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).

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

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Sweden takes over rotating presidency of EU for the next six months
On 1 January 2023, Sweden took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Czechia. "Security, competitiveness, green and energy transitions, democratic values and the rule of law" are the priorities of the Presidency for the coming six months. During the first half of the year, Sweden will lead the work in the Council of the EU and represent all 27 Member States in negotiations with other EU institutions. The Swedish Presidency will chair approximately 2 000 meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg, and approximately 150 informal meetings will be held in locations throughout Sweden. “Sweden is taking over the Presidency at a time when the European Union is facing unprecedented challenges. A greener, more secure and freer Europe is the foundation of our priorities,” said Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on 14 December when he presented the priorities of the Swedish Presidency to the Riksdag
dennis2020 Mon, 01/02/2023 - 05:50
Opinion: Azerbaijan is intensively engaged in new projects that aim to contribute to energy security, especially in Eastern Europe
Over the last month, the diplomatic traffic between Azerbaijan and the Eastern European countries has intensified in a remarkable way. The mutual high-level visits between Albania and Azerbaijan, as well as between Serbia and Azerbaijan in a short period of time over the last few months were a sign of the sides’ interest in bilateral cooperation in various fields, particularly in the field of energy. Azerbaijan is also involved in projects with the countries of the region within multilateral formats together with the European Union (EU). In this context, two major agreements signed this year provide a good basis for this cooperation both in the imports of natural gas and importantly green energy, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. These developments in the relations between Azerbaijan and the Eastern European countries brings with it also geopolitical approximation between the sides. As President Aliyev stated following the signing of the electricity deal in Bucharest, Azerbaijan’s contribution to European energy security creates an important bridge between the EU and Azerbaijan. The bridge between the two shores of the Black Sea forms a larger security architecture which increase the resilience of the regional countries in the face of national security challenges they face.
dennis2020 Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:59
Uzbekistan sends first cargo train to Europe through "the middle corridor"

Uzbekistan's state-owned railway company Temir Yullari has announced that for the first time, a cargo train carrying copper concentrate has been sent from Uzbekistan to Europe via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Middle Corridor.

This route bypasses Russia, and offers Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries an alternative connection to European markets.

Maximiliaan va… Tue, 12/20/2022 - 15:16
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EU continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus.

EU continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus.

The European Union continues to develop its tools in support of its objective to contribute to peace and security in the South Caucasus.  On Monday (19 December), the EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP), launched in October, completed its mandate. Based on the agreement between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, European Council and France, the EUMCAP was deployed on 20 October along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan with the objective of monitoring, analysing and reporting on the situation on the ground. EU leaders, meeting in Brussels last week, assessed the wotk of the mission and the way forward. A statement by the European External Action Service on Monday stated that, "the Council – in agreement with Armenia’s authorities - decided that the existing EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) will deploy a transitional planning assistance team in Armenia to enhance the EU’s awareness of the security situation, and contribute to the planning and preparation of a possible civilian CSDP mission in the country. The transitional planning assistance team is also expected to support the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the EU-facilitated normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
Under the Pall of War: Implications of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine for Peace Processes in the South Caucasus
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shattered Europe’s security architecture, with far-reaching and unpredictable implications for conflicts in neighbouring regions where Russia plays a role. This discussion paper, just published by Conciliation Resources, focuses on the impacts of war in Ukraine on the peace processes of the South Caucasus, a region fractured by protracted conflicts dating back to the 1990s.
dennis2020 Sun, 12/18/2022 - 06:34
Azerbaijan, Hungary, Romania, and Georgia agree on project for a new electricity cable under the Black Sea

On Saturday (17 December) at a meeting in Bucharest, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed an agreement to construct a new underwater electric cable through the Black Sea, connecting the South Caucasus region to the European Union. The cable will provide Europe with Azerbaijani energy. 

Maximiliaan va… Sun, 12/18/2022 - 00:30
Germany opens first floating liquid natural gas terminal

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other ministers inaugurated on Saturday morning (17 December) the country's first liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany, a project expected to supply around 6% of the country's energy demand. At the inauguration, Scholz stated that the rapid completion of the plant demonstrates that Germany's powerful economy will remain resilient in the face of the energy crisis compounded by the conflict in Ukraine.

Maximiliaan va… Sun, 12/18/2022 - 00:10
European Parliament adopts resolution recognising Holodomor as 'genocide'

The European Parliament has passed a resolution on Thursday (15 December) that recognizes the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, as genocide. This was backed by an overwhelming majority of votes, with 507 in favour, 12 against, and 17 abstentions. The resolution also draws a comparison between this event and the current crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine, and urges all governments and organisations to recognise the Holodomor as genocide.

Maximiliaan va… Fri, 12/16/2022 - 05:44
The Yemeni Diaspora: a case study analysis of the German and American Yemeni diasporas

In this second article in a series of three pieces about different aspects of the Yemeni diaspora, Hisham Almahdi discusses notable aspects and intricacies of the German and American diasporas. The first article can be read here and, the third article in this series will be published in due course.

patrickn97 Wed, 12/14/2022 - 14:00