#BlueStarBrief October 2022

This Month in the #BlueStarBrief
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, our support remains with the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and sovereignty. As winter grows closer and the west prepares to feel the impact of a continued energy crisis, we hope for an end to the invasion and for continued unwavering support of Ukraine. Please continue to use the sources outlined in our March edition to stay up to date and support Ukrainian defenders. (Editors note - the freedom fund link in our March edition no longer works, use this link instead)
Here's what we have for you in this month's #BlueStarBrief:
A Breakdown of the EU Energy Crisis from our French Team

The Path Ahead to US/EU Energy Collaboration
The Energy Crisis' Impact on Central & Eastern Europe
An Update on the Brazilian Elections
Opportunity in Crisis: The EU's Energy Crisis is a Wake-Up Call
By Lucie Gonçalves
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine begun in February this year, soaring energy prices, risks of shortages, and rising inflation have affected the European Union particularly severely. With several member states, first and foremost Germany, having relied on cheap imports of Russian hydrocarbons for decades, weaning the EU off Russian gas requires a deep rethink of the bloc’s economies. The involvement of alternative suppliers, notably the United States, has softened the blow in the short-term and allowed EU gas reserves to be filled at 88% of their capacity as of September 27. However, Moscow shows no sign of backing down in Ukraine and ever-rising energy prices have fed into EU-wide inflation that threatens the social stability of the bloc in coming months. It’s not all bad news. If its member states pull together, the EU’s current woes could yet provide the impetus for the bloc to improve its energy security and accelerate the green transition, reinforcing its strategic sovereignty in the long-term.
Read more about the EU's response, and coordination for the coming winter, here.

The Path Ahead to US/EU Energy Collaboration
By Ben Hoffschneider

Since the Russian military ramp up at the end of 2021, the international community, especially Europe and the US, have stood united in their support of Ukraine and opposition to the Russian Invasion. While there have been points of disagreement and contention, the coming winter will be the largest test of Western unity so far, as Europe works to fill its energy deficit and the US braces for higher petrol and energy costs. EU Energy Ministers and Heads of State have met 3 times in the last month, with more meetings to come as they work towards answers, and economic strategy for the winter is a key portion of this week’s Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group. As a hard winter draws closer, the US is identifying the ways it can best continue its support of Ukraine and support Europe’s energy needs while decreasing the impact of rising costs at home.

Learn more about how the US plans to support EU needs, and what recent developments mean for continued cooperation, here.

The Energy Crisis and Its Impact for Central & Eastern Europe
By Aretera, Guest Firm Contributor

Europe is bracing itself for what is expected to be an extremely challenging winter as the countries of the continent struggle to secure energy supplies from various sources, reduce residential and/or industrial consumption levels, and subsequently mitigate the fallout from high prices in a Europe-turned-global energy crisis that continues to shape the continent’s political and economic climate. Triggered by rapidly increasing demand for gas under the post-pandemic economic recovery in 2021, the scarcity of gas supplies and skyrocketing energy costs on European markets, the current crisis has been exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, the ensuing economic fallout and the Kremlin’s move to halt most Russian gas supplies in retaliation to sanctions imposed by Western governments.

The crisis has put an enormous burden on Central and Eastern European countries, many of which have been relying on cheap Russian energy for years. Governments across CEE are now placing enormous efforts to shore up supplies, find long-term alternatives, as well as to mitigate the economic and social impact of the price hikes.

As Central and Eastern European EU member states gear up for the challenges lying ahead, Aretera takes a look at the fallout from the energy crisis in the region here.

An Update on Brazil's Presidential Elections
By Julieta Gomez

General elections were held on October 2nd, 2022 in Brazil to elect the President, Vice President, the National Congress, the Governors, Vice Governors, and Legislative Assemblies. The two main candidates were former president Lula da Silva and current President Jair Bolsonaro. In this first round, Lula came in first with 48.4% (57 million votes) and Bolsonaro came in second with 43.2% (51 million votes). The two of them will have to face each other in a run-off that will take place on October 30th.

Learn more about the polls leading in to the run-off, and what to expect over the next 3 weeks, here.
Thank you for reading this month’s #BlueStarBrief.

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