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EU-27 to Tackle Economic Powers US and China

by Oui Tue Oct 5th, 2021 at 02:03:33 PM EST

EU leaders seek unity on how to face China, US | France24 |

EU leaders will have a hard discussion on Europe's place in the world on Tuesday as they seek unity on how to approach ties with superpowers China and the US.

The 27 heads of state and government are set to converge on Brdo Castle in the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia, the country that currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

While no concrete outcome is expected from the meeting, "this is the first time leaders have met since June, and with everything that has happened, that seems ages ago", a senior EU diplomat said.

The dinner takes place on the eve of an EU-Western Balkans summit in which countries to the bloc's east will seek assurances on one day joining the European Union.


France Bids Adieu to Its Military Mission in West Africa | FP - July 2021 |

After nearly a decade battling terrorists in West Africa, France is now winding down its largest overseas military mission--and potentially unwinding decades of deep involvement in former colonies like Mali, Chad, and Burkina Faso.

French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to wrap up "Operation Barkhane" reflects both disappointing results from the eight-year effort to stamp out jihadis from their newest staging ground and Macron's own desire to reset relations with Africa. Since the early days of his presidency, Macron has vowed to put an end once and for all to "Françafrique," Paris's longstanding habit of meddling in the political, economic, and military affairs of its former colonies on the continent.

The Conflict of France with Algiers

Macron fuels dispute with Algerian leadership:

    "The post 1962 Algerian nation has lived
      off the idea that France is the problem."

Algiers calls Macron's comments "inadmissible" * FRANCE 24 English

Fighting Terror In Mali post-Gaddafi Era

Wagner mercenaries fighting alongside Estonian NATO troops ... comrades in arms.

North Africa, Sahel and Maghreb - Chaos after Western (Military) Intervention

Blinken In Paris to Rebuild Trust

Le Drian had taken Blinken on a walking tour of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs at Quai d'Orsay lasting about 90 minutes before the pair sat down for a meeting. Blinken then met Macron and Bonne at the presidential Élysée Palace.

Diplomatic rift, a stab in the back

French officials have been at pains to emphasize that AUKUS was a wakeup call for EU states and that they should respond to the recent crisis between Paris and Washington by ending the bloc's naivety when it comes to defending its interests and building its own military capacity within the NATO framework.

In his meetings with French officials on Tuesday, Blinken discussed French proposals for more security and counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries in the Sahel region of West Africa, the U.S. official said.

The official declined to give specifics of what might be agreed, saying that Blinken's discussions would "tee up" a meeting later this month between Biden and Macron.

Yugoslav Nations and Integrated Europe

Great effort by Ursula von der Leyen to mend ties in the weeks ahead of the EU Summit ...

    Good meeting with BiH presidency.

    We discussed:

  • Importance of regional integration and key role of the Berlin process.

  • Opportunity for the EU and BiH to work together on clean energy to phase out coal

  • Support for the enlargement prospects of BiH & Western Balkans

Tempers Flare At Serbia-Kosovo Border As Pristina Presses 'Reciprocal' Move Over License Plates | RFERL |

Display:

Absurdity to add Albania to the EU in order to block influence of China or Russia or Turkey in the region ... priorities completely backward. Camp Bondsteel training facility for jihadists fighting in the Middle East.

Joint Task Force East and Shared Military Basing in Romania and Bulgaria

Calling the military training NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

Black Sea Security: The NATO Imperative

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 08:40:04 AM EST
Bellingcat is now registered as a charity foundation in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with goal of independent journalism 😂

Bellingcat to establish new office in The Netherlands after €500,000 funding win through Dutch postcode lottery

This is the second reporting year of the Bellingcat foundation. The UK Limited Company is no longer operational and all the activities, labor contracts, and intellectual property related to Bellingcat have neen transferred to Dutch foundation. This creates clarity for employees and counterparts.

Amid a global pandemic, the Foundation's management has risen to the challenges that have put the organization to the test. The Executive Board report details how the management team has successfully moved the Foundation forward to 2020.

Bellingcat's 2020 financial accounts

Bellingcat's supervisory board (SB) consists of Joseph Peeraer former CEO of utility company Nuts Group

Marietje Schaake ex MEP and Director of Policy at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center

Youri Albrecht Director at De Balie, Amsterdam, Center for Art, Politics, Literature, Philosophy.

....
Bellingcat has progressed from USAID funding and close link to the Atlantic Council/NATO trickery and affiliation.

Omidyar's Intercept Teams Up with War-Propaganda Firm Bellingcat

Dual-use journalism?

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 08:41:51 AM EST

From earlier diary ...

UK Disinformation and Propaganda The Consortium

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 08:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not America's call ...

