Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has called on the electoral body to ensure upcoming elections are free and fair.
  • AMERICAS: The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said it is seeking meetings with political and business groups to join negotiations alongside opposition politicians led by Juan Guaido.
  • ASIA: The South Korean military reported the launch of an “unknown projectile” from Pyongyang which appeared to fail immediately.
  • EUROPE: The Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic reaffirmed their support during a meeting Tuesday with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Two detained British-Iranians Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri are heading to Tehran airport to leave Iran.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: Facebook parent Meta was fined €17m by Ireland for breaching EU data privacy laws.

Top Story

  • Ukraine: Russia says parts of a compromise deal with Ukraine are close.
    • The Kremlin said that some parts of a possible peace deal with Ukraine were close to being agreed after Kyiv agreed to discuss neutrality, raising hopes of an end to the biggest war in Europe since World War Two.
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “”Neutral status is now being seriously discussed along with security guarantees.”
    • Lavrov’s comments came after Zelensky conceded Ukraine would not join NATO, before saying his aides had indicated the positions in peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators “sound more realistic.”
    • Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov highlighted Ukraine becoming a neutral state with a status comparable to Sweden and Austria as an option being discussed at talks with Kyiv and would be a “compromise”.
    • Zelensky said overnight that “the positions in the negotiations sound more realistic” but warned that “time is still needed for the decisions to be in Ukraine’s interests.”
    • Reuters, RTE, Politico, AFP, FT

Africa

  • Kenya: Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called on the electoral body to ensure upcoming elections are free and fair. (BBC)
  • Mozambique: The government says it will not succumb to international pressure to change its neutrality in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (BBC)
  • Nigeria: Seven policemen and four vigilantes were killed in two attacks blamed on armed criminal gangs. (AFP)
  • Somalia: More than 10 Kenyan soldiers have been killed by a roadside explosive in the country’s south. (BBC)
  • South Sudan: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was extended by the Security Council for an additional year. (AP)

Americas

  • Chile: The Constitutional Convention approved the inclusion of language protecting the right to an abortion. (AFP)
  • Guatemala: Congress shelved a bill imposing prison sentences on women who obtain abortions after President Alejandro Giammattei said he would veto it. (NYT)
  • Mexico: Former Nuevo Leon governor Jaime Rodriguez was arrested for electoral crimes related to his 2018 run for president. (Reuters)
  • Peru: President Pedro Castillo rejected allegations of corruption and told Congress that all branches of government are in “institutional crisis.” (Reuters)
  • Venezuela: The government of President Nicolas Maduro said it is seeking meetings with political and business groups to join negotiations alongside opposition politicians led by Juan Guaido. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Hong Kong: Executive Leader Carrie Lam said the government will close most of the city’s beaches, after photos of maskless residents enjoying sun and surf sparked outrage in mainland China. (AFP)
  • New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that international borders would open earlier than forecast, beginning April 12 for Australians and May 1 for others. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: The South Korean military reported the launch of an “unknown projectile” from Pyongyang which appeared to fail immediately. (Reuters)
  • South Korea: The country reported a record of more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases as the government continues to ease restrictions despite the Omicron wave of infections. (AFP)
  • Vietnam: The government announced an end to quarantine for international travelers as the country seeks to restart its tourism industry after two years of strict Covid-19 restrictions. (AFP)

Europe 

  • Belarus: The chief editor and a journalist of the banned Nasha Niva newspaper were sentenced to over two years in prison. (AP)
  • France: Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Paris could offer Corsica “autonomy” to calm tensions between the Mediterranean island’s fierce independence movement and the mainland that have flared this month. (AFP)
  • Poland: Ruling Law and Justice Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczinski called for an international peacekeeping mission to be sent to Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: The Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic reaffirmed their support during a meeting Tuesday with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. (CNN)
  • United Kingdom: The country is ending some of its most comprehensive COVID-19 testing and monitoring programs. (AP)

Middle East

  • Region: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is visiting the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to secure additional oil flows and increase pressure on Russia over Ukraine. (Reuters)
  • Iran: Two detained British-Iranians Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri are heading to Tehran airport to leave the country. (Reuters)
  • Iraq: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned about Sunday’s missile attack in Erbil. (Xinhua)
  • Israel: The Bureau of Statistics said the country’s year-on-year inflation hit 3.5 percent in February, reaching a decade high. (Xinhua)
  • Yemen: UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs called on the Security Council not to forget the 19 million Yemenis facing hunger. (AP)

Tech & Communications

  • Social Media: Facebook parent Meta was fined €17m by Ireland for breaching EU data privacy laws. (BBC)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 16MAR22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (17MAR22) 

  • Event: Wilson Center discussion on Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on the Balkans.
  • Event: CEIP discussion on impacts of Russo-Ukrainian War in Middle East.
  • Event: Atlantic Council discussion on Mexico-US priorities.
  • Global: Visit by US Assistant Secretary of State Michele J. Sison to Mali and France. (to 22MAR)
  • Global: Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • Cambodia: ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting Retreat.
  • Europe: EU environment ministers meeting in Brussels.
  • France: Meeting of the OECD Global Parliamentary Network in Paris.
  • Germany: The ECB and its Watchers Conference in Frankfurt.
  • Germany: Meeting between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and federal state premiers.
  • Israel:
  • Russia: 8th anniversary of President Putin recognizing Crimea, and sanctions being imposed on Russia.
  • United States: Visit by Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin.
  • United States: House Armed Services Committee hybrid hearing on national security challenges in AFRICOM and CENTCOM regions.
  • United States: House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on USSOUTHCOM.

END