EU Confidential #196: Ukraine tension — Merkel succession battle — Marine litter

Rising tension over Ukraine, the showdown to be the German conservative candidate for chancellor, and a sailor-turned-politician on a mission to clean up the oceans all feature in this week’s episode.

POLITICO’s Matthew Karnitschnig has been following this week’s dramatic battle to become the conservative nominee to replace German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September’s general election. Regardless of whether CDU leader Armin Laschet or CSU boss Markus Söder ultimately prevails, how much damage has the open warfare done to their chances at the polls?

We explore why alarm bells are ringing over Ukraine once again, as Russia ramps up its military presence nearby. POLITICO correspondent Dan Peleschuk gives Andrew Gray a sense of the mood in Kyiv, while the U.S. secretaries of State and Defense voiced their concerns in Brussels this week. And Rym Momtaz explains why tensions over Iran’s nuclear program have skyrocketed once again.

Finally, POLITICO’s Eline Schaart introduces us to French MEP Catherine Chabaud. Her journey to the European Parliament began with a personal voyage three decades ago, when she became the first woman to sail solo around the world. Along the way, she discovered something that she’s now working as a European lawmaker to tackle: the waste threatening our oceans and the creatures that live in them.



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