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Turkey holds delicate talks with Sweden and Finland ahead of a decision on their NATO membership application

Turkey holds delicate talks with Sweden and Finland ahead of a decision on their NATO membership application

Senior Turkish officials have met with government delegations from Sweden and Finland as discussions continue following Ankara's threat to veto the NATO membership application of the two Nordic countries. Most NATO countries have warmly welcomed the decision of Sweden and Finland since their membership in NATO will considerably strengthen the northern flank of the alliance, but Turkey accuses both countries of having an ambivalent position on Turkey's struggle with militant Kurdish groups. On Wednesday, Swedish and Finnish government delegations travelled to Ankara to meet with Turkish representatives in an effort to resolve the country’s doubts regarding their accession to NATO. In their first face-to-face meeting since the two Nordic countries applied for membership, Turkish representatives stressed their security concerns, and conditions regarding Sweden’s “cooperation” with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement late on Wednesday that positive steps towards the lifting of an arms embargo from Finland and Sweden had been taken. In October of 2019, Sweden and Finland were among some  European states that imposed an arms embargo on Turkey following a military incursion into Syria.

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UN Secretary General: "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again."

UN Secretary General: "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again."

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters at the UN Headquarters, that the conflict in Ukraine can turn into a nuclear one. "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again," he said. Noting that Russia's raising the nuclear alert level is a "creepy" development, Guterres said, "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again. "Ukraine is on fire. The country is being destroyed before the eyes of the world."  Saying that the impact of Russia's war against Ukraine on civilians has reached "terrible dimensions", Guterres told the assembled journalists, "Whatever the outcome, there will be no winners in this war, only losers."
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 In the name of God, stop this massacre!

In the name of God, stop this massacre!

Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, has made an passionate appeal for an end to the war in Ukraine. At the conclusion of the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis recalled that the city that bears the name of the Virgin Mary, Mariupol, has become a city of martyrs in the terrible war ravaging Ukraine. He expressed horror over the barbarity of the killing of children, innocents and unarmed civilians, and called for an end to the unacceptable armed aggression, before it reduces cities to cemeteries. "With pain in my heart I join my voice to that of the common people, who implore an end to the war. In the name of God, let the cries of those who suffer be heard and let the bombings and attacks cease! Let there be a real and decisive focus on negotiation, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: stop this massacre!"
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IMF Head warns of economic impact of Ukraine Crisis on Africa

IMF Head warns of economic impact of Ukraine Crisis on Africa

African economies are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of war in Ukraine, says IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva. The remarks come two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent financial markets into steady decline, leaving African economies with high food and fuel prices. “The war and the unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia are having far-reaching consequences. They come at a delicate time for Africa.”, she stated at a closed virtual press briefing on Thursday.
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Russian Banks look east for salvation

Russian Banks look east for salvation

In addition to the moves towards UnionPay, some Russian companies are now accepting payments in Yuan, and there is talk of Russia turning to CIPS, the Chinese equivalent of SWIFT. The Russian pivot towards the Yuan and Chinese financial systems could reduce the dominance of the US Dollar in global transactions. In addition to the moves towards UnionPay, some Russian companies are now accepting payments in Yuan, and there is talk of Russia turning to CIPS, the Chinese equivalent of SWIFT. The Russian pivot towards the Yuan and Chinese financial systems could reduce the dominance of the US Dollar in global transactions.