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Turkey rules out support for Sweden NATO bid after Stockholm protests
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that Sweden should not expect support from Ankara over its bid to join NATO following protests in Stockholm at the weekend. Surrounded by police for his protection, on Saturday (21 January) Danish-Swedish, far-right, anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm while making disparaging remarks about immigrants and Islam. This incensed President Erdogan who criticised the Swedish authorities for letting the stunt happen. “It is clear that those who allowed such vileness to take place in front of our embassy can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application,” Erdogan said on Monday (23 January). Another bone of contention between Sweden and Turkey regarding the former's accession to NATO concerns the Kurdish question. Later on Saturday following Paludan's stunt, there was a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Stockholm where flags of various Kurdish groups were waved, including that of the Kurdish Workers' Party, or the PKK. The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, and although it is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, its symbols are not banned in Sweden.
patrickn97 Mon, 01/23/2023 - 18:53
Ramstein summit: no decision on German tanks as countries make military aid pledges
No decision has been reached on whether Berlin will approve the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at Ramstein Air Force base summit of global defence leaders in Germany on Friday (20 January). The BBC reports that the Polish Defence Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, remains optimistic that efforts to supply the tanks would be successful, saying, "Defence ministers of 15 countries met on the sidelines of today's conference and we talked about this topic...I am convinced that coalition building will end in success." Both leading up to and during the summit on Friday, numerous countries had made separate pledges of military equipment to Ukraine. The Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United States are among those to have pledged further military aid to Ukraine in the past week.
patrickn97 Fri, 01/20/2023 - 17:14
Five people killed in mass shooting in Sagarejo, Georgia
A retired military veteran has killed five people in the eastern Georgian town of Sagarejo before committing suicide, the country's interior ministry announced on Friday morning (20 January). The offender, according to the Georgian interior ministry, had served in the Georgian Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Among the dead is 38-year-old Otar Gvinashvili, a police officer who sustained fatal injuries while trying to protect another person during the shooting. Five other people were wounded. Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Georgian Interior Minister who arrived at the scene early on Friday, said the offender had been with his adult child who escaped the flat following the incident. The 49-year-old offender is believed to have killed himself as security forces entered his flat. Neighbours told local media the shooter had rented his flat and was reportedly undergoing treatment for psychological problems. There is currently no known motive for the mass shooting.
patrickn97 Fri, 01/20/2023 - 10:17
European Council President Michel heads to Kyiv amid calls to send Ukraine tanks
The President of the European Council Charles Michel is in Kyiv, announcing his arrival on Twitter on Thursday morning (19 January). In a video, he said: "I am on my way to Kyiv because I will have the occasion to meet again with the President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Prime Minister, and members of parliament. And we know that the Ukrainians are resisting, and they are fighting. They are fighting for their land, they are fighting for the future, and for the future of their children. We all know they are also fighting for our common European values and principles. And also for the promise of European Union peace and prosperity. They need and deserve our support, and that is why we will discuss with President Zelensky and his team what are the measures we can develop in order to make sure they are stronger and more powerful." In a speech to the European Parliament yesterday (18 January), President Michel explicitly expressed his support for supplying Ukraine with tanks, saying: "The time is now. They urgently need more equipment and I'm personally in favour of supplying tanks to Ukraine."
patrickn97 Thu, 01/19/2023 - 11:29
Opinion: Armenia must not use the Lachin corridor for the transportation of military goods
While Azerbaijan gets most of the blame for the ongoing crisis in the “Lachin Corridor,” the international community does not see the elephant in the room: Armenia’s shipment of weapons and illegal mining operations through this corridor intended for civilian use, writes Nurlan Mustafayev in this op-ed for
dennis2020 Thu, 01/19/2023 - 08:46
Kazakhstan tightens entrance rules for citizens of EEU countries, including Russia

Kazakhstan has announced that they will tighten entrance rules for citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Russians.

A draft resolution adopted on 31 December, published on Tuesday (17 January), and which will become effective on 27 January will restrict citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union to 90 days visa-free in Kazakhstan within any 180-day period.

patrickn97 Wed, 01/18/2023 - 13:25
Helicopter tragedy in Ukraine: Ministers and one child among the casualties after a helicopter crash
Fourteen people have been killed, including Ukraine's interior affairs minister, after a helicopter crashed beside a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv. One child is among the dead. The interior minister, Denys Monastyrsky, was with eight others in the helicopter. His first deputy minister and the state secretary also died, officials said, when the helicopter came down in the suburb of Brovary. The 42-year-old interior minister was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky's cabinet and played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022. National police chief Ihor Klymenko wrote on Facebook that the helicopter belonged to Ukraine's state emergency service. Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since Russia's war began, although there is no indication that the crash was anything more than an accident. The deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been en route to a war "hot spot" when his helicopter went down.
dennis2020 Wed, 01/18/2023 - 11:07
Kazakh and Azerbaijani leaders visit UAE for Abu Dhabi sustainability summit

The Presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ilham Aliyev, have both addressed the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit as the UAE leads up to COP28 later this year.

In his speech on Monday (16 January), President Tokayev of Kazakhstan spoke about his country's commitment to achieving climate neutrality.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 11:02
Ex-Wagner commander flees Russia seeking asylum in Norway

A former commander of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group, Andrey Medvedev, has sought asylum in Norway after allegedly witnessing extrajudicial killings during the war in Ukraine. 

patrickn97 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:27