Daily Briefs

Photo : mot.gov.sg

19 October 2022, Wednesday | NIAS Europe Daily Brief #336

ASEAN and the EU sign air transport agreement: Five takeaways | War in Ukraine: Day 237

By Padmashree Anandhan

ASEAN and the EU sign first-ever region-to-region air transport agreement: Five takeaways

What happened?
On 17 October, ASEAN and the EU signed a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) at the 28th ASEAN Transport minister’s meeting held in Indonesia. The agreement marks the world’s first region-to-region cooperation on air-transport regulation, which is expected to promote opportunities for airlines and cargoes between both regions in the post-pandemic recovery. Apart from aviation, the regional collaboration is also aimed to boost technical assistance, climate change, and carbon offsetting arising from aviation, and endorse the EU-South East Asia aviation partnership.

Five takeaways
First, multilateralism through the EU lens, In the era of state-to-state cooperation and blurring regional unity, the EU centers its founding principle and foreign policy on multilateralism. It's striving for multilateral cooperation to address the global problem has been the root of its external relations. The signing of the CATA not only aims to improve the international aviation system and establish a competitive and fair environment for the airlines to provide the best service but also to strengthen the political, and economic equation.

Second, regional aviation fluidity. The agreement breaks the barriers of limited flights and increases the flexible movement of people, and cargo, improves aviation safety, and traffic management, and also takes in the environmental and social matters in focus. It provides no area for complex rules and varied regulations as per the country and offers a common set of rules for both regions’ air industries, thereby avoiding red tape. Through the aero-political agreement, the third, fourth, and fifth freedoms of the air are relaxed where the flight does not necessarily have to board passengers from where it’s taking off but will be allowed to go to the second country take in passenger/cargoes and de-load in another third country. The larger aim of the agreement is to create a single sustainable aviation market.

Third, delayed the signing of the agreement was due to different institutional nature. The first set of talks began in 2016 between the EU and ASEAN and prolonged till 2022 to become a written agreement. The major reason behind the delay is due to the different nature of both organizations, the ASEAN countries operate on a sovereign basis, while the EU member states follow uniformly the rule levied by the European Commission.  After the first round of talks, the EU announced the suspension of 140 individual bilateral deals between the AMS (ASEAN member states) and the EU member states. EU’s aim remained to use the CATA platform to improve consumer protection and establish large aviation cooperation, but it prompted eight rounds of negotiations. Till 2019, ASEAN and EU remained unsettled in terms of security, safety, and operation of the aircraft. This prolonged the agreement process and COVID-19 brought more pressure to recover the aviation industry as it incurred a total loss of USD 47.7 billion in 2021.

Fourth, increased economic cooperation between Indonesia and Benelux countries. The deal is a boon for Indonesia and Benelux countries especially due to the opening of market opportunities to compete with other airlines and provide airline services to AMS and the EU member states. Key examples of the boosting of economic and aviation cooperation could be the KLM (Netherlands airlines), and Brussels Airlines, which have a “codeshare” cooperation with Bangkok Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways saw a decrease in the air traffic in 2019 will now have the possibility to boost back with the deal and also increase the number of destinations in Asia. In the case of Luxair, which does not have any codeshare cooperation with any of the ASEAN countries nor has any external destination other than Egypt and Tunisia, will now be able to advantage of the agreement and expand its market and services into the ASEAN region.

Fifth, more than aviation cooperation. The deal is not only aimed at establishing a single aviation international market but also to boost its economy through the exchange of people, and tourism to lead towards more multilateral agreements. It also provides a space to re-work the existing initiatives such as the Enhanced ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE Plus) programme, EU-South East Asia on Cooperation on Mitigating Climate Change impact from Civil Aviation, and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (EU-SEA CCCA CORSIA). The success of this cooperation will showcase a model for the global powers to unite under the regional umbrella and paves way for multilateralism.

