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Uniting democracies has been the key international political trend of the last hundred years. Understanding this trend and enabling it to continue is the key to world political development.

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Streit Council Advisory Board Member Stanley R. Sloan on "Rebuilding Washington's Transatlantic Alliance"
In an article for the National Interest, Stanley R. Sloan argues that the next president of the United States will need to rebuild the transatlantic relationship to address threats to Western security and fundamental values. In Ukraine, NATO and the EU need to support the reform of the country's political and economic system while holding off on the provision of lethal arms. To ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS, Western allies should engage Middle Eastern states and the broader international community to stabilize and govern retaken territory. While the next president must remember that the Russian agenda often runs contrary to that of the U.S., cooperation on managing strategic arms, promoting a peaceful end to the Syria conflict, counterterrorism and other issues is in America's interest. Click here for the full article.

New Book by Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode
In Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers, historian Kenneth Weisbrode asserts that Old Diplomacyis not really that old—many of its concepts and methods date to the mid-nineteenth century—while the practices of New Diplomacy emerged only a couple of generations later. Moreover, "Diplomacy 2.0" and other variants of the post-Cold War era do not depart significantly from their twentieth-century predecessor: their forms, particularly in technology, have changed, but their substance has not. In this succinct overview, Weisbrode reminds us that to understand diplomatic transformations and their relevance to international affairs is to see diplomacy as an entrepreneurial art—and that, like most arts, it is adapted and re-adapted with reference to earlier forms. Diplomatic practice is always changing, and always continuous. To read more about this book, click here.

Kenneth Weisbrode, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University, Turkey and has written and edited several books, including Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers; Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI; and The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Toynbee Prize Foundation's Network for the New Diplomatic History, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.

New Book by Streit Council Board Member Richard Rosecrance

In The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Richard Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. A U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength. Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order. To read more about this book, click here.


At the Washington D.C. Summit on Cross Continental Cooperation,held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from November 4-7, Streit Council President Richard Conn Henry reviewed the history of the Streit Council, starting with Clarence K. Streit's self-publication of Union Now just prior to World War II, and continuing with the passing of the Atlantic Union Resolution in 1964. Henry also expounded his idea on a possible Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, if adopted, would lead to a federal union with the European Union. His proposal can be found here.

Brendan Simms, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is a Professor of the History of European International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the think tank Project on Democratic Union, which supports a full political union of the Eurozone. He also founded and is the President of the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank dedicated to fostering a strong British and European commitment to liberty; constitutional democracy; human rights; governmental and institutional reform; a robust foreign, security, and defense policy; and the transatlantic alliance. His publications include Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire 1714-1783 (2008) and Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (2001).

Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News

ASEAN bloc breaks deadlock on South China Sea
25 July 2016 – Al Jazeera
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) overcame a deadlock after the Philippines withdrew a request for the bloc's joint statement to include mention of the legal ruling against Chinese claims to the South China Sea. Cambodia objected to the inclusion, and was publicly thanked by China on Monday for supporting the Chinese stance on maritime territorial disputes in the region. 
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Yuan flunks Fed haven test as IMF prepares it for reserve basket
24 July 2016 – Bloomberg
A new report published by the Federal Reserve casts doubt on the Chinese yuan’s ability to gain haven status. The study tested the yuan against currencies with safer exchange rates and found that the yuan’s value fell as markets became more unstable. This report comes two months before the yuan is to be included in the IMF’s basket of reserve currencies.
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Sieren’s China: Erdogan’s Turkey is a high-risk partner
24 July 2016 – Deutsche Welle
The Chinese government released its first statement after the Turkish government coup, expressing hope that order will be restored in Turkey as soon as possible. Turkey is strategically important to China’s One Belt One Road project, and several projects for rail links and scientific exchange are already set in place between the two nations. The recent coup casts doubt on its previous statements promising to aid China and act against activity in Turkey that could harm Chinese interests.
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Ukraine-U.S. “Sea Breeze 2016” drills enter active phase
24 July 2016 – Ukraine Today
Ukraine's Defense Ministry reported that the Ukraine-U.S. Sea Breeze military exercises, the largest drills between the two countries' naval maneuvers, have officially started. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stressed that the exercises will "strengthen security measures on the southern flank of Europe," and the role of the drills in improving Ukrainian military, particularly naval, capacity and deepening international interoperability.
