Interoperability (International)

Pentagon assesses intel sharing

The U.S. Department of Defence Inspector General’s office plans to look into the extent to which the U.S. military “developed, planned, and executed cross-domain intelligence sharing” with its European partners in support of Ukraine. This is several months after the White House relaxed constraints on how the DoD and intelligence agencies shared information. [node:read-more:link]

NATO ramps up cybersecurity

Rapid response to cyberattacks and other malign digital activity is the goal of a new NATO “virtual rapid response cyber capability” as it moves to boost Ukraine’s defences against relentless Russian activity. Agreed to at the latest alliance leaders’ summit, the voluntary program relies on current assets. [node:read-more:link]

NATO breakthrough for Finland and Sweden

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today agreed to endorse NATO membership for Sweden and Finland in a trilateral deal to “support … each other's security.” The two Nordic states agreed not only to address concerns about their handling of Kurdish nationalists deemed terrorists by Turkey but also to lift restrictions on weapons sales to Turkey. [node:read-more:link]

G7 leaders unequivocally onside with Ukraine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S., today pledged ongoing support for Ukraine. “We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” they said in a statement on the second day of their G7 summit in Germany which also included EU representatives. [node:read-more:link]

China’s forced labour issue

The U.S. is pressing its allies to address forced labour practices in China’s Xinjiang region, kickstarting the campaign by implementing a law that bans goods from the region where it accuses authorities of genocide against Muslim minorities. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the goal is freedom from “the use of forced labour, to speak out against atrocities in Xinjiang, and to join us in calling on the government of the . . . to immediately end atrocities and human rights abuses.” [node:read-more:link]

French government struggles to survive

The centrist government of French President Emmanuel is trying to avoid political paralysis after losing its parliamentary majority to influential right- and left-wing parties in last weekend’s election. The government now is focusing on building a “working majority’ through a coalition or alliances with individuals in the other parties. [node:read-more:link]

Actions by Turkey and Hungary help Russia

Europe’s effort to stand up to Vladimir Putin is being slowed by the leaders of Hungary and Turkey. A procedural vote on NATO moving ahead quickly with the membership applications of Sweden and Finland was blocked by Turkey on Wednesday. For its part, Hungary continues to block all European Union efforts to put an embargo on Russian oil. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey questions NATO expansion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today his country is “not of a favourable option” about the prospect of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, but he stopped short of saying that he would exercise Turkey’s veto. He cited, among other things, alleged Scandinavian support for Kurdish militants and other groups Turkey sees as terrorists. [node:read-more:link]

NATO membership for Finland closer

The president and prime minister of historically non-aligned Finland today announced their support for the nation to apply for NATO membership, setting the stage for a parliamentary vote within a few days. There has been a dramatic shift in public support for the decision due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and similarly neutral Sweden is expected to follow suit. [node:read-more:link]

Macron beats Le Pen again

French President Emmanuel Macron has secured a second five-year term in office, capturing 58.55 per cent of the April 24 run-off vote despite an improved showing by right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen, who finished with 41.45 per cent. One issue facing voters was the prospect that a Le Pen vote could mean France’s withdrawal from NATO. [node:read-more:link]

Le Pen wants new deal with NATO

French President Emmanuel Macron’s far-right challenger, Marine Le Pen, says she rejects NATO’s “herd-like conformity” with the U.S. and would quit the alliance’s integrated military command and focus on “a strategic rapprochement” with Russia. She also has dismissed multilateralism in general as she and Macron prepare for an April 24 run-off election after first-round voting April 10 left them with only a few percentage points difference in support. [node:read-more:link]

NATO “geared towards confrontation”

As historically-neutral Sweden and Finland consider bids for NATO membership, the Kremlin’s spokesman warned against it, saying that that “the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation.” Dmitry Peskov was responding to reports that U.S. State Department officials met last week with the Finnish and Swedish foreign ministers whose governments are concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and potentially other neighbours. [node:read-more:link]

Division within NATO over ties with Russia

The prospect that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be prolonged, NATO is divided on how to manage the next stage of the conflict and the ensuing uncertainty. Some countries such as Poland and the Baltic states, concerned that anything that Moscow can present as a victory will damage to European security, want a total break but others such as France, Germany and Turkey evidently want to maintain links with President Vladimir Putin despite alleged war crimes. [node:read-more:link]

Alliance would welcome Finland and Sweden

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said April 5 that while the alliance would welcome traditionally neutral Finland and Sweden as members. “It's for them to decide, of course, but if they apply, I expect that 30 allies will welcome them.” he said. [node:read-more:link]

More RCMP to International Criminal Court

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino has confirmed that seven more RCMP officers will join three others “as quickly as possible” to help with an International Criminal Court investigation of possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine. “This will be a team of dedicated experts who understand how to collect evidence which could be marshaled into a future prosecution,” he said March 29. [node:read-more:link]


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