Region

EU plus

Stories in this section cover the EU-27 countries plus the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and the Balkan Countries (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia).

German government approves delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

The German Federal government has approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, according to German government sources cited by German outlet Der Spiegel.

The Tuesday 7 February decision concerns deliveries of Leopard 1A5 tanks from a number of countries that have pooled their industry stocks, which the German government has now approved.

patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:51 EU to give Ukraine €25m in demining support

During the EU-Ukraine summit occurring in Kyiv on Friday (3 February), the EU High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell announced an additional €25 million to support Ukraine’s demining of territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

Speaking on a visit to a demining site, Borrell said:

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 12:32

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German government approves delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

The German Federal government has approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, according to German government sources cited by German outlet Der Spiegel.

The Tuesday 7 February decision concerns deliveries of Leopard 1A5 tanks from a number of countries that have pooled their industry stocks, which the German government has now approved.

patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:51
EU to give Ukraine €25m in demining support

During the EU-Ukraine summit occurring in Kyiv on Friday (3 February), the EU High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell announced an additional €25 million to support Ukraine’s demining of territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

Speaking on a visit to a demining site, Borrell said:

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 12:32
Opinion: Sweden must re-evaluate its internal and external relations before NATO accession can become reality
Given the increasingly uncertain political climate in which Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson finds himself, Sweden requires an internal and external positional re-evaluation in order to finalise its accession to NATO, writes Alfred Stranne in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Meanwhile, Sweden needs to understand the increasing anger coming from Ankara, which is severely hindering its progression towards becoming a member of the alliance. Meanwhile, Sweden must also look within NATO itself to seek support in reassuring Ankara that Sweden will be a significant security provider for the alliance, providing added benefits for Ankara as well. This would repair Sweden’s relations with Turkey and reassure Ankara that despite the ideological and religious differences between Kristersson and Erdogan, Sweden and Turkey have common interests in seeking regional peace and stability.
patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 09:33
Armenian and Azerbaijani experts discuss process of confidence-building with EU officials in Brussels
The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) met in Brussels on 1 – 2 February 2023. Armenian and Azerbaijani experts that form part of the Group discussed recent developments in the South Caucasus, developments in the process of normalising Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and establishing peace in the region, and how confidence-building measures can help overcome present and future problems and challenges. On 1 February, the Group had a substantive meeting with the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, who reiterated the continued and ongoing commitment of the European Union in support of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The group asked EUSR Toivo Klaar to convey their appreciation to European Council President Charles Michel for his continuing efforts to mediate between the two sides. The Group expressed its willingness to contribute with tangible actions and initiatives towards on-going European Union peace efforts in the region.
patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 14:42
Ukraine gears up for EU summit amid warnings of anniversary invasion
As the one-year anniversary of Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine approaches, Ukrainian officials are expressing concerns of a new major offensive following a recent large-scale Russian mobilisation. This comes as Kyiv prepares to host EU officials on Friday (3 February) for a summit on the embattled counry's progress towards EU membership. Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov estimates that Russia has mobilised up to 500,000 troops, despite official numbers claiming the mobilisation of 300,000 Russian troops. The estimates come after Ukrainian officials have announced high military activity on the Russian side of its border. Russia also celebrates its "Defender of the Fatherland Day" on 23 February, just one day before the one-year mark of the so-called "special military operation". 
patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 11:22
EU and Uzbekistan officials meet to discuss ties, promise to expand cooperation
The Uzbek Minister of Investments, Industry and Trade Laziz Qudratov hosted the head of the delegation of the EU in Uzbekistan Charlotte Adriaen on Monday (30 January) to discuss ways to advance bilateral ties in trade, economic and investment spheres. The parties explored the opportunities for expanding the main areas of bilateral financial and technical cooperation, and discussed the EU's Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for Uzbekistan (MIP), the implementation of which has been allocated €76m for the period 2021-2024. Additional funds for the same time frame were also earmarked for Human Rights support (€3.6m), and Civil Society Organisation (€3.4m). The MIP 2021-2027 has three main priorities, namely effective governance and digital transformation; inclusive, digital and green growth, and the development of a smart eco-friendly agri-food sector.
patrickn97 Wed, 02/01/2023 - 12:14
Germany officially confirms export of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, approves re-export from third countries
After weeks of growing pressure from allies, Berlin has finally announced that it will send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. It has also approved the re-export of Leopard 2 tanks from third countries. Other countries have also pledged to send Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks, including Poland, Norway and Portugal. It has also been reported that Spain intends to send Ukraine the German-made tanks too. Last week, the UK announced that it would send 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Kyiv. The announcement comes as the United States is reportedly considering arming Ukraine with its around 30 of its powerful Abrams tanks, and reports of Switzerland intending to lift its ban on supplying Kyiv with arms. The Leopard 2 first came into service in 1979, has a top speed of 68km/h (42mph), and a maximum range of around 500km (311 miles). They are specifically designed to compete with the Russian T-90 tanks, which Moscow has been using during its full-scale invasion.
patrickn97 Wed, 01/25/2023 - 11:51
Poland officially asks Germany for permission to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
Poland has officially asked Germany for permission to send some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the Polish Defence Minister announced in a tweet on Tuesday morning (24 January). In the tweet, Mariusz Blaszczak wrote: "The Germans have already received our request for consent to the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. I also appeal to the German side to join the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. This is our common cause because it is about the security of the whole of Europe!'' Germany has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to either supply Ukraine with its Leopard 2 tanks, or at least approve other countries' re-export of them. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had said on Sunday (22 January) in an interview with French television that she would not "stand in the way" of Poland if it wanted to sent its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. On his part, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday morning that Berlin had yet to decide on the delivery of combat tanks to Ukraine, saying that "There is no news that I can deliver at this point. I have said that shortly a decision will be made and I can only assume that will be the case."
patrickn97 Tue, 01/24/2023 - 12:38
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