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What We're Watching: Merkel's Putin pipeline dilemma, India-China border clash, Morales setback in Bolivia

Putin, Merkel and a poison pipeline: As the evidence mounts that Russian state actors were behind the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has threatened to punish Vladimir Putin by imposing sanctions on a critical gas pipeline that is meant to link Russia to Germany. Navalny has been receiving treatment in Germany, and so far Moscow has ignored Merkel's demands for a thorough accounting of the attempt on his life, which occurred nearly two weeks ago in a Siberian airport. This has put Merkel in a tough spot: on the one hand, stopping construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline would inflict a huge blow on gas-exporting Russia. But German business groups and international investors in the project are pressuring her to keep politics separate from the nearly-complete project, which is meant to massively increase gas imports for German factories and households.

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What's going on with the far right in Germany?

A few days ago, despite an ongoing pandemic, nearly 40,000 people poured into the streets of Berlin to express outrage at the government's handling of the crisis. Some of them called on Putin and Trump to "liberate" the country.

Many observers have since interpreted the mass protests as a show of strength by Germany's far-right movement, particularly the populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD), the largest opposition party in the Bundestag that triumphed in the 2017 national elections. But is this really a sign of the growing prominence of the far right, or are there other dynamics at play?

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Merkel calls for Navalny poisoning inquiry; why Phil Hogan resigned

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

What is the story with the resignation of the EU trade commissioner, Phil Hogan?

Well, he was unwise in that he didn't respect the rules and the regulations that are there for how to behave in these Covid times. It was primarily Irish regulations or Irish recommendations that he didn't adhere to. And accordingly, there was the strong urge by the government in Dublin that he should resign. And that he did, by his own choice. And now we'll see who will succeed him in that very important position.

What's going to be the European reaction to the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny in Moscow?

I think the reaction so far has been strong. Particularly Berlin, they were keen to get him to the hospital in Berlin. They did thorough investigations and they declared, yes, he has been poisoned. And Chancellor Merkel made a very strong statement saying that he has been poisoned, those responsible have to be put into account or to account, and there has to be independent investigations. That being said, everyone knows where responsibility lies. Everyone knows there will be no investigation. Everyone knows those responsible will not be held to account. This is Russia as we have it today.

Is Angela Merkel staging a comeback?

Six months ago, after 14 years in power, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's star appeared to be waning. Her coalition government was taking a hit in the polls, prompting some members of her once-loyal bloc to go rogue. Meanwhile, the European Union was as fragmented as ever, and concerns about Merkel's health sparked rumors that she could be forced to hand the reins over to a successor even before her long-planned move to step down next year.

Now, Merkel's competent handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Germany has burnished her image at home and abroad. What will this mean for her political legacy?

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Angela Merkel is interviewing

After 15 years in power, the German Chancellor is having trouble finding a successor.

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