Financial Times – Richard Milne & Kathrin Hille / Baltic concern rises at Russian missiles in Kaliningrad
- Russia has deployed its nuclear-capable Iskander missile system permanently in its exclave of Kaliningrad, according to claims by Lithuania’s president and defense minister.
- Rose Gottemoeller, NATO’s deputy secretary-general: “It’s a very serious matter . . . Is it a temporary type of deployment, or is it something else? That I simply cannot say.”
- Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the Duma’s defense committee, said that the cruise missiles had been deployed to Kaliningrad as an “answer to the deployment of military assets in neighboring territories”.
- Fears are growing that the treaties through which the US and Russia have kept their mutual nuclear deterrent in check since the end of the Soviet Union might be unravelling, putting Europe at the center of a new arms race.
South China Morning Post – Liu Zhen / China carries out anti-missile test amid tension over North Korea’s nuclear programme
- A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defense said that it successfully carried out an anti-missile test on Monday.
- The statement said the test was not targeted at any particular country.
- China first tested a ground-based “mid-course” missile interception in 2010. A second test was conducted in 2013.
- China and Russia have opposed the deployment of a US-developed missile defense shield in South Korea, saying its powerful radar can probe deep into their territory and undermine their own security.
The New York Times – Stanley Reed / From oil to solar: Saudi Arabia plots a shift to renewables
- Saudi Arabia’s energy diversification strategy is finally making progress. Yesterday, Riyadh tapped ACWA Power, a Saudi energy company, to build a solar farm that would generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 homes. The project would cost $300 million and create hundreds of jobs.
- By the end of the year, Saudi Arabia aims to invest up to $7 billion to develop seven new solar plants and a big wind farm.
- The country hopes that renewables, which now represent a negligible amount of the energy it uses, will be able to provide as much as 10 percent of its power generation by the end of 2023. Even in a country where oil is plentiful, renewables beckon as a cheap, and clean, alternative to traditional fossil fuels.
- A big push into wind and solar power would also have other benefits, notably allowing Saudi Arabia to sell more of its oil internationally, instead of using it for domestic energy consumption.
Foreign Affairs – Behnam Ben Taleblu / What Washington can learn from the Iran protests
- The recent Iran protests should help lay to rest a range of tenuous assumptions about Iranian politics that had become conventional wisdom in Washington.
- The first myth is that given the regime’s success in suppressing the Green Movement in the summer of 2009 and beyond, the Iranian people lacked the resolve to continue protesting. Further, it alleged that the regime was experiencing a boon of popularity among the Iranian people, but in reality Iranian nationalism does not equal support for the regime.
- The second myth holds that since Iranians have previously opted for reform, reformists remain the most likely drivers of political change. Washington’s focus on the city of Tehran, the reformist base, has led it to ignore people who live on the geographic and political periphery of the Islamic Republic.
- There is, finally, the myth that the Iran nuclear deal is creating space to address non-nuclear issues. Actually, in the two and a half years since it was agreed to, concern over the deal’s future has dominated nearly every U.S. discussion about Iran. Genuine attempts to have a dialogue about supporting human rights in Iran are dismissed by the deal’s defenders as simply a pretext to scrap it.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may contain word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.