IMF boss Georgieva risks losing her job over China bias claims. Here's what you need to know | CNBC |

Debate Looms Over I.M.F.: Should It Do More Than Put Out Fires? | NY Times |

The debate about the role of the I.M.F. was bubbling before the appointment of Ms. Georgieva, who this month started the third year of her five-year term. But she has embraced an expanded role for the agency. A Bulgarian economist and the first from an emerging economy to head the fund, she stepped up her predecessors' attention to the widening inequality and made climate change a priority, calling for an end to all fossil fuel subsidies, for a tax on carbon and for significant investment in green technology.

She has argued that however efficient and rational the market is, governments must step in to fix built-in flaws that could lead to environmental devastation and grossly inequitable opportunity. Sustainable debt replaced austerity as the catchword.

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 11:30:01 AM EST

Georgieva's position as the fund's managing director has come under pressure since she was accused last month of manipulating data to favour China in a previous role at the World Bank. The 24 members of the IMF's executive board are split into two camps, with the US and Japan, the fund's two biggest shareholders, on one side, while France, Germany, Italy and the UK are more supportive, aligning with China and Russia on the issue, according to people briefed on the matter.

China virus ... China capitalization ... China military ambition ... Province Taiwan ... IndoPacific and Global Britain ...

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 11:31:22 AM EST
'Pandora's box may ruin Zelenskyy's chances for a second term' | Al Jazeera |

The findings were based on the Pandora Papers, a trove of millions of documents from 14 offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its partners, including Slidstvo.info [video].

    Ukrainian officials tried to halt the screening of a film about offshore companies tied to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his inner circle.

The story detailed how Zelenskyy and his partners launched a network of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, Belize and Cyprus.

The companies date back to at least 2012, the year District 95 went big in Ukraine with regular shows on a television channel owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian oligarch sanctioned in the US and the European Union for alleged multibillion fraud, the report claimed.

Zelenskyy's business partners include Ivan Bakanov, current head of the  SBU, Ukraine's main intelligence agency that often investigates corruption cases, and presidential aide Serhiy Shefir, who administers the offshore companies but shares the profits with Zelenskyy's wife, the report claims.

Bohdan out, Yermak in: What next for Ukraine? | Atlantic Council - Feb. 2020 |

Multiple diaries on Ukraine, oligarchs and corruption ...

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 12:56:03 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 01:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

EU chief vows to help Ukraine with gas supply | DW News |

Her comments on gas supply come amid strong opposition in Ukraine to the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Von der Leyen also committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and the Minsk agreements. Signed in 2014 and 2015, they sought to end Russia's war in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is hosting European Council President Charles Michel and von der Leyen, along with other EU officials. They are discussing the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine as well as seeking to further strengthen economic and political ties.

Ukraine fears energy security

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline transports gas directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and other central and eastern European countries.

Ukraine is concerned that the pipeline's path will cause it to miss out on gas transit fees. This is despite a deal from Germany that sets out plans to boost investment in the country. Ukraine is also worried that the pipeline could increase Russia's political leverage in the region.

Opinion: Ukraine could move from gas transit nation to hydrogen exporter

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 01:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 01:40:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Russia-Ukraine gas transit deal: opening a new chapter | Oxford Paper - Feb. 2020 |

Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy signed agreements covering the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine for the period 2020-24. It provides for 65 bcm to be transited in 2020, and 40 bcm/year in 2021-24 - a total of 225 bcm, with provisions for additional volumes to be shipped if required. The total cost to Gazprom will be about $7.2 billion. While Naftogaz is the shipper of the gas, the Ukrainian transport system is now operated by a new, separate company, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU), which has been unbundled from Naftogaz in line with European market principles. GTSOU has signed interconnection agreements with Gazprom in the east, and with the transmission system operators (TSOs) of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, and Romania in the west.

The transit deal, which defied predictions that negotiations would not be completed in time, is a success for both Russia and Ukraine not only at a corporate level, but also at a political level. Indeed, it was above all a shift in political relationships that allowed it to be done. How agreement was reached is discussed in the first section of this OIES Insight; we then look at the terms of the deal, discuss the likely level of transit flows through Ukraine during the period of the deal, and then draw conclusions.

EY, commissioned by the World Bank, suggests the solution mechanisms to address the problem of unpaid off-takes of natural gas from the GTS

by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 01:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Oui on Sat Oct 16th, 2021 at 07:20:36 PM EST

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara has said it maintains compliance with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention that stipulates that the diplomatic principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the guest state amid President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call for the expulsion of 10 ambassadors who issued a statement on the Osman Kavala case last week.

Dutch Ambassador Marjanne de Kwaasteniet and the embassies of Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, New Zealand also retweeted the statement made by the U.S. embassy.

by Oui on Mon Oct 25th, 2021 at 07:03:49 PM EST


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