What's New

Streit Council Advisory Board Member Stanley R. Sloan's new book, Transatlantic Traumas, examines the connections between external and internal threats that challenge the West and its leading institutions - NATO and the EU. After discussing the meaning of “the West” and examining Russian and Islamist terrorist threats, he assesses the main internal threats: the rise of radical right populist parties, Turkey’s drift away from Western values, the Brexit shock, and the Trump presidency in the United States. He concludes by suggesting that the West can be reinvigorated if political centers in Europe and the United States reassert themselves in an approach of “radical centrist populism.” Sloan is a Visiting Scholar in Political Science at Middlebury College and a Non-resident Senior Fellow in the Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States. (Read More)

What Does a Nuclear North Korea Really Mean for the International System? 
In the last four months, North Korea has transformed the strategic landscape of East Asia, achieving both its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and first thermonuclear weapon. This new reality for the United States, Japan, South Korea – and the wider liberal international order – must be confronted. For decades, like-minded free democracies have invested heavily in collective defense, extended deterrence, and non-proliferation; but now those fundamental pillars of the global system are at risk. If they buckle, it may trigger events that would effectively end the post-Cold War status quo – all without North Korea firing a shot. (Read More)

John Davenport joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board
John Davenport is a Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Fordham University. Professor Davenport has published and instructed widely on topics in free will and responsibility, existential conceptions of practical identity, virtue ethics, motivation and autonomy, theories of justice, and philosophy of religion. He has published and spoken about the need for a federation of democracies, and is currently working on a book titled A Federation of Democracies: Towards Universal Basic Rights and the End of Tyranny. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University.

The European Defense Fund: What Does it Mean for Transatlantic Security?
The European Commission launched the European Defense Fund (EDF) on June 7, 2017. It will provide €590 million through 2020, and at least €1.5 billion per year after 2020, to incentivize collaborative defense research, development and acquisition within the EU. The aims of the fund are to reduce duplication in defense spending, produce more defense capability for every euro spent, and enhance the interoperability of European forces. (Read More)


NATO, Trump, and the Return of the Burden-Sharing Debate
As North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders prepare for a summit meeting in Brussels on May 24-25, they face heightened uncertainty about the future of the Alliance. U.S. President Donald Trump, like his predecessors, has voiced support for NATO while emphasizing the need for a more equitable defense spending burden within the Alliance. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has suggested that the U.S. may not aid NATO allies when attacked if they do not meet the Alliance’s non-binding pledge to spend at least 2% of GDP on defense. (Read More)

Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News

Putin woos France’s Macron with closer economic ties
25 May 2018 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

A meeting between French President Macron and Russian President Putin resulted in the signing of a $25 billion deal to permit the French oil and gas company Total an increased role in Russia’s Arctic gas projects. Total’s chief said the project will develop gas resources that will be primarily sent to the Asian market. The two leaders also discussed Syria, Ukraine and efforts to preserve the Iran deal.
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Italy parties push president to name euroskeptic economy minister
24 May 2018 – Reuters

Italy’s coalition parties are urging the president to appoint Paolo Savona, a euroskeptic economist, as the country’s economy minister. Savona has called the Eurozone a “historic error,” but President Mattarella stressed that Italy must meet its European commitments. The leader of the far-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, said he wants Savona in government “to go to Europe, Brussels, Berlin and Paris to re-negotiate norms, constraints, rules for the good of Europe’s citizens.”
(Read More)

Europe can only expect modest trade deal with U.S.: EU trade chief
24 May 2018 – Reuters

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom stated that only a modest trade deal with the U.S. should be expected, adding that “taking TTIP out of the freezer is not on the agenda.” The Trump Administration is set to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU on June 1, and has effectively triggered a crisis in the WTO dispute settlement system by vetoing the appointment of all judges to its appeals chamber. By September, four seats in the chamber will be vacant; if one of the remaining three recuses themselves for any legal reason, the system will break down.
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Allies agree Japan’s mission to NATO
24 May 2018 – NATO

The North Atlantic Council has agreed to accept Japan’s request to designate its embassy in Belgium a mission to NATO. The step follows a visit by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Tokyo in October 2017, when both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in maritime security, cyber defense, nuclear non-proliferation, and other areas. Japan has deepened cooperation with the Alliance since the 1990s.
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The EU sees its approval rating rise just as it gets tough with Trump
24 May 2018 - The Washington Post

A survey conducted by the EU public opinion office found that 67% of the EU's citizens believe that they benefit from their nation's membership of the bloc. This is the highest approval rating garnered since the EU’s formation in 1993. However, the survey also found that only around 17% of respondents believed the EU did not need some sort of reform. After years of declining support, due to events such as the migrant crises and 2008 global financial crisis, the EU's popularity has seemingly benefited from its more assertive relationship with the USA. The chaotic ongoing Brexit process has also seemingly helped, and support for the EU is shown to be rising even in traditionally euroskeptic countries such as Greece and Italy.
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Trump cancels Singapore summit in letter to Kim Jong Un
24 May 2018 –CNN

