A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
With tentative suggestions that an agreement on raising the debt limit could be reached as soon as today, the focus next week is likely to shift to Congress as lawmakers work to draft a deal into legislation and then send it to President Joe Biden’s desk by (or shortly after) the Thursday (June 1) nominal deadline. Complicating matters is Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s promise to give members 72 hours to review the bill before voting on it. One scenario could see the House vote on Wednesday (May 31) followed by the Senate on Saturday (June 3). Of course, there’s no guarantee that any deal will get the votes needed to pass, and a lot will depend on the CBO’s score of the legislation, which can only be produced once the legislation is written. All of which means that even if a deal is reached before or during the Memorial Day weekend, developments next week will be critical in determining whether a full-blown crisis can be averted.
The Republican presidential contest, meanwhile, continues to heat up. Despite valiant attempts by Ron DeSantis’ campaign to attribute his glitch-ridden Twitter Spaces presidential announcement to his overwhelming popularity, the Florida Governor will be hoping to avoid any further embarrassments when he holds his first in-person event of the campaign on Tuesday (May 30) in Des Moines, Iowa. That event kicks off a tour that will see him head on to New Hampshire on Thursday (June 1) and South Carolina on Friday (June 2). Frontrunner Donald Trump, who this week found out his criminal trial in New York has been set for March 25 next year, right in the middle of primary season, will also be in Iowa next week, recording a Fox News town hall in Clive on Thursday (June 1) that airs on Hannity later that night. And as if anyone needed reminding of Iowa’s continued importance in the primary, Nikki Haley will also be in the Hawkeye State next week, participating in a live CNN town hall on Sunday (June 4).
Ukraine will once again be at the forefront of international news next week thanks to a trio of meetings where it will dominate discussions. Leaders from 47 European countries gather in Moldova on Thursday (June 1) to discuss security, energy and integration as the continent looks to present a unified front against Russian aggression. Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has made it clear that hosting has huge symbolic importance for the country’s pro-European future as it moves away from Moscow’s influence, and Ukraine’s closest neighbors will be hoping the dialogue with European powers translates into further funding for border countries most affected by the war.
While leaders are discussing Ukraine in Chisinau, the war will also shape discussions at two gatherings of foreign ministers next week. NATO ministers meet in Oslo on Wednesday and Thursday (May 31-June 1) for informal talks ahead of July’s leaders’ summit in Lithuania. The big push at the summit will be for clarity on Ukraine’s future membership in the alliance, so ministers will be looking to find some compromises on further cooperation that show support for Kyiv while likely remaining non-committal on a membership roadmap that the bloc’s biggest players worry would escalate conflict with Moscow.
That concern is especially timely as the meeting follows recent news that the US would support training Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16 fighter jets and the raid earlier this week by pro-Ukrainian Russian dissident fighters across the border in Belgorod, Russia, possibly using US-provided equipment. When foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gather in Cape Town on Thursday and Friday (June 1-2), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to make the case that the provision of F-16s and the use of US military hardware on Russian soil supports Russia’s case that it is the victim, not aggressor, of a conflict that is rooted in US hegemony. On Friday, the five foreign ministers are joined by 15 other so-called Friends of BRICS ministers from Africa and the ‘global south’, bolstering the argument that the bloc could provide a counterpoint to US-dominated bodies. The gathering is another opportunity for Lavrov to meet with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang following their most recent talks in India.