Category Archives: Security

EU: Michel invitation to Versailles Council

Brussels 09.03.2022 Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their informal meeting of 10 and 11 March 2022:
“Russia has brought war back to Europe. This unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and undermines European security. Russia is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country. Together with Ukraine, we stand firmly on the side of freedom and democracy. Ukraine is part of our European family.

“In response to Russia’s aggression, the European Union has shown unity and strength. We have imposed on Russia the strictest sanctions ever adopted. The European Union and its Member States are providing coordinated humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine. Member States are also showing immense solidarity in hosting countless people fleeing the war.

“This conflict and its consequences will be at the heart of our informal meeting in Versailles on 10 and 11 March, which President Macron will kindly host.
Over the past years, faced with multiple crises and challenges, we engaged together on an ambitious strategic agenda. In the light of recent events, it is more urgent than ever that we take decisive steps towards building our sovereignty, reducing our dependencies and designing a new growth and investment model.

“Consequently, at our informal meeting, I would like us to focus on three particular issues, namely:

bolstering our defence capabilities;
reducing our energy dependency, in particular on Russian gas, oil and coal, and
building a more robust economic base.

Our meeting will start on 10 March at 5:30 pm with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament. Our objective on the first day is to focus on the situation in Ukraine, as well as on defence and energy.

On 11 March, our morning session and our working lunch will be devoted to our new growth and investment model in the presence of the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Eurogroup.

“I look forward to seeing you in Versailles (pictured above)”.

Russia-Ukraine talks started in Gomel

Brussels 28.02.2022 Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials began on the Belarusian border, Moscow said, while diplomatic and economic estrangement between Russian and the West deepens after four days of ongoing Russian assault in Ukraine.

Russian army overtook a number of cities in southeastern and the area around a notorious nuclear plant Chernobyl, the Interfax news agency wrote.

Talks between Russia and Ukraine are to be held in the Gomel region of Belarus.

As the site KP newspaper wrote earlier, the delegation from Ukraine was delayed due to difficult logistics – the diplomats decided to go through Poland first. The Ukrainian negotiators were reluctant to go directly to Gomel, as the fighting was going on in the area from the Ukrainian side.

The head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky (pictured), reported that Russia was ready to start negotiations immediately after the arrival of the Ukrainians.

14:35 The Russian-Ukrainian negotiations began with the Ukrainian delegation demanding the return of Crimea and the immediate payment of an indemnity of $14.8 billion, otherwise threatening to launch a large-scale offensive along the entire front.

14:07 Makei to the participants in the talks between Russia and Ukraine: “President Lukashenko sincerely hopes that during today’s talks it will be possible to find ways to resolve all crisis issues. And all Belarusians are praying for this. Any of your requests and proposals regarding the organization of today’s meeting will be accepted and implicitly executed. We are waiting for the result.”

13:55 Lukashenka hopes that in the course of negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine it will be possible to find a solution to all crisis issues, the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry reports.

13:17 Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have begun in the Gomel region, BelTA writes. The meeting of delegations is taking place near the Ukrainian border on the banks of the Pripyat River. Due to security reasons, the exact meeting point has not been announced.

11:39 The office of the President of Ukraine says that its main goal of negotiations with Russia is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Read on http://WWW.KP.RU: https://www.kp.ru/daily/27369/4552011/

EU mission in Kyiv stays functional

Brussels 14.02.2022 “The EU and its member states are coordinating their actions in view of the current threats on Ukraine” reads the declaration by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on behalf of the EU on diplomatic presence in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Image above: Kyiv, archive).

“Our diplomatic missions are not closing. They remain in Kyiv and continue to operate in support to EU citizens and in cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities. Staff presence and travel advice to EU citizens are being adjusted as necessary to take into account security circumstances”.

“We reaffirm our continued support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and diplomatic efforts towards de-escalation. We recall that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe cost in response” the statement concludes.

Borrell reaffirmed EU support to Ukraine

Brussels 22.12.2021 On 23 December 2021, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell held a phone call with Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmitry Kuleba to discuss the security situation in Eastern Europe in light of Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine.

The military build-up has created new threats and fears of invasion.

