Euractiv – Natasha Foote / African Union and EU agree united stance on food security amid famine warnings
- The EU and the African Union have agreed on a united message on food security which places the blame for disruptions to food supply squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shoulders amid warnings of a “catastrophic” famine.
- “The key message is that we speak with one voice,” an EU source inside the summit room told EURACTIV, adding that this is essential if there is any hope of unblocking grain corridors and averting mass famine in Africa.
- The key aim is to maintain the message that Russia bears sole responsibility for the current situation, rather than the sanctions imposed upon the country.
- “What is important is that we are fully aligned in terms of messaging, that it’s not the sanctions, which are endangering the release of grains and cereals from Ukraine, or from the ports, such as in Odessa,” the source said.
- Financial Times – Victor Mallet and Andy Bounds / African Union warns of ‘collateral impact’ as EU’s Russia sanctions hit food supplies
Financial Times – David Sheppard, Harry Dempsey and Sam Fleming / How the EU’s ban on Russia oil will rock global markets
- In the early hours of Tuesday morning, leaders of the EU’s 27 member states agreed to ban seaborne Russian oil imports.
- To placate landlocked countries such as Hungary, pipeline shipments will continue for now. But Germany’s and Poland’s willingness to taper their pipeline purchases by 2022’s close should, combined with the seaborne ban, see Russian oil exports to the EU decline by 90 per cent by the end of the year.
- Although the phase-in will ease the disruption caused by the ban, Florian Thaler, chief executive of OilX, an oil analytics company, said the impact would still be “very consequential”.
- While there are short-term winners, such as refiners connected to the Druzhba pipeline, the drive to wean Europe off Russian oil will shake up its hydrocarbons industry and global crude markets
- Politico – America Hernandez and Barbara Moens / 6 things to know about the EU’s Russian oil ban
Financial Times – James Politi / Janet Yellen admits she was ‘wrong’ about inflation threat
- Janet Yellen, the US Treasury secretary, conceded she was “wrong” last year about the threat posed by rising inflation while insisting that Joe Biden’s administration has quickly focused on taming soaring prices.
- “I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take,” Yellen told CNN on Tuesday, in a rare admission of error from a senior US official.
- “There have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I didn’t — at the time — didn’t fully understand, but we recognise that now,” she added.
- Yellen’s remarks came after she attended a meeting at the White House during which Biden told Jay Powell, chair of the US Federal Reserve, that he would respect the “independence” of the central bank as it moves to tighten monetary policy, effectively giving it a green light to fight inflation with sharply higher interest rates.
- Council on Foreign Relations – Roger W. Ferguson Jr. / Inflation: learning the proper lessons from history
South China Morning Post – Daniel Ren and Sandy Li / Shanghai ends lockdown: stock market wavers as traffic and commuters return in China’s commercial hub after two-month hiatus
- Shanghai formally ended its two-month citywide lockdown today, cautiously giving free rein to 2.67 million businesses from corner shops to multinational manufacturers to resume operations after the city brought its Covid-19 outbreak under control.
- New infections fell for the 11th consecutive day, dropping 52 per cent to 15 in the past 24 hours, according to data released on Wednesday. Cases that showed symptoms slumped by 44 per cent to five, and no one died for the fifth straight day.
- “We will return life and businesses to normality,” the Communist Party’s Shanghai committee and the municipal authorities said in a statement to thank the city’s 25 million residents. “Shanghai will do its utmost to make up the lost ground caused by the virus outbreak.”
- All over the city, barriers and barricades around residential compounds started to come down. More than 22 million residents, or 90 per cent of Shanghai’s population of 25 million people, living in low-risk areas that had been declared infection-free for the past 14 days will be allowed to leave their compounds, and access public transport.
- Foreign Policy – Clark Packard / As China’s economy falters, be careful what you wish for
Today’s longer reads: