Europe

Events in the Middle East force realism on Erdogan

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have increasing difficulties with the West, but his position in the Middle East is not all that easy either. Semih Idiz  Al-Monitor His regional archenemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, continues to make headway, while his nemesis in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, remains in power. The Qatar crisis caught him unaware and unsettled him. Meanwhile, he is bracing for the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, who is an enemy of the Muslim ... Read More »

Russia’s S-400s Will Protect Turkey From A “Kurdish Air Force”

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Many people thought that this day would never come, but it’s official – Russian President Putin will sell his Turkish NATO counterpart S-400 missiles, and there’s nothing that the US or NATO can do about… Andrew KORYBKO OrientalReview This is a profound geo-military pivot for Turkey because it solidifies Russia’s role as the country’s high-level strategic partner for decades to come, considering that Russian experts will be relied on to provide maintenance, repairs, spare parts, and upgrades to these anti-aircraft… ... Read More »

What that missile deal really means for Turkey

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The Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile array has been described as the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. It can track up to 80 targets at the same time, aiming two missiles at each one. Yasar Yakis It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, medium range missiles, drones and other airborne surveillance systems. And now Turkey has bought it from Russia. Arab News “My colleagues have already signed a deal on S-400s. A deposit has also been paid as far ... Read More »

Loup Bureau, French journalist freed from Turkey, arrives home

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French reporter Loup Bureau, who had been held on “terror” charges in Turkey in a case that sparked tensions between Ankara and France, arrived in Paris on Sept. 17 after being freed. PARIS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Bureau, 27, arrived onboard an Air France jet at Charles de Gaulle Airport on a flight from Istanbul, the campaign group Reporters without Borders (RSF) said in a tweet. After his arrival, he was taken to a VIP suite where he was effusively greeted by his family and friends. ... Read More »

Germany won’t lead the free world. It barely looks beyond its own borders

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German voters will pick Angela Merkel again – not because she’ll make the world a better place but because they think she will protect them Natalie Nougayrède The Guardian Britain, France and Germany, the three most populous European countries, will all have held important elections this year – in many ways setting the stage for much of what lies ahead for our part of the world. Election campaigns can sometimes be more telling than the statistical results they actually deliver. ... Read More »

West Collects Data Discrediting Ukrainian Politicians

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According to the latest Western media revealing reports, the leadership of Ukraine loses the support of both Europe and the United States The West exposes the Ukrainian authorities for corruption. ISF In a recent issue of Focus, a German current affairs magazine, an article was published about the activities of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his entourage: As a result of Euromaidan, some oligarchs were replaced by others, and Ukraine is built out of patronage pyramids, which are based on ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

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Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

Greece completes sale of railway operator to Italy’s Ferrovie

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ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Greece concluded on Thursday the sale of railway operator TRAINOSE to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato and expects hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in the country’s ageing rail infrastructure in the coming years. Reuters Staff Under its current bailout, its third since 2010, Greece was expected to sell TRAINOSE and other state assets to raise 6 billion euros ($6.2) by 2018. Greece will fetch 45 million euros from this sale and expects a ... Read More »

US-Turkey Tensions Escalate Over Russian Missile Deal

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed U.S. concerns about his government’s recent decision to buy an S-400 missile defense system from Russia In a speech Wednesday to mayors from his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said of the U.S., “They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. Dorian Jones VoA What were we supposed to do? Wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front,” he added. The multibillion-dollar missile purchase has ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

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Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

The Education of Emmanuel Macron

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‘Governing from the center does not produce the same enthusiasm and vitality as a start-up campaign.’ Benjamin Haddad The Atlantic  Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, would surely have preferred to kick off the most important month of his young administration in a less precarious position.Last week, he unveiled his plans to reform France’s notoriously rigid labor market to grant more flexibility to small companies to directly negotiate some aspects of their contracts with employees, rather than involving the government, ... Read More »

Ukraine’s New Diplomatic Battlefronts: U.S. Weapons, UN Peacekeepers

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The front lines between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-backed forces in eastern Ukraine may be static but see frequent and violent firefights Diplomatic manoeuvering over new U.S. lethal weapons for Kyiv risks aggravating the conflict and Russia’s UN peacekeeping proposal could prove a distraction from a genuine solution. Magdalena Grono ICG Washington is considering providing Kyiv with lethal weapons, worrying many residents of eastern Ukraine – and not just separatist rebels or pro-Russian sympathisers. “Most people here don’t think about what ... Read More »

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund hits $1 trillion valuation for first time ever

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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund owns about 1.3 per cent of all listed stocks globally and about 2.3 per cent of all stocks listed in Europe Josie Cox The Independent  The value of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest, has hit the equivalent of $1 trillion for the first time in history. Experts on Tuesday said that the value of the fund had been bolstered by rising global stocks and a strong performance of the euro. Major stock ... Read More »

Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake

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Halting accession talks with Turkey would be a strategic mistake by the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sept. 10, amid a war of words raging between Berlin and Ankara. Agence France-Presse Hurriyet  During a recent election debate, both Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz endorsed ending Turkey’s EU accession talks. Ties between the two nations have become strained since last year’s failed coup attempt. Relations further deteriorated after the detention of several German citizens including Deniz Yücel, ... Read More »

Japan scrambles to growing incursions of China, Russia warplanes

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Russian and Chinese aircraft are probing Japanese air defenses at a rate not seen in more than a decade Peter J. Brown Asia Times Amid talk of Beijing and Moscow playing a role to defuse the confrontation with North Korea, actions by China and Russia’s air forces around Japan would seem to be adding pressure on Tokyo to boost military… Russian and Chinese military aircraft are probing Japanese air defenses at a rate not seen in over a decade, causing ... Read More »