US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met yesterday in Geneva. While they agreed on the return of diplomats to their respective embassies, in other respects their discussion went no further than staking out their interests. In view of the tense relations between the two countries expectations were already rather low in the run-up to the meeting, and commentators also give a mixed assessment of its results.
The EU and the US have agreed on a compromise in the dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus: in an initial step they will suspend the mutual punitive tariffs for five years, thus defusing one of their MAIN trade conflicts. Some commentators see this as a major step forward. Others warn that nothing has been gained yet.
At their meeting on Monday, the Nato states for the first time adopted a clear position on China, which is described in the final declaration as presenting systemic challenges. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed, however, that this did not mean China is seen as an opponent or an enemy. Commentators discuss Beijing's point of view.
After causing a lot of damage recently in relations with the West, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tried his hand at bridge-building at the Nato summit. US President Joe Biden describe his meeting with Erdoğan as positive and productive - just weeks after calling the Turkish leader an "autocrat" and recognising the Armenian genocide. Commentators are sceptical.
Estonia's government wants to pay the country's state-owned energy company Eesti Energia 10 million euros in subsidies over two years to burn wood in old power plants. The goal is to keep energy costs low in the structurally weak north-east region. Estonia has an abundance of forests, but since Tallinn gave permission for the clear-cutting of trees even in nature reserves in 2015, its forested areas have shrunken. The national press is nonplussed.
The presidents of Russia and the US are meeting in Geneva today to discuss the pandemic, regional conflicts, and nuclear weapons. In the run-up to the summit Biden emphasised that in addition to engaging in dialogue he would be laying down red lines, while Putin declared that relations between the two countries were at a low point. In Europe's press, however, not everyone's expectations for the summit are low.
Hungary's ruling party Fidesz presented an "anti-paedophilia bill" on Tuesday which among other things prohibits the "representation and promotion" of homosexuality and transsexuality in school materials, books and films. Gender changes will also be banned for people under the age of 18. Perfidious methods with far-reaching consequences are at work here, commentators warn.
Cyprus apparently continues to process naturalisation applications from rich foreigners in exchange for money - although Nicosia officially suspended the programme in November after massive criticism from Brussels. The EU Commission has now issued another warning to Nicosia and is threatening legal action before the European Court of Justice. The Cypriot press is dismayed by the government's behaviour in the scandal.
After twelve years in office, Benjamin Netanyahu's mandate as Israeli prime minister has ended. The Knesset voted on Sunday by a razor-thin majority of 60 to 59 votes for an eight-party government coalition led by the ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett which includes Jair Lapid's liberal Future Party as well as an an Arab party, Ra'am, for the first time in the country's history. Europe's press takes stock of the changes that can and must be made.
Bulgaria is the first country to be visited by Laura Kövesi in her capacity as the European Union's Chief Prosecutor. Shortly before, she had rejected six of the ten candidates put forward by Bulgaria to join the new European Public Prosecutor's Office. The visit coincided with protests against Bulgaria's chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev and the launch of the campaign for the parliamentary elections on July 11, in which corruption is one of the main topics.