Boris Johnson's days are numbered as UK PM; Blinken, Biden, Putin & Ukraine
Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week, discussing Boris Johnson's tenuous status as UK PM, US Secretary of State Blinken's visit to Ukraine, and the volcano eruption in Tonga:
Will Boris Johnson resign?
It certainly looks that way. He's hanging on by his fingernails. He's losing members of Parliament. He's giving shambolic media interviews. In fact, I think the only people that don't want him to resign at this point is the Labour Party leadership, because they think the longer he holds on, the better it is for the UK opposition. But no, he certainly looks like he's going. The only question is how quickly. Is it within a matter of weeks or is it after local elections in May? But feel pretty confident that the days of Boris Johnson are numbered.
Will US Secretary of State Blinken's visit to Ukraine make any progress?
It's interesting you ask about Ukraine because, of course, you need to make progress not just with the Russians, but also the Ukrainians, because publicly they've been pushing the Americans and others very hard to offer them NATO membership, a membership action plan, none of which is forthcoming and furthermore, they don't look like much of a democracy when they're engaged in charges that look very made up, calling the former president a traitor for cutting a deal on coal to try to keep Ukraine economically functioning with members of the occupied territories of former Ukraine. But in any case, I think that the big question here is whether or not there's any room for negotiation with the Russians. There, I don't think Blinken is a breakthrough. Blinken could get the maneuver for an additional Putin-Biden conversation and there, I think it's not over. I think there still is an opportunity. So I'm not someone who believes that war is in any means inevitable here and also keep in mind that the Americans are not going to defend the Ukrainians directly in terms of defense. So the likelihood that this explodes in a maximal way is still pretty limited.
What do we know about Tonga's volcano eruption?
Well, we knew when we saw Tonga in the news that it probably wasn't going to be anything good. It's a volcano. It's a major tsunami, warnings of more. The good news is it's not in any way climate change related. Most natural disasters these days are. And also, Tonga only has a total population of 100,000. The bad news is they're at risk and three of them apparently dead and they need help and they need water and they need humanitarian support and it's hard to get there. And any of you that had vacations planned for Tonga in the coming months, I think those have been dashed.