Julia Dzekish

EU strongly rejects Turkish migration pressure
Europe

EU strongly rejects Turkish migration pressure

The EU strongly rejects attempts at migration pressure from Turkey and expects Ankara to fully implement the 2016 agreement on closing borders for migrants. This is stated in a statement issued on Wednesday by the EU Council at the level of foreign ministers, an emergency meeting which ended in Brussels.

The Council decided to closely monitor the migration situation and return to its discussion at the planned meeting of the Ministers of the Interior on March 13 in Luxembourg.

“The EU Council recognizes the increased migration pressure and risks that Turkey faces, as well as its significant efforts to accommodate 3.7 million migrants and refugees. However, the Council categorically rejects attempts to use migration pressure to achieve political goals. This situation is on the external borders of the EU “The EU Council expects Turkey to fully comply with the provisions of the 2016 agreement regarding the countries of the community,” the document says.

The Council of the European Union noted that “Turkey and the EU should continue to receive mutual benefits from this agreement.” At the height of the migration crisis, in early 2016, Brussels and Ankara agreed that Turkey would close its borders with the EU for migrants, for which the EU would pay her € 6 billion and provide a visa-free regime. Brussels has already transferred more than € 5 billion to Ankara, but has refused a visa-free regime under the pretext of the need to review anti-terrorism laws in Turkey that violate human rights.

The Council of the European Union welcomed the assistance that member countries and the EU Frontier Control Agency Frontex have already provided to Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and other border states, as well as the allocation by the European Commission of € 350 million of emergency assistance to Greece to ensure the protection of its borders.

Earlier on Wednesday, EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrel also condemned Ankara’s use of migrants for political purposes and expressed hope that EU countries would not have to draw an army to protect borders from migrants.

On Tuesday, the European Commission warned against the dissemination of unverified and knowingly false information that tens of thousands of migrants had allegedly already entered the EU from Turkey. The representative of this body emphasized that at present, several thousand people are concentrated on the border between Turkey and Greece, who are still on Turkish territory.

According to her, the European Commission is studying the sources of stuffing false information, while Turkish journalists openly publish these data. She, however, refused to classify Ankara’s actions as “hybrid warfare methods” against Brussels.

In late February, after a clash with the Syrian army, which killed 36 Turkish troops, Turkey decided not to stop the refugees from Syria who are trying to get into the EU. Turkish authorities estimated the number of refugees crossing the border at 100 thousand. However, these data refute both the Russian military in Syria, which do not record such a massive movement of refugees towards the border, and the Greek leadership. Athens accused Ankara of organized transfer of migrants and reported the suppression of almost 25 thousand cases of border violations since early March.

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Netanyahu announces election victory
Middle East & Africa

Netanyahu announces election victory

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his victory in the general election in Israel. According to polls at the exit of polling stations, his party is not much ahead of his main rival Beni Ganz.
Shortly after publishing the first exit poll results, Netanyahu posted a photograph on his Twitter on which he sits at a table surrounded by his supporters. The picture is accompanied by the caption: “A huge victory for Israel.”
He later said that he had agreed with leaders of right-wing and religious parties to meet on March 3 to form a stable and strong government.
“This is a great victory for the right-wing camp led by Likud. We went through several difficult electoral campaigns, and it’s time to end the series of elections and form a government,” Netanyahu said, speaking to his supporters at the party’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv.
“Our opponents said that the Netanyahu era is over, but we gathered all our strength and turned the situation around. We turned lemons into lemonade,” he added.

According to the latest data, Likud is gaining 30.9% of the vote, which is equivalent to 36 seats in the Knesset. The opposition bloc Kakhol-Lavan is gaining 23.6% – about 28 seats.

If the results of the polls correctly reflect the results of the vote, Netanyahu lacks one seat for the majority in the Knesset, in which there are only 120 seats.

Likud hopes for the support of other right-wing parties to jointly overcome the threshold of 61 seats necessary for the formation of a coalition government.

