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Europe's rising COVID cases require new action; tragedy in France

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

What is happening with COVID in Europe?

Well, we see infections on the rise virtually everywhere. It looks particularly bad at the moment in Czech Republic, in Belgium. Doesn't look good in France and Spain. Neither does it in the United Kingdom, by the way. But it has to be said, it's all over the place. So, we'll see new advice of a rather strong nature by authorities. We see regulation sometimes, we see restaurants closing down earlier, and things like that. Let's just hope for the best. So far, deaths are fairly limited so far.

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EU sanctions Lukashenko; Brexit deadline likely to be extended

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

The EU has agreed to sanction Lukashenko. What now happens?

Well, that remains to be seen. But the EU has now decided, in a sort of strengthening of its position, to sanction also Lukashenko personally. What this will lead to remains to be seen. I think we'll have to wait for what happens. The Belarusian regime is obviously under quite a lot of pressure, but it is digging in. It can still rely on its very strong repressive forces. We're in this particular conflict for the long term. But the fact that the EU is stepping up the pressure is a good sign.

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What's going on with Armenia & Azerbaijan; Turkey's relationship with the EU

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

What is going on between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

Well, it's a very longstanding conflict. There is an Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan, which has been occupied by Armenian forces since cease fire in 1994. And now, evidently, Azerbaijan is taking offensive hope into reconquer the territories. I think that's going to be very difficult. There's a risk of escalation with Russia on the Armenian side and Turkey on the Azeri side. So danger, danger, danger there.

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Will Europe act on Navalny poisoning?

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

Can Europe get to the bottom of Russian opposition leader Navalny's poisoning? And if so, would it change anything?

One has got to the bottom of it, to certain extent. The evidence, there was a German laboratory confirming nerve agent, Novichok. They sent it to a French laboratory and the Swedish independent laboratory, they came to the exact same conclusions. I mean, it's dead certain. He was poisoned with an extremely poisonous nerve agent coming from the Russian state laboratories. Now, there is a discussion underway of what to do. I mean, the Russians are refusing any sort of serious discussions about it. Surprise, surprise. And we'll see what actions will be taken. There might be some sort of international investigation within the context of the OPCW, the international organization that is there, to safeguard the integrity of the international treaties to prevent chemical weapons. But we haven't seen the end of this story yet.

Ursula von der Leyen's ambitious State of the Union speech

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

How did President Ursula von der Leyen's first State of the Union address go?

Well, rather well, I thought. She was very strong on the health and the global health issues, needless to say, but also on the necessary green and the digital transition of Europe and the enormous amount of money that will be available to that. She was more ambitious on the climate target than has been the case so far and also stressed the competitiveness of the European economy long-term. I think she will get fairly high remarks for that speech.

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