Category Archives: Conflict

EU reminds Pakistan need to address terrorism

“Following the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, tensions along the ‘Line of Control‘ between India and Pakistan have escalated militarily during the last days. This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region”- the statement of  the EU top diplomatFederica Mogherini says.

We expect both countries to now exercise utmost restraint and avoid any further escalation of the situation. To this end, the resumption of diplomatic contacts at political level and implementation of urgent measures by both sides is vital.

“Terrorism can never be justified. I spoke a few days ago by telephone with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to emphasise the need to continue to address terrorism, including clear and targeted actions related to all forms of terrorist activity.

“The European Union will remain in contact with both countries and will continue to closely monitor the situation”.

 

Venezuela military intervention as “option”

President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations increase pressure on Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while Russia in its capacity of the UN Security Council permanent member warned against “destructive meddling.”

The level of technical equipment and training of the Venezuelan army is very high today. The 30 Russian Su-30 fighters currently in service with the country’s air force are a serious factor, so if the US decides to go on any adventure against Caracas, then they will have to prepare for a serious combat”, said Russian military expert Dr.Konstantin Sivkov.

The United States, Canada, the UK, several Latin American and European countries have recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader after the disputed elections.

The EU countries supporting the candidacy of Juan Guaido in his claim of presidency have formed a contact group, which will meet in Montevideo (Uruguay) on February 7. The Contact Group will bring together the EU and eight of its Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and countries from Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay)

However in an interview the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro regarded international support of a self-proclaimed elections winner as a circus, and Juan Guaido as a “clown“.

Maduro also blamed the West the return to the “era of empires“.

Russian State Duma assessed the support of the self-proclaimed President of Venezuela Guaido as “absolutely incorrect and unacceptable under international law”.

Dr.Sivkov added that a major factor that could contain the potential aggression of neighboring countries is a powerful Venezuelan air defense system, which includes, in particular, S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Novosti agency.
In 2009, Venezuela purchased a large party of weapons, including the Pechora-2M, S-300, Buk-M2EK anti-aircraft missiles, Igla-S, armored personnel carriers BTR-80A, using a $ 2.2 billion Russian loan, T-72B1V tanks, Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

Nagorno Karabakh signal for progress

Exchanges in recent months between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, as well as meetings of the Foreign Ministers under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, most recently in Paris on 16 January 2019, send a positive signal for progress in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict” said the statement by the European External Action (EEAS) service spokesperson on recent developments toward the peaceful settlement of the frozen conflict.

“The European Union is looking forward to the full implementation of their outcomes, including the recent Foreign Ministers’ agreement on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace, as well as the consideration of steps aimed at reinvigorating the negotiations.

“The European Union continues to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, including through the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, as well as through civil society confidence-building measures across the conflict divide. All would stand to benefit from lasting peace, which would help to enable the South Caucasus region to fulfill its potential.”

Political analyst Stepan Danielyan reminded before the meeting in Paris, that the election thesis of the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the issue of Nagorno Karabach was Yerevan refusal to conduct negotiations on behalf of Stepanakert. Many voters made their choice based on this thesis, Danielyan underlined.

Now the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan continue negotiations – they are discussing the Karabakh problem. What is discussed is not clear” the expert said. “In the past, Charles de Gaulle deceived the French, promising that France would not leave Algeria, before the elections, but after winning he did the opposite”, but Nagorno Karabakh is not Algeria, and Pashinyan is not de Gaulle, the expert warned.

According to the Armenian prosecutors the military casualties in Nagorno Karabakh in 2018 amounted to 38 servicemen, non-combat losses to 25 people.

Ukraine Azov sea ports blocked

Two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol (pictured), are de facto under blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and entering, Ukraine minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said.

Overall, 35 vessels have been prevented from carrying out normal operations and only vessels moving towards Russian ports on the Azov Sea are permitted entry, he said on Facebook.

Previously the EU and NATO called for de-escalation, and restraint of all parties involved, there was also a clear message of a negotiated solution of the problem.

The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani received the Ukrainian delegation, and discussed the developments in the Azov sea and Kerch Strait. 

NATO issued a statement, calling for restraint and de-escalation.

Yemen in focus of EU diplomacy

Today with the Foreign Ministers we will discuss first and foremost the situation in Yemen. I discussed yesterday on the phone with the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Yemen [Martin] Griffiths on how the European Union and the Member States can best support his work in this crucial moment that could be or become an opening for an end to the war in Yemen, one of the most devastating humanitarian catastrophes of our times” said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini upon her arrival to the EU Foreign ministers meeting.

The EU ministers will continue to work to strengthen European defence.

“In particular today I expect Ministers to see how our Permanent Structure Cooperation is advancing, with 17 new projects to be adopted. And tomorrow, we will have [with us] Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, to continue our work to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation that is going extremely wellMogherini added.

Ministers will also discuss the situation in Ukraine.

On Monday 19 November, defence ministers have a joined discussion with foreign ministers on EU cooperation in security and defence.

They are reviewing the initiatives part of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in this area, including the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the coordinated annual review on defence (CARD), the European defence fund, military mobility, the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC), the civilian CSDP compact and the proposal for a European Peace Facility.

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on security and defence.

 

 

 

Donetsk independence leader assassinated in explosion

A key figure of self-proclaimed  Donetsk Republic died in an explosion at a cafe he owned in Donetsk city сenter, the local media reports.

Alexander Zakharchenko‘s assassination was reported by Donetsk news agency DNR.

There was no secret that  Zakharchenko has an argument with Kremlin, vividly criticizing Russian inconsistent policy towards self-proclaimed entities.

Authorities in the “Donetsk People’s Republic” have blamed previous assassinations of pro-independence leaders on the Ukrainian government, which repeatedly denies any involvement.

Some observers have attributed the deaths to infighting among the rebels, or moves by Moscow to eliminate inconvenient separatist leaders, who are not prepared to perform as puppets following ever changing geopolitical context.

Meanwhile Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for an investigation, and expressing believe Kiev is behind the assassination.

There is no further information available on the number of victims perished in the blast, however the photos from the site of explosion circulating in the social networks show considerable damages to the building.

AMENDED:  Together with Zakharchenko the minister of budget of Donetsk Republic Alexandre Timofeev was transported to hospital intensive care. Names of two other victims of explosion remain unknown.

Sudanese immigrant arrested on terrorist charges in UK

A man arrested on suspicion of carrying out a terrorist attack at the UK Parliament has reportedly been identified as 29-year-old Salih Khater.

The suspect, a British national from Sudanese origin, has been identified by a European security source, Reuters reports. The was not known to intelligence services before, and he was not on the list of the monitored radicalized individuals.

The man was also identified as Khater by governmental sources, according to the BBC.

Many social networks users were indignant when main stream media described the attacker as a ‘British national‘.

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