ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 11/06/2018

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Politico – Strobe Talbott / Trump just ruined the G7. Now what?

  • The US and Russia should get back to the negotiating table, but not under the auspices of the G7. That gathering is meant to solidify policies on the basis of shared values and interests.
  • On the ideological front, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reversed Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s reforms. Russia is a pseudo-democracy and de facto autocracy under one-man rule. Putin has more power than any Kremlin leader since Stalin.
  • The main battlefield in Putin’s new cold war with the West is cyberspace, and the weapons are manipulation of social media, publicizing private emails, and new means to falsify electoral outcomes by hacking voting machines.
  • Trump told the press last week, with apparent pride, that he is “Russia’s worst nightmare.” Wrong. He is the democratic world’s worst nightmare.

The New York Times – Rick Gladstone / Trump and Kim may define ‘Korea denuclearization’ quite differently

  • Since the early 1990s, the American definition of denuclearization has referred to the demand that North Korea relinquish its nuclear arms capabilities. But National Security Advisor John Bolton has broadened the definition, by including ballistic missiles, chemical and biological weapons, the means to produce them, and verifiable ways to ensure North Korea is not hiding anything.
  • North Korea’s use of the term, on the other hand, has never explicitly applied to its own weapons. Disarmament experts say North Korea has used denuclearization to refer to what it views as the American military’s strategic capability to strike North Korea with nuclear weapons from afar, and to the American protection of South Korea and Japan under a so-called nuclear umbrella from bases in the Pacific.
  • In the North’s view, a formal peace treaty with the US would help to ensure that the Americans do not attack and topple the government. A peace treaty would also put pressure on the US to withdraw its military presence from South Korea.
  • Victor D. Cha, Georgetown University expert on North Korea, said a peace treaty before denuclearization would be a tremendous victory for the Kim regime: “They would basically see that as accepting them as a nuclear weapons state.”

BBC / Italy’s Matteo Salvini shuts ports to migrant rescue ship

  • A rescue vessel carrying 629 migrants is stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy’s new interior minister, League leader Matteo Salvini, refused permission for it to dock.
  • Salvini said Malta should accept the rescue vessel, but Malta refused, as it argued that the migrants fell under Italy’s jurisdiction.
  • “Malta takes in nobody,” Salvini said. “France pushes people back at the border, Spain defends its frontier with weapons.”
  • Salvini says Rome should increase its deportations of migrants, and is considering action against organisations rescuing migrants at sea. The Italian government also wants to relocate asylum seekers EU-wide – a scheme already rejected by some member states.

Euractiv / France and Germany ‘talk throughout the night’ on eurozone reform

  • According to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, France and Germany made “significant progress” towards an agreement on eurozone reforms at marathon talks in Paris this weekend.
  • Le Maire said he and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz would hold a last round of talks this week on proposals to be put to a joint Franco-German ministerial meeting on June 19.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have promised to present a joint reform proposal at a European Union summit on June 27-28, but differences remain on eurozone issues and banking regulation.
  • In an interview last weekend, Merkel said Germany would support Macron’s call for an investment fund to help poorer European countries catch up in the areas of science, technology and innovation. Merkel also detailed her proposals to upgrade the European Stability Mechanism into a European Monetary Fund.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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