World News Brief, Wednesday April 9

Ukraine expels pro-Russian separatists from government building in Kharkiv; Hagel warns China against making unilateral moves that could escalate tensions in Asia Pacific; Australia signs pact to free up trade with South Korea; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Ukraine Moves to Regain Eastern Control

Troops from Ukraine's Interior Ministry expelled pro-Russian separatists from a regional administration building in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday (NYT), arresting roughly seventy people after protestors seized government buildings in the three cities on Monday. The White House had warned (Reuters) Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday against moving "overtly or covertly" into eastern Ukraine, saying evidence suggested that pro-Russian demonstrators in the region were being paid. A brawl erupted in Ukraine's parliament (Guardian) after the leader of the Communist Party accused nationalists of playing into Russian hands by adopting extreme tactics early in the Ukrainian crisis.


"If Crimea in coming weeks remains cordoned off, it will then require a concerted effort to force Russia to pull back troops, an effort that could divide the United States from European allies who may be more willing to live with the new status quo," writes Peter Baker for the New York Times.

"Considering the shabby state of Russian democracy, and the country's continued move away from Western ideas and ideals, one might argue that the chances of seeing neo-Eurasianism conquer new ground are increasing," write By Anton Barbashin and Hannah Thoburn for Foreign Affairs.

"Should this Byzantine state and its head-on collision with Russian president Vladimir Putin's expanding Russkiy mir (Russian world) be of concern to investors, or are they right to treat it as a colourful sideshow?" writes Yuri Bender for the Financial Times.


Pacific Rim

Hagel Warns China

U.S. secretary of defense Chuck Hagel warned China (Time) against making unilateral moves that could escalate tension in the Asia Pacific, citing Beijing's decision to create an air defense zone last year that worsened the dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Hagel is in Beijing after touring China's first aircraft carrier.

This CFR Infoguide explains China's various maritime disputes in the East and South China Sea.

AUSTRALIA: After signing a major trade deal with Japan, Australia signed a pact (Yonhap) to free up trade with South Korea on Tuesday. The two countries also agreed to bolster defense cooperation.

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