Financial Times – Max Seddon and Henry Foy / Security talks with US and Nato ‘unsuccesful’ says Kremlin
- Russia has said talks with the US and Nato in Geneva and Brussels have failed to address its security grievances, casting doubt over whether a western diplomatic push will defuse Moscow’s threat of military action against Ukraine.
- Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson of Russian president Vladimir Putin, said this week’s talks had been “unsuccessful” despite “positive elements” on issues Moscow did not consider central to its demands. “That’s bad,” he added.
- He said Russia would have the “political will” to continue talks if the west was willing to negotiate on rolling back Nato’s expansion.
- Sergei Ryabkov, deputy foreign minister and Russia’s lead negotiator in the talks with the US this week, said discussions outlining Moscow’s grievances had run into a “dead end” because the US and its allies were only willing to consider issues such as arms control and force deployments, rather than the Kremlin’s main requests.
- Foreign Policy – Amy Mackinnon / Russia talks show no sign of a quick resolution on Ukraine crisis
Bloomberg – Eric Roston / Climate change made the last eight years the hottest on record
- The last eight years were the hottest in global records that date to 1880, with 2021 ranking as the sixth-hottest year, according to analyses of global weather station and ocean measurements released Thursday by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Last year’s global average temperature was a bit more than 1° Celsius higher than the 1880-1900 average. Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that looks at stations and ocean data, found last year to be virtually tied with 2015 and 2018 for the fifth-hottest year.
- The EU Copernicus Climate Change Service, which published its results last week, evaluates satellites, surface records, weather balloons and other measurements and estimates the global figure from them. This analysis placed 2021 as the fifth-hottest year since 1979.
- Researchers are quick to point out that annual results reflect natural, statistical noise in the climate system. For example, 2021 was cooler than several previous years in part because a cooling La Niña phase of the equatorial Pacific Ocean tamped temperatures down.
- Foreign Affairs – Nathalie Tocci / The green deal could make – or break – the European project
The Guardian – Peter Walker and Harry Taylor / Two Downing Street parties held evening before Prince Philip’s funeral – reports
- Staff inside Downing Street held two staff leaving events featuring alcohol, and one with loud music, on the evening before Prince Philip’s funeral in April last year, when such social contact remained banned, according to new allegations reported on Thursday.
- Eyewitnesses told the Daily Telegraph that a combined total of about 30 people took part in what appeared to be social events in different parts of Downing Street, before both gatherings combined in the garden.
- According to one attender, a staff member was sent with a suitcase to the Co-op on the Strand, a short walk away, returning with the case filled with bottles of wine.
- Philip’s funeral took place in the private chapel at Windsor Castle the next day, Saturday 17 April, with the Queen sitting alone to maintain social distancing.
- Politico – Esther Webber / 5 ways Boris Johnson’s Partygate scandal could play out
Politico – Zoya Sheftalovich and Ali Walker / Australia moves to deport tennis star Novak Djokovic
- Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday used his personal power to cancel tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s visa, seeking to deport him ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam, which begins Monday.
- The Australian Border Force initially canceled Djokovic’s visa when he arrived in the country without the required COVID vaccines. But Djokovic subsequently won a legal appeal against his deportation and was freed from hotel detention by a Melbourne judge, after the Australian government was forced to concede he hadn’t been given enough time to respond to the notification of its intention to cancel his visa.
- After days of internal talks, Hawke said in a statement he had decided to use his personal powers to deport Djokovic “on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”
- He added: “The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Financial Times – Henry Mance / Novak Djokovic shows we can’t eliminate anti-vaxxers – but we can judge them
Longer reads for the weekend:
- Project Syndicate – Various authors / Why Kazakhstan matters
- Financial Times – Tom Mitchell / China GDP: five things to watch ahead of Xi’s push for a third term
- Foreign Policy – Kenneth Roth / How democracy can defeat autocracy
- Foreign Affairs – Richard Fontaine / Washington’s missing China strategy