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Podcast: A former US diplomat rates Biden’s first presidential trip abroad

Listen: Former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder weighs in on US President Joe Biden's first trip abroad, which included a very important first stop at the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, and the way forward for the US and its closest friends. Did he convince allies that "America is back" and ready to resume its leadership role in global affairs? And if so, does it even matter if Americans still need to be convinced that US engagement in the world is vital? Daalder speaks with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Combating cybercrime a focus at G7 and Biden-Putin summits

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Cyber issues took center stage at the G7 summit. Is there a consensus among world leaders on how to handle cyberweapons?

Well, depending on who is included, there is a growing consensus that the escalations of conflict in cyberspace must stop. And G7 leaders that are now all representing democracies did call on Russia to hold perpetrators of cybercrime that operate from within its borders to account. So, I guess hope dies last because laws in Russia prevents the extradition of suspects to the US, even if Vladimir Putin answered positively when Joe Biden asked for cooperation on that front. And when it comes to limiting the spread of tools that are used for hacking, surveillance and infiltration, the EU has just moved ahead and adopted new dual use regulations which reflect the concerns for human rights violations when journalists are targeted the way that Jamal Khashoggi was. So ending the proliferation of systems that are used to attack would be an urgent but also obvious step for democratic nations to agree on.

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NATO’s role as a deterrent is still critically important to the US

In his New York Times op-ed, Stephen Wertheim says that Americans should "want no part" in NATO. It's a provocative argument, but misses the mark, according to Ian Bremmer, who breaks out the Red Pen with Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst to argue that now is not the time for the US to back out of NATO.

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Why Joe Biden, Russia skeptic, wants to work with Russia

Joe Biden may not trust Vladimir Putin, but he's willing to work with Russia as a "predictable, stable" partner. For Ivo Daalder, former US Representative to NATO, that's somewhat surprising because he regards Biden as the most skeptical about Russia — and Putin himself — of all the post-Cold War US presidents.

Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the upcoming episode of GZERO World, which begins airing on US public television this Friday, June 18. Check local listings.

What to expect from Biden-Putin summit; Israel-Hamas tenuous ceasefire holds

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

How did the Biden-Putin summit go?

Well, we don't know, because it's not over yet, but I'll tell you, the opening, the opening looked fine. They shook hands. They're well prepped. Putin had to be on time because Biden was coming later. That made it a little bit easier. I think this is so overdone. This is not Gorbachev-Reagan. This is Russia in the context of a much more important strategic priority, China, for the United States. I expect little is going to come out, in terms of substance. The meeting will be cordial. There will be some desire to work together on things like arms control. The big question will be, what exactly is said, and if anything is committed to on cyberattacks, how the US is going to respond because so far Biden's looked pretty weak on that issue.

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Is there actually a bromance between Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko?

Do Russian president Vladimir Putin and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko actually have a good relationship, as photos of them together on Putin's yacht would suggest? Exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya commented, "You know, the strangest thing, maybe the most obvious thing, is that the whole world understands that these two people are not friends. They are making this picture to try to persuade the Russians and the world that they are together." The reality, in her opinion, is that Moscow may be looking for suitable candidates to replace Lukashenko in a new election, because the crisis in Belarus is very inconvenient for the Kremlin. Tsikhanouskaya would prefer that Russia not interfere with Belarusian politics, she said in a conversation with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: The fight for democracy in Europe's last dictatorship

The Graphic Truth: Whom do Russians see as their friends?

As anyone who's spent time in Russia or studied the language a bit knows, Russians have a particular concept of "friendship." The Russian word for friend, droog, suggests a relationship vastly deeper, more intimate, and durable than what usually passes for a "friend" in English. Russians have a different word for that — znakomiy (acquaintance). So what countries do Russians consider their "friends" and "enemies?" The latest poll from the independent Moscow-based Levada Center has answers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US tops the "enemy" list these days. But right there in second place is Ukraine — a country where many Russians have strong family and historical ties. Things have soured since a 2014 popular revolution ousted a Kremlin-friendly president, prompting Russia to annex Crimea and provoke a civil war in the East. But who would you guess tops Russians' droog list? Have a look here.

The small aims of the big Putin-Biden summit

Joe Biden is meeting with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, and the first thing to say about that is: temper your expectations.

US-Russia relations are at their worst point since the end of the Cold War and perhaps even before that. The US has imposed dozens of economic sanctions on Russia over election meddling, human rights abuses, and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

On a personal level, it's worse: Ronald Reagan may not have fully trusted the Soviets, but he never said — as Biden has done of Putin — that Mikhail Gorbachev was a murderer with no soul. At least not publicly.

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