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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 12/05/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 12/05/2022

Financial Times – Sam Fleming, Javier Espinoza and Andy Bounds / EU warns of 195$bn cost to free bloc from Russian energy

  • The EU will have to spend close to €200bn in the next five years to secure energy independence from Russia, according to draft plans that set out aggressive targets in areas such as clean energy and lowering consumption.
  • A draft of proposals from the European Commission, seen by the Financial Times, shows Brussels projects that extra investment of €195bn will be needed between now and 2027, on top of plans to boost spending on carbon reduction. The EU will also have to cut energy consumption more than previously thought to meet ambitious net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050.
  • The proposals will be published next week, as EU leaders rush to break their dependence on Russian oil and gas following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The commission has already said it thought the EU could drive down Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year and has urged member states to replenish their gas storage facilities ahead of next winter.
  • It is also seeking member state approval for a sixth package of sanctions, including a phased-in embargo on Russian oil this year. The measures have been held up by opposition from Hungary, which relies heavily on Russian oil.
  • Bloomberg – Grant Smith and Chiara Albanese / Italian PM Draghi floats buyers’ OPEC idea with US as oil prices sting

The Guardian / Finland expected to announce bid to join Nato

  • Finland is expected to announce its intention to join Nato on Thursday with Sweden likely to follow soon after, diplomats and officials have said, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reshapes European security and the Atlantic military alliance.
  • Nato allies expect Finland and Sweden to be granted membership quickly, five diplomats and officials told Reuters, paving the way for increased troop presence in the Nordic region during the one-year ratification period.
  • In the lead-up to their Nato accession, British prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday promised to defend Sweden and Finland against potential Russian threats as he travelled to both countries to sign mutual security agreements.
  • In the wider Nordic region, Norway, Denmark and the three Baltic states are already Nato members, and the addition of Finland and Sweden would probably anger Moscow, which says enlargement of the organisation is a direct threat to its own security.
  • The Economist / Finland is hurtling towards NATO membership

The Washington Post – Mike DeBonis and Rachel Roubein / Senate blocks bill to codify right to abortion

  • The Senate on Wednesday did not advance legislation that would write a constitutional right to abortion into federal law — a symbolic gesture that Democrats cast as a first step in a larger strategy to mobilize Americans around reproductive rights as the Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade and related decisions.
  • Wednesday’s vote was 51 to 49 and well short of the 60 votes necessary under Senate rules. It was largely a reprise of a failed February vote staged by Senate Democratic leaders, but the issue has new resonance after last week’s leak of a draft opinion from Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. suggesting that the high court is poised to overturn Roe and curtail guaranteed nationwide access to abortions.
  • All 50 Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) opposed moving ahead on the bill. President Biden said in a statement afterward that the vote “runs counter to the will of the majority of American people” and that congressional Republicans, who cast the Democratic bill as a radical overreach, “have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and other Democrats have acknowledged that the move was about mobilizing voters, not passing legislation in a Congress where Democrats hold majorities but do not have the votes to defeat Republican filibusters or change the Senate rules to eliminate them.
  • Project Syndicate – Mark Medish / America’s post Roe constitutional abyss

The Guardian – Justin McCurry / North Korea admits to Covid outbreak for first time and declares ‘ severe national emergency’

  • North Korea has declared a “severe national emergency” after confirming its first outbreak of Covid-19, prompting its leader, Kim Jong-un, to vow to quickly eliminate the virus.
  • State media reported on Thursday that a sub-variant of the highly transmissible Omicron virus, known as BA.2, had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang.
  • “There has been the biggest emergency incident in the country, with a hole in our emergency quarantine front, that has been kept safely over the past two years and three months since February 2020,” the official KCNA news agency said.
  • The report said people in Pyongyang had contracted the Omicron variant, without providing details on case numbers or possible sources of infection.
  • Financial Times – Christian Davies / ‘Stay vigilant’: no let-up in North Korea’s two-year Covid lockout

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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