At the World Economic Forum in Davos, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger talked about ways to end the war in Ukraine. A humiliating defeat for Moscow would be dangerous, whereas territorial concessions to Russia would be an investment in long-term peace on the continent, he said. This elicits fierce reactions from Europe's commentators.
A member of Russia's UN mission in Geneva has quit his post. "I've never been so ashamed of my country," Boris Bondarev wrote in a farewell letter sent to his colleagues at the Russian Foreign Ministry. Europe's press commends the diplomat's courage but dampens hopes that many others will follow suit.
The war in Ukraine is shifting the balance of power in Europe. Finland and Sweden want to join Nato, Ukraine wants to join the EU. Russia cannot be completely isolated, President Vladimir Putin said yesterday in a video link with the Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek. European media examine whose side their countries are really on.
For ten days, women in Grenoble in eastern France were allowed to wear burkinis in public swimming pools - until France's top administrative court overturned the city council's decision to allow this. It emerged that France's Interior Minister Darmanin had instructed the local prefect to weigh in against the decision. Media outlets voice annoyance at how the burkini controversy is dragging on in secular France.
A data leak dealing with China's brutal treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority has shocked the world: the photos and files were leaked to a Sinologist and have now been published in international media following intense scrutiny. They document arbitrary detentions and systematic violence in detention camps in the Xinjiang region. What measures should the West take?
A 21-year-old Russian soldier has been sentenced to life in prison in the first war crimes trial since the war in Ukraine began. He confessed to shooting an unarmed 62-year-old civilian under pressure from his superior as they were trying to retreat and escape back to Russia in a stolen car in the first days of the war. His lawyer has said he will appeal the judgment. Europe's press takes stock of the trial from different perspectives.
A few days after taking office, the new Hungarian President Katalin Novák visited Romania and met mainly Hungarian-speaking representatives there. While in Transylvania she posted on Facebook that she wanted to represent all Hungarians - whether they lived in Hungary or outside its borders. This elicited an annoyed response from Bucharest - which commentators, however, don't take entirely seriously.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Greece of hostile behaviour towards Turkey. On a state visit to the US last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recommended that the US restrict its arms sales to Turkey, prompting an indignant response from Ankara. The Greek press looks for ways forward.
Under an agreement reached between the Spanish government and the trade unions after several weeks of negotiations with the Ministry of Finance, 29,578 positions are to be filled in Spain's General State Administration in 2022, 15,880 for free entry and 9,591 for internal promotion. The national press is impressed.
Although there are no signs of an end to Russia's war against Ukraine for the time being, people are already talking about how to rebuild the country. In Britain, the US, and also the EU there are discussions about whether it would be possible to use Russian capital assets that have been frozen due to sanctions. Other ideas are circulating in Europe's media.
The WHO has called for action in view of a growing number of monkeypox cases outside the endemic area of West and Central Africa. Intensified educational measures and tracing of infection chains are needed, it urged. Europe is particularly affected, with around 150 registered cases. The virus is transmitted through close physical contact and its symptoms are usually mild.