The Washington Post – Michael Scherer / Biden condemns Trump and his allies as a danger to democracy on the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection
- President Biden denounced his predecessor Thursday as a threat to the constitutional order at home and the democratic project abroad, using the first anniversary of the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters to rally support for the most basic precepts of the American system.
- The remarkable condemnation of the former president was delivered in a building and a country that remains divided over the meaning of the mob attack intended to prevent Biden from taking office after his electoral victory. Biden spoke from Statuary Hall, where one year ago marauding protesters had broken in and set off battles with police for control of the seat of American democracy.
- Democrats spent the day recounting from the congressional chambers the terror they felt last year; Republicans, with few exceptions, avoided the proceedings.
- The current Republican congressional leadership did not participate, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) traveling to Georgia for a funeral, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) working outside of Washington.
- Project Syndicate – Various Authors / America, one year on
Financial Times – Polina Ivanova and David Sheppard / Russian forces arrive in Kazakhstan after president seeks help
- Russian paratroopers and allied military units started to arrive in Kazakhstan on Thursday after the country’s president appealed for help in quelling protests that have led to dozens being killed in clashes with police.
- Limited numbers of Russian paratroopers, plus contingents from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, were sent as a peacekeeping force at the request of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led military alliance.
- A video shared by Russia’s defence ministry showed soldiers boarding a military plane bound for Kazakhstan. The alliance’s troops would focus on “protecting important state and military facilities, and assisting Kazakh law enforcement in stabilising the situation”, an alliance statement said.
- Key infrastructure includes the Russian space centre in Baikonur and several military sites. Russian units already in the central Asian nation “have begun to carry out their assigned tasks”, the alliance added.
- Foreign Policy – Emma Ashford and Matthew Kroenig / Will unrest in Kazakhstan inflame tensions between Russia and the West?
Financial Times – Camilla Hodgson and Laura Noonan / Cost of neutralizing carbon emissions soars as demand escalates
- Soaring demand for carbon offsets is driving up prices and causing a supply crunch, as companies and investors scramble to buy the credits that compensate for emissions of the greenhouse gas.
- The rising interest in offsets, which represent a tonne of carbon that has been permanently avoided or removed from the atmosphere, has tilted the market in favour of sellers, after years of low prices.
- Between June 2021 and January 2022, the price of “nature based” offsets — such as those from tree-planting schemes — increased more than threefold from around $4.65 per tonne of carbon to around $14.40, according to S&P Global Platts.
- Interest in the market, which is unregulated, has grown alongside the proliferation of corporate net zero emission pledges since last year’s COP26 UN climate summit and rising pressure on nations to curb global warming.
- Bloomberg – Frances Schwartzkopff / Crazy carbon offsets market prompts calls for regulation
Politico – Matthew Karnitschnig, Nahal Toosi and Paul McLeary / Biden talks tough on Putin, but Europeans are less ready for a fight
- President Joe Biden has warned Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that his country will face severe sanctions if it once again attacks Ukraine. A key question looms, however: Will European countries really go along with serious penalties on Moscow?
- On the surface, Europe appears willing. European Union officials and national leaders from across the continent have promised huge economic penalties against Moscow for any new military incursion into Ukraine, in lockstep with their American partners.
- After touring the front lines between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces on Wednesday, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell pledged that “any military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs” for Moscow.
- Reading from the same script, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during a visit to Washington Wednesday that Russia would suffer “enormous economic consequences” for military action, though she, like other Western officials, stopped short of providing details, or pledging additional military assistance to Kyiv
- The Economist / How to talk to Mr Putin
Our longer reads for the weekend:
- Foreign Affairs – Dmitri Alperovitch / The case for cyber-realism
- Council on Foreign Relations – James McBride and Jeanne Park /After the Berlin Wall: Europe’s struggle to overcome its divisions
- Project Syndicate – Richard Haass / A world of mounting disarray
- Politico – Lili Bayer and Jan Cienski / The not-so-fantastic 4: Central Europe’s divided Visegrad alliance