Diplomacy

The Risks to Freedom in Hungary

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The country’s independent media has largely been stifled. One of its remaining voices explains what it’s like to try to hold an aspiring strongman to account. The Atlantic Hungary is a NATO ally, a member nation of the European Union, a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights—and also, since 2010, an increasingly authoritarian and illiberal state. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has politicized the country’s court, central bank, and media. On April 8, Orbán and his Fidesz party face the ... Read More »

Finland Gives Consent for Nord Stream 2 Construction in Finnish Economic Zone

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Finnish government said on Wednesday it had given its consent for construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its exclusive economic zone. Sputnik “On 5 April 2018, the Finnish Government gave its consent to the Nord Stream 2 AG’s gas pipeline construction project in respect of the section that passes through Finland’s exclusive economic zone,” the statement read. According to the statement, the consent is conditional, “which means the applicant has to meet the terms presented in the Government’s… “The party responsible ... Read More »

Addressing the Migration Bottleneck in Southern Mexico

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Mexico is not doing “nothing” to curb northward migration, as U.S. President Donald Trump claims. Ivan Briscoe ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Latin America & Caribbean Program Director Ivan Briscoe says Washington should help Mexico meet the challenge of migrant and refugee flows from Central America, which are now concentrated in its… What is the migration crisis in Mexico? Poverty and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America (comprising El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are forcing hundreds of ... Read More »

Should the EU have a single European President?

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Does Europe have too many presidents? Debating Europe The President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (that last one held by a… How is Trump supposed to know who to call if he wants to speak to Europe? If democratic institutions are too confusing for most people to follow, are they still democratic? Would it be better to merge the positions of President of ... Read More »

After Erdogan spat, PM speaks with Greek, Cypriot leaders

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Turkey, keen on diversifying its energy sources, has in the past expressed an interest in Israel laying a pipeline to Turkey. HerbKeinon The Jerusalem Post Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday with the prime ministers of Greece and Cyprus, three days after trading sharp insults with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both Cyprus and Greece are historic foes of Turkey, and Israel’s relationship with both countries improved significantly over the last decade, partly as a result of the deterioration ... Read More »

Russophobia in the New Cold War

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Several factors make this US-Russian Cold War more dangerous than its predecessor—is “Russo-madness” one of them? Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at… Cohen has previously explained why the new Cold War is potentially even more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, citing factors such ... Read More »

Russia-Turkey: The Interdependent Relationship Shaped by Energy or a Deeper Friendship?

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Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the deepening relationship between Russia and Turkey showed itself in the first agreement designed to enhance their economic relations… Nargiz Hajiyeva Modern Diplomacy The agreement was signed on March 15, 1977, between them, which mainly embraced the cooperation in the promotion of the industrial development and… Meanwhile, the parties also inked an agreement concerning the scientific and technical cooperations. Therefore, energy had been a significant issue amid the negotiations processes between Russia ... Read More »

Defence Department scientist had separate role with China-linked firm

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The Defence Department is reviewing business dealings between one of its senior scientists and the Chinese government’s missile development agency amid ongoing concerns about Beijing’s effort to… By Alex Joske, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker & Angus Grigg The Age In a separate development, Fairfax Media can also reveal that Australia’s peak scientific research agency, the CSIRO, spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its cyber-security and information systems after a… The man disappeared after the apparent breach in November… Defence ... Read More »

Electoral Poker in DR Congo

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Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been postponed since December 2016, but now seem to be slated for the end of the year. ICG All parties should work to ensure credible polls, the best hope for a peaceful transfer of power. What’s new? After repeated delays, President Joseph Kabila’s government in the Democratic Republic of Congo has made progress over the past few months toward organising elections for 23 December 2018. But there are still important concerns ... Read More »

Salisbury poisoning: UK experts cannot prove novichok nerve agent used on Skripals came from Russia, MoD says

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‘We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions’ Kim Sengupta Independent Accusations and recriminations between Britain and Russia are set to escalate with the news that scientists at the Porton Downmilitary research facility have been unable to establish exactly where the novichok nerve agent used to carry out the… The admission comes the day before Moscow convenes an emergency meeting of the… Salisbury poisoning: UK… Read More »

South Africa hails ‘retraction’ of Australian minister’s offer to white farmers

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However, Australian home affairs minister denies that offer of humanitarian visas has been withdrawn Paul Karp The Guardian The Australian home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, has denied that the Australian government retracted his offer for white South African farmers to come to Australia on humanitarian visas. A spokesperson for Dutton reportedly issued the denial after the South African government claimed Australia had gone back on plans to offer fast-track humanitarian visas to “persecuted” white farmers. The difference of opinion suggests Australia ... Read More »

Saudi prince says Israel has ‘right’ to its land

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The crown prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia said Israel has a “right” to a homeland, a notable shift in the kingdom’s position published on April 2. Washington / Riyadh Hurriyet But the king reassured Palestine over Saudi Arabia’s stance on the issue on April 3. Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes, improvements in their ties have accelerated in recent years. Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat ... Read More »

White House criticises China for $3bn tariffs on US imports

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The White House has criticised China after it imposed retaliatory tariffs against the US on a range of goods including pork and wine. BBC Beijing has introduced duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium. China said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs. US stocks plunged and Asian shares opened lower as trade war fears mount. On Wall ... Read More »

Israel cancels UN deal to resettle African migrants

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Embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caves to pressure from right wing parties over UN offer to rehome 16,000 Africans in Western countries and allow 16,000 to remain in Israel Bethan McKernan Independent Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is cancelling yesterday’s agreement with the UN to relocate thousands of African asylum seekers to Western countries. “I have listened carefully to the many comments on the agreement. As a result, and after I again weighed the advantages and disadvantages, I decided to cancel ... Read More »

Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham.

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“IF THE CONCEPT of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it — from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists — why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?” Mehdi Hasan The Intercept That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show “Head to Head” in 2013. The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the ... Read More »

Russia Announces Missile Tests In Latvia’s Baltic Sea Exclusive Economic Zone

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The Russian Federation has announced plans to test naval-launched missiles in the Republic of Latvia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Baltic Sea. Yun-Da Tsai IR Insider The “sudden” announcement by Moscow on Mar. 29, 2018, has drawn protest from the highest levels of Latvia’s government, with President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis calling the move likely to “worsen the security situation in the… Under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which ... Read More »