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‘SIMPLY A MATTER OF FOLLOWING THE RULES’: Germans love rules? You are wrong. I am presenting my Australian friends. This quote is by Prime Minister Scott Morrison regarding his decision to lock the tennis star. NovakDjokovic is being expelled from the country because he refused to get a Covid vaccine. We won’t spend long on this morality take as Kazakhstan burns, but as Djokovic enters his third day in an Australian immigration detention, it’s worth a brief stop. Djokovic is being held in a hotel where a refugee was detained for nine year, which is quite a difference from the many undocumented arrivals who are currently locked up.

Djokovic shows how Australia’s modernity is built around the tension between equality and mass incarceration. What started as a series of prisons in 1788 developed into workers paradise in the late 19th and 20th centuries … if you were the right sort of worker. It was only possible to do that with brutal, serious border management. Even today, If you arrive the wrong way in Australia (usually by boat) you’ll end up in a desert prisonOr an island prison. Djokovic’sTreatment is not uncommon: Only the wealthy white subjects are.

Australians love rules because they help them to accept the pervasive inequality that exists in their country. Adopting egalitarian stances — like no special treatment for Djokovic — is one way for Australians to cling to their cultural identity, and it’s a way for new Australians (one quarter of the population was born overseas) to prove how Australian they’ve now become.

Two years ago, Australians were locked in their own country and their family members were exiled from it. Making Djokovic adhere to the law neatly allows everyone a chance to feel better. As your host’s own mother, who lives north of Sydney, said: “He would have been booed off the court if they’d let him in.”

What won’t move the needle: this performance from Djokovic’s family, and this complaint by Serbia’s foreign minister.

Officials from the Australian Border Force have taken Renata Voracova, a Czech tennis player, into custody and asked her to leave.

KAZAKHSTAN WILL SNEEZ, BUT WHO WILL CATCH A COOL?

KAZAKHSTAN PROTESTS LEAD TO DOZENS DEATHS: Internet shut downs make it difficult for authorities to assess the extent of the trauma. But at least 2000 protesters and law enforcers have been arrested. Around 2,500 foreign troops — mostly Russian — have been dispatched by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to help the authoritarian Kazakh regime restore order. Officials urged calm as the U.S. Embassy increased security.

What is CSTO? A 20-Year-Russian oldies-Directed regional security alliance comprising Russia, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Tajikistan (all former Soviet countries). In 2022, the CSTO will be chaired by Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia’s Prime Minister. This is the first time the alliance’s Article 4 (the equivalent of NATO’s Article 5 collective defense clause) has been activated.

It’s about more than fuel prices: While spiking prices triggered this week’s protests, the smartest observers of the region concur that there are much bigger underlying tensions that center on a corrupt political and business elite funneling much of the country’s wealth into their personal coffers.

Private jets have been used to flee elites. London is where the Kazakh elite keep their wealth.-Time ruling Nazarbayev families own nearly $500 million worth of property. Open Democracy has provided a list of their status symbols. More on the U.K.’s major kleptocracy problem.

REGIONAL AND GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS

Almaty 2022, is it any different from Budapest 1956 or Prague 1958? That’s the question posed by Russian dissident businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. There are similarities to Crimea and Ukraine in 2014, including Russia’s deployment of its 76th Guards Air Assault Division and a Special Purpose Detached Brigade.

Additional factors to be considered:

— Discontent does not live far below the surface in many former Soviet states. Although some of the Baltic states found ways to integrate into Europe and prosper, many others remained corrupt.-ridden. According to the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, more than 2,500 protests took place in Central Asia between 2018 and 2018.

— Russia and China share long borders and deep interests with Kazakhstan. Russia wants stability in neighbouring countries and has its space.-Baikonur Cosmodrome to launch, protect. China is an energy investor and hyper.-Be aware of separatist sentiment in Xinjiang, which borders Kazakhstan.

— Kazakhstan is the world’s biggest uranium producer, responsible for about 40 percent of supply, well ahead of second-Placing Australia (Iran buys Kazakhstan, for example).

WHAT BEIJING THINKS: After the Foreign Ministry called protests an “internal affair,”Friday’s remark by President Xi Jinping referred to the frustrations of Kazakhs towards the government as a “shameful act.” “color revolution”By “foreign forces”And pledged “necessary support” to Kazakhstan’s President

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. “You took forceful measures … calmed down the situation, showed a statesman’s responsibility and commitment,”Xi spoke.

