Daily Briefs

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15 November 2022, Tuesday | NIAS Europe Daily Brief #358

War in Ukraine: Day 264 | UN adopts resolution calling Russia to pay war reparations

New Energy Ministry set up in Hungary; France and the UK sign a deal on English Channel migration; Kosovo and Serbia issue lead to the most dangerous crisis, the EU fears

War in Ukraine: Day 264
By Sai Pranav and Sandeep Ganesh

War on the Ground
On 14 November, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his daily address reported on the re-capturning and resotration effort taken in the Kherson to bring back the normal living conditions for people. Zelenskyy thanked the US and Cannada for their aid to Ukraine. He stressed on ending the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, where close to 11 thousand children were found to be deported.
On 14 November, the situation on the ground in Ukraine information from Regional Miliatry Administration; Russian troops shelled at Kharkiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dniproprtrovsk, Kherson, Donetsk, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions. Two people were killed, and 14 citizens were injured including one child.  
On 14 November, Oleksiy Chernyshov, Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, and Gavin Grey, chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Ukraine, discussed the impact of the war on the gas sector and planned a new program of cooperation. Naftogaz Group is the largest national oil and gas company in Ukraine. It is a state-owned company, that execute exploration operations and development of deposits, operating and exploratory drilling, extraction, transportation and refinement of natural gas and crude oil, and supply of natural and liquefied gas to consumers. 
On 14 November, Ukrinform reported on the Ukrainian air force struck down four Russian soldiers, weapons and clusters on the left bank of the Dnipro and Kherson region. Russians on the other hand struck with two Kh-31 missiles in the Beryslav district of the Kherson region. The Operational Command South reported on destruction of 40 tanks and seven armoured combat vehicles by Russia. 
On 14 November, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a Facebook post thanked the Armed Forces of the Republic of Lithuania for its military support. Lithuania has agreed to give 120-mm Tampella heavy mortars mounted on the M113 A2 armoured platform and mines to the Ukrainian soldiers to fight Russia from a distance of seven kilometres.
On 14 November, Ukrinform reported on the damage of close to five residential houses in the Sumy region by Russian shelling. The Russian forces had launched striks in the border areas with self-propelled artillery. No causalities were reported, Russian forces struck down an enterprise in the Sumy region, till now 19 explosions were recorded, and three workers are reported to be injured. 

The Moscow View
Claims by Russia

On 14 November, Russia’s Defence Ministry reported that its force had started to advance towards the Donetsk region, freeing Pavlovka village in Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) from the Ukrainian troops. Pavlovka, which is a buffer village located at the crossroads of the exchange of fire, and capturing it paved the way for Russia to advance towards the north. According to the report, the Russian forces have been pushing the Ukrainian troops away from Donetsk city. 

On 13 November, Russia’s Defence Ministry spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, announced the strike down of six Ukrainian drones and barring of 13 HIMARS missiles and Olkha shells by the Ukrainian forces.An air defence system was found to have destroyed six UAVs in the Kharkiv region, LPR and DPR. 

On 14 November, a former representative of the Kherson region administration, Sergey Moroz, said to TASS that following the occupation of Kherson city by the Ukrainian forces, there had been an increase in attacks on the communities located on the left bank of the Dnieper river. Moroz added that civilian infrastructures on the left bank are being targeted by Ukraine’s Armed Forces after its arrival in Kherson city. He said that Ukrainian forces in Kherson have been using cannon artillery to shell the left bank to de-occupy Russians from the rest of the Kherson region.

On 14 Nov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Grushko, criticized NATO’s  expansionism and said that the conflict in Ukraine stemmed from NATO’s intention of expanding towards Ukraine, to gain a closer border with Russia. NATO refuted the accusation stating that it has an open-door policy that allows any country that requires its protection. However, recent Turkey blocking Finland and Sweden has brought to light that in its charter, it states that all its member states must approve any expansion. The inclusion of Ukraine as its objective despite the warning from Russia is the main reason for the start of the war, according to Grushko.

