2 February 2023   (Al Jazeera)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told his parliament today that he has no plan to join NATO and will remain militarily neutral while maintaining ties with alliance members through weapons procurements. Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina are the only other Balkan states which have not joined NATO.
2 February 2023   (Air Force Times)
The U.S. Air Force believes that a Chinese company’s plans for an agricultural processing plant in North Dakota, 130 kilometres south of the Canadian border, is a “significant threat” to national security. The Fufeng Group’s planned $700-million plant would be 19 km from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, a centre for air and space operations.
2 February 2023   (Defense News)
A Turkish engineering firm has won two contracts worth some €31.5 million to modernize intelligence infrastructure in the NATO Communications and Information Agency. STM says it is one of the largest software development projects assigned by the alliance to a Turkish company.
2 February 2023   (EuroNews)
Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer says proposed legislation would restrict activities linked to militant Kurdish groups in the hopes of persuading Turkey’s objections to his country’s bid for NATO membership. “It's a broader criminalisation, targeting a large number of activities within a terrorist organisation that are not concretely connected to a particular terrorist crime,” he said.
2 February 2023   (Al Jazeera)
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said February 1 that his government is willing to send troops and police to Haiti as part of a proposed multinational security force. The UN special envoy for Haiti said a week ago that she hoped the Security Council would deal “positively” with the request from Haiti’s government which has been dealing with widespread gang violence.
2 February 2023   (BBC)
Russia President Vladimir Putin today likened his “special military operation” in Ukraine to his country’s fight against German invaders 80 years ago in the Battle of Stalingrad. “We are again being threatened by German . . . tanks,” he said, referring to Leopard tanks being sent to Ukraine by several NATO countries. He also said “those who hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield do not understand . . . that a modern war with Russia . . . won’t be limited to the use of armoured hardware.”
2 February 2023   (EuroNews)
European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and 15 senior EU officials were in Kyiv today for meetings with the Ukrainian government to discuss economic ties and to show solidarity against Russia’s invasion. European Council President Charles Michel is scheduled to join them February 3 for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
2 February 2023   (CNN)
The Philippines has agreed to expand U.S. access to several unspecified military bases on the southern fringe of the South China Sea. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in Manila today that “these efforts are especially important as the People’s Republic of China continues to advance its illegitimate claims” in the region.
2 February 2023   (CNN)
A former French aircraft carrier from the 1960s acquired by Brazil in 2000 is to be scuttled in a remote five-kilometre deep area of the Atlantic. The Brazilian navy said February 1 that the ship is at risk of sinking, so it has little choice despite a last-minute legal challenge.
1 February 2023   (AP)
Even though U.S. and Britain have dismissed the notion, Ukraine continues to press other NATO members to supply fighter aircraft President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says are critical to counter Russia’s invasion. Latvia and Poland evidently are receptive to the call and France has not discounted it. “I don’t know how quick it will be, this response from Western allies,” says Ukrainian Defense
1 February 2023   (Defense News)
The U.S. Administration has told Congress that Russia’s refusal to allow resumption of on-site inspections is endangering the New START nuclear treaty and arms control overall. The January 31 statement follows months of more optimistic U.S. assessments despite ongoing tensions between the two countries. Both paused inspections due to pandemic-related issues but Russia unilaterally ended cooperation in August 2022 to protest U.S. support for Ukraine.
1 February 2023   (Breaking Defense)
The Swedish Army hopes to field a hybrid-powered version of its domestically-manufactured BAE Systems CV-90 tracked infantry fighting vehicle in “record time”, says the force’s commander, Major-General Karl Engelbrektson. The Army plans to support development over the next few years with a view to procuring replacements for its current fleets through to 2034 “and beyond.”