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Boris Johnson firm on NATO after Trump speech
23 July 2016 – The Washington Post
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reaffirmed the country's position on NATO following comments by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump that he may not honor collective defense commitments of the alliance if president. Johnson stressed NATO's importance as a vital alliance and its significant role in global security.
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Brexit: UK can’t be in Single Market without freedom of movement, says Francois Hollande
21 July 2016 – Belfast Telegraph
French President Francois Hollande stated today that the UK will not have access to the Single Market without accepting freedom of movement for individuals. Citing the Single Market’s “four freedoms,” Hollande argued that “[n]one can be separated from the other. There cannot be freedom of movement of goods, free movement of capital, free movement of services if there isn’t a free movement of people.”
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U.S. has “ironclad” commitment to NATO mutual defense: White House
21 July 2016 – Reuters
White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated that the U.S. commitment to NATO’s mutual defense provision "is ironclad" following comments by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump called into question whether he would come to the defense of allies under attack. Earnest added that U.S. President Barack Obama "renewed that commitment" during the alliance's recent summit in Warsaw.
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Japan Secures SM-2 Missiles for Destroyers
21 July 2016 – Defense News
Japan will receive nearly 250 Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) air defense missiles in an $821 million sale approved by the U.S. State Department. The sale was announced by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which stated that the missiles provide "significantly enhanced area defense capabilities over critical East Asian and Western Pacific air and sea-lines of communication."
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Visegrad Group calls for EU reforms in wake of Brexit vote
21 July 2016 – Deutsche Welle
Leaders from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland urged the EU to grant more autonomy to member states following the UK's Brexit vote. The leaders have pushed for reforms to grant national parliaments a larger say in decisions made by the bloc, arguing that such measures would prevent other states from leaving.
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BRICS New Development Bank hopes to expand by drawing other nations as Members
21 July 2016 – South China Morning Post
The New Development Bank is looking to add new members soon. Vice President Zhu Xian stated: “It is very likely that we will see new members joining us in 2017 or 2018.” The NDB’s board of governors came to this mutual decision after the bank’s first annual meeting in Shanghai. Zhu redirected focus from the rivalry between the NDB and already established financial institutions like the World Bank, arguing that there is enough room in the market for all players.
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Beijing’s South China Sea militarization becoming fait accompli: defense paper
21 July 2016 – The Japan Times
Japanese warnings over Chinese militarization of territory in the South China Sea will feature prominently in this year's defense white paper, according to Japanese outlet Kyodo News. The Japanese cabinet is expected to approve the white paper early next month, and outlines of the document show Japan is to call Beijing's activities in the sea unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo.
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Donald Trump Remarks on NATO Trigger Alarm Bells in Europe
21 July 2016 – NBC News
U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump stirred concern in Europe after suggesting he may not honor NATO's Article 5, which calls for allies to aid each other in the event of an attack. Trump argued that "many NATO nations are not making payments" to increase defense spending, and thus have not "fulfilled their obligations" in terms of contributions to the alliance. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg responded saying that "solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO."
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Germany wants G20 to signal stability; Schaeuble to discuss Brexit with Hammond
20 July 2016 – Reuters
Germany wants the G20 to produce a message of stability coming from this weekend’s meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in China. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also plans to meet with newly appointed British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on the sidelines of the meeting to discuss the British vote to leave the European Union. Brexit is expected to be a major point of discussion at the overall meeting as Hammond will be expected to detail how the UK will manage its exit from the EU.
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No need for G20 to tame forex markets after Brexit: IMF economist
20 July 2016 – Reuters
Maury Obstfeld, the IMF’s chief economist, said on Tuesday that there is no need to tame foreign exchange markets in the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, as the markets are not as “disorderly” as many claim. Obstfeld said that flexible exchange rates have reduced the effects of shocks like the Brexit vote and allow countries to use fiscal and monetary policies, rather than currency intervention, to suit their needs.
