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Austrian Chancellor Nehammer's Meeting with Putin: No Optimism | World In :60 | GZERO Media

No optimism after Austrian leader’s meeting with Putin on Ukraine

After Austrian Chancellor Nehammer's meeting with Putin, will more peace talks become possible? Is Shanghai's lockdown a humanitarian crisis? With the US inflation rate rising to 8.5%, what will happen if imposing further sanctions against Russia? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

After Austrian Chancellor Nehammer's meeting with Putin, will more peace talks become possible?

Was the first time a foreign leader from Europe actually met Putin in person in the seven weeks since the war has occurred. Did not go anywhere, no optimism, lots of war crimes, and the Russians are sending more troops into the Donbas as we speak. It seems pretty clear that Putin intends to declare victory. And before that happens, it is hard to imagine any utility of further negotiations. Doesn't mean you can't try. But I think we have to wait, frankly, until the military situation on the ground plays out more fully and then perhaps we might be able to get some form of frozen conflict or ceasefire. That's kind of where we are right now.

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What We're Watching: Anti-lockdown protests turn violent in Europe

Europe anti-lockdown protests get violent. Pockets of unrest spread across Europe in recent days as tens of thousands gathered in several cities across the continent to protest government measures aimed at curbing a fast-spreading wave of COVID-19. Violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and police in The Hague and Rotterdam where Dutch cops opened fire at an increasingly aggressive crowd protesting the tightening of restrictions. Meanwhile, more that 35,000 people turned out in Brussels, while large crowds rocked Vienna, protesting fresh lockdowns that initially targeted only the unvaccinated, as well as new vaccine mandates. The state of the pandemic in Europe is not good. Germany recorded more than 48,000 new cases Sunday, the highest on record, prompting new lockdowns in the lead-up to Christmas, while deaths across the continent are also rising since the summer months, though they remain well below pre-vaccine levels. What's more, far-right groups, like Austria's Freedom Party, are taking advantage of COVID fatigue and anti-vaxx sentiment to encourage people to defy government rules and sow chaos.

Migrants walk towards the Bruzgi-Kuznica Bialostocka border crossing in an attempt to cross the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno Region, Belarus November 15, 2021.

Leonid Scheglov/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: EU vs everyone, Austria vs the unvaccinated, India vs smog, Barbados vs real world

The EU targets "everyone!" The EU on Monday unanimously agreed to impose fresh sanctions on "everyone involved" in bringing migrants to the Belarus-Poland border, where a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis continues as thousands of asylum-seekers shiver in makeshift camps. Brussels says Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has deliberately created this crisis to strike back against existing EU sanctions that were imposed in response to his sham re-election last year and his hijacking of a RyanAir flight this summer. Reports show that Belarus loosened visa restrictions for migrants — largely from Iraq — to serve as a transit point for migrants hoping to cross the EU border to apply for asylum. Details of the new sanctions aren't yet decided, but they are likely to target political officials, travel agencies, and airlines. Lukashenko has vowed to fight back, but he won't cut off the Russian gas flows that traverse his country on the way to Europe — Vladimir Putin quickly slapped down that possibility after Lukashenko raised it over the weekend. The question remains: will EU sanctions change Belarus' behavior?

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Europe Copes With Terrorism | Poland's Massive Abortion Rights Protest | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Europe copes with terrorism; Poland's massive abortion rights protest

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:

What is going on with the recent terrorist attacks in Europe?

Well, there have been both the attacks in - one in Paris, the awful beheading, the subsequent attack in Nice, and the attack in Vienna. They've all been evidently acts by individuals without any planning, without any coordination, without any sort of major other thing behind it. That's the good news. The bad news is, of course, that these things happen. And it's very difficult for the security authorities to deal with. I mean, the Vienna case, it's obvious that there had been warnings about this particular individual, and I'm quite certain that will be quite a number of questions to be answered about that later on.

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