The White House announced that President Donald Trump will not meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, scrapping plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit.  "I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," Trump wrote. "Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place." Still, Trump signaled direct talks with Kim could still be in the offing, writing that he "felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me" and that he looks forward to meeting Kim "some day."
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Pentagon uninvites China from maritime military exercise
23 May 2018 – The Hill

The Pentagon confirmed that the United States has rescinded an invitation to China to participate in a major international military exercise over Beijing’s military buildup in the South China Sea. China has participated in the past two Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, and the move is likely to heighten U.S.-Chinese tensions at a fraught time. Last week, China for the first time released video of a nuclear-capable bomber landing on Woody Island in the disputed South China Sea – following reports of China deploying anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed Spratly Islands. It also comes amid delicate trade negotiations between the two countries.
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Cyber firms warn on suspected Russian plan to attack Ukraine
23 May 2018 – Reuters

On Wednesday, Cisco Systems Inc. warned that hackers have infected at least 500,000 routers and storage devices in dozens of countries with highly sophisticated malicious software, possibly in preparation for another massive cyber attack on Ukraine. Cisco’s Talos cyber intelligence unit said it has high confidence that the Russian government is behind the campaign, dubbed VPNFilter, because the hacking software shares code with malware used in previous cyberattacks that the U.S. government has attributed to Moscow.
(Read More)

Russia adopts bill that could stymie trade with U.S.
22 May 2018 – The Washington Post

On Tuesday, Russia’s parliament adopted a wide-ranging bill that could freeze crucial exports to the United States and imports to Russia from the U.S. and other countries. The bill, which was drafted in response to the latest round of U.S. sanctions, lays out a wide range of restrictions for U.S. businesses in Russia and for cooperation with the U.S., including allowing for the Russian president to “ban or suspend cooperation with a hostile state.” The original bill proposed specific restrictions to U.S. imports including drugs as well as banning crucial exports, such as titanium, to the U.S. But lawmakers eliminated references to specific restrictions before adopting the bill.
(Read More)

EU doubts if offer can prevent Trump tariffs or steel caps

22 May 2018 – Reuters
After U.S. President Donald Trump granted EU steel and aluminum producers an exemption to tariffs until June 1, EU concessions to open its market to more U.S. products do not appear to have ended the impasse. U.S. tariffs on the EU are set to rise to 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum. So far, the U.S. has granted permanent tariffs exemptions to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea via import quotas.
(Read More)

Japan, Russia, Turkey bring potential U.S. tariff retaliation to $3.5 billion
22 May 2018 – Reuters

The World Trade Organization announced that Japan, Russia, and Turkey warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminum, bringing the total U.S. tariff bill to around $3.5 billion annually. Following similar moves by the EU, India, and China, the three countries detailed their compensation claims in notifications to the world trade body. They all reject the U.S. view that the import tariffs are justified by U.S. national security concerns and are therefore exempt from WTO rules.
(Read More)

NATO chief worried about fissures between United States and Europe
22 May 2018 - Foreign Policy
NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg is concerned about what he views as growing differences in the worldviews of the U.S. and European states, as expressed on issues from trade to climate change and the Iranian Nuclear Deal. This divide, he said, has left NATO distracted from more immediate threats such as increasingly aggressive policies from Russia in Eastern Europe. While arguing that these disagreements can be overcome, he reiterated the U.S. call for European states to spend more on defense.
(Read More)

U.S.'s Pompeo pledges support for Georgia, calls for Russia troop pullout
21 May 2018 – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged deeper security and economic support for Georgia and called on Russia to withdraw its forces from the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia under a 2008 ceasefire agreement. Speaking to the annual U.S.-Georgian Strategic Partnership in Washington, Pompeo said “[t]he United States unequivocally condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgian soil” and stated that “Russia’s forcible invasion of Georgia is a clear violation of international peace and security.” Pompeo also repeated U.S. policy that the United States would support Georgia’s eventual membership in NATO.
(Read More)

Topic: Policy proposals of Italy’s 5-Star, League
18 May 2018 – Reuters

The Northern League and Five Star Movement, the two euroskeptic populist parties that won the most votes in Italy's inconclusive election, have issued joint policy proposals. The proposals would form the basis for an emerging coalition government between the two parties. The policies proposed include more favorable measures towards Europe than initially expected, including a call to increase the powers of the European Parliament. However, other policies, such as those focused on the economy and immigrants, are likely to clash with the objectives of the EU.
(Read More 1, 2)

