During his state visit to Moscow, Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed his twelve-point plan for Ukraine with Vladimir Putin and emphasised Beijing's "impartial position". Russia's president praised the initiative as the basis for a peaceful solution. On Monday, Xi had said that China would continue to work with Russia in the name of "true multilateralism". Europe's press tries to decode the signals.

The French government has pushed through its controversial pension reform by decree, bypassing a parliamentary vote. It narrowly survived two no-confidence motions on Monday, but strikes and mass protests against the reform continue. Europe's press observes the rifts in French society with concern.

After the massive loss of confidence in Credit Suisse, rival Swiss bank UBS wants to take over its stricken competitor. The largest bank merger in Europe since the financial crisis of 2008 is to be backed by the Swiss National Bank with up to 100 billion Swiss francs (about 101 billion euros). Is the merger a sensible step or will it create an unwieldy monster?

On 20 March 2003, the US invaded Iraq with the support of British, Polish and Australian troops. The "Coalition of the willing" succeeded in capturing Baghdad and toppling dictator Saddam Hussein. Since there was no mandate from the UN Security Council, the attack is widely considered to have violated international law. Europe's press debates the grave consequences of the war which are still felt today.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued an urgent call for immediate and comprehensive action on climate change in its latest report. The pace and scale of action to date, as well as current plans, are insufficient, says the report, which summarises previous findings. The consequences in the form of heat waves, floods and droughts are already being felt, it stresses. What concrete action needs to be taken now?

Romania's Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) wants to revoke the operating licence of insurance company Euroins România due to insolvency. With 2.5 million customers, Euroins was one of the country's market leaders in vehicle liability insurance. The company's liquidity problems had been known to the financial watchdog for some time. Since this is not the first case of this kind, the national press complains about flaws in the system.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They have been charged with committing war crimes with the policy of forcibly relocating children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia. Europe's press looks at the consequences.

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that Poland will deliver Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine at the end of last week. Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger responded by pledging to provide Ukraine with more jets of the same type. Europe's press discusses whether the initiative will soften Nato's resistance to the idea of supplying Ukraine with fighter jets.

Despite the turbulence on the financial markets, the European Central Bank raised the key interest rate by half a percentage point to 3.5 percent yesterday. The monetary watchdog is aiming to curb inflation, which remains high. Commentators discuss whether the move will have a calming effect as an expression of confidence in the resilience of the banking sector or is too risky right now.

Finnish President Niinistö has travelled to Turkey today, Friday. There President Erdoğan is expected to tell him that nothing more stands in the way of the ratification of Finland's application to join Nato. Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán, whose government has so far delayed ratification, met with Erdoğan in Turkey on Thursday to discuss the issue. Commentators are somber in their assessment.

The opposition Nation Alliance led by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has a clear lead against Erdoğan's AKP electoral alliance in the polls for the presidential election slated for 14 May. The AKP is now negotiating with the Hezbollah-affiliated Hüdapar and the Islamist Yeniden Refah Partisi in a bid to expand its electoral alliance, while Kılıçdaroğlu is wooing conservative voters. Commentators find both strategies questionable.

In the provincial elections in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's coalition parties have suffered major losses while the new Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) became the strongest party in its first bid for government. Commentators see farmers' anger over the government's agricultural policy as well as widespread dissatisfaction as the main causes for the government's poor showing.

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