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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 11/05/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 11/05/2022

Financial Times – Felicia Schwartz / Vladimir Putin preparing for ‘prolonged conflict’ in Ukraine, warns US

  • The US believes Russian president Vladimir Putin has not changed his aims in Ukraine and that his focus on the south-eastern Donbas region is a temporary shift “to regain the initiative” after failing to capture Kyiv.
  • Speaking to lawmakers in Washington, DC on Tuesday, director of national intelligence Avril Haines said the US “is not confident” that the fight in the Donbas will “effectively end the war”.
  • “We assess President Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,” she said during a worldwide threat assessment hearing.
  • With both Ukraine and Russia confident they can make military progress, the chances of a negotiated solution in the short term were remote and the conflict was developing “into a war of attrition”, she said.
  • Project Syndicate – Richard Haass / Is diplomacy between Russia and the West still possible?

The Washington Post – Felicia Sonmez, Andrew Jeong and Cate Cadell / Congress set to approve an additional $40 billion in aid to Ukraine

  • Congress is poised to approve nearly $40 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, outstripping President Biden’s $33 billion request and extending a fresh lifeline to Kyiv as Moscow plows ahead with plans to annex vast swaths of the country’s south and east.
  • The House approved the proposal late Tuesday on a 368-to-57 vote, with the Senate likely to follow suit as early as this week. Passage of the measure would bring the total amount of Ukrainian aid provided by Congress since the Feb. 24 invasion to more than $53 billion.
  • The bill includes almost $15 billion earmarked for military equipment, training, intelligence support and Ukrainian defense force salaries. A further $14 billion would be allocated for nonmilitary support, including humanitarian aid, and another $5 billion would address global food security issues.
  • In remarks on the House floor Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) repeatedly denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “coward,” described the aid package as “an act of mercy” and cast the war in Ukraine as one on which the future of global democracy hinges.
  • Politico – Christopher Miller and Lara Seligman / Putin gained ‘what he shouldn’t have’: Ukraine’s foreign minister rues U.S. delay in providing weapons

Reuters – Jennifer Rigby and Josephine Mason / WHO chief says China’s zero-COVID policy not ‘sustainable’

  • The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy is not sustainable given what is known of the disease, in rare public comments by the U.N. agency on a government’s handling of the virus.
  • “We don’t think that it is sustainable considering the behaviour of the virus,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing.
  • Speaking after Tedros, WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan said the impact of a “zero-COVID” policy on human rights also needs to be taken into consideration alongside the effect on a country’s economy from any COVID policy.
  • He also noted that China has registered 15,000 deaths since the virus first emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019 – a relatively low number compared with 999,475 in the United States and more than 500,000 in India.
  • The Guardian – Helen Davidson / Lifting zero-Covid policies in China could risk 1.6m deaths, says study

Financial Times – Alice Hancock and Javier Espinoza / EU considers looser green standard as it seeks to replace Russian fossil fuels

  • The EU is preparing to loosen its environmental regulations as it seeks to replace Russian fossil fuels with renewable energy and imported hydrogen power.
  • Companies in the bloc would be allowed to build wind and solar projects without the need for an environmental impact assessment, according to draft proposals obtained by the Financial Times that call for the fast-track permitting of renewable projects in designated “go-to” areas.
  • The EU’s 27 member states, which control energy policy, would be obliged to earmark a sufficient number of these areas to meet the bloc’s renewable energy targets. A “strategic” impact assessment would be needed before an area was selected.
  • “Lengthy and complex administrative procedures are a key barrier for investments in renewables and their related infrastructure,” according to the draft. The plans could “result in the occasional killing or disturbance of birds and other protected species”, it added.
  • Bloomberg – Elena Mazneva, Daryna Krasnolutska and Anna Shiryaevskaya / Ukraine, Russia gas clash raises threat to Europe’s supply

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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