Financial Times – Erika Solomon and David Sheppard / Germany suspends certification of Nord Stream 2 pipeline
- Germany’s energy regulator said it had “temporarily suspended” certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, dealing a setback to the Kremlin-backed gas project and sparking a rise in UK and continental European gas prices.
- The regulator said it could not yet approve the project, led by Russia’s Gazprom, because its owners had chosen to create a German subsidiary branch that was not yet properly set up according to German law.
- The suspension comes at a critical time for European gas supply, with prices surging across the continent. Gazprom has been accused by some countries of restricting exports to western Europe to increase pressure on Germany and accelerate approval of the project.
- UK gas contracts for delivery in December rose 17.2 per cent to £2.40 a therm on the news on Tuesday, while the European benchmark gained 15.2 per cent to €94 per megawatt hour, with both contracts trading near their highest level in a month.
- Eurostat / From where do we import energy?
- The European Union is considering a joint military force of up to 5,000 troops to intervene in a range of crises without relying on the United States, according to a draft plan seen by Reuters.
- Here are some of the main points in the draft plan, the “Strategic Compass”, which must be agreed by EU leaders at a summit in March.
- By 2025, the EU should develop a joint “Rapid Deployment Capacity” made up of land, sea and air components.
- By next year, the bloc wants to agree on scenarios in which such a rapid reaction force might be used, and then from 2023 begin regular military exercises, including naval drills.
- Politico – Jacopo Barigazzi / EU arms itself against Russia, China with age-old tactic: a policy document
Bloomberg – Iain Marlow / China can’t develop isolated from the world, Xi’s No. 2 says
- China and the world must work together to boost global economic growth, Vice President Wang Qishan said, vowing that Beijing will continue opening up more to foreign investment at a time when more countries are raising barriers over national security concerns.
- “China cannot develop in isolation of the world and nor can the world develop without China,” Wang said Wednesday at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “China will not waver in its resolve to deepen reform and expand opening up.”
- “Going forward, China will keep its arms wide open, provide more market investment and growth opportunities to the world,” he added. “And to contribute its part to the building of a noble world economy and a community with a shared future for mankind.”
- Wang, technically second-in-charge to President Xi Jinping, spoke a day after the Chinese leader held a virtual summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. The outcome was generally positive, with both sides agreeing to continue talking on a range of topics even as they continue to spar over issues like Taiwan.
- The Atlantic – Michael Schuman / Xi Jinping’s terrifying new China
Financial Times – Andres Schipani / Three killed in Uganda bomb attack blamed on Isis-linked group
- At least three people were killed in twin blasts that rocked central Kampala on Tuesday in what Ugandan police described as co-ordinated attacks by a “radicalised” group believed to be linked to jihadi Isis.
- More than 30 people have been injured, including five people in critical condition, according to police spokesman Fred Enanga, who added that three alleged suicide bombers also died in the blasts.
- The twin explosions, one near a police station and another close to the parliament building, happened within minutes of each other, while an attack on a third target was foiled by the police.
- Ugandan police blamed the blasts on groups tied to the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, an Islamic extremist group that operates from the Democratic Republic of Congo, originated in Uganda and opposes longstanding president Yoweri Museveni.
- Council on Foreign Relations – Michelle Gavin / Crisis in Mozambique is grabbing the world’s attention
Today’s further reads:
- Foreign Affairs – Emma Kovak and Robert Paarlberg / CRISPR and the climate
- European Council on Foreign Relations – Gustav Gressel, Joanna Hosa and Pavel Slunkin / No quiet on the eastern front: the migration crisis engineered by Belarus