French at growing odds with U.S. despite Macron’s “BFF” tactics on Trump
15 May 2018 - Reuters

In a statement to parliament, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to respond to U.S. actions in the Middle East. The statement marks a sharp departure from the warm relationship the two nations had seemingly been trying to foster. Le Drian's comments were similar to those made by Britain's minister of state, who stated that U.S. President Trump needed a better understanding of the nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
(Read More

North Korea casts doubt on Trump summit, suspends talks with South
15 May 2018 – Reuters

North Korea has thrown into question an unprecedented summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump scheduled for next month by denouncing exercises between South Korea and the United States as a provocation and calling off high-level talks with Seoul. A report on North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency angrily attacked the “Max Thunder” air combat drills, which it said involved U.S. stealth fighters and B-52 bombers and appeared to mark a break in months of warming ties between North and South Korea and between Pyongyang and Washington.
(Read More)

New Armenian PM tells Putin he wants closer ties with Russia
14 May 2018 – U.S. News & World Report

Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia’s new Prime Minister who came to power last week after a peaceful revolution, told President Putin on Monday that he favors closer political and military ties with Russia. The meeting, which took place in Sochi, was the first between the two men and followed Pashinyan’s election last week after weeks of street protests. Pashinyan, who had previously reassured Russian diplomats he did not plan to break with Moscow, was unequivocal on Monday, telling Putin he wanted the two countries to remain firm allies, for Armenia to buy more Russian weapons, and for them to forge closer political and trade ties.
(Read More)

Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on U.S. protection 
14 May 2018 - The Hill

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Europe can no longer rely upon America for protection, and that the continent must "take destiny into its own hands."  Her comments came days after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal, much to Europe's discontent. The move has seen a stark decline in relations between the two powers, with threats of sanctions and retaliatory actions mentioned by both sides.
(Read More

Europe punches back after Trump’s Iran decision
11 May 2018 - Politico

In response to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal), the EU has started to draw up legislation aimed at blocking U.S. sanctions on European companies. The American sanctions would aim to punish any companies that do business with Iran, and could cause major financial losses for Europe. The legislation would therefore seek to mitigate the damage done to Iran by the sanctions, as well as encourage European companies to remain invested in Iran despite American threats. The talks on the legislation also included ideas on how to incentivize Iran to remain in the deal. 
(Read More)

Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal
9 May 2018 – The Washington Post

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his government remains committed to a nuclear deal with world powers, despite the U.S. decision to withdraw, but is also ready to resume uranium enrichment should the accord no longer offer benefits. Rouhani went on to say that he has directed his diplomats to negotiate with the deal’s remaining signatories, including European countries, Russia, and China, hoping that the nuclear agreement could survive without the United States. They have stood firmly behind the accord, but could suffer future penalties under renewed U.S. sanctions, which would remove incentives to continue doing business with Iran.
(Read More)  

Trump announces withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, isolating him further from world
8 May 2018 – CNN

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he is quitting the Iran nuclear deal, pitting him against the United States' closest allies and leaving the future of Tehran's nuclear ambitions in question. Trump said that “we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” calling the deal “defective at its core.” In announcing his decision, Trump said he would initiate new sanctions on the regime, thereby crippling the touchstone agreement negotiated by Obama. Senior Trump officials have said that Iran is adhering to its commitments under the agreement, but Trump claims Iran has violated the agreement’s spirit by sowing discord in the region.
(Read More)

Germans and Americans believe common values are eroding, survey shows
8 May 2018 - The Local
A recent survey has found that, despite the fact that most people from Germany and America agree that their nations share common values, the majority feel these shared values are being eroded. In the survey, 64% of Germans and 61% of Americans attested to a belief in shared "Western Values," but 50% of Germans and 49% of Americans think these values are being eroded. The survey also found that 67% of Germans and 69% of Americans wish to see closer relations between their two countries.
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EU defenses post-Brexit starting to take shape
7 May 2018 – Reuters

A new EU military strategy is emerging as Britain prepares to leave the Union. France supports a bigger role for Spain in EU military missions to fill the gap left by Britain’s departure, even as it seeks to keep Britain involved in a French-led “intervention force.”  Other EU members also seek to retain British engagement, recognizing its critical role in European security despite the impending end of its membership in the Union.
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Putin is inaugurated for fourth term as Russian president

7 May 2018 – BBC News
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in for a fourth term as Russian president, pledging to harness the country’s talents to “achieve breakthroughs.” This marks Putin’s 18th year in power, as president and prime minister, which some of his opponents use to liken him to a tsar. On Saturday, riot police confronted protesters against his rule in Moscow and other cities, with more than 1,000 arrests made. The biggest complaints against Putin are that he has failed to reduce the wealth gap and refund Russians who lost savings during market reforms. His greatest achievement according to polls has been restoring Russia’s world status as a great power.
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Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance
3 May 2018 - The Guardian

