Category Archives: defence

Japan to develop cruise missile

Japan Defence Ministry has adopted a policy decision to develop the nation’s first domestically manufactured air-to-ship long-range cruise missile, to be mounted on Air Self-Defence Force fighter jets and capable of attacking a warship from outside of an adversary’s range.

The new missile, which is to be developed in response to the rapid advance in the strike capability of the Chinese Navy, will reinforce Japan‘s deterrence by extending the shooting range to more than 400 km. The ministry aims to put the new missile into practical use within a few years, government sources said.

NATO celebrates anniversary in April 2019 in Washington

NATO Foreign Ministers concluded two days of meetings in Brussels on Wednesday (5 December 2018), focused on issues including the INF Treaty, the Sea of Azov, the Western Balkans, Afghanistan, and the Alliance’s new training mission in Iraq.

The Foreign Ministers of the nations contributing to the Resolute Support Mission, met today in Brussels to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability in Afghanistan.

“We express our utmost appreciation for the crucial contribution of the men and women serving in our Resolute Support Mission and in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. We pay tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been wounded in support of a better future for Afghanistan” the statement of the Foreign ministers said.

We reaffirm the decisions taken at our Summit in July 2018 on our continued support to Afghanistan, and we recall Afghanistan’s commitments, including to continue on the path to reform covering, inter alia, the promotion of human rights, good and inclusive governance, and combating corruption”- the Ministers confirmed.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that Foreign Ministers will next meet in Washington in April 2019, marking 70 years since the Alliance’s founding. He added that Allied leaders will also meet later next year.

EU-NATO cooperation perspectives

Defence ministers will discuss the latest developments related to EU-NATO cooperation with NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. They will address issues such as hybrid threats and military mobility.

In the current strategic environment, with unprecedented challenges emanating from the South and the East, cooperation between the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is essential. The security of EU and NATO are inter-connected: not only are 22 EU Member States also NATO Allies; together, they can also mobilise a broad range of tools and make the most efficient use of resources to address those challenges and enhance the security of their citizens. EU-NATO cooperation constitutes an integral pillar of the EU’s work aimed at strengthening European security and defence, as part of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy. It also contributes to Trans-Atlantic burden sharing. A stronger EU and a stronger NATO are mutually reinforcing.

Trump expects fair defence cost-sharing

The United States wants a “strong Europe” and is willing to help its ally, but Europe must be fair when in sharing the defence burden, U.S. President Donald Trump said during his visit to France devoted to commemoration of the First World War.

We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want,” Trump announced in his remarks after warm welcome of  President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

While explaining what meant in his  tweet about feeling insulted by Macron’s comments that Europe should reduce its dependence on the United States for security, Trump said: “We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.

Around 70 world leaders are gathering in Paris for events marking the Armistice that ended World War One, which was signed 100 years ago this Sunday.

 

NATO tumultuous Summit

Arriving to NATO Summit in Brussels President Trump bitterly criticised European allies for not meeting the two percent spending for defence needs, they signed for as Alliance members. (The VIDEO of President Donald Trump address at breakfast with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg below).

“I think it is unfair,” Trump said, making clear that unlike his predecessors, he is not only going to talk about it, but resolve the issue. “We can’t put up with it,” he added pointing that the US should not have to pay the biggest share of NATO defence expenditure while Germany – the biggest European economy –  contributes just over 1% of GDP. Germany’s plan to increase its defence expenditure to the NATO target of 2% of GDP by 2030. was not satisfactory Trump said, adding: “They could do it tomorrow.”

However the criticism of the allies did not stop with the budget issue, and President Trump went on, extensively criticizing Germany for trade with Russia, namely for construction of the North Stream 2 pipeline in Baltic sea.

Apparently the international project of direct delivery of cheap Russian gas to Germany via Baltic sea bed would substantially impact the US attempts to sell their expensive liquid gas (LNG) to Europe, the experts say. It will also strip Ukraine from Russian transit gas payments from exploiting  the pipeline system they have inherited, a from the USSR.

“I think it is very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia,” Trump regretted. “We are supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions dollars a year to Russia”.

“We are protecting Germany, we are protecting France, we are protecting all of these countries and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they are paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. I think that is very inappropriate.”

“It should never have been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”

“You tell me if that’s appropriate because I think it’s not. On top of that Germany is just paying just a little bit over one percent whereas the United States is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. So I think that’s inappropriate also.”

The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg attempted to reason President Trump, making his point that “even during the Cold war, NATO allies were trading with Russia.”

However the attempt to call to reason did not impact the fiery rhetoric of President Trump targeting Germany, and defining it as a “captive of Russia“.

Previously the attempts to promote the US liquid gas sales to Europe were undertaken by President Obama, but were declined by the European Union for economic reasons.

Russian company Gazprom underlines that the construction of new pipeline, similar to the one in operation (North Stream) will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers. “It will also ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe”, the latter is a significant factor for the European economies, which have already been ‘hostages’ to Ukraine-Russia trade arguments, left without gas supplies.

 

 

 

EU-NATO in continuous dialogue

“Over the past two years, NATO and the European Union have achieved an unprecedented level of cooperation. This is natural. We have many shared members. We have shared interests and challenges and more than 90% of EU citizens live in a NATO country” – Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO said.  Both international organisations have been working together on 74 concrete areas of cooperation, including hybrid and cyber, maritime operations, fighting terrorism, exercises and military mobility and women, peace and security.

“The progress has been substantial. For example, our organisations now exchange real-time warnings about cyber-attacks and malware. We have stepped up our cooperation to enhance training, exercises and strategic communications to counter hybrid threats. And NATO and the EU are cooperating on maritime operations” – Stoltenberg continued.

There are well-known missions, as in the central Mediterranean, NATO Operation Sea Guardian is supporting the EU Operation Sophia.  And in the Aegean, the Alliance and the EU are cooperating to counter people smuggling.

“We discussed how NATO and the European Union could cooperate even more closely going forward. In July, I plan to sign a new joint declaration with President Tusk and President Juncker. To set out a shared vision for how we will continue to address our most pressing security challenges” – Stoltenberg said.

“Military mobility is one area that will become a flagship in our cooperation. Both NATO and the EU have an interest in making it happen and both of us can make tangible contributions. We need to deal with a wide range of issues – from legislation to infrastructure” – Stoltenberg underlined. The other important issue is infrastructure requirements for transportation, including for bridges, roads and runways. “… It is ultimately it is for our nations to make the decisions that will enable us to move across Europe as quickly as we need to, in an unpredictable security environment” – Stoltenberg concluded.

NATO-Russia Council scheduled end May

The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting at the level of ambassadors will be held on May 31, a representative of the alliance confirmed to TASS news agency.

The NRC meeting at the level of ambassadors will take place on May 31, 2018 in Brussels. This is part of our double approach to relations with Russia, based on strong defense and a consistent dialogue,” he said.

This is going to be the seventh NRC meeting over the past two years,” he said, adding that the alliance is committed to opening up new channels of dialogue with Russia despite the fact that practical cooperation has been suspended.

Earlier NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, that the NRC meeting would be held on May 31.

The latest meeting of the NATO-Russia Council took place in October 2017.

 

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