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Travelers from Russia cross the border to Georgia.

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Would you accept Russian draft dodgers?

In the week since Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization, roughly 200,000 draft-eligible Russian men have fled the country, preferring to live in Russia’s neighboring countries as refugees rather than as invading soldiers.

But while most of Russia’s post-Soviet neighbors have welcomed them, the European Union – which has already all but stopped issuing visas to Russians anyway – is split over how to handle a fresh wave of asylum-seekers coming from a country that the bloc is now all-but-directly at war with.

The EU’s president, Charles Michel, says members should admit them as conscientious objectors. Germany and France have signaled a willingness to do so. But the Baltic states, those nearest the Russian border, have a different view: nothing doing.

What’s the right policy? Here are some arguments both for and against rejecting Russian asylum-seekers.

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Putin Believes He Can Escalate Out Of This Situation. Experts Don’t. | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia struggles in Ukraine, Putin escalates

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Seoul, South Korea.

What's the European reaction to what Mr. Putin has just announced?

Well, it's fairly obvious that Mr. Putin is under substantial pressure, from his military failures on the front line with Ukraine, and from his diplomatic failures on the global political front. And he believes that he can escalate himself out of this situation. I mean, experts don't really believe that's possible, certainly not on the diplomatic front and most probably not on the military front either. So what's happening is that he's is in a hole and he is digging. And it is not going to end well, this particular story. The European reaction, is to increase support for Ukraine.

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Europe Supports Ukraine Despite Energy Crisis: EU's Von der Leyen | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Europe supports Ukraine despite energy crisis: EU’s von der Leyen

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.

What were the main points of the commission President Ursula von der Leyen's State of Europe speech?

Well, the first point was obviously support for Ukraine in different forms. And she highlighted in particular the need to get Ukraine full access to the European internal market, thus facilitating the long-term development of the Ukrainian economy. The second item that she dealt with quite a lot was, of course, the energy crisis in order to bear and handle the winter as the Russians are cutting the gas.

Second question: what's going to happen in Sweden after the recent election?

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US Eager to Work With China on Clean Hydrogen, Says Energy Secretary | GZERO World

Climate action: an "oasis of diplomacy" for US/China, says Energy Secretary Granholm

China is the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases. Despite a recent chill in ties over Taiwan, President Biden is eager to reengage Beijing on things like clean hydrogen, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Natural gas prices make EU power costs soar

EU natural gas prices have gone through the roof since Russia invaded Ukraine and cut off gas flows. This has sent European electric bills soaring — to the point that Brussels is ready to intervene in energy markets to protect consumers.

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Russia Will Cut All Gas To Europe By Winter | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia may cut off Europe's gas; sanctions will hold

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

Will Russia cutting gas sanctions to Europe lead to the EU lifting sanctions?

I don't see it. I've got to tell you, I do think that Russia will cut all of the gas to Europe by winter. It's where their leverage is, but let's keep in mind these are EU sanctions unanimously supported by all EU member states. That means that individual countries that don't like them don't suddenly break from the EU. Would have to come to that agreement. They're not going to. We've gone through seven rounds now. It's quite something. I do think you could see individual European countries start trying to pressure the Ukrainians to get to the negotiating table. Maybe even accept some loss of territory, which the Ukrainians will be very loathe to do. We'll watch that carefully. But the sanctions, the sanctions are not going away. They're not going away at all.

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North Korean soldiers on a vehicle carrying rockets during a military parade in Pyongyang.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

What We’re Watching: Russia buys North Korean arms, EU tilts at windfalls, Indonesians take to the streets

Russia scrambles for weapons

Newly declassified US intelligence claims that Russia is buying millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea. If true, this is yet more evidence that a Russian military leadership expecting a quick victory in Ukraine following its Feb. 24 invasion has badly miscalculated both Russia’s capabilities and the intensity and effectiveness of Ukrainian military resistance. The weaponry North Korea is providing is not the high-tech, precision-guided munitions that US and European export controls are designed to prevent Russia from producing. These are basic weapons that Russia appears unable to produce in needed quantities. US intelligence also suggests that a significant number of drones Russia has been forced to purchase from Iran have proven defective. These revelations underscore two important problems for Russia. First, Western sanctions are badly disrupting Russian supply lines, making it impossible for the Russian arms industry to produce the weapons that Russia would need to win the war in Ukraine. Second, while China remains happy to buy Russian oil, it has so far proven unwilling to defy US warnings not to violate weapons and parts sanctions against Moscow.

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Europe Apprehensive About Liz Truss, New UK Prime Minister | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

How new UK PM Liz Truss will impact UK/EU relations

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Riga, Latvia.

What's the European attitude to Liz Truss as the new prime minister of the United Kingdom?

Well, welcome to her. It has to be said that I think the jury's still out. There are sort of some apprehensions because she's dug herself down into some pretty unconstructive positions concerning the UK relationship with the EU. I hope she can get out of that because we do need a better relationship between the EU and the UK.

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