Category Archives: News

Putin arrived to Helsinki

President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin arrived to Helsinki for his bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Although there is no official agenda, two leaders are expected to cover not only bilateral relations, but a broader range of international issues: conflict in Syria, Donbass, nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA), and North Korean non-proliferation in first ranks. Ahead of the talks between two delegations, Trump-Putin will have a tete-à-tete meeting, where only two interpretors would be present. The press-conference is announced by the end of the Summit.

The expectations of the international community are high, especially for those who live in regions of conflict, wating the superpowers to start a dialogue to release tensions to benefit of all. The relations between Russia and the U.S. are at lowest since the times of Cold War.

The meeting of two leaders in the Finnish Presidentaial palace is expected to start around 13:00 (local time).

Trump: “Rigged Witch Hunt” damages relations with Moscow

Hours before the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki President Donald Trump blamed “U.S. foolishness” for bad relations between Washington and Moscow, while the Kremlin said it expected a tough meeting.

President Trump wrote in his Twitter microblog that “foolishness and stupidity and now. the Rigged Witch Hunt” are causes of poor relations with Russia.

“…So common sense tells us that the countries of the world, especially European countries, should be interested in the normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington” – Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told ahead of the visit. However The Kremlin must be on alert in case the North Atlantic Treaty Organization increases the military budget. The Alliance is “an instrument of confrontation,” designed for the purpose, he continued. As NATO openly considers Russia an opponent, the government in Moscow is determined to ensure parity in weapons systems, including nuclear arms, Peskov said to RT TV channel.

 

EU foreign ministers to discuss broad agenda

The Foreign Affairs Council on July 16 will start with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.

This will include the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) following the JCPOA Joint Commission meeting on 6 July.

The High Representative and foreign ministers may also refer to the Western Balkan Summit taking place in London on 10 July.

Foreign ministers will exchange views on the Eastern Partnership. They will prepare for the Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting foreseen in October.

Ministers will discuss the implementation of the 20 deliverables for 2020. This framework aims to achieve stronger economy, governance, connectivity and society in the six Eastern partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

The Council will discuss Libya and it will focus on the political process, in particular the upcoming elections. It will be the opportunity to reiterate the EU’s support to UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Ghassan Salamé.

Ministers may also touch upon the country’s economic situation.The discussion also takes place in the context of the follow-up to the European Council conclusions on migration.

UK post-Brexit trade deal with U.S “absolutely possible”

During his visit to the United Kingdom President Donald Trump said the United States and Britain could secure a “great” post-Brexit trade deal, lavishing praise on Prime Minister Theresa May.

Standing alongside Prime minister May after the meeting at her Buckinghamshire country residence, Mr Trump praised her as an “incredible woman” and a “very tough negotiator” who was “doing a fantastic job“, and said there could be a “great” trade deal between the US and UK.

I read reports where that won’t be possible, but I believe after speaking with the prime minister’s people and representatives and trade experts it will absolutely be possible” – President Trump said commenting on US-UK trade deal.

NATO continues to support Afghanistan

At NATO Summit the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the Alliance long-term commitment to Afghan government, advising, assisting the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces,. “We will continue our assistance by extending our financial sustainment of the Afghan forces thought 2024, and by pleading to fill standing shortfalls, especially in priority areas”, – Stoltenberg said. He also underlined that regional actors have an important role to play in support of peace and stabilization in Afghanistan.

Lailuma SADID, reknown Afghan journalist, and former diplomat explains challenges of NATO policies in her country, pointing at urgent need to take an action stopping neighbouring countries to sponsor Taliban, and other terrorist groups. Critical of Afghan government SADID insists on democratic change as major factor to engage people, convincing them best future lies within Afghan state, and construction of a fair society, but not with Islamists mouvements. (VIDEO: Lailuma SADID from NATO Summit, Brussels)

AMENDED 12/07/2018  North Atlantic Treaty Organization chief Jens Stoltenberg expects leaders to agree to fund Afghan security forces until 2024, despite public frustration in the West about their involvement in the ongoing conflict seeming endless. “We have added around 3,000 more trainers to our mission,” he said.adding “Att the Summit, I expect we will also agree to extend funding for the Afghan forces beyond 2020”, Stoltenberg added.

“We will be deploying an additional 440 personnel to NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and I think that shows when NATO calls, the UK is one of the first to step up,” Prime minister Theresa May said to press, commenting on Afghanistan.

Macedonia invited to NATO accession talks after name change

In line with the Alliance Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the invitation to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to start accession negotiations. However Stoltenberg made it clear that the talks can start only when the name issue is settled, “you can’t have it both”, he underlined. The Alliance is ready to start negotiations with Republic of “North Macedonia” (“Severna Macedonia”) as soon as the legal procedure of renaming is concluded.

Stoltenberg added that NATO is fully committed to integration of the countries, aspiring to join the Alliance, judging each on its merits. “NATO door is open to all European democracies, which share the values of Alliance, and which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership” the Secretary General confirmed.

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.

 

 

 

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