Exit polls came as a surprise to many, as public opinion polls on the eve of the election showed equal chances for the two main candidates, another deadlock confrontation and the possibility of another fourth election.
Image caption Netanyahu is sometimes called the “wizard” for his ability to get votes contrary to skeptic forecasts. In the photo, he and his wife Sarah
Kahol-Lavan leader Beni Ganz did not admit defeat, but noted that he was not satisfied with the results of exit polls.

“I understand and share your feelings of frustration and pain, because this is not the result we wanted,” he said.
According to Ganz, Israel “needs unity, reconciliation is needed, it needs a leader who unites people, and this is exactly what we will continue to offer the Israeli people.

The head of the Our Home Israel Party Avigdor Lieberman, in turn, stressed that he still promises not to enter into a coalition with religious parties.

This is the third election in Israel in less than a year. After the previous two, none of the leaders of the two leading parties was able to form a government.

70-year-old Netanyahu, who heads the Likud right-wing party, is trying to take the prime minister’s chair for the record fifth time.

Two weeks later, however, he is awaiting trial in court on corruption charges. He himself rejects the charges against him, calling them political “witch hunts.”

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Estonian  President  meets with US Treasury Secretary and IMF Head
Europe

Estonian President meets with US Treasury Secretary and IMF Head

This week, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid makes his working visit to the United States, where he holds meetings with politicians and public figures in preparation for the upcoming Three Seas initiative in Estonia this summer, as well as on topics related to Estonia’s work in Estonia. UN Security Council.

This was reported in the presidential office, noting that in Washington Kersti Kaljulayd stay from Monday to Wednesday. The program of this trip includes presentations on the topic of digital technologies at the conference of the Committee on Relations between America and Israel, a meeting with the head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva and representatives of the administration of President Trump.

The President will also take part in a series of roundtables at Atlantic Council and Heritage Foundation, introducing this year’s Three Seas Summit.

In June, for the first time, Estonia will hold a summit and a business forum “Initiatives of the Three Seas”, as an organizer, Estonia set a goal to achieve practical results of cooperation between 12 members of the initiative and a strategic partner of the United States.

The initiative involves 12 EU countries located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Important partners of the initiative are the USA, EU and Germany. The aim of the initiative is to develop cooperation primarily for the development of infrastructures in the energy, transport and digital sectors, thereby contributing to the growth of the EU economy, cohesion and security.

According to Lauri Kuuzing, the presidential adviser on foreign relations, the summit in Tallinn will be a good opportunity to familiarize both the US presidential administration and potential investors in the region with the opportunities that are opening up here, as well as Estonia’s digital technologies.

President Kersti Kaljulaid on Monday met in Washington with US Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin and head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, the press service of the presidential office reported.

The meeting with Mnuchin, which took place Estonian time late on Monday, was devoted to three topics: the sanctions policy against Russia, the fight against money laundering and the upcoming summit in Tallinn and the business forum “Initiatives of the Three Seas”.

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Do you know why Greece tightens control on Turkish border ?
Europe

Do you know why Greece tightens control on Turkish border ?

Holding back the flow of migrants from Turkey, the Greek police used water cannons and tear gas. Refugees threw stones and other objects at law enforcement officers.

To prevent migrants from crossing the border from Turkey, Greek police used heavy water cannons and tear gas against them. According to local media, the incident occurred on Sunday, March 1. Refugees threw stones and other objects at police units.

Greek radio reported that during a collision at a border crossing on the Evros River, closed since February 28, one policeman was injured. According to the Ministry of Migration in Athens, only at this crossing, border guards did not allow almost 10 thousand migrants to enter the country.

The Bulgarian government said that the situation on the border with Turkey remained calm and not a single migrant passed through it.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on the Turkish side of the 212-kilometer border with Greece in the evening of February 29 there were more than 13 thousand people hoping to infiltrate the EU after Ankara refused to restrain this flow.

