Interoperability (International)

RCMP help Australian drug bust

Four people have been arrested in Australia after more than $140 million worth of illegal drugs were discovered in a vintage 1960 Bentley shipped from Canada. Police in New South Wales said border officers received a tip which led to the discovery of methylamphetamine and cocaine hidden in the classic automobile. [node:read-more:link]

Stoltenberg visits Canadian Arctic

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in the Canadian North this week for an unprecedented tour of defence installations. Officials say the visit is meant to highlight that the region is a security priority, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and issues related to climate change. [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers keeping busy

Microsoft has published new details about suspected Russian hackers who have carried out cyberespionage attacks against NATO government organizations, think tanks, and defence contractors since at least 2017. The company’s Threat Intelligence Center said August 15 that it has “taken actions to disrupt campaigns” launched by the group. [node:read-more:link]

Austria resolutely neutral – mostly

Even as Europe’s security architecture has evolved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago, and Sweden and Finland seek NATO membership, Austria continues to sit on the fence. A member of European Union and partner with NATO in various ways, including sending aid and non-lethal weapons to Ukraine, the government’s stance reflects the fact that 80 per cent of Austrians don’t want to join the military alliance. [node:read-more:link]

Latvia labels Russia “terrorism” sponsor

The parliament in Latvia is calling on its NATO allies to impose more comprehensive sanctions on Russia, which it has formally designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” over its invasion of Ukraine. “Latvia recognises Russia's actions in Ukraine as targeted,” it said August 11, also calling for increased western military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic support. [node:read-more:link]

Copenhagen Conference looks to support Ukraine

Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand participated virtually in the Copenhagen Conference for Northern European Defence Allies of Ukraine. The conference aims to determine how Northern European Allies and other partners can strengthen collaboration and enhance support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal attack. [node:read-more:link]

Cross-border criminal network shut down

Police in Ontario, working with Canadian and U.S. border agents, said August 10 that 22 members of a criminal network involved in the drug trade face more than 400 charges. The investigation also uncovered a pipeline for the flow of illegal firearms entering Canada from the U.S. [node:read-more:link]

Russia suspends nuclear inspections

Insisting that it remains committed to its strategic arms control treaty with the U.S., Russia is suspending inspections of its facilities. Citing the coronavirus and western sanctions, the foreign ministry said August 8 that “Russia is now forced to resort to this measure as a result of Washington’s persistent desire to implicitly achieve a restart of inspections on conditions that do not take into account existing realities.” It also accused the U.S. of trying to create “unilateral advantages and prevent Russian inspections of U.S. facilities [node:read-more:link]

Nordic states edge closer to NATO membership

NATO membership for Finland and Sweden is seven countries short of ratification as of today, five weeks after Canada was the first of the 30 alliance members to ratify the request in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and generally growing regional belligerence. The Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Portugal have yet to decide, with Hungary and Turkey expected to be the last to complete the process. [node:read-more:link]

Russia clarifies ISS timeline

Three days after stating that Russia would pull out of the International Space Station after 2024, Ruscosmos’ new director, Yuri Borisov, said today that there is no firm date. He confirmed the plan but the timing depended on the “condition” of the ISS and on when Russia can commission its own orbital platform. [node:read-more:link]

Russia bailing from space station

The newly-appointed head of Ruscosmos, Yuri Borisov, confirmed today that Russia will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own facility. The U.S., Canada and other countries hope to keep the ISS operational until at least 2030. [node:read-more:link]

Monkeypox declared global emergency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries, including Canada where 681 cases have been confirmed, is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared July 23. In an unprecedented move, he personally opted for the designation to break a deadlock on the UN agency’s emergency committee. [node:read-more:link]

Nexus centres closed by firearms dispute

Nexus enrolment centres in Canada remain closed due to a dispute over whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers should be armed when stationed in Canada. The result is a growing backlog in Nexus approvals which are supposed to facilitate cross-border traffic. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeepers attacked online

The UN Security Council says more needs to be done to counter disinformation and misinformation about its 90,000 peacekeepers, whose operations have faced growing attacks, especially on social media. All 15 council members approved a Brazilian call July 13 for the UN to “improve the culture of strategic communications across civilian, military and police components” of its 12 peacekeeping missions. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. and Israel harden line on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and visiting U.S. President Joe Biden pledged today to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Their written accord came a day after he told a local TV station that he was open to the use of force as a “last resort” against Iran which Israel, generally believed to have the only nuclear weapons in the Middle East, considers an existential threat. [node:read-more:link]


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