Russia, Vladimir Putin, Sajid Javid discussed on Monocle 24: The Briefing


Had a plan to go around and didn't turn up. And I think that's a sign that there is a gap at the moment in the government's communication strategy. And whether someone like Sajid javid can fill the gap that Boris Johnson is basically created. It's a big test I think for him and the government. Well, we'll definitely continue to follow this George. Thank you very much. That was the FT's political editor George Parker in Westminster. Now here's Monica's car lot of rubella with the days other news headlines. Thanks, Chris. A spokesman for the World Health Organization has said existing vaccines should still protect people who contract the omicron variant of COVID-19 from severe illness. The WHO's doctor Mike Ryan added that there was no sign on Macron is better at evading vaccines than other strains of the virus. Australia has said it will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. Prime minister Scott Morrison said the decision was in response to human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang province. Australia, like the U.S. will still allow athletes to compete at the games. And the French fashion powerhouse Chanel has opened its new 19 M facility in Paris. It's home to a wealth of artisans working with long-standing specialist manufacturing techniques. You can find out more about the sprawling building, which is set to formally open next year by heading over to Monaco dot com for slash minutes. Those are today's headlines. Back to you in Zürich, Chris. Thanks very much. And we can report that in the last few minutes, Johnson has denied once again that any rules were broken at the Downing Street Christmas party, but he has also apologized for the video of his staff and ordered an inquiry. We'll continue to follow that story as it develops. But for now, we're going to turn to Russia and the U.S.. It is fair to say that tensions between the Ukraine and Russia reached another fever pitch in the last week, and the level of tensions between the U.S. and Russia is probably not that far behind. Yesterday saw Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin hold a more than two hour conversation with Biden voicing deep concerns over the Russian troop buildup along the Ukrainian border and threatening robust responses if Russia were to invade. The Vladimir Putin for his part is seeking guarantees that NATO will not gain a foothold in the Ukraine, leaders in Kyiv have praised Washington's unwavering support, but the big question, of course, is will all this be enough to restore a degree of normalcy on the Ukraine Russia border. Well, I'm joined here in the studio now by Florian egle and he's a senior associate at the Swiss foreign policy think tank for us and also by rob Cox editor of Reuters breaking views. Welcome to the briefing. Both of you could have your back back on. Florian, let's start with you. What do you look for, I suppose from such big set meetings between world leaders. Do they really achieve anything or is it more about both leaders talking tough? In this case, I think it was really, I guess, kind of, again, after they've met in person in Geneva, in summary, it was again Vladimir Putin trying to get on the map. And in some sense, you could say, almost the more and more desperately trying to get on the map, you know, and that with a troop buildup and with all of these signs that did Russia is still a very, very strong country. And I think in some sense, this put Biden administration in a difficult position because there isn't really anything to negotiate and yet there is some sign some accommodation signs to be made, but not really anything to concede. So I think not much was expected from this two hour talk. And as far as I read now, not much came out either because in a sense, all the threats on both sides are probably not very credible. So it is kind of a political it's a bit of a political show to some extent and yes, there is not much negotiations or concessions either side can make at the moment, I think. Well, then given that rob, what do you think of how Joe Biden managed this meeting as Florian said it's a bit of an almost manufactured tension that we have at the moment, perhaps how does he toe that line? I think a lot of the theater is you describe it Florida is for domestic consumption. This is Vladimir Putin, as you say, needs to show that Russia a an economy less than a tenth the size of the United States. Smaller indeed than South Korea with a huge COVID problem with the end of the hydrocarbons era, basically spells goodnight to rush over the next 20 years. So you have to see this as it's about bulking himself up domestically. But also with the same could probably be said about Joe Biden, his approval ratings are quite low. He's going into 2022, there's going to be a congressional election. I don't see any way that the Democrats don't get absolutely plastered in November. I don't mean drunk. Shellacked. They lose seats and they probably lose the house. So I think the idea that he's kind of taking on a muscular response to this buildup probably plays pretty well. He did his usual Joe Biden smiley. He was quite it sounded like it wasn't exactly contentious, despite the fact that we're talking at least some people like to consider it like a potential war. But this makes Joe brings us back to the Joe Biden standing in front of the Corvette with his sunglasses on looking like the tough guy, which probably also helps him politically at home. What do you think in that sense it's a miscalculation just rob on that? In a way that the fact that Russia wanted this even though they're not actually the superpower that Biden is in a way, giving them credit for being. I don't know. There's certainly this The Pentagon probably didn't mind him going and suggesting that there is a potential threat here. It is, look, he is like a gnat on the back of Europe's behind. He's here on the edge of Europe. This is a problem actually more for the European Union. Frankly than it is for NATO or the U.S. and it is a problem for NATO, because they are amassing troops. There has been this conflict or state of no peace between the eastern Ukraine. But I don't think anyone could imagine that the United States or NATO for that matter has a whole lot of stomach right now for boots on the ground, a big fight over Ukraine, even if Ukraine, perhaps.

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