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Britain “can still join EU military missions after Brexit”
20 July 2016 – The Telegraph
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon suggested that the UK may still participate in EU military missions after its exit from the bloc. Fallon stated that he does not "see the British interest in these missions diminishing," with British forces recently playing critical roles in EU missions to combat the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
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European Commission Wants More Information From German Regulators on “Nord Stream 2”
20 July 2016 – Reuters
The European Commission, expected to make a decision soon on the legality of Nord Stream’s expansion, has requested more information from Germany on the technical and logistical details of the pipeline. Germany, which signed an agreement with Gazprom in May to pump more gas to the Opal link, will still need final approval from the European Commission. One of the main concerns raised involves the potential breach of anti-monopoly laws regarding gas supply and transit, and the fear that the new expansion would benefit Germany at the expense of Ukraine and Central Europe. 
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Philippines says it rejected China offer of talks on South China Sea
19 July 2016 – Reuters
A Chinese proposal for bilateral talks on a territorial dispute in the South China Sea has been rejected by the Philippines. The reason for turning down the proposal was a Chinese pre-condition of omitting from discussions an international court ruling nullifying most of its claims, according to the Philippines' foreign minister.
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UK MPs vote to renew Trident weapons system
19 July 2016 – BBC
The UK's House of Commons has voted to renew the country's Trident nuclear weapons system, with UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon stating that the system "puts doubts in the minds of our adversaries" in a time of growing nuclear threats. The renewal will include four replacement submarines with a current estimated cost of £31 billion ($41 billion).
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Ukraine to Increase Short-Haul Gas Transit to EU
19 July, 2016 - Natural Gas Europe
UkrTransGaz, Ukraine’s state-owned gas transporter, is testing market demand in Central and Southern Europe for border-to-border, two-way gas transportation. Gas transportation to neighboring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania would be provided by 12 different options on a “firm and/or interruptible basis” with potential tariff discounts. Sergiy Makogon, UkrTransGaz’s executive director for strategy and business development, believes that Ukraine “can significantly contribute to the interconnectivity, the security of supply and facilitate cross-border trade” in Eastern Europe.
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Defense chief says UK will have to work harder after Brexit
18 July 2016 – The Washington Post
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has said that the UK will have to work harder to maintain military and political influence globally after its decision to exit from the European Union. Fallon said that the UK will have to deepen bilateral relationships and existing alliances, stating that the country will "do more in NATO to compensate," in addition to increasing cooperation with the U.S., France, and Germany.
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China Begins Air Patrols Over Disputed Area of the South China Sea
18 July 2016 – The New York Times
China's official news agency has reported that the Chinese air force will begin regular military air patrols over disputed territories in the South China Sea to strengthen China's claim to the region, which was rejected by an international tribunal last week. Chinese forces recently flew a "combat air patrol" in the region, according to an air force spokesman, and the patrol is expected to become a "regular practice."
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U.S. committed to TTIP, more important due to Brexit: Kerry
18 July 2016 – Reuters 
U.S. Secretary John Kerry stated on Monday that the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations is more urgent after Britons voted to leave the EU. "It has the ability to act as a counter to whatever negatives may or may not ultimately attach themselves to whatever construct is negotiated between the UK and Europe," he said.
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Winter Shortfall of Gas Expected in UK
18 July 2016 – Reuters
An outage at the “Rough” natural gas storage facility will likely leave the UK with a shortfall of gas for the upcoming winter. Rough, which houses more than 70% of the UK’s gas storage, will only be able to operate four of its wells for withdrawal until tests on the system end, likely in March or April of 2017. Compared to last year, the UK could face a shortfall of 1.20-1.75 billion cubic meters. The UK will have to import more gas, likely from Norway and elsewhere in Europe through the InterconnectorUK pipeline.
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Kerry urges Turkey to maintain democratic principles after coup attempt
18 July 2016 – The Washington Post
The U.S. and the EU urged Turkey to adhere to the rule of law and democratic principles amid the country's crackdown following an attempted coup. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned that Turkey would jeopardize its bid for EU membership if it introduces the death penalty. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the situation in Turkey will be watched closely by NATO to ensure that the country, a NATO member, fulfills its requirement of democratic governance.
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Sea Breeze 2016 drills kick off in Ukraine
18 July 2016 – Interfax Ukraine
The U.S. and Ukraine have started military drills in the Black Sea, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The Sea Breeze 2016 military exercises will involve more than 25 vessels from Ukraine, the U.S., Turkey, and Romania in waters near Odessa.
