Europe

EU Decision to Grant Ukraine & Moldova Status: Will Shape Policies | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Hostomel Airport, just outside of Kyiv.

What's going to be the impact of the EU decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries?

Well, it is a momentous decision because it opens the door for EU membership, something that quite a number of the EU member states have been reluctant to discuss previously, because they considered rightly to be such an enormous undertaking for the future, that it would be sort of too much for the European Union to be able to do in the years ahead. But now that decision will be taken, and that is something that will shape policies for quite some time to come. There's no guarantee. Things can go wrong in the meantime. Turkey is an example of that. And it's a long slog ahead to align with all of the policies and the practices of the European Union in the years ahead. Part of that has already been done with the free trade agreement, the DCFTA, that was after some controversy, to put it very mildly, signed in 2014, but now the door will be open and the road to EU membership will begin. But before that, need to say, the war that was begun here at this very spot, will have to be won. And we are very far from that as of yet.

Russia Plays Hardball With Blockage of Ukraine Grain Exports | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden shares his view from Bratislava, Slovakia.

What's going to be the effect of the EU sanctions on Russian oil exports?

Well, that's going to be somewhat dependent on what happens primarily with oil price. If the oil price were to go up, then in spite of exporting less quantities, Russia will probably earn more money. If the oil price goes down or stays stable, they will be able to gain less, especially since they will have to export at significant discount prices to the people that are ready to buy their oil. So remains to be seen, but a significant step.

Is there any prospect for really releasing all of the grain for the world markets from Ukraine, that Russia is blocking?

It doesn't look very good. Russia is saying "well, well, well, we can lift the blockage of the Black Sea, but that's only if you lift all of the sanctions on us", so they're playing hardball. But effectively, they are now using the restrictions on grain and other products coming out of Ukraine as a weapon against the rest of the world. And that is of course affecting a lot of people. Different studies say that we have perhaps up to 400 million people, in the poorer part of the world, that's going to be very hardly hit by these particular aspects of the brutal Russian aggression.

Davos 2022: A World of Geopolitical Conflicts & Security Issues | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden shares his view from the 2022 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

What are the topics and discussions going on in Davos, this year?

It's a very different Davos. It's fewer people. There are obviously no Russians. They are banned from here, rightly so. There are hardly any Chinese. And a lot of the discussion is, of course, where is the world heading? This is not the world that Davos wanted to create. It's a world of geopolitical conflicts. It's a world of security issues. But it's a world where we still need to come together and see if we can find common solution on the green transition, on the digital issues, and after all, also on peace and war.

Finland & Sweden Joining NATO Will Strengthen NATO As Western Alliance | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Nuuk, Greenland.

Will Sweden and Finland join NATO?

Well, they have decided, Finland is in the process of a parliamentary process. Sweden took the government decision today to apply for membership of NATO. That means that they will hand in their applications within a day or two, that’s dependent upon some technical details. And then it is up to the NATO members to decide whether they will be accepted or not. It’s welcomed by most countries. The Russian reaction, so far, has been perhaps somewhat more subdued than you could expect; they have other issues to deal with at the moment. There are some problems with Mr. Erdogan in Turkey who wants to extract some concessions on completely unrelated issues. But I would hope, and I would guess, that this would be sorted out. And this will no doubt strengthen NATO as a Western alliance, a cohesive alliance, determined to do its contribution to the stability of Europe with the support also of the administration in Washington.

EU & India Restart Relationship and Trade Negotiations | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from London.

What was the significance of Indian Prime Minister Modi's tour in Europe?

I think it was important. There is an attempt to restart the relationship primarily between the European Union and India. Ursula von der Leyen was in Delhi and now Modi has been to Berlin. He has met all of the Nordic prime ministers. He was in Paris. There has been a restart of trade negotiations, always difficult with India. And there's been setting up the Trade and Technology Council between India and the EU. It could be something, remains to be seen.

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Macron Needs to Secure Parliamentary Majority | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from New Delhi, India.

What's the number one challenge for President Macron now, when he's been reelected?

First, of course, he has been reelected. That's highly important. He's the first French president to be reelected for a second term in 20 years. That's quite an achievement. But he now needs to secure some sort of parliamentary majority, and that election is coming up in a couple of weeks. That's going to be critical for all of his domestic reform agenda, which remains critical for the future of France.

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Ukraine Updates: Massive War Crimes Committed by Putin | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Santa Monica, California:

Has Russia committed genocide in Ukraine?

Well, that's for the legal experts to sort out. There's a somewhat more liberal use of that particular term in American political debate than in Europe. In Europe, we are somewhat more careful with the use of that particular word for obvious historical reasons. But there's no question whatsoever that massive war crimes have been committed, and that primarily Putin has committed the number one crime on the international law, and that is aggression against another country. No question whatsoever.

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