World News Brief, Wednesday December 3

Putin scraps $40 billion gas pipeline project; Hong Kong's Occupy Central leaders turn themselves in; rescue effort continues in Bering Sea after South Korean fishing boat sinks; Ukraine and Pro-Russian separatists reach agreement 'in principle'; early elections expected for Israel; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Putin Scraps South Stream Pipeline Project

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking from Ankara, announced that Moscow would stop the construction (FT) of the $40 billion Gazprom-funded South Stream natural gas pipeline project that would have brought gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and on to southeastern Europe. Instead, Putin said that Russia would look to direct a Europe hub through Turkey (Reuters). The move was seen as a diplomatic defeat for Putin, who had hoped to increase Russia's role as an energy supplier to Europe despite disputes over actions in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Russian government warned (BBC) on Tuesday that its economy will fall into a recession in 2015 as a result of Western sanctions and falling oil prices.


"The strategic value of Turkey's neutrality has only gone up after Putin found himself shouldered aside by most emerging powers at the recent G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. Russia has long encouraged Turkey's pursuit of an autonomous foreign policy and emancipation from NATO and the US," writes Dimitar Bechev in Al Jazeera.

"The European Union has never liked the South Stream idea, not just because letting the Kremlin strangle Ukraine seemed unsavory but because strategically, Brussels wants less, not more dependence on Russian gas. It also doesn't want gas sellers to own pipeline infrastructure. Gazprom, however, is unwilling to operate in any other way," writes Leonid Bershidsky in Bloomberg View. 

"Putin purported to have another card up his sleeve. Yesterday he announced a new pipeline partnership: Russia would build yet another gas pipeline, this one to Turkey. But the announcement lacked the panache of its antecedants—the new pipeline had no name, no length, no price. The world’s first pipeline war ended up having no victors at all," writes Steve LeVine in Quartz.


Explore the New CFR Oceans Interactive

To be good stewards of the oceans, nations need to embrace more effective multilateral governance in the economic, security, and environmental realms, says the updated CFR Global Governance Monitor.




Hong Kong's Occupy Leaders to Surrender

The three cofounders of Hong Kong's Occupy Central called on students to retreat from protest sites and said they would (WSJ) turn themselves in to the police on Wednesday. Student leader Joshua Wong announced he began a hunger strike (SCMP) on Monday night in an attempt to force a meeting on political reform with Hong Kong's chief secretary.

SOUTH KOREA: Rescue missions (Yonhap) resumed on Tuesday in the Bering Sea after a South Korean fishing vessel sank on Monday. Six people have been rescued and a Korean crew member is dead; fifty-two people are still missing. 


Ukraine and Pro-Russian separatists reach agreement 'in principle'

Early elections expected for Israel

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