The United Kingdom will aim to use a series of upcoming diplomatic summits to build a comprehensive multilateral strategy for combating Russian disinformation efforts. British diplomats plan to use the G7, G20, NATO and EU summits to deepen the de facto alliances that emerged after the British response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter – an act many attributed to Russia. The ensuing Russian response was defined by obfuscation and distorted arguments aimed at denying responsibility while not providing any credible evidence to the contrary. British diplomats have stated that they hope to work with their allies to build the means to invalidate any future attempts to conduct such a response, and thereby more forcefully hold Russia to account for its suspected actions.
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Armenian mass protests paralyze the capital, pressuring ally Russia
2 May 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

Demonstrations intensified around Armenia on Wednesday over the government's refusal to hand over power, which will likely test the will of the ruling Republican Party as well as the patience of Russia, Armenia's biggest ally. This follows weeks of on-and-off-again mass protests which aim to force the ruling party to install opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister. Pashinyan emerged as a leader in April among demonstrators angry over a decision by former President Serzh Sargsyan to go back on his word and try to retain power by standing for prime minister. Since then Sargsyan has resigned, but the protests have continued amid anger about chronic economic problems and perceived arrogance by the ruling elite.
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EU commission says it will cut funds for member states that undermine rule of law
2 May 2018 - Reuters

The European Union has announced plans to cut funds to member states which undermine the rule of law, a move which could cost Hungary and Poland millions of euros in EU funding. The clashes come as nationalist leaders in Eastern Europe enact laws and reforms that Brussels argues curb freedoms and undermine democratic norms. The EU has had to resort to this method because its conventional disciplinary mechanism, Article Seven of the European Treaty, requires unanimity before a punishment can be enacted; this would allow Poland to veto Hungary's punishment, and vice-versa. However, the EU Commission can decide unanimously to change funding distribution for its 2021-2027 budget, and as Hungary and Poland are two of the biggest recipients of EU aid they will be particularly susceptible to this disciplinary measure.
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Germany wants permanent U.S. tariffs exemption, deeper trade ties

1 May 2018 – Reuters
After the U.S. postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the EU, and Mexico until June 1, a German government official – Deputy Government Spokeswoman Martina Fietz – stated that the U.S. and EU would benefit from deeper trade relations. The president of Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Eric Schweitzer, said: “The extended respite offers the opportunity to defuse the trade conflict….The current situation shows that we need a fresh start for a comprehensive, transatlantic trade agreement.” Germany’s Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, however, said a trade agreement is “not realistic” at present.
(Read More)

Trump extends relief; confusion as allies get tariff reprieve
1 May 2018 – Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would offer a second temporary exemption on controversial metal import tariffs. This new measure would delay tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum until June 1 for the EU, Mexico and Canada. The move has been received with criticism by many, as it fall short of the permanent exemption most allies were hoping for, and added another degree of uncertainty to international business markets. However, Trump is likely to withhold a permanent waiver to use as a bargaining chip in upcoming trade negotiations with the aforementioned countries.
(Read More)

Macron tells Putin of desire to open new global talks on Iran
30 April 2018 – Reuters

After a phone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both offices released statements saying the two agreed on the need to preserve and fully implement the Iran nuclear deal, with Macron specifically highlighting “his desire that talks could be opened up, in close consultation with Russia, other members of the U.N. Security Council, European and regional powers, on controls for Iran’s nuclear activity post-2025, its ballistic missiles program, and also the situation in Syria and Yemen.” This conversation comes ahead of a planned trip by Macron to Russia, in May.
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Defying Russia, Trump provides Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine
30 April 2018 – Financial Times

The United States has delivered a batch of Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine, marking the first delivery of lethal weaponry to Kiev despite warnings from Moscow that such action threatened to escalate the four-year long Russian proxy war in far Eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 10,000 lives. Late Monday, pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko upheld a report which cited U.S. officials in confirming that Kiev had recently received a shipment of an undisclosed number of Javelins. Although the United States has provided almost $1 billion in non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine since 2014, this delivery is the first of its kind. The handheld fire-and-forget Javelin systems stand to help Ukraine’s army repel future attacks by Russian-backed militants.
(Read More)

Britain, France and Germany agree on support for Iran nuclear deal
29 April 2018 – Reuters

On Sunday, Britain, France and Germany agreed that the nuclear deal that U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to scrap remains the best way of stopping Tehran getting nuclear weapons. In a statement published by Theresa May’s office after phone calls with Macron and Merkel, “they committed to continue working closely together and with the U.S. on how to tackle the range of challenges that Iran poses – including those issues that a new deal might cover.” The three also agreed that the deal may need to be broadened to cover areas such as ballistic missiles, what happens when the deal expires, and Iran’s destabilizing regional activity.
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Moon, Putin agree on need for trilateral cooperation with N. Korea
29 April 2018 – Korea Herald

