NATO Defence Ministers will review collective defence measures in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in Wales, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the start of the two-day Ministerial on Tuesday (3 June 2014). “We are facing a new security landscape because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”, the NATO Secretary General said. “We have already taken immediate steps. In a strong show of solidarity, every single Ally, from both sides of the Atlantic, contributes to bolstering our collective defence, including deployment of ships, aircraft and troops. It really is all for one and one for all”, Mr Fogh Rasmussen added.
Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine made Europe consider seriously its energy independence. Most of all Europe is afraid of Moscow‘s unpredictability. Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin has been freely treating international agreements and commitments (e.g. the Budapest Memorandum signed in 1994). Therefore nobody can guarantee that in the context of sanctions to Russia Gazprom will not stop supplying gas to Europe.
Vladimir Putin got exactly what he wished for in his visit to Shanghai last week: a marriage agreement between his country, the world’s largest energy exporter, and China, the world’s largest energy importer, in the form of a pipeline that would run $400 billion worth of Russian gas from Siberia to northeastern China over 30 years.
In other words, the question in the title is about the fact as to whether we only require that our security team supervise the peace of our home or we are resolved to assist others, where the security team decides it necessary? Are we with the team or is the team for us? Up to now, our resolution to act together is proved by our soldiers’ participation in international missions – only they save the state from complete shame, which says we are in a danger zone, but which has been begrudging the costs of increasing our own security for entire decades on end. If you want to get, you must know how to give.
In a surprising turnaround of previous policy, Russia’s Lukoil announced on May 16 that its oil will soon be delivered to Europe via the 1,093-mile-long, 1.2 million-barrel-per-day Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. The BTC pipeline transports oil from Azerbaijan’s offshore Caspian Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field, via Baku’s Sangachal Terminal, across Georgia, to Turkey’s deep-water Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. A Lukoil representative said that the first tanker carrying oil from the company’s Yuri Korchagin offshore Caspian field had already been dispatched across the Caspian to Baku, where its oil will be entered into the BTC pipeline for delivery to Europe (Vestnik Kavkaza, May 16).
Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov attended the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Non-NATO ISAF Contributing Nations at the level of Defense Ministers in Brussels.
Friday is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied army invasion of Normandy in northern France that turned the tide in World War II. Some 156,000 British, American, Canadian and other soldiers took part in the largest military operation in history. Among them was a squadron of 177 French soldiers. RFI’s Mike Woods met one of them.
In the wake of the Ukraine-crisis, Europe may face yet another cut-off of gas supplies from Russia. Gazprom still meets more than half of Ukraine’s gas demand and supplies close to a third of Europe’s imports, roughly half of which, 82 billion cubic meters (bcm), went through Ukraine in 2013. In March, Gazprom drastically increased prices for Ukraine and threatened to shut down supplies in case of non-payment in a letter addressed to 18 European leaders, while Ukraine is facing a serious liquidity crisis that cripples its ability to pay its gas bills.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has said that Zagreb will apply to join the EU's passport-free Schengen zone on July 1 next year.
Turkish president Abdullah Gul met with his Turkmen and Kyrgyz counterparts at the Cankaya presidential palace in Ankara.