Russia is lying about its economic strength: sanctions are working – and we need more

The signs are clear that not everything is as rosy in Putin’s Soviet-style war economy as Moscow would have us believe

President Vladimir Putin and his authoritarian regime are peddling the false narrative that the Russian economy is strong, and that its war machine is unharmed by western sanctions. This is a lie that must be rebutted. In fact, there are many signs that the Russian war economy is deteriorating. The sanctions and other measures to weaken the Russian economy are effective, but even more can be done. We must continue to increase pressure on Putin’s regime and support Ukraine.

During the Nato summit in Washington DC , western leaders reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine’s defence. But Russia’s war against Ukraine is not only being fought by soldiers on the ground. It is also a war of information, on which the Kremlin spends an estimated $1.5bn (£1.2bn) a year, and of economic strength. Putin and his authoritarian regime want us to believe that Russia stands unmoved by sanctions and other efforts made to support Ukraine, freedom and democracy. Thus, it is extremely important that politicians, the media and economic institutions in the west do not take the information coming out of the Kremlin at face value. When taking a closer look at the signals, it becomes clear that everything is not as rosy with the Russian economy as Moscow would have us believe.

Elisabeth Svantesson, minister for finance, Sweden

Stephanie Lose, minister for economic affairs, Denmark

Mart Võrklaev, minister of finance, Estonia

Riikka Purra, minister of finance, Finland

Arvils Ašeradens, minister of finance, Latvia

Gintarė Skaistė, minister of finance, Lithuania

Eelco Heinen, minister of finance, Netherlands

Andrzej Domański, minister of finance, Poland

Continue reading…

Click here to see original article

How Does UK View America’s Tumultuous Political Season? 

Within less than two weeks, the world has watched as former President Donald Trump was almost assassinated, President Joe Biden announced he was ending his bid for reelection, and Vice President Kamala Harris has emerged as the leading choice for the Democratic Party nomination for president.

From within the U.S., it feels like a tumultuous time in American politics . But how is the world—and specifically, the United Kingdom—viewing “the land of the free and home of the brave” right now? 

The U.K. is “very concerned” by recent events in America, says Matthew Goodwin, a professor of politics and international relations at the University of Kent and a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute, a London think tank.

“The attempted assassination of Donald Trump was seen as a symbol of a country that is very divided and polarized,” according to Goodwin. “There’s an awareness that the rhetoric has become extreme, not just around the former president, but also on the Left of American politics.” 

Goodwin joins “The Daily Signal Podcast ” to discuss Europeans’ views of America’s fraught election cycle, and to discuss the results of the U.K’s own recent elections that resulted in the worst-ever election defeat for Britain’s Conservative Party. 

Listen to the podcast below:

The post How Does UK View America’s Tumultuous Political Season?  appeared first on The Daily Signal .

Click here to see original article

Theatre can be a force for change – I went looking for it on the Italy/Slovenia border | Arifa Akbar

In a city belonging to two nations, I hoped for art that could heal suspicion and bridge political divides. Instead I found timidity

Gareth Southgate had a “genuine desire to unite people around a particular project rather than divide people and cause upset,” said British playwright James Graham in his tribute-cum-eulogy to the departing England football manager after the nation’s defeat to Spain in the final of Euro 24.

Graham, who is busy rewriting his football drama, Dear England , in light of this outcome (presumably as a tragedy), is best known for the sting of his political dramas, which so often expose division, government doublespeak and hypocrisy. His words brought to mind the role of theatre-makers and their responsibility to unite the audience around a “particular project”, or otherwise.

Arifa Akbar is the Guardian’s chief theatre critic

Continue reading…

Click here to see original article