ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 28/11/2018

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The New York Times – Neil MacFarquhar / In standoff with Russia, what does Ukraine’s martial law decree mean?

  • Ukrainians were thrown into confusion on Tuesday over their country’s martial law emergency, a day after President Petro Poroshenko pressed Parliament to enact the measure with no complete public version of what it contained, including the effective date.
  • Poroshenko justified the action because of what he called indications that Russia could seize other parts of Ukraine’s territory, and citizens should be ready to resist.
  • The law was limited to the 10 provinces bordering areas where Russian troops are deployed as well as along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
  • Martial law has never been enforced since Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. “They can do whatever they want and they do not need to justify anything about their actions to the public or the courts or anybody,” said Roman Marchenko, a lawyer in private practice in Ukraine.
  • Foreign Policy – Carl Bildt & Nicu Popescu / Ukraine’s new front is Europe’s big challenge

Project Syndicate – Mark Leonard / The US and China are the closest of enemies

  • The standard narrative about the Sino-American conflict is that it pits two distinct systems against each other. However, the new Sino-American confrontation is rooted not in the two countries’ differences, but in their growing similarity.
  • The symbiotic “Chimerica” (a term coined by Niall Ferguson) is now a thing of the past. At the same time that China has been reorienting its economic-development model, the US has replaced its traditional laissez-faire approach with an industrial strategy of its own.
  • By trying to outcompete each other in the same areas, the US and Chinese strategies are becoming more alike. In addition, both President Trump and President Xi have embraced a message of national rejuvenation and taken foreign-policy decisions into their own hands.
  • To the Chinese, international engagement was never a binary choice. Rather than becoming a responsible stakeholder in the US-led order, China is now developing what might be described as internationalism with Chinese characteristics.

Wall Street Journal – Mike Pompeo / The U.S.-Saudi partnership is vital

  • Is it any coincidence that the people using the Khashoggi murder as a cudgel against President Trump’s Saudi Arabia policy are the same people who supported Barack Obama’s rapprochement with Iran—a regime that has killed thousands world-wide and brutalizes its own people?
  • The Trump administration has taken many steps to mitigate Yemen’s suffering. We have exerted effort to improve Saudi targeting to minimize civilian casualties, and we have galvanized humanitarian assistance through our own generous example. And, while Saudi Arabia has invested billions to relieve suffering in Yemen, Iran has invested zero.
  • Abandoning or downgrading the US-Saudi alliance would fail to advance US interests and would do nothing to push Riyadh in a better direction at home. Much work remains to be done to guarantee the freedoms for which America and President Trump always stand. Yet the crown prince has moved the country in a reformist direction.
  • The US doesn’t condone the Khashoggi killing, which is fundamentally inconsistent with American values. The Trump administration will consider further punitive measures if more facts about Khashoggi’s murder come to light.

Euractiv – Sam Morgan / New EU plan comes out fighting for ‘climate neutrality’ by 2050

  • The European Commission will unveil its much-anticipated plan for a “climate-neutral Europe” later today, in an effort to show EU countries how to stick to the goals of the Paris Agreement and endorse a shared long-term strategy.
  • In the strategy, the Commission states that “the aim of this long-term strategy is to confirm Europe’s commitment to lead in global climate action and to present a vision that can lead to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”.
  • The Commission admits that the current estimate of 60% cuts by 2050 are “not sufficient for the EU to contribute to the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals”.
  • Commission modelling shows that net-zero emissions would mean “estimated benefits of up to 2% of GDP by 2050 compared to the baseline”. Those figures do not factor in savings made through reducing climate damages like flooding, heatwaves and droughts.

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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