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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/06/2022

Politico – Jules Darmanin / Macron, Scholz and Draghi to arrive in Kyiv for historic visit

  • French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will visit Kyiv on Thursday for the first time since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, in a historic joint trip.
  • The three leaders took a night train headed to Kyiv, according to pictures published by La Repubblica early on Thursday morning. They are set to cross into Ukraine from the Polish border, the Italian daily reported, although their precise travel plans are unknown, since Paris, Berlin and Rome did not give official details on the highly anticipated trip.
  • French and Romanian media report Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is set to join the three leaders in Kyiv, taking another route on Thursday morning.
  • The joint visit from the leaders of the three largest EU economies carries important symbolic weight, especially ahead of the next meeting of EU leaders next week, when they are set to decide whether to grant Ukraine candidate status to join the bloc. What Macron, Scholz and Draghi will say on the matter is still unclear.
  • European Council on Foreign Relations – Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard / Peace versus justice: the coming European split over the war in Ukraine

Financial Times – Max Seddon, Roman Olearchyk and Victor Mallet / Xi renews support for Putin in call between leaders

  • Chinese president Xi Jinping has renewed his support for Russia’s security interests in his first phone call with Vladimir Putin since the early days of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The diplomatic gesture is designed to show that Russia is not isolated as the leaders of France, Italy and Germany prepare to travel to Ukraine and Nato defence ministers convene in Brussels this week to beef up military help to Kyiv.
  • The Kremlin on Wednesday said Xi noted “the legitimacy of the actions taken by Russia to defend its core national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces”. It added that the conversation, held on Xi’s 69th birthday, was “traditionally warm and friendly”, adding China’s relations with Russia were at “an unprecedentedly high level”.
  • ­­Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, reported that Xi repeated his previous calls for Russia and other countries to find an end to the war, but said China was “willing to continue mutual support with Russia on issues related to sovereignty, security and issues of major concern”.
  • Foreign Affairs – Bruce Jones / A strategy for the fence sitters

The Washington Post – Rachel Siegel and Abha Bhattarai / Fed raises interest rates by largest amount since 1994 to fight inflation

  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, its most aggressive move yet to try to control inflation as it squeezes the U.S. economy.
  • The Fed has not enac­­ted a hike of this size since 1994 and signaled similarly large hikes could be coming later this year in an effort to cool down the booming economy by raising the cost of lending.
  • For weeks, Fed leaders set expectations for an increase in interest rates of half a percentage point, as in May. But a surprisingly bleak inflation report released last week, the war in Ukraine and new growing signs that the markets and American public have lost faith in the Fed, ignited a more forceful push from central bank policymakers as they wrapped up two days of meetings.
  • “We thought that strong action was warranted at this meeting and we delivered on that,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said in a news conference following the decision. “It is essential that we bring inflation down if we are to have a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all. The current picture is plain to see: The labor market is extremely tight and inflation is much too high.”
  • Project Syndicate – J. Bradford Delong / Why the US Federal Reserve’s options are limited

Financial Times – James Shotter and Heba Saleh / Israel and Egypt to boost gas deliveries to EU

  • Israel and Egypt will boost gas deliveries to the EU after the three parties signed a new energy agreement in Cairo on Wednesday as Brussels seeks to cut energy dependence on Russia.
  • Recent discoveries in the Mediterranean have made the region a potential source of new imports. Under Wednesday’s memorandum of understanding, which follows similar deals between the EU and the US, and the EU and Qatar, Israeli gas will be liquefied at plants in Egypt, before being sent by tanker to the bloc.
  • While Israeli gas is already shipped to Egypt, Israel’s energy minister Karine Elharrar hailed the deal as the moment in which Israel — which is expected to double its gas production following the discovery of new offshore gasfields in the past decade — becomes “a significant player in the global energy market”.
  • Egypt’s petroleum minister Tarek el-Molla said that the deal, which will run for three years and can be extended for two more, was a “milestone” and could lead to further co-operation between other Mediterranean countries. The European Commission said it now expects to import 7bcm of LNG from Egypt in 2022, up from an originally expected 5bcm. This could double again next year, a spokesman said.
  • Euractiv – Aneta Zachová / Ukraine, energy security top priorities for the Czech EU presidency

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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