The West View
Responses from the US and Europe 

On 14 November, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the US Department of State introduced a new set of sanctions on transnational network procuring technology that supports the Russian military-industrial complex. OFAC froze the assets of 14 individuals and 28 firms. It also blocked eight aircrafts. It also aims to cut Russia’s revenue to fund the war and weaken its military. A Russian microelectronics firm, Milandr, was also targeted for being the primary supplier of the imported microelectronics that Russia’s Defence Ministry.

On 14 November, the UK’s Defence Ministry in its intelligence update reported that the winter would present tough times during the war. The reduction is the daylight will be is predicted to increase in defensive battles and limit Ukraine’s offensive. The report warned of colder weather and preparation for it. It cautioned both sides to be prepared for night vision battles. The conditions are predicted to get harsher during December and January.

On 14 November, the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU announced that the bloc had started a training mission for 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The Ukrainian soldier is trained under the EU Military Assistance Mission. On 17 October, the EU Military Assistance Mission was approved at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.

On 14 November, Germany and Poland announced nationalizing the Russian energy company Gazprom’s assets within their country to secure the energy supply in the winter. The new firm, Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (SEFE), previously known by Gazprom Germania, controls Germany’s largest gas storage facility in northwestern Rehden. The EU approving EUR 225.6 million in assistance to Gazprom Germania prompted the nationalization of the Russian energy subsidiary in Germany. Poland announced similar actions with Europolgaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. Both countries stated that nationalization was necessary to protect their energy security.

The Global Fallouts
Implications of the Ukraine war

On 14 November, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that demanded Russia pay for reparation for its actions in Ukraine. Among the 193 member states, 50 countries co-sponsored the resolution for compensating the damages, losses injuries that Russia caused to Ukraine. Ukraine urged the UN to hold Russia accountable for the war crime it committed in Ukraine. The reparation mechanism will be created by a group of member states who will decide how it will work. The reparation mechanism will be created outside the UN, making its role null and void. The Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya responded to the draft resolution that a narrow group of states are trying to enact their own law rather than adhering to international law. He added that the UNGA is not a judicial body to force Russia to pay for reparation.

On 14 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that US President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping agreed in acknowledging the threat of the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war. The two leaders think a nuclear war should be avoided at all costs. The statement from Biden and Xi came following their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

“The reparations that Russia will have to pay for what it has committed are now part of the international legal reality - address by the President of Ukraine”, president.gov.ua, 14 November 2022
Situation in Ukraine”, war.ukraine.ua, 14 November 2022
“Ukrainian Air Force hits four enemy clusters on Dnipro’s left bank”, UKRINFORM, 14 November 2022
Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Facebook account, 14 November 2022
“Sumy region’s community comes under enemy fire, five houses damaged”, UKRINFORM, 14 November 2022 
“Oleksiy Chernyshov held an online meeting with the head of the International Monetary Fund mission, Gavin Gray”,  naftogaz.com, 14 November 2022
Russia reports on military advances in Donbass,” RT, 14 November 2022
Six Ukrainian drones, 13 HIMARS and Olkha rockets downed by Russian air defense,”  TASS, 13 November 2022
Shellings of Dnieper’s left bank grew since Kiev’s forces entered Kherson — politician,” TASS, 14 November 2022
NATO needs enemies to justify its existence – Russia,” RT, 14 November 2022
Treasury Sanctions Global Russian Military Supply Chain, Kremlin-linked Networks, and Elites with Western Fortunes,” home.treasury.gov, 14 November 2022
The UK Ministry of Defence, “Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 14 November 2022,” Twitter, 14 November 202
Germany nationalizes former Gazprom subsidiary,” Deutsche Welle, 14 November 2022
EU launches military assistance mission for Ukraine,” Ukrinform, 14 November 2022
General Assembly adopts resolution on Russian reparations for Ukraine,” news.un.org, 14 November 2022
Andrew Restuccia, Keith Zhai and Ken Thomas, “President Biden, Xi Jinping Move to Stabilize U.S.-China Relations,” WSJ, 14 November 2022