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UK and EU Officials Promise Close Cooperation on Foreign Affairs, Security
18 July 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
UK and EU officials pledged continued close cooperation in foreign and security policy despite UK plans to leave the bloc. New UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with EU officials in Brussels, stating that Brexit "in no sense means that we are leaving Europe." EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, however, said that the rest of the EU have a right to move forward with their own plans.
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China to Close Part of South China Sea for Military Exercise
18 July 2016 – The New York Times
China will close off part of the South China Sea to conduct military exercises this week following an international tribunal's ruling against the country's territorial claims in the region. The announcement comes during a visit to China by the U.S. Navy's top admiral to discuss the dispute and boost military cooperation between the two countries.
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EU Issues South China Sea Statement After Failing to Agree Common Stance
16 July 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a statement that underlines the importance of maintaining international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the protection of freedom of navigation and overflight. The statement follows a disagreement within the bloc on a common stance regarding a ruling by an international tribunal rejecting Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, with Croatia, Hungary, and Greece repeatedly blocking the statement over concerns regarding trade with China.
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European Commission Agrees to €263 Million Euros in Energy Infrastructure Funding
15 July 2016 – New Europe
EU countries today agreed to proceed with the European Commission’s plan to invest €263 million in several energy infrastructure projects. The projects are listed as vital under the Connecting Europe Facility, will “help fill the still-existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market,” in the words of Miguel Arias Canete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. Among the individual projects are the “Baltic connector,” a bi-directional gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland under the Baltic Sea, an electricity line in Bulgaria, and construction to enhance current interconnections between Estonia and Latvia. Six studies for potential new pipelines, interconnections, and expansions were also commissioned. 
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India, Japan ask Beijing to refrain from using strong-arm tactics in South China Sea
14 July 2016 – The Times of India
India and Japan have asked all parties to show "utmost respect" for the UN's Convention on the Law of the Sea following a ruling of an international tribunal rejecting Chinese claims in the South Sea. The joint statement came after a meeting between Japanese and Indian prime ministers this week.
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Global call to development banks: don’t fund projects that violate human rights
14 July 2016 – Reuters
The Coalition on Human Rights in Development has petitioned for banks and funders to consider the risks to human rights before approving funds for new projects. Spokesman Adam Shapiro stated that if human rights are ignored, “[d]evelopment banks and their member states can’t hope to achieve sustainable development or eliminate poverty.” While many development banks stress the importance of public participation, several national governments have been restricting community participation and NGOs.
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Philippines urges Beijing to respect South China Sea ruling
14 July 2016 – The Guardian
The Philippines' foreign affairs office called on China to respect a ruling by an international tribunal rejecting Beijing's claims to the South China Sea ahead of a regional summit to be attended by both countries. The Philippines' foreign secretary is due to attend the Asia-Europe summit along with the Chinese premier this week.
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Syria's Assad says Putin has not talked about political transition
14 July 2016 – Reuters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he has never discussed leaving power with Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite pressure from the West for Assad to allow a political transition. Assad also stated that he is not concerned that Moscow will broker a deal with Washington to force him from power during a visit to Russia by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this week.
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Central and East European Nations Back Construction Of Eastring Pipeline
14 July 2016 – Natural Gas Europe
Slovakia and Bulgaria recently signed a memorandum of understanding on the Eastring Pipeline, and important element in the EU’s larger plan of energy source diversification. The Eastring Pipeline would connect Slovakia to Bulgaria with stops along the way in Romania and Hungary. With a capacity of 20-40 billion cubic meters per year, the two-way pipeline would either be an entirely new structure between Slovakia and Bulgaria, or it would come in the form of improvements to existing infrastructure. Presented as an alternative to the South Stream project, the pipeline could bring in new supply from the Caspian Sea region and help Central Europe and the Balkans to diversify their energy imports away from Gazprom.
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Ukraine Increases Imports of Gas from EU
14 July 2016 – Portfolio
Ukraine has rapidly increased its natural gas purchases from EU nations with reverse-flows, especially from Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Since the beginning of July, following the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s loans to Ukraine, Ukrainian purchases of Hungarian gas have increased to around 1.6 million cubic meters per day. In order to meet winter demand, Ukrainian state-owned Naftogaz plans to purchase around 14.5 billion cubic meters for storage.
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China says it could declare air zone over South China Sea
13 July 2016 – Associated Press
China's vice foreign minister said that Beijing could declare an air defense identification zone over waters it feels are threatened following an international tribunal's ruling against Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. The official added that the Philippines’ government could benefit from cooperating with China on the issue.
