Commentary: What Trump’s ‘America First’ Agenda Got Right in Central Europe, Ukraine, and the Politics of Security

Russia’s invasion not only poses an existential threat to Ukrainian sovereignty, but it also represents a direct challenge to American power and credibility globally. If Vladimir Putin prevails, the promise of the United States to act as a security guarantor through NATO in Europe or on its own anywhere will be in shambles.

Moscow is clearly pursuing two goals simultaneously: territorial gains in Ukraine as part of the revanchist ambition to restore the Soviet-era sphere of influence and, more importantly, degrading American strategic prominence, with the goal of driving the United States out of Europe.

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‘Shortfall’: Trump Energy Secretary Casts Doubt on Biden Gas Deal with the European Union

Dan Brouillette

Former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested that President Joe Biden’s recent gas deal with the European Union (EU) wouldn’t be enough to help the continent wean itself off Russian energy.

Brouillette — who served as deputy energy secretary between 2017-2019 and energy secretary between 2019-2021 — noted that the U.S. wouldn’t be able to fill the gap left by Russian energy during an interview with CNBC on Monday. He added that the EU cannot expect to consume less total energy as part of its plan to ditch Russian gas.

“Frankly, I’m not quite sure that everyone can make up that shortfall,” said Brouillette, according to CNBC. “That’s an enormous amount of gas.”

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UK, EU Leaders Reach Historic Brexit Deal After Months of Negotiations

The U.K. and the European Union agreed to a historic Brexit trade deal Thursday after months of tense negotiations and with just days left before the deadline, leaders from both sides announced.

The thousand-page trade agreement means that the U.K. can finally depart from the EU and sets up the framework for British-EU relations post-Brexit, according to The New York Times. The deal concluded more than four years of bitter Brexit negotiations after British citizens voted in favor of leaving the EU in June 2016.

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EU Files Antitrust Charges Against Amazon Over Use of Data

European Union regulators filed antitrust charges Tuesday against Amazon, accusing the e-commerce giant of using its access to data from companies that sell products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them.

The charges, filed two years after the bloc’s antitrust enforcer began looking into the company, are the latest effort by European regulators to curb the power of big technology companies. Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner in charge of competition issues, has slapped Google with antitrust fines totaling nearly $10 billion and opened twin antitrust investigations this summer into Apple. The EU’s executive Commission also opened a second investigation Tuesday into whether Amazon favors product offers and merchants that use its own logistics and delivery system.

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Poland’s Populist President Duda Edges Euro-Centric Challenger Trzaskowski, Earns Second Term

Polish President Andrzej Duda declared victory Monday in a runoff election in which he narrowly won a second five-year term, acknowledging the campaign he ran was often too harsh as he appealed for unity and forgiveness.

The close race followed a bitter campaign between Duda and Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski that was dominated by cultural issues. The government, state media and the influential Roman Catholic Church all mobilized in support of Duda and sought to stoke anti-Semitism, homophobia and xenophobia in order to shore up conservative support.

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The European Union Let China Censor Ambassador’s Op-Ed by Removing Reference to Coronavirus Originating in China

The European Union allowed the Chinese government to censor part of an op-ed by the EU ambassador to China that was published in a state newspaper, China Daily.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) insisted on censoring an op-ed by the EU ambassador to China to remove a reference to COVID-19 originating in China, an EU spokesman said Wednesday, adding that the EU acquiesced to the censorship rather than withdrawing the op-ed.

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Details of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s Planned Testimony About Quid Pro Quo Have Leaked

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, will reportedly testify that President Donald Trump told him in a phone call in September that he did not want a quid pro quo from Ukraine involving military aid, but that he is not certain that the president was telling the truth.

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