FIVE POSSIBLE SCENARIOS FOR RUSSIA

  1. The non-kinetic scenario: Russia uses the military buildup to try to extract concessions from the West on NATO enlargement. Russia’s strategic goal here is to keep Ukraine distanced from organizations like NATO and the European Union. The most effective way for Russia to achieve this goal is by keeping the conflict in eastern Ukraine “frozen”—meaning that the major fighting stops, but localized fighting remains without a conclusive end to the conflict. That means using the troops on the border as political leverage, not as actual invaders.

DE GAULLE’S VIEW OF EUROPE

1. From the standpoint of De Gaulle, any coherent Europe had to be a Europe of independent nation-states with their own unique histories and cultures in which national sovereignty would always control the European institutions. Moreover, a strong and legitimate united Europe could only be the outcome of cooperation between individual countries rather than by merging them. Gaullism is the idea that the fundamental unit of international politics is a nation-state built on people with a particular history. A state is the institution of a people, e.g. French, British, Polish etc.

3 KEY MEETINGS FOR DE-ESCALATION OF TENSIONS

  1. US-Russia bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue ( Geneva, Jan 9-10)  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman

MAKE UKRAINE A NEUTRAL, NON-ALIGNED COUNTRY

Since hostilities broke out between Ukraine and Russia in 2014, the United States has provided $2.5 billion in security aid to Kyiv, with more than $400 million in the last year alone. U.S. security assistance has come in the form of training, equipment, and weaponry, including tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision devices, sniper rifles, small arms, Javelin anti-tank missiles, high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, and Mark VI patrol boats.

LIST OF ELECTIONS IN EUROPE IN 2022

  1. Portugal: Portuguese legislative election 30 January 2022
  2. Spain: Castilian-Leonese regional election: 13 February 2022
  3. Germany: Saarland state election: 27 March 2022
  4. Serbia: Serbian general election: 3 April 2022
  5. France: French presidential election: 10 and 24 April 2022
  6. Hungary: Hungarian parliamentary election: April 2022
  7. Slovenia: Slovenian parliamentary election: 24 April 2022
  8. United Kingdom: Northern Ireland Assembly election: 5 May 2022
  9. Germany: Schleswig-Holstein state election: 8 May 2022

SANCTIONS THE U.S. AND EU COULD IMPOSE ON RUSSIA

  1. Increased military support for Ukraine
  2. Bolstering of NATO’S eastern flank (Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria)
  3. More restrictions on Russia’s ability to refinance its sovereign debt (Russian debt market disrupted)
  4. Sanction the secondary market in Russian bonds, where they are resold and packaged with other investments.
  5. Limits on interbank operations of major Russian banks including currency conversion (Bank operations, cross-border financing, trade impeded)

MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS TO WATCH IN 2022

  1. It is difficult to be optimistic about 2022. Despite all the corporate pledges and media attention focused on climate change, the COP26 conference was a failure. In 2022, we will continue to realize that greenhouse-gas emissions are not declining, and that more radical responses are needed. Climate politics will significantly worsen US-China relations, which are already at a breaking point. Add the intensification of repression in China and the tensions over Taiwan and you have the makings of a prolonged bout of instability.

2022 PREDICTIONS

  1. The vast majority of the world will have been vaccinated by the end of 2022, but the gap between rich countries (after multiple waves of boosters and amid the roll-out of antiviral drugs) and poor ones (where logistical bottlenecks could hamper distribution even when vaccines are delivered) will be larger. Expect at least one more breakout variant (“sigma”?) from one of the many under-vaccinated corners of the world.

FRANCE TAKES LEAD OF NATO’S VERY HIGH READINESS JOINT TASK FORCE (VJTF)

France will assume command of NATO's highest-readiness military force for one year on 1st January 2022. In case of deployment, French soldiers would be on the front line. The formation, formally known as NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force or VJTF will comprise a multinational force of several thousand troops. The Franco-German brigade of 3,500 troops will serve as the core of the force, drawing on the 1st Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Hussar Regiment. Other NATO countries, including Spain, Portugal, and Poland will also provide forces.

EU LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR 2022

European Green Deal

1. Proposal for a DECISION concerning the amount of allowances to be placed in the market stability reserve for the Union greenhouse gas emission trading scheme until 2030

2. Proposal for a REGULATION establishing a Social Climate Fund

3. Proposal for DECISION on the notification of offsetting in respect of a global market-based measure for aircraft operators based in the Union

4. Proposal for a REGULATION establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism

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