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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EU seeks new enhanced partnership agreement with Tajikistan as it pursues a more assertive role in Central Asia
The Council of the European Union on 8 December adopted guidelines for the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with Tajikistan. Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It has an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 9,749,625 people. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Like other Central Asian republics, Tajikistan is currently seeking to diversify its international relations, including by strengthening its relations with the European Union. A statement posted on the website of the Council of the European Union said that the EU is determined to deepen its relations with the Central Asian countries, even more so in the current geopolitical environment. The negotiation of an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Tajikistan will be a significant step forward in this regard. It will provide a platform for improved political cooperation, trade and investment between the EU and Tajikistan, incentivising and supporting reforms. Progress in these negotiations will also depend on tangible improvements in Tajikistan’s human rights situation, including with regard to the freedom of expression, media and assembly.
dennis2020 Tue, 12/13/2022 - 15:31
New undersea hydrogen pipeline between Spain and France to be ready 'by 2030'
The leaders of France, Portugal and Spain announced on Friday (9 December) that the undersea pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille, expected to be completed by 2030, will transport exclusively hydrogen. Also present at the meeting in Alicante, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the H2Med project "goes in the right direction" as it "has the potential to help us build a real European hydrogen backbone." "We will produce ten million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU by 2030 and we plan to import in addition another 10 million tonnes. Hydrogen will have to reach our industry. This is why we also identified a series of strategic corridors including one crossing Europe from West to East, via the Iberian Peninsula." "This is why today I warmly welcome this agreement between France, Spain and Portugal", Von der Leyen said.
Maximiliaan va… Sat, 12/10/2022 - 16:47
Border police detain migrants in secret detention centres along EU border

Border police forces along the European Union's external borders in Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia are keeping migrants in secret detention centres without providing access to asylum applications, food, water, or toilets. According to research by the non-profit Dutch-based journalism collective, Lighthouse Reports in collaboration with several European newspapers, these actions are in violation of human rights and constitute torture. The migrants detained are not registered anywhere. They are also not given the opportunity to apply for asylum.

Maximiliaan va… Thu, 12/08/2022 - 16:20
Germany arrests 25 alleged far-right extremists accused of plotting coup

German authorities announced on Wednesday (7 December) that they have arrested 25 alleged far-right extremists under suspicion of plotting to overthrow the state and replacing it with a Germany modelled on the Second Reich.

patrickn97 Wed, 12/07/2022 - 16:34
Türkiye warned Greece to stop militarizing the Aegean islands
Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has warned Greece on Tuesday (6 December) to stop militarizing the Aegean islands, or Ankara “will take the necessary steps on the ground.” He said Türkiye had sent a letter to the United Nations in July 2021 laying out its arguments against Athens, which he said had violated the agreements of Lausanne and Paris. Greece denied these accusations, saying it has not provoked its neighbour nor amassed a large landing fleet on its shores.
Maximiliaan va… Tue, 12/06/2022 - 19:23
Exiled Russian broadcaster TV Rain ordered to close by Latvian media regulator

Russia's last remaining independent television channel station, Dozhd TV, commonly known in English as TV Rain, has been ordered to close by Latvia's media regulator less than five months after moving operations to Riga.

Latvia's media regulator, The National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP), announced the ruling on Tuesday (6 December), ordering TV Rain to cease operations by Friday 8 December. It said the decision to order the station to close was taken "in connection with threats to national security and public order."

patrickn97 Tue, 12/06/2022 - 14:01