By Sai Pranav, and Madhura S Mahesh

Recycling of solid municipal waste increased
On 14 November, Belarus’s Deputy Director of the Operator of Secondary Material Resources Artyom Shkryl reported that solid municipal waste recycling has tripled in the last 10 years. Shkryl reported that the level of usage of solid municipal waste and collection of secondary material resources have increased twice as much when compared to 2010. Shkryl has attributed this increase o an increased responsibility among the public which has led to the formation of a national strategy for managing solid municipal waste and secondary material which is going to be implemented in Belarus. (“Solid municipal waste recycling in Belarus on the rise,” BelTA, 14 October 2022)
New energy ministry to be set up 
On 14 November, the Hungarian government announced a cabinet reshuffle after Minister of Technology and Industry Laszlo Palkovics resigned over differences with regard to the green energy policy. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Chief of Staff Gergely Gulyas reported that a new energy ministry will be set up in December to look into the current energy crisis and energy security. The ministry will be headed by Csaba Lantos, former deputy head of the Hungarian bank OTP. (“Hungary Government Reshuffled Over Energy Policy,” Barron’s, 14 November 2022)
The EU fears Serbia and Kosovo disagreements to transform into dangerous crisis
On 14 November, EU Chief Diplomat Joseph Borrell at the meeting of EU foreign ministers expressed concerns over the situation between Kosovo and Serbia and fears that it may turn into the most dangerous crisis seen in the last decade. Calling on Serbia and Kosovo to fulfil their obligations outlined in the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Borrell said: “Both parties – both parties – need to urgently show readiness to find a way forward to lower these tensions. It is not acceptable for either party to violate or ignore their Dialogue obligations.” According to Borrell negotiators from Kosovo and Serbia will be arriving in Brussels to provide a solution for the increasing tensions by 21 November. (“EU: Serbia, Kosovo on brink of ‘most dangerous crisis’ in last decade,” EURACTIV, 14 November 2022)
France and UK sign migrant patrol deal 
On 14 November, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and UK’s Interior Minister Suella Braverman signed an agreement which outlines measures to tackle illegal migration across the English Channel. The agreement outlines that the UK will pay France EUR 72.2 million to increase the number of security personnel at the northern beaches by 40 per cent or approximately 350 personnel. The agreement also outlines the use of human and technological resources for better efficiency in monitoring, detecting and intercepting boats on the French coasts. The deal also provides for the collection and implementation of information gathered from the migrants to take down smuggling networks and deter crossings. (“France, UK sign deal tackling illegal immigration across Channel, “ France24, 14 November 2022)  

The new subsea cable connecting Ireland and Iceland inaugarated
On 14 November, a new undersea telecom cable connecting Ireland and Iceland was completed. The project is a part of Iceland’s plan to make Ireland a “Gateway to Europe”, linking Europe to North America. The cable connects Iceland’s Thorlaskshofn in the South to Ireland’s Galway on its west coast. The cable is the first one that links Ireland without connecting to the UK. A similar project was announced last month to connect Ireland with Japan via the North-West passage. The cable is operated by Iceland’s state-owned company called Farice. The cable is said to be part of the new industrial revolution as it combines high quality, digital infrastructure with renewable technology, infrastructure and skills. (Molly Killeen, “Ireland, and Iceland linked through new subsea telecoms cable,” EURACTIV, 14 November 2022)
Central Bank warns over increasing budget deficit
On 14 November, Czech central bank Governor Ales Michl said that if there is an increase in the budget deficit and a sudden rise in nominal wages it will lead to a direct increase in inflation rates. According to Michl, it is important that budget deficit and nominal wages should not increase by at least five per cent to keep inflation rates stable. Preventing money circulation in the economy will help to reduce inflation in the country. While the central bank has projected nominal wages to grow 6.3 per cent in 2022 and 7.7 per cent in 2023, in real terms it expects it to fall to 9.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent. (“Czech wage growth below 5% needed to tame inflation, central bank governor says, “ Reuters, 14 November 2022)

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