Happy 2022?

Biden and Xi will shake hands and end their trade war, Russia will withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border and hand Crimea back to Ukraine, and the global community will implement measures to curb global warming? The coming year is hardly likely to bring these positive developments, commentators fear, making much gloomier predictions.

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Naftemporiki (GR) /

Little cause for optimism

The coming year could be a dangerous one, Naftemporiki fears:

“The global situation is far removed from the optimism for a new peaceful world that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the ideological confrontation between capitalism and communism were supposed to bring. ... Despite the triumph of the market economy, tensions are increasing and are reminiscent of the rivalries between the great powers that led to a global bloodbath in 1914. From dealing with pandemics to climate change to growing tensions between the great powers, the new year will start with many challenges on the horizon.”

Ukrajinska Prawda (UA) /

At the expense of Ukraine's interests

There could soon be an agreement between the US and Russia that would considerably reduce the prospects of Nato membership for Ukraine, Igor Popov of the think tank Ukrainian Institute for the Future fears in Ukrayinska Pravda:

“Consultations on a draft agreement and treaty could be launched as soon as the beginning of January. It is unlikely that the US will agree to all the demands, but merely agreeing to dialogue is a sign that certain agreements are already in place. ... The most important foreign policy news for Ukraine could be that the chance of Nato membership will decrease - in return, the Russian Federation will abandon its tactical military plans.”

The Times (GB) /

Beijing and Moscow setting the pace

In its current wranglings with Russia and China the transatlantic alliance is above all showing weakness, complains columnist Edward Lucas in The Times:

“If the European Union and United States cannot stand up to a bellicose Bosnian Serb warlord, what chance of resisting Putin's depredations on Ukraine? ... China's greatest edge over the West is in its disciplined, well-funded development of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other game-changing technologies. ... Closing the technological gap with China, while closing ranks to deter Putin, will require huge efforts. I see little sign of them.”

Landesecho (CZ) /

What 2022 definitely doesn't have in store for us

Landesecho makes satirical predictions for 2022:

“Biontec/Pfizer switch to effervescent vitamins. Angela Merkel declares her return as leader of the CDU from the nudist beach in Stralsund. The FDP and the Greens enter a coalition with Merkel and decide that the entire EU will replace cars with horses by 2030. The VW Group declares that it can make this change without any problems. British researchers complain that horse manure is worse for global warming than all humanity driving Trabants. Vladimir Putin solemnly returns Crimea to Ukraine and pays 500 billion in compensation to Kiev, thus reducing his fortune by about a tenth.”