In a 35 minute phone conversation between South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, the two shared a common understanding that they need to have trilateral economic cooperation with North Korea to promote peace. Moon gave credit to Russia’s support for the success of the inter-Korean summit held last Friday, and Putin lauded the outcome of the summit saying it will lay a solid ground for building lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. Specifically, Putin was quoted as saying: “[I]f Russia's railway, gas and electricity are connected to Siberia via the Korean Peninsula, they will help bring peace and stability on the peninsula." During the conversation, Putin also invited Moon to visit Moscow in June.
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Despite warmth, Merkel and Trump still differ on trade and NATO
28 April 2018 - Reuters

Following the recent visit by her French counterpart, German Chancellor Angela Merkel today visited U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. The meeting was however defined by significantly differing perspectives on global affairs, with disagreements ranging from trade tariffs to the Iran Nuclear Deal. Merkel has said the decision on the former now lies with Trump, but also suggested she would be willing to negotiate a bilateral trade deal between the EU and the USA. She did however praise Mr. Trump's progress on the North Korea issue, and reassured him that Germany is increasing its defense spending as a part of its role in NATO.
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Pompeo dives into NATO diplomacy as allies confront Russia
27 April 2018 - Associated Press

The new U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, met with NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels. He took a more proactive tone than his predecessor, vowing to restore relevance to his department which has been demoralized by a lack of manpower and clashes of opinion with the President. Pompeo also took an aggressive tone toward Russia, rebuking what he perceived as its aggressive actions against Ukraine and Georgia, and its attempts to undermine Western democratic institutions. In light of these actions, Pompeo stated that "NATO is more indispensable than ever."
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Moscovici: Bulgaria will be next country of the Eurozone

27 April 2018 – Politico
Pierre Moscovici, the European Commission’s head of economic and financial affairs, said on Thursday that Bulgaria will be the next country to join the Eurozone. Eurozone diplomats recently started discussions on what needs to be done before Bulgaria adopts the EU’s Exchange Rate Mechanism, which is designed to help countries adopt the single currency. The timeline for Bulgaria’s entry is not yet set.
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North and South Korea vow to end the Korean War in historic accord
27 April 2018 – CNN

After a day-long summit on Friday, South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean President Kim Jong Un committed themselves to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and pledged to bring a formal end to the Korean War, 65 years after hostilities ceased. The two signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula, which commits the two countries to denuclearization and talks to bring a formal end to conflict, although the declaration avoided specifics regarding Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities. Any final peace deal will also require the involvement of China and the U.S. as both were participants in the original conflict.
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Russia-wary U.S. to press NATO allies to hike military spending: official
26 April 2018 – Reuters

A senior U.S. State Department official said on Wednesday that the United States will press NATO allies, especially Germany, to increase military spending while underscoring the heightened threat from Russia at the upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels this Friday. The issue of increased defense spending is likely to be raised in a meeting between President Trump and Chancellor Merkel in Washington this week, and as of now, six NATO member countries have submitted spending plans to meet the 2% of economic output defense spending target. Washington funds about 70 percent of NATO spending and military analysts say Europe is now vulnerable to a range of threats, including Russia’s military modernization, Islamist militancy and cyberwarfare.
(Read More) 

Trump to visit Britain, hold talks with May on July 13
26 April 2018 – Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump will visit the UK on July 13. The working visit with Prime Minister Theresa May will not be a full state visit, but will focus on bilateral talks between the two allies. However, the delay in announcing such a visit, including a cancelled visit in January, have made many question the strength of the relationship between the two leaders. It was reported that Trump was not keen to face the protests that are expected to meet him in Britain, and had been delaying a state visit until such protests were less likely. 
(Read More)

EU dangles Brexit carrot if Britain changes mind and stays in customs union
25 April 2018 – Reuters

The European Union has offered the UK a closer relationship once it leaves the bloc, should it choose to remain in the European customs union. The move, seen as an incentive for the UK to remain in the customs union, comes after the British Government was defeated in a House of Lords vote on a bill that formed a major part of its withdrawal plans. The defeat effectively signaled a reluctance among a majority of the Upper House politicians to withdraw from the customs union; to do so would then require Britain to renegotiate a trade deal with the Union from the outside, an arduous process which would inevitably result in far worse terms of trade for the country.
(Read More)

Australia and Portugal join NATO cyber cooperative
25 April 2018 – CyberScoop

Australia and Portugal will join a NATO backed group that is designed to coordinate international cybersecurity efforts – known as the Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Estonia. The organization acts as a think tank for the development of global cyber norms and cybersecurity training requirements, and helps communicate goals shared between different countries. The CCDCOE is known for hosting cyber warfare training simulations that are intended to build relations between member countries, in addition to maintaining a guide on international cyber-operations law. Japan also started taking steps to join the CCDCOE in January.
(Read More)

