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Afghans Could Face Struggle for Humanitarian Aid After Earthquake | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Afghanistan earthquake adds to woes on economy, hunger & women's rights

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60:

Will the Afghan earthquake worsen the situation there?

It is a pretty substantial earthquake. Looks like hundreds are dead. And of course, this is on the back of the Taliban taking over, the economy falling apart, a lot of food stress and women being knocked back into the Stone Age. So much that had been fought for over 20 years, trillions of dollars spent. The focus of course recently has been all about Ukraine. And of course the global impact there is much bigger, but we should not forget that the reality of life at Afghanistan today for anyone that wants to be a free citizen and particularly for women and young women is absolutely unconscionable. Not a lot of support after the initial outreach for those that are trying to get out to become refugees to be welcomed in other countries. This is a disaster. It deserves humanitarian aid, even though it has to go through the Taliban and certainly deserves allowing more Afghans to get out. That is a big problem.

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EU Decision to Grant Ukraine & Moldova Status: Will Shape Policies | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine & Moldova are on the path to EU membership

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Hostomel Airport, just outside of Kyiv.

What's going to be the impact of the EU decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries?

Well, it is a momentous decision because it opens the door for EU membership, something that quite a number of the EU member states have been reluctant to discuss previously, because they considered rightly to be such an enormous undertaking for the future, that it would be sort of too much for the European Union to be able to do in the years ahead. But now that decision will be taken, and that is something that will shape policies for quite some time to come. There's no guarantee. Things can go wrong in the meantime. Turkey is an example of that. And it's a long slog ahead to align with all of the policies and the practices of the European Union in the years ahead. Part of that has already been done with the free trade agreement, the DCFTA, that was after some controversy, to put it very mildly, signed in 2014, but now the door will be open and the road to EU membership will begin. But before that, need to say, the war that was begun here at this very spot, will have to be won. And we are very far from that as of yet.

Ukrainian kids celebrate International Children's Day In Krakow, Poland.

Beata Zawrzel via Reuters Connect

War, reforms & bureaucracy will decide Ukraine’s EU bid

It’s at war for its survival, yet Ukraine’s candidacy for European Union membership has just been endorsed. While success would be a game-changer for Kyiv, getting there won’t be easy, given the required internal reforms, international bureaucracy, and shifting geopolitics.

The European Commission is clear that Ukraine must carry out serious reforms to join the bloc, but some tough questions need to be answered. Does Ukraine deserve to be an EU member? What about the stringent process and requirements? Is there a natural tie-in to NATO membership? And what are the politics at play, given that Moldova, another former Soviet republic Russia considers to be in its sphere of influence, has been approved, while Georgia has not.

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Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrive for a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ludovic Marin/ Reuters

Ukraine’s long road to EU membership

The European Commission — the European Union’s executive branch — announced Friday that it would back Ukraine’s bid to become an EU member state. Such a hard-hitting decision by Brussels seemed like a longshot before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent shockwaves throughout the world. While this is just the first step in an accession process that could take a decade, it sends a powerful message of solidarity to Kyiv – and a strong warning to Vladimir Putin.

What happens now? The bid will go to a vote by the European Council on June 23-24 and will require the backing of all 27 member states to move forward, a process that can often be tumultuous. If the Council approves Ukraine’s candidacy, Kyiv will be required to introduce a host of significant economic, legal, and political reforms to meet the Commission’s criteria. This would be a massive feat for Ukraine, a country that has long been crippled by corruption and graft. Indeed, in normal times, this process can take 5-10 years, and the presence of an ongoing war will only draw out this process. What’s more, since 21 of the 27 EU states are also NATO members, membership to the EU will likely be perceived as a threat by Putin, and the Union’s expansion eastward as a sign of opportunity for countries like Georgia that are also vying to join the bloc. This makes the process even more complex. However, the Commission’s opinion suggested that one day — even far in the future — Ukraine’s membership to the EU could become a reality.

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