Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has made alliance-management its top priority in Europe, and the extent of Western cohesion over the past year has underscored the degree to which those efforts have paid off. Yet after one year of war, U.S. leadership has encountered a paradox: It is too successful for its own good.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined with the geopolitical instability it caused made 2022 a great year to be an oil major. But while most oil producers across the globe reaped profits, Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex struggled financially and enters 2023 with questions about its long-term viability hanging over it.
Since succeeding Donald Trump, Joe Biden has sought to repair the damage Trump did to a wide range of traditional U.S. foreign policy objectives, particularly when it came to reassuring U.S. allies and partners around the world. But Biden has left one thing he inherited form Trump relatively untouched: trade policy.
Pope Francis is in the final stretch of a six-day trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan that was framed as an opportunity to bring more international attention to the many challenges faced by the two neighbors and to deliver a message of peace, reconciliation and an end to conflict in the two countries.
Over the past year, numerous countries, led by the U.S. and EU, have leveled an unprecedented package of economic sanctions on Russia. These sanctions are both comprehensive, targeting the Russian economy in general, and specific, aimed at key Russian oligarchs who support Putin. Now, a natural question arises: Are they working?
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been increasingly emboldened in managing ties with Moscow. But while Kazakhstan has never shown more resolve in seeking to reset its relationship with Russia, the government’s relations with the country’s population have never seemed more tenuous.
Many in Ukraine watched the Czech presidential election closely as a bellwether for whether European public opinion would continue to support the delivery of military aid to Kyiv. The success of Petr Pavel over far-right populist Andrej Babis signaled the country’s desire to stick by its NATO allies.
The crisis in Peru shows no sign of easing. With the death toll climbing, protesters have now reached the capital. Meanwhile, political leaders are struggling to come to an agreement about a way out of a violent showdown that is crippling the economy, worsening poverty and threatening the survival of Peru’s democracy.
It’s hard to say what impact Cyprus’ upcoming presidential election will have on reunification, as the issue has received little attention throughout the campaign. There was a time when the “Cyprus Problem” dominated Greek Cypriot politics. But today, the political debate tends to be more focused on domestic issues.
The Labour Party is likely to win the U.K.’s next election, which must be held no later than December 2024. It might take years before efforts to tackle the party’s policy priorities yield visible outcomes. But Brexit is a major area where swift action might be matched by results in Starmer’s first 100 days in power.
Jacinda Ardern’s surprise exit from New Zealand politics has ushered in a new prime minister, Chris Hipkins. Despite the rather abrupt leadership change, Wellington is unlikely to make wholesale changes to its foreign policy, particularly when it comes to the most sensitive topic on New Zealand’s foreign affairs agenda: China.
Lebanon’s ongoing political and economic crises took more dramatic turns last week, beginning with a sit-in inside parliament by some of the body’s members to protest the failure to elect a president, and continuing with extraordinary developments linked to the stalled inquiry into the August 2020 Beirut Port explosion.