What We Watch: Biden and Putin Chat, Scholz Takes the Reins in Germany, Remain in Mexico Returns, Pécresse enters the French fray, Suu Kyi learns of her fate
World War III or not? US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are scheduled to speak by phone on Tuesday as the crisis surrounding Ukraine worsens day by day. Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops along its border with the country, and the United States warns that Putin is preparing to invade soon, although the underlying information is not public. No one really knows what Putin is up to with this stunt. Is he trying to pressure Kiev to move forward with the lopsided (but probably the best possible) Minsk peace accords of 2015? Or is the Kremlin seeking a broader NATO commitment not to expand further? Or does Putin really want to invade Ukraine? Either way, Biden has his work cut out for him. Putin is clearly more comfortable risking lives and money to preserve a sphere of influence in Ukraine than the West is, so the US president must be careful: do not draw red lines than NATO is unwilling to support, but also don’t push the situation into a larger war that no one (ideally) wants.
Take out Angela, enter omicron. Social Democrat Olaf Scholz will officially assume the post of German Chancellor on Wednesday, leading a coalition with the Greens and the Business-Friendly Free Democrats. His government has already presented plans to accelerate Germany’s transition to carbon neutrality, to strengthen European sovereignty in the face of growing challenges from Russia and China, and to curb budget spending – not only in Germany but in Europe. across Europe – as the pandemic recedes. But an immediate challenge is that the pandemic is not yet receding. Scholz will take office as cases increase. The current 7-day average of new cases in Germany is more than twice as high like the previous peak that was a year ago, before vaccine rollout. While the clearly more transmissible omicron variant is already spreading, Scholz said he is in favor of making vaccines compulsory, even as the backlash against mandates has increased in Europe.
The “Stay in Mexico” policy is back. The United States and Mexico a few days ago made a deal revive the controversial âstay in Mexicoâ policy, which requires migrants seeking entry into the United States to wait south of the border while their asylum claims are processed. The policy has forced thousands of asylum seekers to spend months, if not years, in dilapidated Mexican border towns where crime, rape and kidnapping for ransom are committed. is rife. Under the new deal, unaccompanied minors will be allowed to wait for asylum decisions in the United States, and the Biden administration has agreed to improve human rights conditions at the border, including by providing to migrants of COVID-19 vaccines. Upon taking office, Biden promised adopt a more “human” approach to migration than its predecessor, but in August the Supreme Court ruled that it should follow “Stay in Mexico”. It was also critical by rights groups for failing to reverse the Trump administration’s use of a public health rule to keep migrants out. New Mexico-U.S. Deal comes just days after Washington promised a bunch of money to Central America to help tackle the root causes of migration. What we observe: Who is candidate for the presidency in France?
Right-wing elections in France. ValÃ©rie PÃ©cresse, Minister of the government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, won a primary Saturday to lead the French conservative Les RÃ©publicains party in next year’s presidential election. PÃ©cresse is the first woman to lead the party of Charles de Gaulle and Jacques Chirac, and hopes to revitalize a party that has for the most part become irrelevant in French politics as anti-establishment sentiment grips the electorate. Mais PÃ©cresse – a mainstream conservative – has its work cut out for it in an election where the far-right torches Marine Le Pen and Ãric Zemmour hold firm in the polls. President Emmanuel Macron is still five points ahead of Le Pen, who currently sits in second place, and would garner around a quarter of the vote if the April elections were held today. But PÃ©cresse’s entry into the race could cause Macron some problems. He has tried to present himself as both a political outsider and an intermediary liberal, but he is widely seen as a tasteless ideological chameleon. Macron could now be forced to turn further to the right to attract voters who might resonate with PÃ©cresse’s strict immigration and pro-business agenda, especially amid fears that the omicron variant will force Macron to reimpose unpopular blockades.
Suu Kyi faces 100 years in prison. Monday, a Myanmar court to transmit the first verdict in the case of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was overthrown in a coup in February. Suu Kyi faces 11 counts, including bribery and disclosure of state secrets, which could lead to her in prison for more than 100 years. The UN said the accusations were a sham aimed at securing the military junta’s grip on power. To date, the trial has been closed to the media, while Suu Kyi’s lawyers have also been barred from making public statements. Suu Kyi, who is viewed by many in Myanmar as the only politician capable of leading the country’s full democratic transition, has not been seen in public since the coup. Since then the army has been accused human rights violations for suppressing peaceful anti-junta demonstrators, killing at least 1,200 people. Last weekend, the military rammed vehicles into a group of protesters, injuring dozens of people. The UN has warned that armed groups are training in the country’s jungles to overthrow the army; and that the country is on the brink of an open civil war.