Category Archives: News

NATO supper at Prado Museum

Madrid 29.06.2022 The leaders of 44 countries participating in the 32nd NATO Summit organised in Madrid, the capital of Spain, had dinner at the Prado National Museum.

The dinner event offered to the leaders by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez brought together the heads of state and government, foreign and defense ministers from 30 NATO member countries, and also 14 countries that participated in the Summit as guests.

The meal was prepared by Spanish chef Jose Andres, who went to Ukraine for humanitarian aid in the first months of the war, and the Kiev Symphony Orchestra also gave a concert.

The leaders also had the opportunity to see some of the works of famous Spanish painters Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya in the museum.

Biden’s granddaughters, daughters of Hunter, Maisy and Finnegan fill in for Jill at a lavish NATO dinner.

NATO endorses new Strategic Concept

Madrid 30.06.2022 NATO heads of state and government meeting in Madrid on Wednesday 29 June 2022 approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance, setting out the priorities, core tasks and approaches for the next decade. The concept describes the security environment facing the Alliance, reaffirms our values, and spells out the NATO key purpose of ensuring our collective defence. It further sets out NATO three core tasks of deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.

The document defines Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to Allies’ security, while addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses toward Allies’ security, interests and values. The documents also states that climate change is “a defining challenge of our time”. The Strategic Concept is updated roughly every decade and is NATO’s second most important document. It reaffirms the values of the Alliance, provides a collective assessment of security challenges and guides the Alliance’s political and military activities. The previous version was adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit in 2010.

Ahead of the Summit thousands of protesters marched in Madrid on Sunday,Juin 26, against a NATO plans to launch a new arms race.

Leaders of member countries meet in Madrid on June 29-30, amid tight security, as the organisation faces the unprecedented challenge of Russia refusal of NATO expansion further to the East to Ukraine and Georgia.
However, in spite of Russian opposition to the NATO plans, Finland and Sweden have started the process of joining the Alliance.

NATO: Turkey opens perspective to Scandinavians

Madrid 29.06.2022 Turkey Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral memorandum on Tuesday, 28 Juin, in view of the perspective of the Nordic countries’ NATO membership process after an important meeting in Madrid in which Ankara has framed its demands, especially in the field of terrorism.

Turkey “got what it wanted” from the talks with Sweden and Finland talks, the Turkish presidency said in a written statement, underlining that full cooperation was agreed on with Turkey on fighting the PKK terrorist group and its affiliates.

Solidarity will be demonstrated towards Turkey in its fight against all branches of terrorism, it said. Furthermore, Sweden and Finland also agreed not to support the PKK organization’s Syrian wing, the YPG, as well as the Gülenists Group (FETÖ), all of them regarded as extremists in Ankara.

“As prospective NATO Allies, Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Turkey against threats to its national security,” the trilateral memorandum read.

“To that effect, Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, and the organization described as FETÖ in Turkey” the document continues.

“Finland and Sweden reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in the strongest terms,” it continued, highlighting that Finland and Sweden condemn all terrorist organizations perpetrating attacks against Turkey, and express their deepest solidarity with Ankara.

“Finland and Sweden commit to preventing activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations,” the memorandum said, adding that Finland and Sweden will address the issue of Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously.

However, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters after the meeting that the trilateral memorandum does not list individuals for extradition but rather describes principles for extraditions related to terrorism, not individual citizens.

NATO leaders will formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance Wednesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said during the membership process.

“I’m pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday after crunch talks in Madrid.

The Turkish presidency added that the Nordic countries have also agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 operation into Syria.

The two countries will ban “fundraising and recruitment activities” for the PKK, and “prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. However, Turkey had opposed the move on the grounds that these two countries were supporting terrorist organizations.

The agreement comes at the opening of a crucial summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders arrived in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. The summit was kicking off with a leaders’ dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.

