Defense & Security

Germany greenlights weapon exports to UAE

-
Germany's Federal Security Council headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel authorized the export of military equipment to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite the country’s involvement over the war in Yemen, Germany's public broadcaster DW...

Greece and US ink new defence deal and extend strategic dialogue

-
Taking a welcome break from his involvement in the Trump-Ukraine issue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed his short Balkan swing on 6 October after signing an important agreement in Athens to update...

Spain faces the prospect of militant Catalan separatism

-
For the first time since Catalan separatists were arrested in 2017, following the October 1 independence referendum, Spanish prosecutors have made arrests linked to terrorism. Just as a decades-old circle of violence is closing...

Washington and Athens agree on new defence agreement

-
The US and Greece have agreed on the text of a new document which will modify the existing bilateral Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) dating from 1990.  The current plan is to have this...

Iran to release Stena Impero

-
The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero is "free to leave," Iran's government spokesperson, Ali Rabiei, said on Monday. Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) forces captured the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19. The...

Man arrested in Greece for 1985 hijacking is released

-
The arrest in Greece of a Lebanese man accused of involvement in the June 1985 TWA hijack of a flight from Athens to Rome is a case of mistaken identity. The man was accused of...

Trump taps hostage negotiator as National Security Adviser

-
The US' chief hostage negotiator Robert C. O'Brien was tapped by President Donald Trump on Wednesday to replace John Bolton as the new national security adviser. As a negotiator, he worked on a number of...

UK summons Iranian ambassador over Adrian Darya 1 oil delivery

-
After weeks of controversy surrounding an Iranian oil tanker, Britain summoned the Islamic Republic's ambassador to protest a clear breach of the assurances that were given by Tehran in August that the oil cargo...

US Secretary of State completes consultation round with incoming EU leadership

-
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Monday in Brussels for talks with EU and NATO officials. Pompeo saw European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen on Monday; he went on to meet EU foreign policy...

Russia’s influence in Georgia has grown since the 2008 war

-
At exactly the same time that French President Emmanuel Macron was hosting his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at his summer home in the south of France this week, Russian soldiers were busy building barbed...

Pompeo threatens to sanction countries that allow Iranian tanker to drop anchor

-
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will take every action it can to prevent an Iranian oil tanker that left Gibraltar on Monday from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of current American...

Danes angered over Trump cancellation following Greenland debacle

-
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admitted on Tuesday that she was "annoyed" after US President Donald J. Trump abruptly announced that would cancel his upcoming official visit to Denmark after being told that Greenland...

ISIS is reconstituting in Iraq and Syria

-
It has been than a year since US President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to declare victory over the Islamic State, but new reports indicate that the more than 18,000 ISIS fighters are...

Formerly detained Iranian tanker leaves Gibraltar for Greece

-
An Iranian tanker captured by Royal Marines and detained by Gibraltarian authorities since July 4 was released late Sunday and sailed for Greece on Monday. The final destination is unknown. The Grace 1 tanker was carrying...

What can be done to save Hong Kong?

-
It is becoming increasingly clear, as the Hong Kong protests continue, that the Chinese Communist Party will be forced to make a choice - either a bloody, military crackdown (the more likely of the...

When Leninists overreach

-
Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must...

EP president urges Italian government to let all migrant ship passengers disembark

-
The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has urged the Italian government to allow the Open Arms migrant ship to dock on the island of Lampedusa and allow the more than 100 illegal...

Tense encounter between Russian and Spanish jetfighters over the Baltic Sea

-
A Spanish F-18 fighter and a Russian Su-27 were involved in a tense encounter over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, as seen in a video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry. The Spanish F-18 took makes...

Gibraltar considers the release of Iranian tanker

-
British authorities remain in talks with Iran regarding the release of an oil tanker that was captured by Royal Marines in July after British authorities discovered that the ship was bound for Syria, which...

Pentagon says ISIS is moving to reconstitute itself in Syria

-
ISIS is making a comeback in Syria at a time when the United States is largely drawing down its troop presence in the country, according to a Pentagon report. "Although it has lost its territory,...

Bosnia’s authorities draw cautious praise from Brussels after agreeing to form Council of Ministers

-
Nearly 10 months after Bosnia and Herzegovina's last round of elections, the leaders of country's three main ethnoreligious groups finally reached an agreement to form a central government on 4 August, news that the...

Brussels warns that several EU members could be sent to Court of Justice over...

-
The European Commission has threatened 19 of the EU's 28 members that they could be sent to the bloc's Court of Justice if they continue to fail at cracking down on the sale of firearms. Brussels signalled out Cyprus,...

Germany to meet NATO’s 2% defence spending benchmark

-
Germany's new defence minister and successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), says Germany will meet NATO’s 2% defence spending benchmark by 2024. The former Defense...

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation and a threat to Europe

-
If Europe is serious about combating antisemitism, the Lebanon-based global terror group Hezbollah must be stopped in its tracks. As we marked on 18 July the seventh anniversary of the suicide bombing in Burgas,...

US removes Turkey from F35 co-production programme

-
Turkey has been formally ousted from the US-led F-35 fighter jet programme in response to Ankara’s decision to go ahead and receive the Russian S-400 Triumf missile system. Washington had warned Turkey that it would...

Police uncover weapons cache linked to the Italian far-right

-
The Italian police uncovered a huge weapons haul that included an air-to-air missile, machine guns and rocket launchers that belonged to a far-right group. Three arrests were made, including the 50-year-old former customs fraud inspector...

The sky didn’t fall in Ukraine

-
What so many Ukrainian voters were afraid of simply did not happen. After being sworn in as president, Volodymyr Zelensky did not attempt to establish closer relations with Russia. Whether he would have liked...

Mogherini says “there is no alternative” to Iran nuclear deal

-
The EU’s External Action Service chief Federica Mogherini invited Iran on Monday to “reverse its steps” and go back to the 2015 nuclear deal. Addressing the press after a foreign ministers council in Brussels, Mogherini...

Washington to impose sanctions against Turkey

-
Turkey received the first shipment of an advanced Russian air defence S-400 Triumf system on Friday, paving the way for a clash with Washington. The first components of the system were flown by a Russian...

Turkey defies Washington to receive Russian S-400 system

-
Turkey is expected to take delivery of the first shipment of a $2,5bn Russian S-400 Triumph air defence system, defying US pressure. Washington is threatening Ankara with sanctions over the acquisition of one of the...

Germany refuses to sent ground troops to Syria

-
The US envoy for Syria James Jeffrey has asked the German government to commit ground troops to support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria, easing the burden on Washington, according to Welt...

Sweden joins the British Jet-fighter program

-
Sweden will join the British sixth-generation jet-fighter programme Tempest, to be completed by 2035. The Tempest programme is developed by BAE Systems, that is, a consortium that includes Rolls-Royce, MBDA and the UK arm of...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

-
The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

Trump strikes conciliatory tone with Turkey over S-400

-
US President Donald Trump blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the current standoff between Washington and Ankara over defence procurement. Turkey is bracing to receive the S-400 Russian air defence system in the first half...

Europe and Asia step up to salvage Iran nuclear deal

-
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi confirmed on Friday that his country will scale back on its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Europe does not fulfil its economic...

NATO needs unity

-
During the same week that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – voted to allow Russia back into Europe’s main human rights body five years after being barred for invading neighbouring Ukraine,...

German companies exported weapons-grade chemicals to Syria

-
The Essen-based chemical wholesaler Brenntag denied on Wednesday that it has circumvented EU export rules and Swiss law to facilitate the export of chemicals to Syria in 2014. The German company’s Swiss subsidiary supplied isopropanol...