High Representative reaffirmed the European Union‘s firm and continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. He stressed that any further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe costs. He underlined the need for Russia to de-escalate and fully implement the Minsk agreements.

The EU is closely coordinating with transatlantic and other like-minded partners, including in relation to the two draft treaties affecting the European security architecture presented by Russia.

Any real discussion on security in Europe must build on and strengthen OSCE and UN commitments and obligations – true pillars of the European security architecture – and not lead to their erosion. The EU remains committed to the right of every country to make its sovereign choices in foreign and security policy.

High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Kuleba agreed to stay in close contact.

FACEBOOK: MEPs invite Frances Haugen

Strasbourg 18.10.2021 Lead MEPs from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee decided to invite Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen to a hearing on 8 November.(Image: European Parliament,illustration)

The decision to organise a public hearing in the European Parliament on “Whistleblowers’ testimonies on the negative impact of big tech companies’ products on users” was taken this afternoon by the Chair and the coordinators of the political groups in the committee. After the meeting, Chair Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, DE) said:

“Whistleblowers like Frances Haugen show the urgent need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interest of users. Her revelations lay bare the inherent conflict between the platform’s business model and users’ interests. It shows that we need strong rules for content moderation and far-reaching transparency obligations in Europe.

It also shows that corporate self-regulation has not worked. With the Digital Services Act, the European Union is on the right track to fight hate speech and disinformation online by addressing business models that use algorithms to sell more advertising, even if this has a detrimental effect on society. We need to regulate the whole system that favours disinformation and violence over factual content – and we need to enforce it effectively.

All allegations in the ‘Facebook Files’ must be investigated. As the Internal Market Committee is currently negotiating the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, a public hearing with Frances Haugen will enrich the democratic discourse and our current legislative work in the committees concerned”.

UK Conservative MP stabbed in church

Brussels 16.10.2021 The president of the European Parliament David Sassoli expressed his sorrow, reacting upon the news of knife stabbing of the UK MP Sr David Amess, who has died from the wounds in his constituency in Essex.
“Deeply shocked and saddened by the news that British MP Sir David Amess has been murdered while doing his job this afternoon. All our thoughts are with his family and friends” Sassoli wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Politicians have paid tribute to Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who has died after being stabbed in his constituency in Essex.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was one of the “one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics”.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the “much-loved” MP was a “bright light of Parliament”.

And Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer hailed his “profound sense of public duty”.

Sir David was stabbed whilst holding a constituency surgery, where voters can meet their local MP and discuss concerns.

Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at a church in Leigh-on-Sea. A number of sources claim that the attacker was a Somali Islamist.

Kunduz: EU mourns victims

Brussels 09.10.2021 “People were gathered for Friday prayers in a Shiite mosque in Kunduz, when a cowardly attack struck, killing more than 40 believers and reportedly injuring over 100. The European Union mourns with the families of the victims and wishes those injured a full and speedy recovery” the statement of the European External Actions Service reads.

“The perpetrators of this despicable crime, for which the terrorist group ‘ISIS-Khorasan’ claimed responsibility, must be brought to justice. The human rights of all Afghans, including the right to life and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, have to be protected and respected”.

“Continued terrorist attacks are a serious obstacle to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, where all Afghan citizens can feel safe and secure. The European Union remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan and to supporting its people”.

Dozens of people have been killed in a suicide bombing attack at a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s northeastern city of Kunduz during Friday prayers on October 9, the country’s worst bloodshed since the Taliban took over control in August.

The Islamic State of Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack through the same day via online communicatins.

EU committed to defeat Da’esh

Brussels 28.06.2021 “The EU remains firmly committed to the Global Coalition against Da’esh. The job is not yet finished in Iraq and Syria, where the core of Da’esh is still active, even if gone largely underground. Stabilisation and reconstruction are key to prevent its resurgence. We also see a growing influence of Da’esh in areas already made vulnerable by conflict, including West Africa and Mozambique. The pandemic and its impact on local economies are also creating new opportunities for Da’esh to exploit” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said, while addressing in Rome the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Da’esh.

“This is why our collective action remains crucial to ensure sustainable progress” the diplomat continued.