WHAT MOSCOW IS SAYING: Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, compared the uprising to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection. Matthew Kroenig, Emma Ashford, and Matthew Kroenig discuss whether the unrest will increase tensions between Russia-West.

WHERE ALL THINGS STAND FOR PUTIN: Biden speaks tough, but European allies seem less prepared for a fight, my POLITICOOthers report. Officials warn against “massive”Or “enormous”The consequences of a Ukraine invasion have divided the bloc on where to go.

Uncertainty about the U.S. tough stance on Russia adds to the complexity of the European stance. “If Trump wins the next election, we’re on our own,”One European official stated this. “And then what?”

MEANWHILE IN UKRAINE … COURT FREEZES EX-PRESIDENT’S ASSETS: A Ukrainian court froze property owned by former President Petro Poroshenko as part of a formal investigation into alleged high treason by the former head of state, the Prosecutor General’s office said on Thursday. Poroshenko refutes the allegations and says they are political motivated.

NEW PODCAST EPISODE — DEMOCRACY’S NEW FRONTLINE

Globally, established democracies face serious threats to their authority as well as their reputations.

This episode features us on the road.-Test a proposal for an Alliance of Democracies with key backers as well as a skeptical view of how it might work.

ITALY WILL CHOOSE A NEW PRINCE: The Italian Parliament will meet January 24th to elect a president, the lower chamber confirmed. After nearly a year of leading a technocratic government, Prime Minister Mario Draghi is now in pole position to take the role. However, such a change would be a first for Italy.

There are many alternatives.-They are breaking their ways: Economy Minister Daniele Franco and Justice Minister Marta Cartabia (a former president of Constitutional Court) are two women being discussed in Rome. The former Prime Minister Silvio Bernlusconi, a convicted tycoon, is also interested in the job. Parliament recycling a Brussels would be a traditional route.-based Italian, such as Italy’s EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni or outgoing European Parliament President David Sassoli.

FRANCE’S EU PRESIDENCY KNOCKED SIDEWAYS BY OMICRON: The French presidency is strongly built on pomp and theater. Covid makes it hard for Emmanuel Macron to capitalize on that foundation in his reelection bid, but making matters worse is that Macron was counting on using France’s EU presidency to double the political theater — only to find event after event must be canceled or shifted online. France was particularly affected by the latest variant of coronavirus on Wednesday, with 332,000 cases. The U.S. average would have around 1.7 millions cases per day.

PRINCE ANDREW LIED TO ANOTHER SCANDAL. He sold the Sunninghill house to Timur Kulibayev.-In-Kazakhstan law has been in force for a long time-Time dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev… for $4,000,000 more than its asking price per Open Democracy

BILL & MELINDA POLITICAL: The ex-millionaire couple have been on the political sidelines for decades. Now, they are getting into politics via their checkbooks. They donated money to candidates as diverse as Nick Kristof and Elise Stefanik.

Side note: Kristof can’t run for Governor of Oregon because he doesn’t meet a residency requirement. This was confirmed by the state’s top elections official on Thursday.

HOW MUCH DOES AN EMBASSY EMPTY CHAAIR MATTER There’s a lot of what my colleague Alex Ward labels as “WTF-laden whispers” circulating in Washington around the Biden administration’s lack of ambassadorial nominees to capitals such as Kyiv, Ukraine. It’s bad that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held up dozens of nominees for months (and continues to veto others), but it’s inexplicable to not even try to surmount those obstacles, the thinking goes.

What if Washington is wrong? The lack of ambassadors is an issue for the top.-Tier figures in post (e.g. U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and NATO Ambassador Julie Smith, who’ve spent 2021 filling in for the president and their absent colleagues at times. However, the White House and State Department now have greater control over messaging and are able to concentrate on domestic problems. The current chargé d’affaires in Kyiv, Kristina Kvien is highly regarded, for example, and my Brussels colleagues report that while there may be bruised egos about the slow appointment process, there are no substantive gripes from allies.

BRAIN FOOD

PODCAST: A new series from the European Council on Foreign Relations — The Age of Unpeace: Therapy for internationalists. The three first episodes feature Marietje Schaake, Parag Khanna, and Dan Drezner.

Editor John Yearwood, Jordan Wolman and David Herszenhorn are grateful to Stuart Lau.