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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 10/01/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 10/01/2022

Financial Times – Nastassia Astrasheuskaya and Lauren Fedor / Kazakhstan detains 6,000 in security forces crackdown after protests

  • Kazakhstan’s authorities have said 164 people have been killed and nearly 6,000 detained after days of unrest, warning that operations against “terrorists” would continue with Russian-led forces helping to stabilise the country.
  • Those held by police in the central Asian country include a “significant number of foreigners”, the office of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said, without giving details.
  • Protests that began over a fuel price rise in early January escalated and spread rapidly across the country. The health ministry, which reported the 164 deaths, said most were in the largest city of Almaty.
  • Tokayev has repeatedly said the demonstrations, which turned into looting and armed attacks, were an act of terrorism with foreign involvement, giving him cause to impose a state of emergency and call in international help on Wednesday.
  • Project Syndicate – Nina L. Khruscheva / Kazakhstan and the price of Russia’s empire

Financial Times – Henry Foy and Lauren Fedor / Nato stands ready for conflict in Europe, says alliance chief

  • Nato has warned Moscow to abandon its belligerent foreign policy and co-operate with the west or face a military alliance steeled for conflict on the eve of a week of intense diplomacy aimed at averting a Russian assault on Ukraine.
  • Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, said the US-led defence pact was prepared for “a new armed conflict in Europe” should negotiations fail, as western officials readied for potential discussions with Moscow on reducing the size of military exercises, arms control and a pledge not to deploy US missiles in Ukraine.
  • “I am aware of Russia’s history. For centuries they have experienced conflict with neighbours,” he told the Financial Times. “[But] Russia has an alternative: to co-operate, to work with Nato.”
  • Russia has deployed about 100,000 troops at locations close to its border with Ukraine in recent months, sparking fears that it is planning a fresh attack on a country it invaded in 2014, with the annexation of Crimea.
  • Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / With Russian guns pointed at Ukraine, West and Moscow dive into talks

Bloomberg – William Horobin / New EU nuclear plants need $568 billion investment, Breton says

  • A “colossal” investment in nuclear energy will be needed over the next 30 years to meet the European Union’s emissions reduction targets and growing demand for electricity, the bloc’s internal market chief Thierry Breton said. 
  • Existing nuclear plants need 50 billion euros of investment through to 2030, while the next generation will require 500 billion euros ($568 billion) between now and 2050, Breton said in an interview with France’s weekly Journal Du Dimanche. “The green transition will lead to an industrial revolution of unprecedented scale,” Breton said. 
  • The French commissioner’s comments come after the EU unveiled plans to allow certain natural-gas and nuclear energy projects to be classified as sustainable investments. The proposed classification system, known as taxonomy, is coming under fire from Green lawmakers and climate groups. 
  • Breton said nuclear energy combined with investment in renewable sources will be crucial for meeting the EU’s objective of net zero emissions by 2050. Including nuclear in taxonomy is essential for the sector’s capacity to attract capital, he said
  • France 24 / Paris, Berlin ‘agree to disagree’ on French push to label nuclear energy green

Politico – Zosia Wanat / Poland’s Watergate: ruling party leader admits country has Pegasus hacking software

  • Jarosław Kaczyński, chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the country’s de facto leader, confirmed that the government has the Pegasus hacking software system but denied it had been used against opposition politicians in the 2019 parliamentary election campaign. 
  • “It would be bad if the Polish services did not have this type of tool,” Kaczyński said in an interview with the right-wing Sieci weekly, published Friday. This is the first time a high-level PiS politician has confirmed that the government is in possession of the system. Until now, party and government officials have downplayed or rejected such a possibility. Last month, Kaczyński denied knowing anything about the malware.
  • “After a series of lies by PiS politicians, it was finally possible to squeeze the truth out of J. Kaczyński,” tweeted Krzysztof Brejza, who headed the campaign of the opposition Civic Platform in 2019.
  • According to Citizen Lab — a Canada-based cybersecurity watchdog — Pegasus was used against Polish journalists, lawyers and opposition politicians. Kaczyński denied those claims, saying that “the opposition’s stories about the use of Pegasus for political purposes are utter nonsense.”
  • Deutsche Welle – Jacek Lepiarz / Who hacked Poland’s opposition?

Today’s longer reads:

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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