ASEAN and the EU sign the world’s first bloc-to-bloc Air Transport Agreement - joint press release,” consilium.europa.eu, 17 October 2022
Aviation: Landmark EU–ASEAN agreement to connect 1.1 billion people,” ec.europa.eu, 17 October 2022
ASEAN and the European Union Sign Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement,” mot.gov.sg, 17 October 2022
Shan Li cho, “ASEAN-EU Air Transport Agreement and Its Implications to the Economic Cooperation Between Indonesia-Benelux Countries. A Multilateralism Perspective,” Winkly Research Institute of technology and science, April 2022

By Rishma Banerjee, Sai Pranav and Madhura S Mahesh

Teachers protests continue amidst renewed salary hike demands
On 18 October, EURACTIV reported on the protests by teachers and students from public universities in Albania against the government’s inaction to their higher salary demands. As the academic year started in Albania from 17 October, the protestors demanded a 50 per cent pay rise, while the government promised to increase it only by 17 per cent. While the protest took place in Tirana, teachers and practitioners from Durres, Elbasan, Shkodra, extending to Vlora and Korce. On the issue, Education Minister, Evis Kushi said similar to other European countries, Albania was also suffering from the impacts of the war in Ukraine and had done its best to provide scholarship to exempt some students from fees. (Alice Taylor, “Albanian teachers stage protest, demand 50% wage increase,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022)

Small distributes protest against the government’s energy policy
On 19 October, Croatia’s small oil retailers filed a lawsuit at the country’s Constitutional Court against the government's recent policies to align with the EU’s energy policy. On 17 October, the government set a fresh price cap on oil derivatives despite a rise in fuel prices. This is leading to the retailers having to sell fuel at one Kuna less per litre. Thus, the protestors warned that given the current energy situation, such a policy will lead to a shortage of fuel and further destabilize the energy market. They allege that the cap set by the government will also make recovery from the current crisis even more difficult. (Zoran Radosavljevic, “Small Croatian distributors file constitutional suit against price caps,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022)
Discriminatory remark from Nye Borgerlige party’s member of parliament
On 18 October, Denmark’s far-right party Nye Borgerlige (New Right) was accused of being anti-Semitic and homophobic after one of its MPs, Mette Thiesen, had responded to a question on DR’s P1 Morgen radio programme. She suggested that it was acceptable for an elderly person to refuse care from a Jewish or a gay person in their home. The remark created a huge backlash to the party. The left-wing Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) party and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen criticized Nye Borgelige for having such thoughts that are destructive to society. The comment followed a discussion on allowing carers who wear hijab and also a refusal by elderly people. The opposition of the far-right party criticised the party for spreading discrimination among people. Nye Borgelige responded that it was the right of the elderly to choose their caretaker and allow people into their homes. The party’s head, Pernille Vermund, said that there was no ill intention behind the statement and the far-right part was not anti-Semitic and homophobic. (“Danish far-right party accused of antisemitism over elderly care remarks,” The Local dk, 18 October 2022)

Plans to install a nuclear power plant by 2035
On 17 October, Aktuaalne kaamera reported that the country is considering the establishment of one nuclear power plant by 2035. A government working group on the same issue released a report which analyses 19 issues surrounding the introduction of nuclear energy as per the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines. The report is an in-progress one and is scheduled to be completed in 2024, after which recommendations as per the study will be presented to the Parliament for acceptance. If accepted the nuclear power plant project will cost around EUR two billion, have small modular reactors with a 300 megawatts capacity and will be built by private investors and Fermi Energia. (Thomas Pott, “Estonia could get nuclear power plant by 2035,” news.err.ee, 17 October 2022)
President Sauli Niinisto gives a speech at the Rose-Roth Seminar
On 18 October, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto addressed the Rose-Roth Seminar attended by NATO member states, parliamentarians and ally countries held in Helsinki. They discussed on changing security environment in Northern Europe, which included the war in Ukraine and climate change. Niinisto supported Ukraine in its fight for sovereignty and urged China, the US and the EU to help prevent the war from escalating further. He urged the countries present not to force the peace agreement. (“Finnish President addresses Nato parliamentary seminar in Helsinki,” yle.fi, 18 October 2022)

The Interior Minister points out the drawback of the EU’s migration policy
On 18 October, Interior Ministry’s Parliamentary State Secretary, Bence Retvari spoke about EU member states introducing more border control measures which are detrimental to the EU’s values of “free movement of people, goods, and capital, and thus the EU economy.” He said that Hungary is opposed to the EU’s migration policy as it creates the opportunity for illegal migrants to apply for asylum while being inside the EU as it is difficult to deport these migrants whether they have official documents or not. Revtari also mentioned that action was taken on 15,000 illegal migrants in 2022, of whom 10 per cent are imprisoned on human smuggling charges. He also highlighted that since Hungary was under-construction of a border fence to secure the EU, it proposed to the EU to consider funding half the construction costs. (“Hungary Opposes EU Migration Pact,” Hungary Today, 18 October 2022)

