Three days after U.S. President Joe Biden returned to Washington from a controversial visit to Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Tehran with a complex set of goals of his own. Much like Biden, who aimed to strengthen Washington’s ties in the region, Putin sought to bolster Russia’s relations in the Middle East. The meeting in Iran showcased the awkward relationship between these two dictatorial regimes and their oil-rich nations, both of which have been subjected to Western economic sanctions. By embracing one another, Putin and Iran’s supreme leader aimed to show that they are not pariahs.
The news of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s resignation is causing despondence in Brussels. The announcement will throw Italy into months of political turmoil and risks ushering in a new far-right government in the next general election, which is scheduled for this fall. Draghi’s resignation caps off a week of drama in Rome that kicked off when the Five Star Movement, or 5SM—the largest party in Italy’s parliament and the bedrock of the prime minister’s unity coalition—announced that it would not take part in a confidence motion last week, effectively torpedoing Draghi’s government. Draghi initially offered to resign the premiership [...]
Just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Europe still reeled in shock, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declared that it was time for what he called a Zeitenwende, or sea change, in how the country approaches national and collective defense. Announcing huge increases in Germany’s defense budget, Scholz’s speech to the Bundestag—the German Parliament—on Feb. 27 represented an epochal shift in Germany’s strategic priorities. But it also reflected a wider reassessment across the European Union over how to respond to military threats facing Europe’s neighborhood. The dilemmas that rapid rearmament has raised for Germany are vast. Having been worn down through [...]