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The Battle Over Borscht | GZERO World

The battle over borscht

A lot of ink has been spilled trying to understand why Russia invaded Ukraine, but who’d have thought that soup had anything to do with it?

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Russians to Retaliate Against NATO – More Dangerous Than First Cold War | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Eastern European leaders visit Kyiv in unprecedented show of support

With three European leaders visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, that's today, does this signify a stronger EU-Ukrainian alliance? Are Western sanctions against Russia working? With cases surging, got to talk about COVID, is China's zero-COVID policy a complete failure? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

First, with three European leaders visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, that's today, does this signify a stronger EU-Ukrainian alliance?

Oh, you bet it does. And particularly from the Eastern European countries who, frankly, see this as an incredibly important issue and are trying to get the West Europeans and the United States to do even more than they already have in terms of sanctions against Russia. It's unprecedented for the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic to be heading to Kyiv to support Zelensky while it's being bombed. Certainly it shows that Putin and the success of his military campaign is not bringing any of the fruit for Russian security measures in Europe that Putin had clearly hoped for. Where this all goes in terms of a climbdown, we are not close to that. I'm still very unconvinced that negotiations are going to bear fruit, irrespective of that. But extraordinary statement from the East Europeans today.

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Ukraine Crisis: Biden's Deployment of US troops to Eastern Europe | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden deploys US troops to Eastern Europe as a deterrent

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on Biden's strategy on the Ukraine crisis.

Does Biden's decision to send troops to Eastern Europe signal that he expects a military conflict in Ukraine?

No. The deployment of 2000 additional troops accomplishes three goals. One, it acts as a deterrent to Russian aggression. Two, it reassures US allies including Poland and Romania that the US is prepared to defend them against Russia, should it come to that. And three, it potentially opens the door to additional talks between the US and Russia. Notably, these troops are not going to Ukraine. The US is not bound by any treaty to protect Ukraine and nor would it be likely to deploy troops to Ukraine if Russia does invade. But in case an invasion happens, Biden wants to signal to allies that he's prepared to escalate both by supplying additional weapons to Ukrainian forces and through sanctions that would hurt key Russian leaders and the Russian economy.

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Europe Shows Solidarity With Ukraine Despite Depending on Russian Gas | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Europe can show solidarity with Ukraine despite depending on Russian gas

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

Can Europe have solidarity with Ukraine while also being dependent on Russian gas?

Yes, it can. There is no question that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is of fundamental interest for European security. And you see that both Europeans and America are expressing concerns over what they see as possible moves on the Russian side. And clear signals are being sent in the direction of Moscow irrespective of anything that has to do with gas.

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Record US Inflation Levels Worsen Americans’ View of the Economy | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Record US inflation levels worsen Americans' view of the economy

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at rising US inflation, the migrant crisis at the Poland-Belarus border, and the draft deal of the COP26 climate agreement.

US inflation hits its highest level in three decades. How will the Biden administration be impacted?

Well, it's not well. I mean, the economy is doing very well right now. We're getting all of these record levels in the markets. And companies have extraordinary profits, and growth is going gangbusters. So it's not stagflation. But I mean, the inflation levels on top of the fact that it's Christmas season coming up, and people are exhausted from dealing with COVID, is making people feel much worse about the economy otherwise would. I don't think we've ever seen this kind of a gap between economic reality and expectations and Biden's ability to do a lot on inflation is very limited at this point. I mean, he's pushing OPEC to produce more energy, which is a problem with the COP summit, but at the end of the day, I mean, this has a lot more to do with the massive explosion of post-COVID supply and demand growth, and all coming online at the same time. Plus labor shortages. It's not something that's easy for them to deal with. So I think it's going to be a challenge for them for months, but elections aren't for a year so the timing is not so horrible.

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Polish service members and police officers are seen behind a barbed wire fence as hundreds of migrants gather on the Belarusian-Polish border in an attempt to cross it in the Grodno region, Belarus November 9, 2021.

Leonid Scheglov/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

The EU’s big Eastern problems

Let's take a trip along the eastern fringes of the EU today, where two big problems are brewing at a time when Brussels seems particularly unable to respond effectively.

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G20 Summit To Focus on COVID-19 While Eastern Europe Faces a New Surge | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

G-20 summit to focus on COVID-19 as Eastern Europe faces a new surge

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What is happening with COVID in Europe?

Well, primarily the east of Europe is a worrying situation. Russia has substantially more than a thousand deaths every day. And Bulgaria, Romania, difficulty for the Baltic states at the moment are surging infection rates. Vaccination rates must improve. It's primarily a problem, of course, in Russia, where people don't have trust in the vaccine and trust in the records.

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Protest rally against COVID-19 vaccinations on 30 August 2021 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Hristo Vladev/NurPhoto

The world’s worst COVID outbreak (for now)

Right now, only one region of the world is reporting an increase in new daily COVID cases. Here's a hint: it's one of the places where vaccines are, for the most part, easiest to get.

It's Europe. According to the World Health Organization, the region last week notched a 7 percent uptick in new daily infections, the third week in a row that infections rose there.

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