Lithuania conducts national cyber security exercise
On 18 October, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) conducted the Cyber Shield exercise in Lithuania. Participants in the exercise are expected to train remotely from their workplaces and will be asked to specify the number of issues that are to be addressed by instructors. In 2022, exercise participants will have to tackle websites, internal servers and remote workplace hackers and phishing. In June, around 100 organizations have taken part in a preparatory event for the exercise, which will also see participation from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and people from the Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, the Core Center of State Telecommunications, and the Information Technology Service under the Ministry of Defence. (“Major national cyber security exercise kicks off,” delfi.lt, 18 October 2022) 

Prime Minister hails its economic growth and governmental stability
On 18 October, Malta’s Prime Minister, Robert Abela said that Malta's government provides stability to the state for its economic success. Abela stated how the government brought back stability through subsidies and highlighted the need for digitization, change in tax provisions, and aims to improve the cost-of-living index. He also stated the challenges in terms of the energy crisis, environment, sustainability and the worsening quality of life leading to lesser investments. However, he appreciated the success of FDIs related to science, remote gaming, and communication, which had reached EUR one billion. (Semira Abbas Shalan, “‘Malta’s economic success is due to the stability offered by government’ – PM,” independent.com.mt, 18 October 2022) 

NGOs and charities accuse Malta of ill-treatment of migrants, maritime and international laws violation
On 18 October, Malta Today reported that international NGOs like Alarm Phone, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Sea-Watch were accusing Maltese armed forces of sending migrants on a boat to Egypt in September. Malta’s Rescue Coordination Centre is said to have issued the order to send the 23 migrants to Egypt instead of the nearest port of call to provide humanitarian assistance. The international organizations claim that the migrants had already been at sea for quite a few days when they were rescued and thus were suffering from poor health and dwindling resources. Unnecessary delays and unclear guidance of Malta’s part also exacerbated the risks faced by these people. The NGOs have jointly released a statement, which says: “As organisations engaging in SAR activities at sea, we denounce the forcible transfer of these 23 people to Egypt and call for consequences to Malta’s blatant violations of maritime and international law.” (Matthew Vella, “Malta sends rescued boat migrants to Egypt despite nearest port of call,”  Malta News, 18 October 2022) 

Germany to supply air-defence system to Moldova
On 18 October, Moldova’s Defence Minister, Anatolie Nosatii said that the country is considering the acquisition of air defence system components and military drones from Germany in 2023. However, even though Moldova’s defence budget is higher than last year’s allocation, it still is not enough to afford an anti-aircraft defence system. In 2022, the defence budget for Moldova was 0.3 per cent of its projected GDP, while in 2023, 0.5 per cent of the GDP has been allocated for defence. Thus, Nosatii asked for the international community’s assistance with Moldova’s defence project and said: “Previously, all the purchases were made in a short term and in a very small volume, and there was no talk of missiles or planes. In this sense, without assistance from foreign partners, it will be difficult to obtain this kind of capability."

The Food Centre gets funds from Oslo municipality after government cuts
On 18 October, Oslo municipality pledged funds of NOK 150,000 to the Food Centre in 2023 after the government cut its budget. The government supported the Food Centre with NOK 7.8 million in 2021. However, it plans to decrease the budget for the association by NOK 600,000 in 2023. The Food Centre facilitates the redistribution of surplus food from the industries to NGOs that are then supplied to the underprivileged. Oslo municipality is keen to maintain the operation of the Food Centre in the future. (“Oslo municipality gives money to the Food Centre,” aftenposten.no, 18 October 2022)

Slovenia on the road to get a first female head of the state
On 17 October, EURACTIV reported on pre-election polls in Slovenia. The country will be voting in the presidential election on 23 October, and polls say that no candidate is likely to win more than 50 per cent seats. Thus, a run-off between the top two candidates is also expected to be held on 13 November. Centre-right to right-wing candidate Anže Logar of Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS-EPP) is leading the polls with 30 per cent of voters and his followed closely by Nataša Pirc Musar, an independent candidate, supported by Slovenian Pirate Party and SMS (European Greens) with 27 per cent. Even though the President in Slovenia only has limited powers, if elected Musar will become the country’s first female head of the state. (Tobias Gerhard Schminke, “Slovenia’s presidential elections could return first female head of state,” EURACTIV, 17 October 2022)
The new government replaces Environment Ministry with Climate and Business Ministry 
On 18 October, Sweden’s new government scraped the environment ministry and created a Climate and Business ministry. Climate and Environment will be headed by the country’s youngest-ever Minister, Romina Pourmokhtari. Sweden’s new Minister of Energy, business and industry, Ebba Busch, is assigned to be the supervisor of Pourmokhtari stating that changing industries and the transport sector will solve the climate issue. The Green party and the left are against abolishing the ministry established in 1987.  The department was not mentioned in Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s speech. The reason that they gave was that business and the environment go hand in hand. The solution that the government has come up with is nuclear energy, although it might not sustain short-term and medium-term needs. The country currently stands with no environmental policies and no power. (“Sweden’s new government to abolish stand-alone Environment Ministry,” The Local se, 18 October 2022)