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Germany calls for more joint European military initiatives
13 July 2016 – The Financial Times
Germany's defense minister called for greater EU cooperation in security and foreign policy in light of the British exit from the EU, with no risk of London blocking proposals. Ursula von der Leyen stated the UK's previous efforts had "paralyzed" Europe's efforts to integrate security policy, and called for a "permanent structured cooperation in the defense sector" allowed under the bloc's 2007 Lisbon treaty.
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NATO, Russia Still Disagree On Ukraine But Consider Baltic Safety Measures
13 July 2016 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO and Russia are considering a proposal to decrease the risk of accidental military confrontation in Baltic airspace, though the two parties remain at odds over Ukraine. Stoltenberg spoke during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, stating that "there was not a meeting of the minds" regarding Ukraine, but that allies would carefully consider Russia's proposal to use transponders to reduce conflict risk.
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Accepting queen’s invite, Theresa May is now Britain’s leader
13 July 2016 – CBS/AP
On Wednesday, Theresa May became Britain’s new prime minister with a promise to make “Britain a country that works for everyone.” While she was a “remain” campaigner during the recent debate that led up to the vote to leave the EU, she is now charged with getting the best deal for Britain’s departure. “Brexit means Brexit, and we will make a success of it,” she recently said.
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Relationship with Russia "biggest challenge for Serbia"
13 July 2016 – B92
An advisor to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that Serbia's ties with Russia are the biggest challenge the country faces in the process of attaining full EU membership. The expectation is that Serbia will move closer to the EU in terms of its Russian relationship, "but that is something that cannot happen overnight," the advisor said.
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“Blue Baltics” LNG Project Approved
13 July 2016 – Hellenic Shipping News
The Connecting Europe Facility, a project of the European Commission dedicated to supporting trans-European infrastructure, approved €15 million euros for the “Blue Baltics” development. Blue Baltics, a joint-investment in LNG fueling infrastructure, ship bunkering, and mobile facilities, has already received a little over €6 million euros in the last two years. The upgrades should be complete by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
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Brexit strains London’s “golden” ties to Beijing
12 July 2016 – Deutsche Welle
Under Prime Minister David Cameron, Britain spent years forging a closer economic relationship with China. After the recent vote to leave the EU, however, those ties are expected to be downgraded. Chinese investors are likely to reduce planned investments in the British market, and London’s importance to China as a European financial center is expected to be surpassed by Frankfurt.
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Prime Minister concludes visit to Ukraine
12 July 2016 – Prime Minister of Canada - Press Release
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded his first official visit to Ukraine, which focused on strengthening economic and social ties between the two countries. Trudeau met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, participating in the signing of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, in addition to reiterating Canadia’s support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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Russian, Iranian, Azerbaijani Presidents To Meet In Baku
13 July 2016 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
The leaders of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan will hold talks in Baku next month to discuss "a new format of regional cooperation," according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The meeting's agenda is expected to include discussions of bilateral relations, economic cooperation, and the Convention on the Caspian Sea document, which determines ownership of the sea among littoral states.
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Japanese defense minister to visit India to boost strategic ties
12 July 2016 – The Times of India
Japan's defense minister is due to visit India to boost strategic regional cooperation, following a ruling by an international tribunal that China has no legal claim over territories in the South China Sea. The visit also follows the Malabar exercises conducted by India, Japan, and the U.S. as a step in furthering trilateral maritime cooperation.
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Hague Tribunal ruling on South China Sea a “farce”: China
12 July 2016 – The BRICS Post
In response to Tuesday’s ruling over territorial claims in the South China Sea, China called the arbitration a “farce.” The Chinese government refuses to recognize the ruling, stating that China’s territorial rights and interests will not be affected by it. The foreign ministry issued a statement declaring the ruling “null and void.” This ruling comes amid tension in the South China Sea between the U.S. and China as they exchange accusations of militarizing the region.
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China’s claim to most of South China Sea has no legal basis, court says
12 July 2016 – Wall Street Journal
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague unanimously ruled in the Philippines’ favor, stating that China’s territorial claims to the majority of the South China Sea via a “nine-dash” line have no legal basis. The tribunal also declared that China is not entitled to an exclusive economic zone from the Spratly Islands. China’s Foreign Ministry stated that it neither accepts nor recognizes this ruling shortly thereafter, saying that the ruling is “null and void” and without “binding force.”
