Armenia and Azerbaijan flareup gets Russia involved
Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.
Are Armenia and Azerbaijan on the brink of another war?
Yesterday, it did look that way. The Azeris engaging in drone and artillery strikes literally into the homeland of Armenia, not contested territory, clearly linked to the fact that the Russians have had serious problems over the last several days in Ukraine and they are the big supporter, big ally of Armenia. Fortunately, it looks like we have a cease fire now and the Russians are engaging quite quickly with both sides to try to reduce the temperature. Engage in deconfliction. How the Turks are playing in all of this, because clearly they would've known before these Azeris were going to make those strikes, that's an interesting question. Watch that pretty carefully over the coming hours.
What do both Xi and Putin hope to take away from their upcoming meeting?
Different things. I think if you are Russia, you are pretty desperate to have the Chinese show themselves as your strongest ally on the global stage. China, of course, not very interested in that and we saw that with the Chinese number three to Xi Jinping in Vladivostok last week, didn't even mention Ukraine and all that. The Russians, of course would've loved for them to say, "No, the Russians are fighting the good fight." China wants none of it. But in terms of buying lots of oil at a significant discount and even announcing going forward they're going to start building out more gas infrastructure so that they can take advantage of the fact that the Russians will no longer be producing and supplying to the Europeans, I think we're going to move in that direction. Both sides are interested in that.
Does US inflation dampen Biden's economic plan?
A little of course, but more importantly, it's negative for midterms. The fact that we saw energy prices over the last couple months every day going down was a big deal. Some of the Republicans running increasingly recognizing that inflation was not going to be the top priority in being able to defeat the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. A challenging CPI inflation number earlier today does make that narrative work more effectively for the Republicans, but it's going to be tight certainly in the Senate. At this point, it is close to a coin flip. The House, on the other hand, still hard to see it going any other way than a shift to the Republican Party.