Turkey’s Central Bank initiates measure to reinforce Lira deposits
On 18 October, Turkey’s Central Bank laid fresh steps to enhance lira deposits, increasing the ratio of bonds that banks compulsorily hold for foreign exchange deposits and requiring deposits which are less than 50 per cent to acquire more from next year. Raising the securities maintenance ratio required for forex deposits from three per cent to five per cent, the bank's “liraization strategy” is a part of its 2023 agenda to assist an unorthodox policy of interest cuts in the midst of staggering inflation. Requiring lenders to hold an additional 80-100 billion lira of bonds, the individuals now hold 46 per cent deposits, with Turkey snapping up dollars to protect itself against deep currency depreciations and exhaustive inflation of 83 per cent in the previous month. By 2023, banks will be holding securities-based lira-deposit share targets with the lira shedding 29 per cent versus the dollar this year. (Nevzat Devranoglu, “Turkish central bank takes another step to boost lira deposits,” Reuters, 18 October 2022)

Second compromise on Chips Act circulated by Czech Republic’s EU Presidency
On 18 October, EURACTIV reported that the EU Council under Czech Republic’s presidency circulated the second draft of the Chips Act. The Act is intended to assist the EU in maintaining smooth supply chains for semiconductors, and other electronic components. The new compromise text, which comes with several changes, focuses on several outstanding issues and is slated to be discussed by the Council on 19 October. As per the new text, a European Chips Infrastructure Consortium will be set up to facilitate the coordination of funding along with cutting-edge fabrication plants. Moreover, the European Commission will monitor potential crises and trigger emergency status in consultation with the European Semiconductor Board if required. (Luca Bertuzzi, “Czech Presidency tries to close in on the Chips Act,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022)

MEPs urge for faster Schengen accession for Romania and Bulgaria
On 18 October, the members of the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the European Council and the Schengen member states to consider their decision for Romani and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen free movement area. The MEPs said that the creation of the Schengen area was one of the EU’s “greatest achievements” and given that Romania and Bulgaria fulfilled the necessary conditions long ago, the Council should seriously consider the status of their membership. Last week, several Schengen member states sent inspectors to Bulgaria and Romania to ascertain their progress and the results of the inspection are expected to be released on 26 October. On this issue, the Czech Presidency has said that they are pushing for a vote on the membership bids at the EU Home Ministers’ meeting in December and the subsequent EU Summit. As Croatia is on its way to joining the Schengen zone, the only EU member states not a part of it are Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland. (“End ‘discrimination’ and admit Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen, MEPs demand,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022)

War in Ukraine: Day 237
By Madhura S Mahesh

War on the Ground
On 18 October, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported on the casualties of the Russian attacks on Kyiv, where three people who worked at the energy facility were killed. The attack was launched by Russia targeting the power supply facility.
On 18 October, the Ukrainian government issued a nationwide warning regarding outages of water, electricity and food. This came after the Russians launched attacks on key energy infrastructure in the regions of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Dnipro and Zhytomyr resulting in blackouts except for Mykolaiv, the other regions face power outages. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a tweet said that “Since October 10, 30 per cent of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country.” These blackouts have forced hospitals to run on backup generators and the supply of drinking was halted. DETK the energy company told the press that they are “..doing their best to restore electricity supply after the destruction of a critical infrastructure facility in Kyiv city.”