“In Iraq, the EU has invested over €1.3 billion since 2014 in development, humanitarian and security assistance. Since 2017, we support civilian Security Sector Reform through an EU Advisory Mission (EUAM Iraq), with a team of up to 80 international staff. The mission works very closely with the Ministry of the Interior and will soon extend its presence also to Erbil.

“When I met with Foreign Minister [of Iraq, Fuad] Hussein last week, I also announced the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission for the October elections.

“On Syria, we continue to push for a political solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We insist on the importance of non-normalisation with Syria in order to maintain pressure on the regime to engage in the UN process. In March, the EU co-chaired the 5th Syria Conference in Brussels to mobilise the international community in support of the Syrian people.

“The EU also supports the stabilisation of the North East with projects to build resilience against radicalisation, prevent violent extremism, and in support of vulnerable children and youth.

[The humanitarian and security conditions in the camps remain difficult. The EU visited the region last week and will launch new stabilisation assistance, including for camps and prisons.]

“Turning to Africa, I warmly welcome the new Coalition members from the African continent who join us for the first time today.

“In Sahel, we have to pay closer attention to the region: in Central Mali we see every day two grave security incidents causing deaths or injuries. This is of concern to all of us. For this reason, the EU is committed to keep up its military and civilian engagement. We have three [Common Security and Defence Policy] CSDP missions in the region, with around 1,000 staff to support host countries in the fight against terrorism. The EU also supports the G5 Sahel Joint Force and stabilisation efforts in support of local populations.

We again welcome a role for the Coalition in the Sahel region. A role that has to be played in close coordination with international efforts in the framework of the Coalition for the Sahel.

Finally, on Mozambique. The humanitarian and security situation in Cabo Delgado is rapidly deteriorating. At the request of the Mozambican government, the EU is finalising the planning for an EU military CSDP mission aimed at providing human-rights compliant training and capacity building to selected units of the Mozambican armed forces.

The EU is further engaged with humanitarian, development and stabilisation assistance adding up to nearly €60 million for projects to build confidence between security forces and local communities.

“Two years after the defeat of Da’esh by Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, it is clear that there is still much work to do. The EU will continue to do its part, together with the Global Coalition and its partners”.

NATO faces multifaceted threats

Brussels 14.06.2021 “…We face multifaceted threats, systemic competition from assertive and authoritarian powers, as well as growing security challenges to our countries and our citizens from all strategic directions” reads the Brussels Summit Communiqué Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels 14 June 2021.

“Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all. State and non-state actors challenge the rules-based international order and seek to undermine democracy across the globe. Instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration and human trafficking. China’s growing influence and international policies can present challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance”.

“We will engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the Alliance. We are increasingly confronted by cyber, hybrid, and other asymmetric threats, including disinformation campaigns, and by the malicious use of ever-more sophisticated emerging and disruptive technologies. Rapid advances in the space domain are affecting our security”.

“The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the erosion of the arms control architecture also undermine our collective security. Climate change is a threat multiplier that impacts Alliance security. The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to protect and defend our territories and our populations against attack, and we will address all threats and challenges which affect Euro-Atlantic security…”

Danish NSA spies on EU leaders

Bruxelles 30.05.2021 Denmark’s secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media investigation published on Sunday revealed. (Image: illustration).

The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE).

The report showed that Germany’s close ally and neighbour cooperated with the American spying operations targeting the chancellor and president.

The then chancellor candidate for the German centre-left socialist party (SPD), Peer Steinbrück, was also a target, the new report disclosed.

The Danish government knew of the involvement of the country’s secret service in the NSA scandal by 2015 at the latest.

They began to collect information on the FE’s cooperation with the NSA between 2012 and 2014 in the secret Dunhammer report following the disclosures by the former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden, NDR reported.

The information they gathered made it clear that the FE had helped the NSA to spy on leading politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France.

Danish intelligence also helped the US agency to spy on the Danish foreign and finance ministries as well as a Danish weapons manufacturer. The FE also cooperated with the NSA on spying operations against the US government itself.

Upon discovering exactly how far the cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services went, the Danish government forced the entire leadership of the FE to step down in 2020.

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