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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 27/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 27/06/2022

The Guardian – Patrick Wintour / Proposed price cap on Russia oil moves closer at G7 summit

  • A proposed cap on the price of Russian oil and pipeline gas to slash the Kremlin’s revenues and reduce inflationary pressures in the west gathered support on Sunday as G7 leaders met in Bavaria.
  • The three-day event will be dominated by discussion of how to tighten the economic and military vice around Vladimir Putin without leading to disastrous spillovers, including a backlash among western consumers and starvation in a rain and grain-starved global south.
  • Joe Biden, at the outset of the summit held in the Bavarian alpine castle that formed the venue for the 2015 G7 meeting, said Putin had been thwarted by the degree of unity shown by the west. “Putin has been counting on it from the beginning that somehow Nato and the G7 would splinter. But we haven’t and we’re not going to,” Biden said.
  • But behind the scenes, as Putin rained missiles on Kyiv and made further territorial gains in the east of Ukraine, there is deep concern that the west has not yet assembled the policy mix that will force him to back down. A plan to ban imports of Russian gold trailed by the US and the UK, regarded 
  • Council on Foreign Relations – Stewart M. Patrick / The G7, NATO, and the future of the West

Financial Times – Henry Foy / NATO set to bolster defence of Baltics against Russian threat

  • Nato is to agree an overhaul of its battle plans to offer better protection to the alliance’s eastern flank, tearing up a model that could have meant relinquishing and then attempting to recapture the Baltic states in the event of a Russian invasion.
  • Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, told the Financial Times that the new military blueprint, to be agreed at an annual summit of alliance leaders this week, would drastically upgrade its eastern defences, shifting the focus from deterring any invasion to a full defence of allied territory.
  • Estonia’s prime minister has claimed that the current doctrine accepted that the Baltic states would be “wiped off the map” in the event of a Russian assault before Nato attempted a counter-attack to liberate them after 180 days.
  • “We never share the details of operational plans,” Stoltenberg said. “But I can assure you that we have been able to protect countries bordering Russia for decades, adjusting our presence in light of the threat assessment. We have done that before and we will do it again.”
  • The Economist / NATO holds its most important summit in generations

Financial Times – Roman Olearchyk / Severodonetsk retreat ‘tactical’, Ukraine military spy chief says

  • Ukraine’s retreat from Severodonetsk after weeks of fighting against Russian forces in the eastern city was a “tactical” move to avoid a repeat of the fateful Azovstal siege in Mariupol, according to the country’s military intelligence chief.
  • Brigadier General Kyrylo Budanov said Friday’s pullout was ordered because weeks of Russian heavy artillery had “levelled” Severodonetsk “to the ground”. The devastation mirrored the fate of the port of Mariupol where Ukrainian soldiers sheltering in the Azovstal steel mill became trapped for weeks before surrendering.
  • Ukrainian troops had therefore “moved to higher ground” westward across the Siversky Donetsk river to the sister city Lysychansk and its surroundings. This retreat would make it “very difficult” for Russian forces positioned on the eastern banks of the river to cross and advance, particularly uphill, towards Lysychansk, he said. “This was absolutely the right decision . . . a tactical regrouping,” he insisted.
  • Ukrainian forces have successfully bombed Russian convoys trying to cross the river on army pontoons. But Russian forces advancing from the south-east of Lysychansk, who do not face the river, did pose a threat, Budanov cautioned.
  • Foreign Affairs – Hans J. Morgenthau / To intervene or not to intervene

Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / Israeli foreign minister slams EU’s Borrell over Iran outreach

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid lashed out at EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell over a visit to Tehran aimed at reviving negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel has long opposed and sought to undermine in any way possible.
  • As a courtesy, Borrell reached out to Lapid ahead of his visit to Tehran, where on Saturday Borrell said he had secured an agreement to resume talks.
  • But Lapid’s response was less than appreciative, and accused Borrell of disregarding recent accusations that Iran had been plotting to kill Israeli civilians in Turkey. EU officials, however, said that Borrell reached out to Lapid precisely to consult on all of these points; and in his public remarks after the meetings in Tehran, Borrell noted that he had raised them with the Iranians.
  • In Brussels, the Israeli criticism was viewed as part of an effort to sabotage the Iran nuclear negotiations.
  • European Council on Foreign Relations – Elie Geranmayeh / Borrell in Tehran: how to overcome three obstacle to the Iran nuclear deal

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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