Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Oct. 5, 2022

Top of the Agenda

OPEC+ Weighs Deep Supply Cuts Despite U.S. Concerns

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and oil producers such as Russia are considering a sizable cut (NYT) in their oil output as they meet in Vienna today. The bloc and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, could cut production by two million barrels per day, or about 2 percent of global supply. The United States has lobbied Saudi Arabia against such a measure.  Also today, European Union (EU) countries agreed (Reuters, AFP) to impose a price cap on Russian oil sales to third countries as part of a new sanctions package on Russia. The idea for a price cap was originally proposed by the Group of Seven (G7). G7 countries that aren’t part of the EU are expected to enact laws (NYT) similar to the EU’s to enforce the price cap. 

“To make the [price cap] effective, and cut Russian revenue, the United States, Europe and their allies would need to convince India and China, which buy substantial quantities of Russian oil, only to purchase it at the agreed upon price. Experts say that even with willing partners, the cap could be hard to implement,” the New York Times Matina Stevis-Gridneff writes. “The economic siege of Russia is far from complete, and the future of this campaign will increasingly turn on the actions of non-Western actors: China, but also African states, the emirates, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey,” Cornell University’s Nicholas Mulder writes for Foreign Affairs.
Pacific Rim

U.S., Japan Hold Joint Air Drills After North Korean Missile TestPyongyang’s test yesterday was the first (Nikkei) to fly over Japan in five years. In response to the test, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to work more closely (Bloomberg) with Japan and South Korea. 

Philippines: Western diplomats and press freedom organizations denounced (Rappler) the killing of radio journalist Percy Mabasa, better known as Percy Lapid, who had criticized the country’s current administration and former President Rodrigo Duterte. On The President’s Inbox podcast, Suzanne Nossel discusses worldwide threats to free expression.
South and Central Asia

Bangladeshi Authorities Probe Cause of National Power Outage A blackout lasting more than seven hours (Dhaka Tribune) struck most of Bangladesh yesterday. It was the country’s longest power grid failure since 2014.  

China/India: Apple is asking some suppliers of headphones to move production from China to India as part of efforts to diversify its supply chain away from China, Nikkei reported
Middle East and North Africa

UAE Overhauls Visa Rules to Allow for More Freelance WorkersThe rules allow self-employed people and other higher-wage workers to reside (Al Jazeera) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without needing an Emirati sponsor. 

Iraq: The top UN official for Iraq blamed the country’s instability on a lack of dialogue among the political class and called on Iraqi leaders (UN News) to set aside their differences. 
Sub-Saharan Africa

ECOWAS Envoy ‘Satisfied’ by Meeting With Burkina Faso’s New Military LeaderAn envoy from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met with (Reuters) Ibrahim Traoré, who took control of Burkina Faso on Friday, and said the bloc will continue to urge the country’s return to constitutional rule. For the Africa in Transition blog, CFR’s Ebenezer Obadare writes that Burkina Faso’s latest coup seems to be the least of its problems.  

Ethiopia: The government accepted the African Union’s invitation (AP) for peace talks to end the government’s war with Tigrayan rebels. A diplomat said the African Union was still waiting for a response from the rebels.

U.S. Announces Fresh Military Aid to UkraineUkraine will receive $625 million worth of weapons from U.S. military stockpiles, including precision rocket launchers (AFP), precision-guided artillery rounds, and small arms ammunition. 

Clashes at Ecuadorian Prison Continue After Deadly RiotNew clashes were reported (AFP) at a prison in central Ecuador where fifteen people died in a riot on Monday. Unrest in Ecuador’s prisons has killed more than four hundred people since February 2021. 

Colombia: The government and fighters from the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group agreed to begin peace talks (Reuters) next month.
United States

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Alabama Voting Rights CaseThe case could determine (CBS) whether minority voters can use the Voting Rights Act to argue that their voting power has been diminished by redistricting. In Foreign Affairs, Danielle Allen discusses the United States’ long struggle for equality amid diversity.
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