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Stories related to defence, strategy and cooperation. 

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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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Opinion
Opinion: For the EU strategic autonomy is as yet only an aspiration, but one worth pursuing

Opinion: For the EU strategic autonomy is as yet only an aspiration, but one worth pursuing

The establishment of AUKUS, and subsequent submarine dispute, has exposed once more the EU's strategic vulnerability. At present the EU has no common foreign policy and no European armed forces capability, and strategic autonomy remains an illusion. But it is not a wrong goal to pursue, argues Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed.
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Opinion
 Opinion: After thirty years of modern statehood Armenia has little to celebrate, yet if it acts reasonably it can overcome its present predicament

Opinion: After thirty years of modern statehood Armenia has little to celebrate, yet if it acts reasonably it can overcome its present predicament

Armenia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence but whilst it has all the attributes of a modern state a lot of its institutions are hollow. There is much that can be done, and if it acts reasonably, Armenia can celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence in twenty years’ time in a much more positive atmosphere, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this anniversary op-ed. 
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AUKUS: preparing for the inevitable confrontation with China

AUKUS: preparing for the inevitable confrontation with China

China and the US are still talking but it seems the talk is how to make the crisis or crises on the horizon less risky. In the meantime both sides are preparing for the worst. On Wednesday, the process was taken a step further with the launch of the new AUKUS security arrangement, bringing together the US, the UK and Australia.
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Putin watches war games in Nizhny Novgorod

Putin watches war games in Nizhny Novgorod

During the exercises Russian military units, together with contingents from Armenia, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia practiced joint operations to repel advancing enemy forces, conduct maneuverable defence and deliver a massive strike and defeat a hypothetical enemy penetration.