Diplomats and leaders from Turkey, Sweden and Finland earlier held a flurry of talks in an attempt to break the impasse over Turkey’s opposition to expansion. The three countries’ leaders met for more than two hours alongside Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Juin 28, before the agreement was announced.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson hailed the “very good agreement” with Turkey and said the move would make the alliance stronger.

“Taking the next step toward a full NATO membership is of course important for Sweden and Finland. But it’s also a very important step for NATO, because our countries will be security providers within NATO,” Andersson told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed Turkey’s agreement to drop its objections to Finland’s and Sweden’s membership of NATO.

“Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit. Sweden and Finland’s membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

On the other side, a U.S. official said on the same day that Turkey did not demand concessions from Washington to support Finland and Sweden.

“There was no request from the Turkish side for the Americans to make a particular concession,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official called Turkey’s decision a “powerful shot in the arm” for NATO unity, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah writes.

Madrid Summit transforms NATO

Madrid 28.06.2022 “The Madrid Summit will be a pivotal Summit. We will agree a new Strategic Concept, the Madrid Strategic Concept, that will be the blueprint for NATO in a more dangerous and unpredictable world” said the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, while opening the historic NATO Summit in Madrid together with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez.

“We will agree a fundamental shift of our deterrence and defence with more high readiness forces, with more forward defence, with more pre-positioned equipment” he continued.

“We will agree a Comprehensive Assistance Package to Ukraine to help them uphold the right for self-defence. It is extremely important that we are ready to continue to provide support because Ukraine now faces brutality which we haven’t seen in Europe since the Second World War” Stoltenberg underscored.

“And then, we hope to make progress on the accession of Finland and Sweden. And then, of course, we will also state that to be able to defend ourselves in a more dangerous world we also need to invest more in our defences…” he concluded.

Spain hosts the NATO Summit in Madrid on 28, 29 and 30 June 2022. The meetings are chaired by the NATO Secretary General, and take place at RECINTO FERIAL IFEMA MADRID.

NATO: New Strategic Concept

Brussels 27.06.2022 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday (27 June 2022) said NATO leaders meeting in Madrid this week are set to sign off on key decisions, including a new Strategic Concept, a major strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence and greater support to Ukraine.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of the Summit which begins on Tuesday, the Secretary General said NATO leaders will also focus on investing in defence, aim to make progress on Finland and Sweden’s historic applications for NATO membership and deepen cooperation with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

“At the Summit, we will strengthen our forward defences. We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force. And increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000. We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict” Stoltenberg said.

“Nine Allies now reach or exceed the 2% target. Nineteen Allies have clear plans to reach it by 2024.
And an additional five have concrete commitments to meet it thereafter. Two percent is increasingly considered a floor, not a ceiling. We will also agree to invest more together in NATO for the benefit of our security” the Secretary General continued.

Stoltenberg welcomed President Zelenskyy joining the NATO Summit in Madrid.
“NATO and Allies have provided substantial support to Ukraine since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, including with military and financial aid, and training for tens of thousands of Ukrainian forces.
All of this is making a difference on the battlefield every day. And since the invasion in February, Allies have stepped up even more. With billions of euros’ worth of military, financial, and humanitarian assistance.At the Summit, we will agree a strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine.
This will include substantial deliveries of support. In areas like secure communications, anti-drone systems, and fuel” Stoltenberg underscored.

EU Wider Europe platform

Brussels 24.06.2022  During the EU Summit in Brussels the leaders had a first and constructive discussion on an emerging European Political Community. According to the unnamed EU official he goal would be to foster political dialogue and cooperation between European countries, so as to strengthen security, stability and prosperity on the European continent.

The Community concerns all European countries with whom the EU has close relations, he continued. It would consist in regular meetings at leaders level, which would create space for political discussions and therefore contribute to mutual understanding and a common strategic culture.

The President of the European Council will now pursue work to move this project forward, together with the French and the Czech rotating Presidencies, the official concluded.

Proposed on 9 May in Strasbourg, Emmanuel Macron’s “European political community” is a innovative approach. Inspired by former president François Mitterrand’s initial idea of a European confederation, the French president (1981-1995) outlined a European forum that would be separate from the European Union.