Due to the increasing flow of refugees, the European border protection agency Frontex has increased its alertness along the entire length of the borders of the European Union with Turkey to the highest level. On Sunday, the agency informed that, in response to a request from Athens to strengthen the border, steps had already been taken to send additional personnel and technical equipment.

Almost 400 Frontex employees are located on the Greek islands, another 60 in Bulgaria. A small contingent is located on the Greek side of the border with Turkey.

The agreement concluded between Ankara and Brussels in March 2016 suggests that migrants from Syria going to the EU countries will not pass through the Turkish borders. For this, the European Union promised the Turkish side financial support.

According to relevant UN data, Turkey has accepted about 3.6 million refugees from Syria. These numbers have risen recently against the backdrop of a Russian-supported offensive by the Syrian government forces in Idlib. In addition to the Syrians, in Turkey there is a significant number of forced migrants from Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Trump is ready to meet with the leaders of the Russia, China, UK, France to discuss arm control
Americas

Trump is ready to meet with the leaders of the Russia, China, UK, France to discuss arm control

US President Donald Trump is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as with the leaders of China, Britain and France, to discuss arms control issues.

“The President of the USA made it clear that he is ready to meet with any world leader at any time to advance the interests of the national security of the United States. The United States will work with other members of the Five to work out and organize such a meeting,” a representative told the agency American administration, without specifying where and when the summit can take place.

The American leader plans to use a similar summit in order to make progress on the issue of a tripartite agreement on arms control with the Russian Federation and China. “The United States is using this opportunity to draw both Russia and China into the international arms control framework and prevent an expensive arms race,” the agency’s source explained. Washington insists on China’s participation in arms control negotiations, while Beijing has repeatedly rejected this idea.

According to the representative of the American administration, “both Russia and China are interested in avoiding a situation in which the United States would not be limited in its ability to modernize and deploy nuclear forces.” “Today, being the main military powers, as well as members of the Five, Russia, China and the United States must reduce the threat and engage in arms control. Not doing so would be irresponsible,” the Washington official added.

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EU widens sanctions against Turkey
Europe

EU widens sanctions against Turkey

The EU has expanded sanctions against Turkey for its drilling operations in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. This is stated in the Official Journal of the EU, in which relevant regulations were published on Thursday.

“In light of the ongoing illegal drilling activity of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, two people should be included in the black list of individuals and legal entities,” the text says.

Sanctions were imposed on the vice president and head of the exploration department of the Turkish state oil company TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) Mehmet Ferruh Akalin, as well as his deputy in the department, Ali Koskun Namoglu.

Large reserves of natural gas have been found on the shelf and in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. In September, the island state government signed an agreement with the French company Total and the Italian company Eni to develop the 7th sector of the field offshore Cyprus. However, in early October, Turkey sent its own drilling vessel to the area, accompanied by warships.

Turkey, which has not recognized the Republic of Cyprus since 1963, disputes the borders of the EEZ of this island state and declares that it will not allow geological exploration drilling off the coast of the island without the consent of the Turkish Cypriot community. According to Ankara, Turkish drilling ships are sent to the gas field area on the basis of licenses issued by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which, apart from Turkey itself, is not recognized by any other state in the world.

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Israel restores fishing zone near Gaza and opens border checkpoint
Middle East & Africa

Israel restores fishing zone near Gaza and opens border checkpoint

Israeli authorities decided on Wednesday to open the Erez and Kerem Shalom checkpoints on the border with the Gaza Strip on February 27, and also restore up to 15 nautical miles (about 28 km) a fishing zone for Palestinian sailors off the coast of this coastal enclave.

The publication notes that the fishing zone was canceled, and the border checkpoints were closed by Israel on February 24 in response to rocket attacks on the territory of the Jewish state from Gaza. According to the army press service, on February 23 and 24, radicals from the Islamic Jihad group fired at least 80 missiles into Israel, more than 70 of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system. No casualties were reported as a result of the shelling, Israeli state-owned Kan radio station said.

In response to the shelling on Monday night, the Israeli Air Force attacked military targets of the Islamic Jihad group south of Damascus in Syria, as well as dozens of objects of this group throughout the Gaza Strip during the day.