On 18 October, Ukraine’s Air Force Command gave an update regarding the counterstrike on Russian ariel attacks. The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reportedly shot down a SU-25, six Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, a Kh-101/X-555 cruise missile and five Kalibr cruise missiles. This was carried out by the Air Command of South and the Air Command of East of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

On 18 October, the National Resistance Center with Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces accused Iran of helping Russia launch drones which hit key energy infrastructure in Ukraine. According to the National Resistance Center, Russia is launching kamikaze drones from the regions of Kherson and Crimea. In these bases around 20 Iranian instructors were spotted by the Ukrainian Guerrilla assets who are said to have delivered the drones to the Russians. 
On the same day, the SBU Security Service of Ukraine released reports about how Russia is using convicts as cannon fodder and putting them on the frontlines to survey the land. Talking about an interrogation with a Russian Prisoners of war (POW) who is one such convict, the SBU tells us how the convict has only been fighting for two days. They are recruited by promising that their criminal records will be wiped out and that they will fight alongside the soldiers. Promises were made that they would be trained by the military but would not be sent to the front lines of the war. According to the convict, this was not the case as they were often sent as scouts and headfirst into Ukrainian territory.   
On 18 October, Zelenskyy in a video address ensured Ukrainians that all PoWs will return home. This comes as 108 women POWs were brought back home after a successful exchange. This was an all-women POW exchange and ensured that many such would follow. He thanked the exchange team and all those who donated to the exchange fund which will make sure that enemy soldiers are captured. This will help by acting as leverage and ensuring the return of all Ukrainian POWs.  

On 17 October, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry reported that five ships have left from the Odesa port. Carrying 122,300 tons of agricultural goods, the ships have left to Africa, Asia and Europe as a part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Moscow View
Claims by Russia

On 18 October, TASS reported that the death toll due to the Su-34 accident in Yesek had risen to 14. The accident occurred on 17 October when a Su-34 crashed into a residential building when one of its engines caught fire. An investigation is on and for now, the accident is classified under breach of flight rules and flight preparations. The pilots and the tarmac staff are being questioned regarding the same.
On the same day, the city administration of Novaya Kakhovka located in the Kherson region reported fatalities due to Ukrainian armed forces’ continued shelling. The authorities reported that two people were killed and one wounded when a rocket hit the Energy Stadium. A transformer was also hit at the same time leading to an oil leak.    
On 18 October, the Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechaev talked about how the sanctions placed by the EU are backfiring. In an interview with Tass, Nechaev talked about how with each new set of sanctions people of the allied countries are facing a greater risk of increase in fuel prices, cost of living crisis and inflation. Nechaev said that "the facts show that the European Union continues experiments on the population of its own member countries."
On 18 October, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov briefed the press about the Russian Armed Force’s precision attacks in Ukraine. According to him, the strikes hit all the designated military commands, energy infrastructure and foreign weapons stock. He also reported that the forces were able to stop the Ukrainian army from crossing the Zherebets River in the Krasny Liman area. They were also able to stop Ukranian forces from breaking the defence line in Bruskinskoye in the Kherson region.
On 18 October, a programme was launched in the Zaporizhzhia region which looked at flashing Ukrainian drones. Launched by the “We are together with Russia” movement it was proposed to the Russian Army who accepted it. The leader of the movement said that the drones “…will no longer be harmful, but for the benefit of us to work, that is, these drones will fly back, in that direction.” 
On 18 October, Lenta.ru interviewed political analyst Alexander Asafov who said that Estonia’s decision to classify Russia as a sponsor of terrorism is meaningless. According to him such classifications are a part of US Law and have no legal consequences outside of it. The Estonian parliament took this move in light of the Russian annexation of four Ukrainian territories. Asafov said that this move by Estonia and other Baltic nations will just push the US government to do the same. 

The West View
Responses from the US and Europe 

On 17 October, EU member states expressed support to impose fresh sanctions on Iran for its military aid to Russia in the Ukraine war, upon evidence. Ukrainian officials have claimed that Russia’s usage of Iranian drones has increased in recent weeks, alleging links to the Shahed 136 ‘kamikaze’ drones as well. EU has said that they are “following very closely” and that with evidence, they will react accordingly. The EU leaders meeting later are expected to agree on steps to counter the development, where sanctions on Iran would not only lead to blacklisting individuals but could move further if their involvement is proven.
On 18 October, the Chief of Germany’s national cybersecurity agency has been dismissed upon possible links to Russian intelligence. The Interior Ministry said that the Head of the Agency was accused to have damaged the “necessary confidence” of the public. Arne Schoenbohm, the founder of a cybersecurity group, when a Russian intelligence agent was found to be a member, led to the dismissal and questioned the integrity of the cyber management. Authorities said that preliminary investigations and allegations would be evaluated thoroughly and that the head had no “feedback” on the claims.

