Russia struggles in Ukraine, Putin escalates
Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Seoul, South Korea.
What's the European reaction to what Mr. Putin has just announced?
Well, it's fairly obvious that Mr. Putin is under substantial pressure, from his military failures on the front line with Ukraine, and from his diplomatic failures on the global political front. And he believes that he can escalate himself out of this situation. I mean, experts don't really believe that's possible, certainly not on the diplomatic front and most probably not on the military front either. So what's happening is that he's is in a hole and he is digging. And it is not going to end well, this particular story. The European reaction, is to increase support for Ukraine.
What's the state of relations between EU and Korea?
As a matter of fact, very good. A rather extensive free trade agreement was included more than ten years ago. And since then, we have seen trade expanding by more than 70%. And today the EU countries are the biggest, largest single investor in the Korean economy ahead of Japan and ahead of the US. So it's a thriving relationship based also on free trade.