Detail of a card by Laura Canali. Click for the full version here
The geopolitical review of 20 December.
TODAY’S INTERESTING NEWS
- EU agreement on price cap to gas. On December 13, 2022, the member states of the European Union had agreed on some details of the mechanism to regulate the gas price ceiling. On December 19, after weeks of bitter discussions, the Twenty-seven they established the actual price at which the cap would have been triggered. Starting from February 2023, the mechanism will limit wholesale gas prices when they exceed 180 euros per megawatt hour for three consecutive days on thehubs virtual Dutch TTF, provided that gas supplies to Europe are not jeopardized. A significantly lower threshold than that of 275 euros initially proposed by the European Commission. According to Deputy Prime Minister and former Energy Minister of the Russian Federation Aleksandar Novak, the introduction of price cap it could lead to a gas shortage for the EU itself. For the politician born in Avdiivka (oblast’ of Donetsk) it would be «another political decisionabsolutely not cheap”. Novak therefore challenged Brussels: «If my colleagues want gas in Europe to be diverted to other markets, then they impose restrictions on the ceilings. We’ll see how the situation develops later. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
Live with less energy. How Russian retaliation affects us
- Land to Russian/Pro-Russian fighters. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has placed an order which provides for the free transfer of land plots in the Moscow region, the Crimea and Sevastopol to the participants in the war in Ukraine. The land shall be assigned free of charge to servicemen awarded for their merits in war, to veterans and relatives of deceased servicemen. Local authorities must now adopt legislation in line with the presidential decree. The concession of portions of territory in the large Eusina peninsula annexed in 2014 symbolically underlines its membership of the Federation; its further colonization with war veterans underscores Russia’s willingness to defend what it now considers homeland.
- Moldova vs Russia. The spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova he stamped the suspension of the broadcasting licenses of six Russian-language TV channels in the Republic of Moldova as “an unprecedented act of political censorship”. According to the Moscow official, Chisinau “intentionally deprives millions of Russian-speaking residents of alternative sources of news. Hundreds of journalists will lose their jobs in no time at the whim of politicians who play with censorship. There annoyed answer came directly from the pro-European president of Moldova Maia Sandu: “I don’t want to hear lessons in democracy from those who have nothing in common with it.” Meanwhile, the concerns raised by the statements by the chief of intelligence Moldavian (Sis) Alexandru Musteață on live tv: «The question is not whether the Russian Federation will launch a new offensive towards the territory of Moldova, but when it will happen: at the beginning of the year – January, February – or later – March, April. From the information in our possession, Russia intends to go further to create a corridor with the Transnistria region, which is the territory of Moldova”. The same communication bodies of the SIS have reduced the words of the director, specifying that it was only one scenario among many. While offering support in the event of a Russian attack, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu visits Chişinău it was reassuring: «We have no information on risks of this type against the Republic of Moldova».
- Donald Trump. After 18 months of investigation, the US House committee investigating theassault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 voted to indict by former President Donald Trump in connection with his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. It is the first time such a recommendation has been made by a House Committee on the Justice Department (DOJ) for a US president. However, the Doj is not obliged to follow the recommendation, which has no legal weight. The commission’s four complaints against Trump include obstruction of official proceedings, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make false statements, and inciting insurrection. “The Donald”’s response immediately landed on his online platform Truth: «These people don’t understand that when they hunt me, freedom-loving people gather around me. This strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”
- use vs TikTok. Washington State is evaluating the ability to limit the use ofapp owned by China for government activities, due to national security concerns. It would be the first state governed by the Democratic Party to do so. As many as 19 Republican-ruled states – including Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Maryland, North Dakota, Utah – have already banned or restricted the use of TikTok on government devices for data privacy reasons. The one exception is Louisiana, which has a Democratic governor, but which has so far limited the use of the Chinese platform only to devices under the purview of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who is a Republican. The gradual ostracization of the platform of social networking – controlled by the Beijing-based ByteDance company affiliated with the Communist Party of China – is part of a larger cyber war between China and the United States over the control of bigdata (large masses of computer data) worldwide. CIA Director William Burns he was frank about the dangers inherent in the famous platform: «IThe Chinese government is able to extract the private data of many users of TikTok in this country, and also to shape the content to suit the interests of the Chinese leadership. I think this is a real challenge and a source of real concern.”
- Holland and slavery. Speaking at the National Archives of the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte made a statement of formal apologies for the tulip country’s role in the slave trade. “The book of our common history has many pages which in the 21st century fill us with awe, horror and deep shame. For centuries, the Dutch state and its representatives have facilitated, stimulated, preserved and profited from slavery.’ Prime Minister Rutte has defined slavery as a “crime against humanity”, but has not provided any reparations for the former Dutch colonies. The government’s formal apology in The Hague only includes funds for a slavery museum and various outreach projects.
- Iran-Saudi Arabia. Iran is said ready to reopen embassies in Saudi Arabia. Tehran Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian said, “Official diplomacy is what we discuss with Saudi Arabia. When the Saudi side is ready, we will be able to resume regular ties and reopen the embassies. The Saudi government must choose how to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran in a positive way.” The statement came on the eve of themeeting in Amman (Jordan) with Saudi officials at the second edition of the Baghdad Conference for cooperation and partnership.
🔍🌎 The EU ceiling on the price of gas and other interesting news