Trump, Macron call for "new" nuclear deal with Iran
24 April 2018 – AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump have joined together in pushing for a restructured agreement with Tehran regarding its nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile program to replace the existing JCPOA, known as the "Iran Deal." In a joint press conference, Trump stated that, "[The Obama Administration] should have made a deal that covered Yemen, that covered Syria, that covered other parts of the Middle East," and argued that a new deal would be built on "solid foundations." Macron stated that he found "very frank discussions" about Iran useful, and will attempt to bridge the gap between American and European political attitudes toward the Islamic Republic.
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G7 tells tech firms to boost efforts to combat extremism
24 April 2018 – Reuters

The Group of Seven (G7) countries issued a stern warning to technology and social media companies at its annual foreign policy and security summit this week, urging large corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to redesign and expand their efforts to combat extremism and cyber-warfare operations. Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale emphasized in his address that, "removal of terrorist material needs to be faster... [and] we also want the companies to report in larger volume and in a regular way to the G7 governments."
(Read More)

EU budget revamp set to shift funds to southern states
22 April 2018 - Financial Times

The European Union's draft 2021-2027 Budget, which is set for release next month, will completely restructure its €350 billion "cohesion policy" by sending funds from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary to member states like Greece and Spain. The move is part of a broader effort to focus distribution of EU funding on the basis of unemployment, environmental concerns, migration, and technology hotbeds rather than solely GDP per capita. The EU will also make changes to the conditions and restrictions it utilizes for spending writ large, emphasizing compliance with “rule-of-law” initiatives. 
(Read More)

Merkel Calls for strengthened WTO

23 April 2018 – Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a strengthening of the World Trade Organization (WTO), citing what she sees as a turn toward dependence on bilateral trade agreements. Speaking on the topic of an EU-Mexico trade agreement, Merkel argued that the increasing abundance of bilateral trade deals since 1994 has shown that a lack of progress has been made in the WTO; to this end, she emphasized that "we need a multilateral [trade] agreement again." She did however go on to state that she hopes the EU-Mexico trade agreement could nonetheless be implemented quickly. 
(Read More)

UN, EU, Russia back Iran nuclear deal as Trump meets Macron
23 April 2018 – Reuters

On Monday, U.S. allies and rivals spoke out in support of the Iran nuclear deal, bolstering French President Emmanuel Macron’s pitch to President Trump that there is no “Plan B” for keeping a lid on Tehran’s atomic ambitions. A nuclear non-proliferation conference in Geneva heard repeated calls for parties to the deal, which include the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, to ensure its implementation and preservation. Macron is currently trying to rescue the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which President Trump has vowed to scrap unless European allies strengthen it by mid-May.
(Read More

Russia, Iran at forefront of concerns as diplomats from leading democracies meet
22 April 2018 – The Washington Post

Diplomats from the world’s seven leading democracies met in Toronto on Sunday to discuss ways to counter Russia - in Syria and Ukraine - as well as Iran. Russia was at the forefront of the two-day meetings between foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, and there was a G7 unity on opposing Russia’s malign behavior. Russia was once a member of the group but was suspended after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
(Read More)

North Korea says will stop nuclear tests, scrap test site
20 April 2018 – Reuters

On Saturday, North Korea said it would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests on its nuclear test site and instead pursue economic growth and peace, ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country no longer needs to conduct the tests because it has reached its goal of developing the weapons. A testing freeze and commitment to close the test site alone would fall short of Washington’s demand that Pyongyang completely dismantle all its nuclear weapons and missiles, but announcing the concessions now rather than during the upcoming summit meetings shows Kim is serious about denuclearization talks.
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Brexit: first talks on future UK relationship with EU begin

19 April 2018 - The Guardian
On Wednesday, representatives from the European Union and the British Government initiated talks on their bilateral relationship following the UK's March 2019 exit from the bloc. Four more rounds of talks are now due to take place before an EU summit in June, when the bloc's leaders are due to assess the progress of Brexit thus far. These talks will cover unresolved issues, notably the future Irish border. There is also some debate about how concrete the terms of the future relationship should be, with some European states advocating for looser phrasing to allow a post-Brexit Britain to change its mind on certain terms of the arrangement. 
(Read More)

Trump: New Russia sanctions to come as soon as they “deserve it”
19 April 2018 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

After a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will impose new sanctions on Moscow “as soon as they very much deserve it.” Trump reiterated his tough position on Russia and cited increased NATO spending and the recent military strike by U.S., British, and French forces in Syria. This follows a weekend when U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said there would be new U.S. sanctions on the country – a statement later walked back by the White House.
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North Korea drops withdrawal of U.S. forces as condition of denuclearization, Moon says
19 November 2018 – CNN

