From the Bundeswehr’s Areas of Operation (I)

BERLIN/PRISTINA (Own report) – The EU is discussing redrawing borders in Southeast Europe. The Kosovo leadership could thus cede control over its Serbian-speaking North to Belgrade, in exchange for the Albanian-speaking Preševo valley of Southern Serbia. Obviously backed by France, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, is promoting this exchange, against Germany’s rejection. The plan, in fact, is redrawing borders in accordance with the ethnic criteria pursued by the German government in Southeast Europe, in particular during in the 1990s and early 2000s. After having been stationed in Kosovo for nearly 20 years, the Bundeswehr is preparing a major withdrawal. Its focus will now be on training and arming Kosovo’s armed forces, which have begun cooperating with NATO, while Kosovo’s population continues to languish in poverty, after nearly two decades of western occupation. It is the second poorest region in Europe. Only military cooperation with NATO is flourishing. Continue reading

Europe: Laughing at the Messenger

In response to US President Donald Trump’s recent reference to “what’s happening” in Sweden, Swedish Twitter users mocked him by posting photos of people putting IKEA furniture together. The joke would have been funnier had a failed asylum seeker from Eritrea not murdered Carola Herlin (left) and her son in an IKEA store in Västerås, Sweden, in August 2015.

 

  • Once again, an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem identified or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified.
  • We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem.
  • If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues.
  • It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny.

How can one excavate the minds of so many European officials and the extraordinary mental gymnastics of denial to which they have become prone? Continue reading

Russia builds up forces in Crimea with int’l attention focused elsewhere

Russia’s FSB security service announced Wednesday that it had foiled a series of attacks by armed Ukranians in Crimea, and minutes later President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of choosing the path of terror instead of peace. On the same day, far from the eyes of the media, Russia sent large military forces, including dozens of armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers and tanks, to the peninsula that it took over in 2014. Continue reading

Russia warns of ‘risks’ should Sweden join Nato

A top Russian official has told a leading Swedish newspaper that the country would be likely to face military action if it were to join Nato.

Nearly one in three Swedes think the country should join Nato, a major poll suggested last month, up from 29 percent of Swedes in 2013 and 17 percent in 2012.

The shift in public opinion is largely credited to a rising fear in the Nordic country of a potentially aggressive Russia. Sweden’s security service Säpo recently stated that the biggest intelligence threat against the Nordic country in 2014 came from its eastern neighbour. Continue reading

Scottish independence will lead to ‘Balkanisation’ of Britain, warns Swedish foreign minister

A vote for independence in September’s referendum which would see Scotland leave the 307-year-old union would trigger “unforeseen chain reactions” in both the UK and Europe

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt warned on Wednesday that Scottish independence would lead to the “Balkanisation” of the United Kingdom that would have consequences for the rest of Europe.

“The Balkanisation of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to. It opens up a lot, primarily in Scotland but also in the UK. What are the implications for the Irish question? What happens to Ulster?” Continue reading

Three EU countries back Ukraine’s use of force

BRUSSELS – Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden have explicitly backed Ukraine’s right to use force against pro-Russian separatists.

Lithuania’s UN envoy, Raimonda Murmokaite, and her Luxembourg counterpart, Olivier Maes, made the statements at a snap UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on Sunday (13 April).

“When the existence of the state is put in danger, we support the right of Ukraine to defend itself in the face of external aggression and to tackle militant separatism and continuous provocations,” Murmokaite said. Continue reading

Russian troops take over Ukraine’s Crimea region

If the Ukrainian interim president Oleksandr Turchynov means what he said earlier, that any intervention by Russia is to be considered an act of war and will lead to war, then expect war to happen soon.

Putin sought and quickly got his parliament’s approval to use its military to protect Russia’s interests across Ukraine. But while sometimes-violent pro-Russian protests broke out Saturday in a number of Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s immediate focus appeared to be Crimea.

Tensions increased when Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made a late night announcement that he had ordered the country’s armed forces to be at full readiness because of the threat of “potential aggression.”

The Kremlin website said Putin told Obama that Russian troops may send its troops not only to Crimea but all of predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine due to “the existence of real threats” to Russian citizens in Ukrainian territory. Continue reading

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