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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 agrees legislation preventing import of products linked to deforestation

The European Union has reached a provisional deal to prohibit the import and sale of products that are linked to deforestation. This would apply to items such as beef, timber, rubber, coffee, soy, cocoa, and palm oil and their derived products.

Maximiliaan va… Tue, 12/06/2022 - 12:47
Monday Commentary: NATO’s new sense of purpose well reflected during last week’s Bucharest Ministerial Meeting
The Foreign ministers of NATO member states met in Bucharest on Tuesday and Wednesday,  (29 – 30 November), at a time when, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe faces one of the most serious security challenges since the alliance came into being in 1949. It was not NATO that triggered the Ukraine crisis. Indeed NATO, in its’ past quest not to alienate Russia, is sometimes accused of being overcautious in its relations with Ukraine prior to February. The Russian invasion has tested the alliance in many ways – the political will and unity of the member states; the capability of the alliance to support an ally who is not a member through a hybrid response; and the speed with which it could bolster its military capability on its Eastern flank to reassure member states. So far one can say that NATO has performed well, writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu. This response however needs to be sustained. NATO comes out from the Bucharest Ministerial meeting strengthened and resolute. It is an alliance that is on the move as it responds to new challenges. But NATO also remains rooted in its principles. As the foreign ministers declared in their final statement, NATO is a defensive alliance. “We will continue to strive for peace, security and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area”, they declared.
dennis2020 Mon, 12/05/2022 - 04:54
Russia to ban oil sales under price cap

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak stated on Sunday that Moscow will not adhere to the price cap of $60 per barrel imposed by the G7 on the sale of Russian oil to non-EU countries, and will reduce production in order to make up for lost exports.

Novak also argued that the price cap mechanism contravenes World Trade Organization rules, would cause a decrease in energy investment, and could potentially lead to worldwide shortages and further market disruption.

Maximiliaan va… Sun, 12/04/2022 - 17:47
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Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

On Thursday (1 December) EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, addressed the annual Ministerial Council of the OSCE, which this year is meeting in Poland. Speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, Borell said that Russia was waging total war against Ukraine, and this requires total support for Ukraine in response. Borrell said that Russia has brought the war back in Europe. Russia is now turning this into a purely punitive campaign, trying to inflict as much pain as possible on Ukrainian citizens, using winter as a weapon, putting them into the darkness and the cold. The Russian army is deliberately targeting energy and water infrastructure on which normal Ukrainian citizens depend
First shipment of Russian fertiliser en route to Africa

The first Russian shipment of fertiliser left the Dutch port of Terneuzen on Tuesday (29 November) after days of negotiating to ensure it would not be snagged by Western sanctions. The ship was commissioned by the UN’s food security agency, the World Food Programme, and the cargo is part of some 260,000 tonnes of Russian fertiliser stored in European ports.

patrickn97 Thu, 12/01/2022 - 07:18
Brussels hosts 6th EU-GCC Business forum
The EU and the GCC have underlined their commitment to expanding cooperation during the sixth joint business forum held at the Residence Palace in the European Quarter of Brussels on Thursday, 24 November.  "This meeting is both welcome and timely, given the very challenging global developments we have faced, and continue to face, in 2022," said European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis in his keynote speech to the gathering. Dombrovskis said that "in this challenging environment, the EU is fully committed to strengthening economic ties between our two regional blocs. By developing our areas of mutual interest, by working in a more collaborative way, we can achieve real benefits.  "The EU is guided in this important work by our Communication on a 'Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, published in May of this year. The strategic aim of this roadmap is clear: we want to broaden and deepen our cooperation with the GCC and its member countries. We view the Gulf as a dynamic neighboring region, and an important gateway between Europe, Asia and Africa."
dennis2020 Fri, 11/25/2022 - 07:14