World News Brief, Wednesday November 5

Rebel elections threaten Ukraine-Russia ceasefire; South Korea and the Netherlands sign a $23 million deal to upgrade Dutch nuclear reactor; Japan's Nikkei index rises to seven-year high; EU cuts growth forecast; minimum wage rises 15 percent in Venezuela; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Rebel Elections Threaten Ukraine-Russia Cease-Fire

Pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko was sworn in in Donetsk (Deutsche Welle) on Tuesday, and President Petro Poroshenko warned that the September 5 cease-fire is in jeopardy (Guardian). Poroshenko condemned the rebel elections in Donetsk and Luhansk and said that Ukraine may abolish elements of the peace deal. The Russian-backed separatist elections have raised fears that the already fragile cease-fire will collapse and renewed violence will escalate.


"Putin's stakes in Ukraine entail more than military security. The potential for a democratically vibrant and economically prosperous Ukraine presents the Russian people with a feasible alternative to Putin's path and, therefore, represents an existential threat to that regime," writes CFR's Mark Lagon in Foreign Policy.

"The White House still bans [the] term [invasion], as if lexicological make-believe will somehow erase the thousands of Russian troops stationed inside Ukraine. More worrying is the administration's make-believe about its policy, which officials actually seem to believe has been a success. […] In fact, a big chunk of eastern Ukraine is now under the control of Mr. Putin—and it will be Moscow, not the White House, that determines what happens next," writes the Washington Post.

"The Ukrainian leader did not say he would scrap the Minsk peace plan altogether, saying instead he would recommend 'adjustments' to it. But the insurgents and their backers in Moscow may say any changes to the agreement that Kiev undertakes are tantamount to revoking it. Given the heavy artillery and fighters seen streaming into the region recently, the future of the shaky truce seems very much under doubt at the moment," writes David Stern for the BBC.



South Korean Nuclear Technology Goes to Europe

South Korea and the Netherlands signed a $23 million deal (Yonhap) to upgrade a Dutch nuclear reactor; the deal is the first export of South Korea's nuclear technology to Europe.

JAPAN: The Japanese Nikkei stock index rose on Tuesday to a seven-year high (Kyodo News) in response to monetary easing measures, announced last Friday.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic plans.


EU cuts growth forecast

Minimum wage rises 15 percent in Venezuela

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