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EU Approves “Privacy Shield” Data-Transfer Pact With U.S.
12 July 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. and the EU have agreed to a new transatlantic data-transfer framework, known as the Privacy Shield, that eases the transmission of information from Europe to the U.S. The framework guarantees protection for European data when it is moved to U.S. servers, and follows a previously failed mechanism that was overturned by the European Court of Justice on concerns over U.S. mass surveillance.
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Japan, G7 brokering joint statement on S. China Sea ruling
12 July 2016 – The Star
The G7 is expected to issue a statement on maritime security for the third time since April as the Hague releases its verdict on a dispute between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea. The Group of Seven advanced economies will pressure China to adhere by the decision, though China has already declared that it will not recognize the ruling as legitimate. While Japan has no direct stake in this ruling, it is involved in a separate dispute with China in the East China Sea, and it has made pledges of naval support to the Philippines and Vietnam in response to the threat of Chinese military power.
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German Military Said to Take More Assertive Role in Shift
11 July 2016 – Bloomberg
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to discuss a new German white paper with her cabinet after attending NATO's summit in Warsaw. According to the document, Germany will take on a greater role in military leadership in international security and increase defense spending due to an increased "risk of violent conflict between states, including Europe and its neighborhood."
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Japan could change pacifist constitution after Shinzo Abe victory
11 July 2016 – The Guardian
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for discussions on rewriting Japan's postwar pacifist constitution following a win by his party in the country's parliamentary elections. The most controversial potential revision would allow Japan's self-defense forces to function as a conventional army by revising a clause that restricts Japanese forces to a strictly defensive role.
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China Intensifies Opposition Ahead of South China Sea Ruling
11 July 2016 – The New York Times
China has intensified its effort to denounce proceedings by the international court that is due to rule on the issue of Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea this week. Beijing has boycotted the case and instead insists on bilateral talks with Philippines, which brought the case.
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NATO stations four more battalions in Eastern Europe
10 July 2016 – The Economist
NATO's Warsaw summit formalized several previously discussed measures to increase the alliance's deterrence, including the deployment of four multinational battalions to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The battalions, of about 1000 troops each supplied by the U.S., Germany, Canada, and the UK, are intended to act as a trip-wire to trigger a full military response by the alliance in the event of a Russian attack.
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G20 seeks to enhance trade growth in the face of protectionism – China
10 July 2016 – Reuters
Following a two-day meeting of trade ministers, the Group of 20 nations announced a trade growth strategy that will seek to reverse the slowing of global trade that has been widely caused by a rise in protectionism. In order to accomplish their goals, the G20 ministers agreed to lower trade costs, more closely coordinate policy, and increase financing. Additionally, they jointly urged governments to avoid protectionism in the areas of trade and investment, which could undermine their strategy altogether.
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NATO will expand Mediterranean patrols in response to terrorism, smuggling
9 July 2016 – The Boston Globe
NATO has agreed to expand military patrols in the Mediterranean Sea in order to combat the migration crisis and the threat of the Islamic State. The alliance's top military commander state that the patrols would likely include sea and air deployments. NATO leaders also agreed to maintain a military in Afghanistan and fund the country's security forces through 2020.
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NATO Approves Assistance Package For Ukraine, Condemns Russian Aggression
9 July 2016 – Defense News
Ukraine will receive a comprehensive assistance package from NATO in order to ensure closer cooperation with the alliance and combat the crisis in the country's east. The plan was approved by NATO leaders on the second day of the alliance's Warsaw summit, following a meeting by the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
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NATO Allies to Create Joint Intel Division
9 July 2016 – The New York Times
NATO allies have agreed to establish a joint intelligence and security division to enhance information sharing and better counter evolving threats. The alliance's Warsaw Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of its summit on Saturday, stressed the increasing importance of intelligence in informing "planning, operations, and decision-making."
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Cameron says post-Brexit UK will remain committed to European defense
8 July 2016 – Reuters
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the UK will remain committed to Europe's defense after leaving the EU. "We are not turning out back on Europe and we're not turning our back on European defense and security," Cameron stated after arriving at NATO's summit in Warsaw.
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