The aim is to offer a platform for political coordination for European countries across the continent. It could concern all European countries with whom we have close relations.

The objective would be to foster political dialogue and cooperation to address issues of common interest so as to strengthen the security, stability and prosperity of the European continent.

Such a framework will not replace existing EU policies and instruments, notably enlargement, and will fully respect the European Union’s decision-making autonomy.

Building on this first exchange of views, the European Council will revert to the issue.

“This new European organisation would enable democratic European nations adhering to our set of values to find a new area of political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, and the movement of people, especially our young people. Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future membership of the European Union, just as it would not be closed to those who have left the latter”  President Macron during the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Ukraine and Moldova EU candidates

Brussels 23.06.2022 Ukraine and Moldova have both been granted the EU candidate status, President of the European Council Charles Michel has announced at the press-conference, following the Summit.
“Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” Mr Michel said, describing the European Council’s decision as a “historic moment”.

Ukraine applied on February 28, the days after the Russian invasion, and the process moved at a record speed.
Its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, hailed the EU Council decision.

“It’s a unique and historical moment in Ukraine-EU relations…” he tweeted. “Ukraine’s future is within the EU.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that “today is a good day for Europe.”

The top EU executive added that the decision strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, “in the face of Russian imperialism.” The leaders also officially recognized the “European perspective” of Georgia, saying it was moving toward candidate status.

Ukraine scored 32 points out of 100 possible in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2021. Our indicator has decreased by one point, and now Ukraine ranks 122nd out of 180 countries in the CPI.

The information is available on the website of Transparency International Ukraine. The African state of Eswatini (Swaziland) is next to Ukraine. Zambia, Nepal, Egypt, the Philippines, and Algeria are one point ahead — with 33 points each.

On March 20 Ukraine’s President Zelensky announced ban on the activities of 11 political parties in the country, eliminating the entire opposition.

Crimea: EU renews sanctions

Brussels 20.06.2021 The Council has today decided to renew the sanctions introduced by the EU in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, until 23 June 2023.

“The restrictive measures currently in place were first introduced in June 2014, and include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating from theillegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services from the illegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in illegally annexed Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources are also subject to EU restrictions.

“As stated by Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in his Declaration on behalf of the EU on 25 February 2022, eight years since the violent, illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the EU does not recognise and continues to condemn the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula as a serious violation of international law. The EU remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and dedicated to fully implementing its non-recognition policy.

“Russia has further violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with its unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine which theEU continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms. It urges Russia to immediately stop its indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“The European Union is unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression and build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. It also remains committed to continue bolstering Ukraine ability to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

EU top diplomats convene in Luxembourg

Brussels 20.06.2022 The Foreign Affairs Council taking place in Luxembourg will be informed about current affairs and ministers will be able to exchange views on recent events and on fast-moving developments in external relations.

The Council will then discuss the latest developments in the Horn of Africa, and EU relations with Egypt.

Lastly the Council will exchange views on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, in the light of the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May 2022 and the adoption of a sixth package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia.

Over an informal lunch EU ministers will have the opportunity to hold a discussion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Sameh Hassan Shoukry.

Mélenchon: Assange French citizenship

Brussels 19.06.2022 Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France’s left coalition NUPES: “If I’m Prime Minister on Monday, Julian will be a naturalised French citizen and we will ask for him to be sent to us. Mr. Assange should be decorated for his services to the French people.”

While the UK Home Secretary Prity Patel approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the US, France’s far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon promises grant him French nationality if he’s appointed Prime minister.

The British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday, Juin 17, approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange to the U.S.

Last December, the U.K. The High Court in London ruled that Assange could be extradited from Britain to the U.S. to face espionage charges. This week the Home Office has signed the extradition order for Assange, which means that he could be sentenced for 175 in the State of Virginia, and as political prisoner vanish forever behind the barbed wire in “gulag”.

In a statement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

« Older Entries