The world this week -- Politics
In peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, both sides suggested that there had been some progress.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, implied that Ukraine might have to give up its ambition to join NATO, but said that his country would seek strong alternative security guarantees.
Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, continued to rail against the “Nazis” and “criminals” running Ukraine, calling into question the sincerity of the negotiations.
In a show of solidarity the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia travelled by train to Kyiv to meet Mr Zelensky.
America’s Congress approved a further $11bn in humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine.
Mr. Zelensky gave an impassioned speech to Congress, pleading for even more help.
Afterwards the American authorities said they would send armed drones to Ukraine for the first time.
A few days earlier Russia launched air strikes on a military base in western Ukraine, near the Polish border, which NATO had used before the invasion to train Ukrainian forces.
Russia said the base was a hub for Western weapons flowing into Ukraine and warned that convoys carrying Western arms were “legitimate” targets.
America backed away from an initiative to improve relations with Venezuela.
The White House had sent its top adviser for Latin America to meet Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, in what many saw as an attempt to loosen his ties to Russia and boost oil production.
But a political backlash in America against talks with the leftist dictatorship apparently prompted the Biden administration to reconsider.
Gabriel Boric took office as Chile’s president.
The 36-year-old “libertarian socialist” is a departure from the centrist politicians who had governed since democracy was restored in 1990.
In his inaugural speech he paid tribute to Salvador Allende, the socialist president deposed by a military coup in 1973.
Gustavo Petro, a left-wing senator and former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, affirmed his position as front-runner in Colombia’s presidential election, scheduled for May, by winning more votes than any other candidate in primaries.
Following an international backlash, Guatemala’s Congress rescinded a recent bill that would have seen women imprisoned for up to ten years for having an abortion.