NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
24 January 2023   (BBC)
The prospect of a Turkish veto on Sweden’s application for membership prompted Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto to call for a “time out” until “dust has settled after the current situation.” Haavisto, who has suggested in the past that his country could go it alone on its NATO application but prefers simultaneous applications, was responding to Turkey’s concerns about Kurdish demonstrations in Sweden.
24 January 2023   (BBC)
A former Wagner Group paramilitary commander who claimed asylum in Norway earlier this month has been detained by police under the auspices of immigration law, apparently for his own safety. Andrey Medvedev, 26, crossed into Norway from Russia two weeks ago and his lawyer said January 23 that he was detained because “police concluded his situation was very dangerous.”
24 January 2023   (Defense News)
Nearly six years after announcing a joint maritime patrol aircraft project with Germany, France is looking at domestic options after Germany bought some Boeing P-8 Poseidons from the U.S. Navy as an interim solution. It has awarded 18-month contracts to Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault Aviation to examine potential replacements for its current decades-old MPA fleet.
24 January 2023   (BBC)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said January 23 that he will not support NATO membership for Sweden. He was reacting to Kurdish expatriates’ protests in Sweden which included the burning of a Quran by a far-right politician from a Danish political party. “It is clear that those who caused such a disgrace in front of our country's embassy can no longer expect any benevolence from us regarding their application,” Erdoğan said.
23 January 2023   (Stars & Stripes)
Micheline Pollock, a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist who pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Army and Navy in connection with her Dubai-headquartered company’s construction projects in Africa, has been sentenced to time served and ordered to pay nearly $7.2 million in restitution. Arrested in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September 2020, she was extradited almost immediately and, after her grand jury indictment, was held pending trial.
23 January 2023   (EuroNews)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that Turkey's next parliamentary and presidential elections are now set for May 14, a month earlier than previously flagged. Erdogan has been in office since 2003 as prime minister and then as president. If no clear winner emerges from the first ballot, a second round of voting would be held two weeks later.
23 January 2023   (Reuters)
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said today that his country needs “several hundred” main battle tanks to mount an effective counteroffensive against Russia and reclaim Crimea. “Our goal is the borders of 1991 and punishing the enemy, who will pay for their crimes,” he said.
23 January 2023   (AP)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said January 22 that her government will not object if Poland decides to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. However, she said, Poland had not formally requested approval. “If we were asked, we would not stand in the way,” she said, acknowledging “how important these tanks are” to Ukraine. “This is why we are discussing this now with our partners.”
23 January 2023   (EuroNews)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reiterated today that his government is willing to ship Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without authorization by Germany, which has legal power to veto re-exports. “We will ask for such permission, but this is an issue of secondary importance,” he said.
23 January 2023   (BBC)
The U.S. plans to designate the Wagner Group, the global mercenary force owned by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a “transnational criminal organisation” with some 50,000 members fighting in Ukraine. A national security spokesman says Wagner is “committing atrocities and human rights abuses in Ukraine and elsewhere.”
23 January 2023   (Reuters)
The question whether Vladimir Putin will seek re-election in 2024 remains unanswered. Putin has led Russia as prime minister and president since 1999 and speculation has been building in Russian media, but a Kremlin official today said only that there has been no decision.
23 January 2023   (CP)
A peace process aimed at resolving the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon after years of civil will see Canada take a lead role, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has announced. “Canada has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process, as part of our commitment to promote peace and security and advance support for democracy and human rights,” she said January 20.

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