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UK announced a review of priorities of foreign policy, defense and security
Europe

UK announced a review of priorities of foreign policy, defense and security

The UK government has announced the largest review of its priorities in foreign policy, defense, security and international cooperation since the end of the Cold War. This is stated in a statement released on Tuesday by the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.

A comprehensive review is conducted following the country’s withdrawal from the EU, which occurred on the night of February 1. Until December 31 of this year, a transitional period between Great Britain and the European Union will act, as if there was no Brexit. Starting January 1, 2021, the kingdom intends to independently determine priorities in these areas.

“A comprehensive review will cover all aspects of Britain’s place in the world – from the role of our diplomatic service and development approach to the capabilities of our Armed Forces and security agencies,” the communiqué says. It emphasizes that this analytical work will go beyond the scope of biennial reviews of the state of affairs in various fields and will take into account “the totality of global opportunities and challenges that Britain is facing.”

Among the mentioned aspects that will be considered are the procurement process conducted by the Armed Forces and security services, the fight against organized crime, the more efficient use of technologies to adapt to the changing threats that the country faces, “from countering hostile activities of states to strengthening the Armed Forces “

“As the world changes, we must move with it, bringing in new technologies and ways of thinking, to ensure that British foreign policy is at the core of our national interests now and in the coming decades,” Johnson said in this regard.

The review will involve key ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Ministry for International Development. The final decision on the adoption of updated priorities should be made by the National Security Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, during this year.

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Trump said that the United States will supply India with military helicopters and equipment worth $ 3 billion
Americas

Trump said that the United States will supply India with military helicopters and equipment worth $ 3 billion

US President Donald Trump said the United States will supply India with military helicopters and other military equipment totaling $ 3 billion. The American leader spoke on Monday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat, India, where he is on an official visit.

“I am pleased to announce that tomorrow, February 25 , our representatives will sign deals for the supply of Indian helicopters and other equipment for the total amount of $ 3 billion,” said the US president, whose speech was broadcast by leading Indian television channels. Trump added that the United States is ready to supply India with the best and most modern weapons.

“As we continue to develop our defense cooperation, the United States expects to provide India with military equipment, which is one of the best and most formidable in the world. We are making the greatest weapons. We are doing the best and are cooperating now with India,” Trump said.

Earlier was reported that for a visit to Trump, New Delhi had prepared for signing with Washington two major defense contracts totaling $ 3.5 billion: for the purchase of a batch of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in the amount of $ 930 million and 24 helicopters Sea-based MH-60R Seahawk complete with missiles totaling $ 2.6 billion.

Experts expect that during the visit, the US President will ensure that India gives preference to American fighters (F / A-18, F-15EX or F-21 – an upgraded version of the F-16 multi-role fighter) for a joint production program of 114 new fighters for National Air Force as part of the Do It In India campaign. It is also expected that the head of the White House will promote the proposal for the supply of American carrier-based fighter aircraft for carriers of the Indian Navy.

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Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria
Europe

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversations, during which they noted the need for a four-way meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation in Syria in the near future. This is stated in a statement distributed on Friday by the French leader’s administration.

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria, in particular Idlib, and recent events in Libya,” the administration noted. “As for Idlib, they expressed general concern about the disastrous humanitarian situation in which the civilian population is , and the danger of escalation. They agreed that the crisis needed a political solution. “

“In this regard, they considered it necessary as soon as possible, in a quadripartite format, to meet with the President of [Russia Vladimir] Putin,” they concluded in the Champs Elysees.

The situation in the de-escalation zone in Idlib in Syria escalated at the end of January, when, in response to violations by the militants of the ceasefire, the Syrian forces were forced to launch a counterattack, as a result of which a significant territory of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib was liberated.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed support for these actions in the fight against terrorists, while in Ankara they regarded them as a violation by the government forces of the Sochi peace agreement, in connection with which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced the Turkish military retaliatory operation in Idlib.

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