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Opinion
Opinion: Macron's 'European Political Community' offers an opportunity for a continent-wide approach to critical security issues

Opinion: Macron's 'European Political Community' offers an opportunity for a continent-wide approach to critical security issues

French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to create a "European Political Community" can, if handled correctly, provide a permanent framework where EU countries and other European states can interact on critical political and security issues. However, for the community to succeed it must not simply become an extension of the EU. It must be designed to ensure that all countries involved have a voice in fostering political dialogue and cooperation in order to address issues of common interest, writes Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Overall the idea of a European Political Community is a positive one. Ensuring that countries like Turkey and the UK can be equal partners in the discussion on the future of Europe's security, is an important and positive step. Making sure that smaller countries in the Balkans and the Caucasus can also be part of the conversation is equally relevant. But for the Community to succeed it must quickly carve a niche for itself in the crowded field of European institutions, which apart from NATO and the EU, also includes the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the Western European Union, not to mention multiple sub regional entities. The best option for the new community is to focus on security, and the security threats poised by the new Russian and Chinese assertivness.
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News
Russia mobilises 300,000 reservists in a desperate effort to reverse setbacks in Ukraine

Russia mobilises 300,000 reservists in a desperate effort to reverse setbacks in Ukraine

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilisation as part of an effort to boost its military effort in Ukraine. Putin made the announcement during a pre-recorded television speech which was first scheduled to be aired on Wednesday evening, but was eventually delayed until Thursday morning. After the speech was aired, Russia's defence minister, Sergei Shoigu gave further details on the partial military mobilisation, saying 300,000 reservists will be conscripted into the armed forces. Sergei Shoigu said that number represented a small fraction of Russia's available resources, while students and those who had already served as conscripts would not be called up. He said all those being conscripted would be given military training before being sent to Ukraine. In his speech Vladimir Putin said the decision, which followed the announcement of referendums to pave the way for the formal annexation of swathes of Ukraine, is meant to "protect our Motherland and our territorial integrity." Claiming the West was threatening Russia with nuclear weapons, Mr Putin said: "We have lots of weapons to reply - it is not a bluff."
Editor's choice
News
Armenia triggers mutual defence mechanism with Russia and CSTO

Armenia triggers mutual defence mechanism with Russia and CSTO

In the aftermath of deadly clashes with Azerbaijan overnight, which left dozens of Armenian soldiers killed or injured, Armenia has triggered mutual defence clauses in its agreements with Russia and with the Russia led Collective Security Treaty Organisation, of which Armenia is a full member. Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke on the phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin as the fighting was raging. Armenia's Defence and Foreign Ministers have also been in touch with their Russian counterparts. Armenia has a defence treaty with Russia. Armenian leaders have also been in touch with the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, of which Armenia is a full member. It is understood that the Council of the CSTO is to meet soon to discuss the matter. There is increasing frustration in Armenia at the failure of both Russia and the CSTO to support it in the face of what it claims to be Azerbaijani aggression.