GZERO Media logo

Russian Expulsions

Russian Expulsions

In Russia and nearly two dozen Western countries, a record number of diplomats were told this week to pack their bags.


Three weeks ago, I listed the threatened British response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy under the heading “What We’re Ignoring,” because I doubted it would be substantive. I added a prediction that diplomats would be expelled.

Despite considerable media noise and some pushback from a couple of my smarter friends, I’m standing by that view. More than 20 countries, including the US, have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats. On the one hand, that’s a lot of governments publicly in agreement that Russia is guilty of the attempted murder of a foreign national on foreign soil and then lying about it. Is that enough to change Russia’s future behavior?

Be skeptical. I don’t believe the Kremlin cares very much if it has to work with fewer spies for a while. You can also safely doubt that Britain’s refusal to send a member of the royal family to next year’s World Cup, held in Russia, will make much difference either.

Maybe there was no more effective response. That’s a subject worth debating. But this is just one more story about worsening Russian-Western relations. There will soon be more to move this one off the front pages.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

"No election is conducted perfectly, and elections have all kinds of problems.We're going to have more problems because we're running an election during a pandemic." Election law expert Rick Hasen cautions that both campaigns could misconstrue honest mistakes in the administration of this week's national election as nefarious acts. The integrity of the election, he warns, could be compromised by human error and the unprecedented challenges posed by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Hasen's especially concerned about key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

With COVID increasing in France, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere, has Europe lost control of the pandemic?

Well, I wouldn't say lost control, but clearly it is a very worrying situation. With COVID increasing virtually everywhere, we see a new wave of semi-lockdowns... it's not as bad as it was in the spring... with the hope of being able to contain the surge during the month of November. Let's wait and see.

More Show less

An extended conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama and the CEO of the think tank New America. Slaughter spoke with Ian Bremmer about how a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy.

UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal