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That other European border

That other European border

The Spanish Interior Minister announced on Thursday, 12 May, that Madrid and Rabat have decided to reopen the borders between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the next few days, after two years of closure. The enclaves, on the African continent, are surrounded by the sea, and by Moroccan territory. The reopening of the only two land borders of the European Union on the African continent will be done gradually and will initially concern the nationals of countries belonging to the Schengen area, according to the Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Workers from border regions  will then be able to cross the border freely from 31 May 2022.
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Von der Leyen says Russia is the most  direct threat to the international order

Von der Leyen says Russia is the most direct threat to the international order

Russia “is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China”, European Commission President, Urusula von der Leyen, said in Tokyo on Thursday (12 May) after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida along with European Council President Charles Michel. The two are in Tokyo for an annual EU-Japan summit that comes with much of the international community rallying to pressure Moscow over the Ukraine war, with concern also growing about China’s role. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not just a matter for Europe, but it shakes the core of the international order including Asia. This must not be tolerated,” said Kishida, whose government has joined tough sanctions on Moscow, including on energy. “Our cooperation in Ukraine is critical in Europe, but it’s also important in the Indo-Pacific and we also want to deepen our consultation on a more assertive China,” said Michel.
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Opinion: The Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process proceeds despite challenges

Opinion: The Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process proceeds despite challenges

The Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process is passing through a critical stage which will determine the future of the relations between the two countries: Either they will now agree on normalization of relations and put an end to their hostilities, or they will remain stuck in these disputes for years to come. Hopefully, peace efforts will prevail over the agendas of nationalist groups and their external allies, writes Dr Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed
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Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced Thursday (5 May) that on 5 June, a constitutional referendum will take place. The referendum will ask voters to approve an overhauled constitution that the government say will launch Kazakhstan’s Second Republic. To modernize Kazakhstan, Tokayev will need to implement deep-rooted reforms to institute substantial reforms, in practice and not merely in a declaratory fashion as was the habit with his predecessor. The constitutional changes are seen as a good start, but can certainly not be the end of the story if the promise of a new Kazakhstan is to be delivered.
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Ukraine expects Russia to pay 600 billion USD in war reparations

Ukraine expects Russia to pay 600 billion USD in war reparations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky said Tuesday Russia should have to pay reparations for the damage it caused to Ukraine after the war is over. “Russia will have to pay reparations. We know it clearly,” Zelensky said when addressing The Wall Street Journal CEO Summit 2022. Since the start of the war, Zelensky says Russia has caused $600 billion in damage to the country. The damage is from the Russian military’s shelling of cities, which have destroyed buildings and water systems, leaving some of those left in the country struggling for basic resources. “They have destroyed everything themselves,” Zelensky told the Journal, noting how quickly the economic relationship between Russia and Ukraine changed. Zelensky said that after the war, Ukrainians want to rebuild the country quickly, calling for businesses to flock to the nation. “I’m sure after victory we will do everything quite fast, and Ukraine will be more beautiful than before,” Zelensky said, adding businesses would “get access to our country, our 40 million-plus market.” Zelensky said the war will not end until weapons are laid down, with Ukraine’s goal to one day take back all the land Russia has occupied, including Crimea.