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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 13/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 13/10/2020

Politico – Jacopo Barigazzi / EU agrees sanctions on Russia over Navalny poisoning and on Lukashenko

  • EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed on new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and against Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.
  • On Russia, Germany’s Heiko Maas tweeted after a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg: “We have agreed to enact sanctions against individuals that we consider to be responsible for this violation of international law.”
  • Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, said in a press conference Monday that “there was a complete acceptance by all member states, no one opposed any kind of reluctancy.”
  • On Belarus, where demonstrations continue after a contested August 9 election that Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, claims to have won with 80 percent of the vote, the EU ministers “gave their political green light to start preparing the next sanctions package that will include Lukashenko himself,” Borrell said.
  • Euractiv – Sarantis Michalopoulos / Borrell throws Turkey hot potato back into EU leaders’ hands

The Guardian – Bethan McKernan / Trench warfare, drones and cowering civilians: on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh

  • About 70,000 Armenians in Nagarno-Karabakh have fled the poorly aimed Azerbaijani rockets and drones, which appear to have hit civilian neighbourhoods more often than infrastructure and military bases.
  • When the air raid siren sounds to warn that an Azerbaijani jet has crossed into Armenian-controlled airspace, residents have approximately three minutes to find cover. Sometimes, when the Russian-made missile defence systems don’t work, there is no warning at all.
  • Armenia, scarred by the ethnic cleansing carried out by Azerbaijanis in the 1980s – as well as Turkey a century ago – has over the years refused to give up the seven other Azerbaijani provinces it occupies, leaving 700,000 Azeris unable to return to the homes they fled.
  • The fighting that broke out two weeks ago is a mix of the old and the new. Conscripts armed with AK-47s face off in first world war-style trenches, in some places so close the two sides can actually talk to each other, while state-of-the-art drones and long-range missiles soar through the sky above.
  • Al-Jazeera / The human cost of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The New York Times – Nicholas Fandos / Two parties offer dueling views of Barrett as confirmation fight begins

  • Democrats assailed Judge Barrett as a conservative ideologue who would overturn the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights, and whose nomination amounted to an illegitimate power grab by a president in the last days before the election.
  • Republicans steered clear of addressing Judge Barrett’s anticipated effect on the court, instead promoting her sterling qualifications and accusing Democrats of unjustly attacking her because of her Catholic faith, despite the fact that they made no mention of it on Monday.
  • Judge Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor, appeals court judge and mother of seven, sat in silence for much of the day; her expressions were rendered unreadable by a plain black mask she had donned in accordance with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s coronavirus protocol. 
  • “Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” Judge Barrett said. “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”
  • Bloomberg – Jonathan Bernstein / Yes, the Barrett hearings are about the election, not the law

Financial Times – Kathrin Hille / The great uncoupling: one supply chain for China, one for everywhere else

  • Driven by President Donald Trump’s push to “decouple” the US economy from China and the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many manufacturers are being forced to rethink their presence in China.
  • Untangling supply chains that have built up over a generation is a complex and difficult task and the multinational companies which sell into the Chinese market will stay and even expand.
  • But if companies that once used the mainland to make goods for export do decide to depart in significant numbers, it will represent a major reversal of five decades of economic integration between the US and China.
  • At a time when tensions between Washington and Beijing are increasingly beginning to resemble a new cold war, products ranging from computer servers to the Apple iPhone could end up having two separate supply chains — one for the Chinese market and one for much of the rest of the world.
  • Project Syndicate – Dani Rodrik / The public’s business

Today’s lesson:

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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