Interoperability (International)

Political change ahead for Turkey?

The Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey evidently has emerged as a lynchpin in the NATO state state’s May 14 election. There are suggestions that it could tip the balance enough to unseat Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003 as prime minister and then president. [node:read-more:link]

Is neutrality a viable doctrine?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, leaving only a handful of European states claiming neutrality. There are questions about how their doctrines can be sustained without them becoming a security risk because of the likelihood that major powers could be less inclined to respect their neutrality. [node:read-more:link]

Police link man to drownings

Police confirmed April 4 that they are looking for an Akwesasne man in connection with the drownings of eight migrants whose bodies were recovered from the St. Lawrence River March 31. He was last seen launching a boat on the Quebec side of the cross-border region close to where the bodies were found. [node:read-more:link]

Finland finally in NATO

Finland today joined NATO, increasing its membership to 31 and effectively doubling the length of the alliance’s borders with Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the development a “violation of our security and our national interests.” [node:read-more:link]

Cold War redux

Before its recent arrest of a U.S. journalist on espionage charges, Russia suffered a string of embarrassing setbacks to its foreign intelligence operations as hundreds of suspected agents were expelled or charged abroad. Among other things, Poland recently arrested nine suspected nine Russian rail saboteurs and Britain says roughly half of Russia’s spies working under diplomatic cover in Europe were expelled within six months of the invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

TikTok fined in Britain

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed today that it has fined Chinese-owned TikTok ‎‎£‎12.7 million for misusing children’s data and violating other privacy rules. Among other things, the ICO said TikTok had permitted as any as 1.4 million British children under 13 to use the app in 2020 despite the platform’s own rules prohibiting that demographic from creating accounts. [node:read-more:link]

Australia to ban TikTok

Security concerns have prompted Australia to follow its partners in the Five Eyes security group in prohibiting the use of TikTok on government devices. Attorney Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said today that the ban would take effect “as soon as practicable” but that there could be exceptions. [node:read-more:link]

Mining runoff a cross-border headache

Indigenous leaders from the U.S. Pacific Northwest aren’t giving up trying to convince the Canadian government to agree to a bilateral investigation of toxic mining runoff from the B.C. interior. Tribal leaders took their case to Washington last week, saying their cause is the same as it was 11 years ago when they first invoked the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have promised a tentative deal by this summer. [node:read-more:link]

Balkan president ousted

Milo Djukanovic, who has been Montenegro’s leader for more than three decades, lost his presidency in an April 2 election run-off vote leading up to a general election this summer. He was defeated by former economy minister Jakov Milatovic, who has promised to lead the small Balkan state into the EU. [node:read-more:link]

Finnish government defeated

Sanna Marin, Finland’s centre-left prime minister since 2019 who steered her country’s acceptance into NATO, which is expected April 4, was defeated in a general election April 2. She lost by a narrow margin in a three-way race to a conservative challenger, Petteri Orpo, in a campaign focused on economic issues. [node:read-more:link]

Russia’s UN role “worst joke ever”

The rotating presidency of the UN Security Council among its seven permanent members means that Russia has assumed the office April 1 for the second time since invading Ukraine. Its UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, plans to push for a “new world order” but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called it “the worst joke ever for April Fool's Day” and a “stark reminder that something is wrong with the way international security architecture is functioning.” [node:read-more:link]

Finland clears NATO hurdle

Turkey’s parliament voted March 30 in favour of Finland joining NATO, greatly enlarging the alliance’s border with Russia. It’s seen as a strategic defeat for President Vladimir Putin who said last year in invading Ukraine that he wanted to block the alliance’s eastward expansion. [node:read-more:link]

ICJ to tackle climate policy

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution asking the International Court to come up with a legal definition of countries’ obligations to tackle climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said March 29 that ICJ opinions “have tremendous importance and can have a long-standing impact on the international legal order.” However, whether individual states will cooperate remains to be seen; the U.S., which has a fractious relationship with the ICJ, did not support a UN resolution on the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary Endorses Finland for NATO

The Hungarian parliament today voted 182-6 to approve Finland’s bid to join NATO. However, Sweden’s bid remains up in the air as Hungary awaits clarification on lingering disagreements before another vote. Turkey also objects to Sweden’s bid, saying it is too soft on expatriates it deems to be terrorists. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian leaks no issue for allies?

A U.S. Administration official said today that leaks about alleged Chinese meddling in Canadian electoral processes have not affected Five Eyes intelligence sharing. “There's no breach of trust […] whatsoever,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, adding that the U.S. supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approach to the issue. [node:read-more:link]


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