South Korean President Moon Jae-In announced Thursday that North Korea has dropped its long-held demand that the United States withdraw forces from South Korea in exchange for denuclearization. Currently, the U.S. has 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea, a presence that has long been opposed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This concession comes one day after President Trump insisted he would be willing to leave a highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim should it fall short of his expectations.
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IMF sounds alarm on excessive global borrowing
18 April 2018 - Financial Times

The International Monetary Fund issued dire warnings about the future of the global economy at its annual spring meeting. According to the IMF's fiscal monitor, total global debt, which amounts to roughly $164 trillion - or 225% of global GDP - is now significantly larger today than it was at its previous peak in 2008. IMF Director of Fiscal Affairs Vitor Gaspar stated the global economy must accept that "fiscal stimulus to support demand is no longer the priority," and must cease "unnecessary stimulus when economic activity is already pacing up." Almost half of global debt is owed by China, Japan, and the United States alone. 
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Trump hails CIA chief Mike Pompeo's secret trip to N Korea
18 April 2018 – BBC

President Trump confirmed media reports of a secret meeting between CIA director Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by tweeting that Pompeo had forged a “good relationship” and that the meeting had gone “very smoothly.” The surprise visit marks the highest-level contact between the U.S. and North Korea since 2000, and occurred last week in preparation for a potential summit between Trump and Kim that may take place in June. South Korea has also signaled it may pursue a formal resolution of the longstanding conflict on the peninsula with a meeting between President Moon Jae-in and Mr. Kim scheduled next week.
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Tech firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, vow not to aid government cyberattacks
17 April 2018 – Reuters

On Tuesday, Microsoft, Facebook, and more than 30 other global technology companies announced a joint pledge not to assist any government in offensive cyber-attacks. The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which vows to protect all customers from attacks regardless of geopolitical or criminal motive, follows a year that witnessed an unprecedented level of destructive cyber-attacks, including the global WannaCry worm and the devastating NotPetya attack. Microsoft President Brad Smith, who led efforts to organize the alliance, said the devastating cyber-attacks in 2017 demonstrated the need for the technology sector to “take a principled path toward more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world.” It is not clear whether any companies will change their existing policies as a result of joining the accord.
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U.S., Britain blame Russia for global cyberattack
17 April 2018 – Reuters

On Monday, the United States and Britain accused Russia of launching cyber-attacks on computer routers, firewalls, and other networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses, and critical infrastructure operators around the world. Both countries issued an alert saying the campaign by Russian government-backed hackers is intended to advance spying, intellectual property theft, and other “malicious” activities, noting that it could be escalated to launch offensive attacks. This followed a series of warnings by Western governments that Moscow is behind several cyberattacks.
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Merkel, Trump plan talks to ease tensions, Germany’s Beyer says
17 April 2018 - Bloomberg News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to meet in Washington at the end of April in an attempt to resolve ongoing disagreements over trade and security. Speaking on the topic, the German Government Coordinator for Trans-Atlantic Relations, Peter Beyer, emphasized the continuing importance of Germany's relationship with America, and stated his hope that the two countries could work together to face mutual challenges, for which he noted the example of alleged theft of intellectual property by China.
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U.S. considers fresh sanctions as Russia stands by Assad
16 April 2018 - Financial Times

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday that President Trump is "considering additional sanctions on Russia, and a decision will be made in the near future." The move is a response to Moscow's staunch support for the Syrian regime despite repeated allegations of chemical weapons use against civilians. French President Emmanuel Macron, who called the coalition airstrikes against the Syrian government "a legitimate act of reprisal," also expressed support for new sanctions against Russia. 
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EU threatens sanctions against Syria but not Russia
16 April 2018 – Reuters
EU foreign ministers are considering new sanctions on Syria for its suspected chemical attacks, but held off on joining U.S. moves toward more sanctions on Russia. Any new sanctions would build on the EU’s previous punitive measures, which it has implemented since 2011. The ministers did not agree on whether to adopt new sanctions on Iran for assisting the Syrian regime, as proposed by Britain, France and Germany.
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U.S.-led strikes on Syria: what was hit?
16 April 2018 - BBC

On April 14, the United States, United Kingdom, and France fired 105 missiles at three key sites in Syria that are "specifically associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program." The strikes occurred one week after a suspected chemical attack on the then-rebel held town of Douma, where more than 40 people were believed to be killed. Russian military spokesman, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi, told reporters that "Russia considers the strike to be a response to the success of the Syrian armed forces in fighting international terrorism and liberating its territory, rather than a response to the alleged chemical attack." Syria for its part denies that they are still in possession of any chemical weapons, but experts from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have ascribed four chemical attacks to the government since then.
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Nord Stream 2 completes permitting procedure in Finland
16 April 2018 – New Europe

