Ryan Heath interviews Tomáš Valášek, the former Slovakian ambassador to NATO who heads the Carnegie Europe think tank.
As Russia begins its Zapad war game, the West should be worried about Moscow “downright lying about the size and the type” of military exercises it holds, Valášek says. But he also says that fears Moscow will use the exercise as a springboard to attack or invade a neighbor are overblown.
Valášek said the EU has finally upped its defense cooperation game in a meaningful way, and that Jean-Claude Juncker's olive branches to eastern Europe in his State of the European Union speech are an essential gesture if the EU27 is to stay united through Brexit negotiations and planning for the next long-term EU budget.
Also this week, Christian Oliver, POLITICO's European trade editor, guides us through Juncker's address. We discuss the speech's many priorities, traps, and fanciful power grabs.
In our panel discussion, regular guests Ailbhe Finn and Lina Aburous discussing the political hot potato of the government of Catalonia's attempt to hold a referendum on independence from Spain.
And in the Dear POLITICO advice session, we hear from a listener who says she has a bullying boss in the Europe office of a large company.
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