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Biden speaks to Scholz during an EU leaders summit in Brussels.

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

What We're Watching: US-EU gas deal, Putin's ruble ruse, China-India meeting

EU signs US gas deal amid Biden's European trip

US President Joe Biden kicked off his meetings in Europe on Thursday with a few big salvos. Ship more weapons and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians? Check. Welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the US? Check. Zoom with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky? Of course. Biden also said Russia should be booted from the G20, a grouping of the world's largest economies, ahead of a summit later this year in Indonesia.

The G-7 countries and the EU leveled new sanctions on Thursday against more than 400 Russians, including members of the Russian legislature. But the allies still aren't giving Zelensky what he really wants: a NATO-enforced no-fly zone to let civilians escape Russian attacks.

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Bundweswehr logo on German soldiers' uniforms.

Imago images/Gerhard Leber via Reuters Connect

In a historic shift, Germany decides to bolster armed forces

The shockwaves from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit Germany hard. For much of the post-World War II era, change in German politics, when it occurred, tended to be gradual. But the horror of war in nearby Ukraine has triggered an abrupt and momentous change of German foreign and defense policies. After years of starving its armed forces of resources and of acquiescence to aggressive behavior by Russia, Europe’s economic powerhouse has announced accelerated plans to beef up its military and backed crippling sanctions against Russia. We spoke to Eurasia Group expert Naz Masraff to get more insight into this dramatic shift and its implications.

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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Major Escalation This Week | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Major escalation this week

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on the major escalation this week over the big issue everyone is worried about: Russia and Ukraine.

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. And I'm on the ground in Munich where the sun is popping through. I wish I could say that that had some symbolism. It does not appear this way. It is the first major security confab to come together post-pandemic or in pandemic. And there's still all sorts of vigorous rules and regulations on how few people can come and everyone wearing masks and social distancing. But the major leaders are all arriving, and they're arriving at a time of extreme geopolitical concern.

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Russian & Ukrainian Negotiators Discuss Solutions For Donbas Conflict| Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Minsk agreement a path to resolving Ukraine crisis

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe this week from Stockholm.

First, what's happening with the dispute with Russia?

Well, the Europeans, Paris and Berlin, are trying to revive the negotiations over the Donbas issue, the so-called Minsk format. I think that's a distinct sideshow, but of course, it would be good. But otherwise, we are waiting for the answer from Moscow, for the papers that were put on the table by Washington and by NATO, effectively rejecting most of the Russian demands, and they will see what happens thereafter.

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Scholz & Macron during a press conference in Paris.

Michael Kappeler/DPA

Euro diplomatic sweepstakes

It’s a big week for European shuttle diplomacy.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron kicked off a two-day trip to Moscow and then Kyiv, where he’s meeting the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. At the same time, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Washington, trying to convince US President Joe Biden to trust him despite being wish-washy on Russia — just a week before Scholz meets Vladimir Putin himself.

Get ready to rumble in the fight for European diplomat-in-chief.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travels to the USA for his inaugural visit.


Will the real Olaf please stand up?

On Monday, President Joe Biden will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the White House. While Angela Merkel’s successor has only been at the helm since December, the meeting still seems long overdue.

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Annie Gugliotta

2021: Groundhog Day in a G-Zero world

Did 2021 actually happen, or are we still stuck in 2020? So many things seem to have barely changed this year. After all, we’re entering yet another holiday season worried about a fresh wave of the pandemic, and uncertain about what comes next for our economies and our politics.

In a lot of ways, the past 365 days feel like a year of unfulfilled promise. Let’s have a look back at what did, and did not happen in 2021.

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Ukraine Tension Point Between Biden & Putin | Germany's New Government | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden & Putin will continue Ukraine talks; Germany’s new chancellor

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

What came out of the video conference between Presidents Biden and Putin?

Well, that's a very good question. We don't know, but they agreed to continue talking about the issues that Mr. Putin backed up by the threat of an invasion of Ukraine has put on the table. There is somewhat of a disquiet in Europe over that, but Biden has said that there's not going to be any talks about Ukraine without Ukraine at the table. This is a story that will continue for quite some time.

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