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Early Edition: December 5, 2022

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A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.

RUSSIA, UKRAINE – OIL PRICE CAP

A Group of Seven (G7) price cap on Russian seaborne oil came into force today. The G7 nations and Australia agreed on Friday to a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil after E.U. members overcame resistance from Poland which wanted it even lower. It is hoped that the cap will limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. Nick Starkov and Pavel Polityuk report for Reuters

Russia will only sell oil to countries that “will work with us on market conditions,” even if that means cutting production. This is according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who also said that Russia was “working on mechanisms” to undermine enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil. Matt Stevens, Ivan Nichepurenko and Matthew Mpoke Bigg report for the New York Times

Ukraine has denounced the $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil as a weak measure. “You can’t call serious a decision on capping Russian prices that is completely comfortable for the budget of the terrorist state,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said yesterday. “It’s only a matter of time before it will be necessary to use stronger measures. It’s a shame that time will be wasted,” he added. Matthew Luxmoore reports for the Wall Street Journal

RUSSIA, UKRAINE – OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

How to provide security guarantees to Russia should be an “essential point” in any peace talks on the war in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron has said. In particular, Russia’s concerns over NATO must be addressed, Macron said in an interview during his state visit to the U.S.. Roger Cohen reports for the New York Times

Three people were killed and six injured when a fuel tanker exploded at a Russian airfield near the Russian city of Ryazan. A drone also hit the runway of a different airfield in the Saratov region of Russia. It is not clear if the incidents are connected or who might be responsible. The Washington Post reports. 

IRAN 

Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has been quoted as saying Iran’s morality police have been “abolished.” However, Iranian state media strongly pushed back on this. Arab-language Al-Alam state television said that all that could be understood from Montazeri’s comment was that the morality police were not directly related to the judiciary. Akhtar Makoii, Arash Azizi, and Alex Stambaugh report for CNN

Iran has begun construction on a new nuclear power plant in the country’s southwest, Iranian state media announced. The new 300-megawatt plant, known as Karoon, will take eight years to build and will cost around $2 billion, the country’s state television and radio agency reported. AP reports. 

OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS 

China has set up more than 100 so-called overseas police stations across the globe to monitor, harass, and in some cases repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile. This has been done using bilateral security arrangements struck with countries in Europe and Africa, a new report by Madrid-based human rights campaigner Safeguard Defenders alleges. The organization, which combs open-source, official Chinese documents for evidence of alleged human rights abuses, said it has identified four different police jurisdictions of China’s Ministry of Public Security active across at least 53 countries, spanning all four corners of the globe. Nina dos Santos reports for CNN

Sudan’s military and political parties have signed a framework deal aimed at ending a political standoff created by a military coup in October 2021. The deal provides for a two-year civilian-led transition toward elections and would limit the military’s formal role to a security and defense council led by a prime minister. The deal has faced opposition from anti-military protest groups and factions loyal to the regime of former leader Omar al-Bashir, with protests breaking out in the capital of Khartoum. Reuters reports. 

83 Tigrayan soldiers detained at a prison camp near Mirab Abaya were massacred in 2021 by Ethiopian guards and villagers, according to witness testimony from six survivors. The massacre, which was covered up and has not previously been reported, was the deadliest killing of imprisoned soldiers since the war began, but not the only one. Guards have killed imprisoned soldiers in at least seven other locations, witnesses said. Katharine Houreld reports for the Washington Post. 

Turkey expects more extraditions from Sweden if it is to approve the country’s NATO membership, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has said. His comments come after Sweden on Friday deported Turkish citizen Mahmut Tat, who had sought asylum in Sweden in 2015 after being sentenced in Turkey for alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Reuters reports. 

The acting defense minister of the Afghan Taliban has met with the president of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). During the meeting they discussed “strengthening relations, bilateral cooperations between the U.A.E. and Afghanistan, and other important issues,” the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement. Reuters reports. 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog made his first visit to Bahrain yesterday. This visit comes amid concerns that relations with the tiny gulf nation have been slow to flourish since ties were normalized in 2020 by the Abraham Accords. Dion Nissenbaum reports for the Wall Street Journal. 

DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS 

Former President Trump suggested that the U.S. Constitution should be suspended in response to his claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The Biden administration condemned the statement, calling it “anathema to the soul of our nations.” Republicans Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) and Liz Cheney (WY), who sit on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, also criticized Trump’s comments – some of the few overt condemnations of his words from within the Republican Party. Olivia Olander reports for POLITICO

Elon Musk on Friday released details of Twitter’s decision to restrict sharing of a controversial story about Hunter Biden in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. However, whilst the aim was to expose “free speech suppression,” Musk’s so-called “Twitter Files” produced no evidence showing that the tech giant had bent to the will of the Democrats. Instead, the evidence, which consisted of internal communications, showed the company independently decided to limit the spread of the article, without Democratic politicians, the Biden campaign or FBI exerting control over the social media network. Cat Zakrzewski and Faiz Siddiqui report for the Washington Post. 

45,000 people in Moore County, NC, were left without power over the weekend, after what an official described as an “intentional, willful and malicious” attack on two substations. Officials said the power could be out until as late as Thursday. The FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are looking into the attack. April Rubin, Livia Albeck-Ripka and Matt Stevens report for the New York Times

The Pentagon unveiled its first new bomber in more than 30 years on Friday. The long-range jet, known as the B-21, is intended as a central element in Washington’s effort to keep China in check and forms part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent’s $1 trillion overhaul. Doug Cameron reports for the Wall Street Journal. 

COVID-19

COVID-19 has infected over 98.972 million people and has now killed over 1.08 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 645.367 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 6.64 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.

A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. is available at the New York Times.

U.S. and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post

The post Early Edition: December 5, 2022 appeared first on Just Security.


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