“I think the [Trump] administration missed an opportunity [on January 29] to extend the use of sanctions to Russia’s aggressive behavior,” Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center, and formerly the State Department’s coordinator on sanctions policy, said in a phone briefing hosted by the Council on January 30.
However, he said, if a classified Treasury list of Russian officials is “credible and strong” then “its existence may have some deterrent value, but the administration then needs to work on its messaging to make sure that this is understood.”
US International Trade Commission’s ruling boosts Canadian prime ministerThe surprise ruling by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) in favor of Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier over Boeing, a US firm, should come as a relief to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau whose government has been caught between domestic politics and US President Donald J. Trump’s protectionist trade agenda.
In December of 2017, China launched its national greenhouse gas emissions trading market, creating the world's largest carbon market. While the highly anticipated policy announcement has been met with excitement, the Chinese government has yet to clarify fundamental questions regarding the market’s operation, the details of which will determine whether the policy is a real driver to curb emissions or merely a public relations maneuver.
Demonstrators call for boycott of March electionsOn January 28, supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny took to the streets across the country to call for a boycott of presidential elections planned for March 18. Organizers argued the election outcome remains pre-determined in favor of current President Vladimir Putin, who has been either president or prime minister since 1999.
Under the slogan “Забастовка” (translated from Russian: “strike”), Navalny’s supporters organized events in 115 Russian cities, together with Berlin, New York, and Prague.
Most of the media coverage, which was considerable, focused on events in Moscow, where Navalny himself was arrested. @DFRLab also tracked events across the immense spread of Russia, reaching from the far east to the west.
Pointing to a significant increase in December in violations by Russia of what’s often referred to as the “ceasefire-in-name-only” Minsk agreement, Volker said: “There’s been no movement by Russia toward actually ending the conflict.”
The Trump administration has already withheld $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which helps Palestinian refugees.
Turkey’s ties with the United States could become casualty of latest offensiveTurkey’s military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria will eventually push the United States to choose between two clashing allies, and “Ankara may not like where US policy ends up,” according to the Atlantic Council’s Aaron Stein.
The Turkish operation has deepened the existing divide between the United States and Turkey, a NATO ally, over Washington’s support for the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia and part of the US-led coalition in Syria. When asked how the situation can be resolved, Stein, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said: “It can’t.”
The court’s ruling complicates Lula’s plans to run for a third term in office in the election on October 7. Lula was an early favorite, according to pollster Datafolha, which found that thirty-six percent of surveyed voters preferred the ex-president.