On 18 October, the EU leaders plan to stabilise runaway energy prices and short supplies and to resist their economies from falling and aggravating unrest. While trying to keep the 27 members of the EU together in their opposition towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. The EU’s executive commission is extending a blueprint that would accommodate the gap between proponents and opponents of the gas price cap.
On 18 October, Greece received the first batch of infantry fighting vehicles known as “Marder” from Germany as a part of a swap deal, in return for 40 Soviet-designed tanks to Ukraine. Delivering six of the 40 armoured vehicles, Germany is set to receive 14 more by 21 October. The arms deal swap is helpful to Greece in terms of recognising the equipment and would lead to the modernisation of the Greek military. Germany confirmed that the tanks would not be stationed in the Greek Islands to cite violence, but is running a bid to help Greece establish a more progressive military establishment.
On 18 October, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Executive Council announced that Russia and Belarus can participate in the ANOC General Assembly. The Council said that as the two nations are still a part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) NOCs they are eligible to attend the General Assembly. The IOC has only barred the athletes from the two countries but has not removed or sanctioned the officials of Russia and Belarus. Following this announcement, Latvia Olympic Committee said that they would not be participating if the officials from the two countries attended. This was followed by NOCs of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Sweden writing a letter to the ANOC asking them to re-evaluate the presence of Russia and Belarus in the General Assembly.  

The Global Fallouts
Implications of the Ukraine war

On 18 October, Reuters reported on Iran’s consent to supply Russia with surface-to-surface missiles and more drones. The information was traced from two senior Iranian officials and diplomats who said that an agreement was signed between the two countries on 06 October. The armaments include the Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles and the Shahed-136 missiles. When the diplomat was asked about the allegations of the West regarding a breach of the 2015 UN agreement the diplomat denied it. it is not the seller’s issue on where it is being used and asserted that they do not take sides and want the conflict to end through diplomatic means. 

On the same day, Reuters also reported about the growing voices of Central Asia against Russia. This was seen in a recent summit in Khazaksitan where Putin was subject to a critical speech by Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon who demanded respect for the nation. According to political analyst Rustam Burnahsev, the Central Asian countries are looking to have an equal partnership with Russia and urged Russia to give up its ‘older brother’ role. This was seen when a meeting between the Leaders of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan mediated by Putin to resolve a border dispute between the two was unsuccessful. Similarly, the Khazakstan President did not have a bilateral meeting with Putin despite the summit being hosted by Kazakhstan. 

Ukraine Warns Situation “Сritical” after Russia Attacks Power Grid,” Kyiv Post, 18 October 2022 
Death toll in Russia’s attack on critical infrastructure in Kyiv rises to three,” Ukrinform, 18 October 2022 
Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down enemy Su-25, five missiles and six drones,” Ukrinform, 18 October 2022
Iranian instructors help Russians launch kamikaze drones from Crimea, Kherson region,” Ukrinform, 18 October 2022
All Ukrainian POWs to be returned from Russian captivity - Zelensky,” Ukrinform, 18 October 2022 
Russian commanders use convicts to reconnoiter Ukrainian positions on front lines - SBU,” Ukrinform, 18 October 2022
Death toll of Su-34 plane crash in residential area in Yeysk grows to 14 — dispatch,” TASS, 18 October 2022   
Each package of sanctions against Russia ‘boomerangs‘, says ambassador,” TASS, 18 October 2022
Two killed, one wounded in Ukrainian rocket attack on Novaya Kakhovka,” TASS, 18 October 2022
Russian forces strike energy sites, foreign weapons arsenals in Ukraine operation,” TASS, 18 October 2022
Zaporozhye came up with a program for flashing Ukrainian drones,” LENTA.RU, 18 October 2022
Estonia's decision to recognize Russia as a sponsor of terrorism was called meaningless,”, LENTA.RU, 18 October 2022
German cybersecurity chief out amid reports of Russia ties,” AP News, 18 October 2022
EU faces battle to keep energy prices from tanking economy,” AP News, 18 October 2022
Germany sends Greece first tank batch from Ukraine swap deal,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022
EU warns Iran more sanctions likely over alleged drone supplies to Russia,” EURACTIV, 18 October 2022
"Ukraine war: US says Iranian drones breach sanctions,” BBC, 18 October 2022
Iran agrees to ship missiles, more drones to Russia,” Reuters, 18 October 2022
Russia, Belarus allowed to attend ANOC General Assembly,” Reuters, 18 October 2022
'We want respect': Putin's authority tested in Central Asia,” Reuters, 18 October 2022  
Israel Rejects Request for Call Between Gantz and Ukraine's Defense Minister,” Haaretz, 18 October 2022
5 More Vessels Depart From Ukrainian Ports Through Grain Corridor,” Kyiv Post, 18 October 2022

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