russia, India, Pakistan, China, Japan the EU and Ukraine in terms of the ongoing war and differences between countries in regard to weapons suppliers.

Russia is the world’s second-largest arms exporter with India as the biggest buyer of Russian weapons, followed by China, Algeria, Egypt and Vietnam. This means that India would have much to lose if it would sever ties with Russia over the war in Ukraine.

However, many European country leaders including the UK Prime Minister and the head of the European Commission travelled to India to propose their own weapons deals to the government in New Delhi. “Everybody tries to make India buy its weapons,” Mr Tomański summed up.

“And in reply, they want the ability for more Indian, skilled workers to come and work in the UK,” Mr Kennedy added.

Air travel in times of war

In April this year, more than 952,000 passengers used air transport in Warsaw. This means an increase of more than 22 percent month on month. The rate of aircraft filling was also higher year on year which indicates a great desire for air travel globally.

The hosts of Talking Europe agreed that in this day and age it is very difficult to travel to places far away as flying over the Russian air space is currently unthinkable. Due to this obstacle, many flights had to be rerouted which increased the costs and prolonged the time of the flights.

According to Mr Tomański, “the world is connected. We worked for decades to make the world as global as it could be, and now currently after the pandemic you have the war and the options are limited.”

He also added that this, in turn, means that some countries in Asia will suffer due to the lack of tourists, which can be already seen in places like Sri Lanka.

On the other hand, Mr Kennedy thinks that over time people will get used to the current conditions and will once again start travelling, first for work and family visits and later on for holidays.

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