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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 08/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 08/06/2022

Financial Times – Ben Hall / Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy says stalemate with Russia ‘not an option’

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a stalemate in the war with Russia was “not an option for us” as he once more appealed for western military support to restore his country’s territorial integrity.
  • “We are inferior in terms of equipment and therefore we are not capable of advancing,” he said. “We are going to suffer more losses and people are my priority.”
  • Speaking to Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf at the FT’s Global Boardroom conference on Tuesday, Zelenskyy said pushing Russian forces back to positions occupied before the February 24 invasion would amount to a “serious temporary victory” for Ukraine but full sovereignty over its territory remained his ultimate goal.
  • The war has entered an attritional phase in the eastern Donbas region, the focal point of the fighting, with Russia using its superior artillery forces to grind down Ukrainian troops and make incremental territorial gains. Zelenskyy has said Ukraine could be losing up to 100 troops a day.
  • Foreign Affairs – Alina Polyakova and Daniel Fried / No peace at any price in Ukraine

The Guardian – Philip Oltermann / No regrets over handling of Vladimir Putin, says Angela Merkel

  • Angela Merkel has said she feels no regrets for her handling of Vladimir Putin during her time in power, arguing that Russia’s president would have perceived a 2008 Nato membership plan for Ukraine that was blocked by her government as a “declaration of war”.
  • The former German chancellor also claimed that an oligarch-run and democratically immature Ukraine would have been less prepared for an invasion then than it is now.
  • “I would feel very bad if I had said: ‘There’s no point talking to that man [Putin]”, Merkel said in an onstage interview at the Berliner Ensemble theatre on Tuesday night – her first public appearance since leaving office half a year ago.
  • “It is a great tragedy that it didn’t work, but I don’t blame myself for trying,” she added in an unusually frank answer from a politician who rarely spoke freely while in office.
  • Politico – Matthew Karnitschnig / 12 Germans who got played by Putin

Financial Times – Colby Smith / Janet Yellen urges Congress to do more to fight inflation

  • US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has urged Congress to pass measures to help ease price surges as pressure mounts on Joe Biden’s administration to contain the highest inflation in four decades.
  • Lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee grilled Yellen on Tuesday about the state of the economy, which had rebounded rapidly from the depths of the Covid-19-induced crash but is beset by soaring costs for almost all goods and services.
  • “Congress can do a lot to mitigate some of the most important and burdensome costs that households face,” Yellen said, noting specific proposals to reduce prescription drug prices, improve access to affordable housing and bolster investments in renewable energy.
  • “In the course of doing that, we’ll expand the supply side of our economy,” she said. Investments in education and training, childcare and eldercare would lead to a larger labour force, she said, helping to bring down inflation and leading to “strong, sustainable [and] stable growth”.
  • Project Syndicate – David Malpass / The supply solution to stagflation

Politico – Zia Weise / MEPs prepare for key climate vote against backdrop of war and inflation

  • Fears over war and living costs are testing the European Parliament’s commitment to climate action. A year after signing off on a law to reduce emissions by 55 percent this decade, MEPs are preparing to vote on key measures to implement the target. 
  • The outcome of Wednesday’s votes on eight elements of the European Commission’s so-called Fit for 55 package will shape upcoming negotiations with EU governments — and help determine whether the bloc’s actions on climate can match its words. 
  • But the shift in Europe’s political and economic circumstances over the past year has sharpened divides among Parliament’s various camps. 
  • Since the Commission presented its mammoth package of climate legislation last summer, fires, floods and droughts wreaked havoc across the Continent, extreme heat resulted in thousands of excess deaths, and three United Nations reports spelled out the looming dangers of global warming in more detail than ever before. 
  • European Commission / Opening and closing remarks EVP Timmermans at European Parliament debate on ETS and Fit for 55

Our extra picks for today:

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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