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which will run from Russia to Germany, completed Finland’s permitting process on April 12. This will allow the pipeline’s construction through Finland’s Exclusive Economic Zone. All necessary permits have also been obtained in Germany, and work through national permitting processes in Russia, Sweden and Denmark continue.
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U.S. backs EU Iran sanctions push, warns firms against Tehran trade
10 April 2018 – Reuters

On Tuesday, the United States welcomed a push by some EU states to impose new sanctions on Iran and warned firms considering doing business with the Islamic Republic that they could be funding militant groups and regional instability. President Trump has set European allies a May 12 deadline to revamp a 2015 deal with Tehran hat lifted international sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Last month, France, Britain and Germany sought EU support for approval for new sanctions, but have struggled to persuade other member states to back them. The U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is touring Europe to garner more support.
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Russian markets reel after U.S. imposes new sanctions
9 April 2018 – The New York Times

Monday was one of the worst days for Russian markets since the 2014 annexation of Crimea with investors dumping Russian stocks, bonds and the ruble in the face of new American sanctions and signs of cracks in the relationship between Presidents Trump and Putin. The selloff left Russian stocks down more than 8 percent and sharply raised borrowing costs for some of the country’s most important companies. The ruble dropped more than 4 percent against the dollar, and the price of government bonds fell. A new round of sanctions hinted at by President Trump would jeopardize modest economic gains from recent years.  
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EU urges Poland to further address concerns over judiciary reform

9 April 2018 – Reuters
The European Commission is encouraging the Polish government to take further action on restoring the independence of its judiciary. The comments come after the Polish Government made concessions on the issue with European Commission, since the latter moved to begin stripping Poland of its EU voting rights in 2017. However, the concessions were labelled "illusory" by some, who argued that they fail to fully address concerns that the reforms will give the incumbent Law and Justice Party undue control over the theoretically independent courts. European Commission spokesman Frans Timmermans said the European Commission would need to see further action on the matter before it could be considered resolved.
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Trump tweets condemnation of Syria chemical weapon attack, saying Putin shares the blame
9 April 2018 – Washington Post

Following a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed at least 40 civilians on Saturday, the U.S. and France will plan a “strong, joint response” on Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The U.S. and France, along with other nations, called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held Monday. In a series of tweets on Monday, President Trump blamed Putin, Russia, and Iran for backing Assad, and promised they have a “big price to pay.”
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Hungary's euroskeptic leader Orban claims victory
9 April 2018 – CNN

On Sunday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed victory in the country's parliamentary election after campaigning on an anti-immigration platform. With 92% of the vote counted, Orban’s coalition led by the Fidesz party was projected to win 133 of 199 seats in Parliament – a supermajority according to the country’s National Election Office. Orban, who will win his fourth term, is already Hungary's longest-serving leader since the fall of communism in 1989. He has transformed Fidesz from a liberal party formed in the 1980s to a right-wing populist one, and has passed a slew of laws tightening regulations on the media, central bank, constitutional court and nongovernmental organizations – all of which EU leaders have warned would undermine the country’s democracy.  Orban is a critic of the European Commission and has accused it of overreach in Hungary's affairs, particularly in its attempt to impose a quota system that would have obliged Hungary to settle refugees.
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North Korea tells U.S. it is prepared to discuss denuclearization: source
8 April 2018 – Reuters

A U.S. official said on Sunday that North Korea told the United States for the first time that it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets President Donald Trump. This official said that the U.S. and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently in which Pyongyang directly confirmed its willingness to hold the unprecedented summit. These communications have involved State Department officials talking to North Korea through its United Nations mission, as well as intelligence officers from both sides using a backchannel. Until now, the United States had relied mostly on ally South Korea’s assurance of Kim’s intentions.
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U.S. imposes sanctions on Russian oligarchs, officials for “malign activity”
6 April 2018 – Reuters

The United States imposed sanctions on Friday against Russian businessmen, companies, and officials, striking at associates of President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington’s most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for what it called a range of “malign activity.” This includes alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The Treasury Department placed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, plus 17 senior Russian government officials. The sanctions stand to hurt the Russian economy, especially the financial and energy sectors, but Russian state companies under the U.S. sanctions will receive additional government support.
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India is close to buying a Russian missile system, despite U.S. sanctions
5 April 2018 – The New York Times

India’s defense minister is visiting Russia this week to finalize the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, in a weapons deal that would violate American sanctions against Russia. The potential $6 billion deal that would deliver five S-400 Triumf systems, comes at a time when the Trump administration is both weighing more extensive sanctions against Russia and trying to forge a military alliance with India. If the deal goes through, the United States will have to choose between punishing India for violating sanctions or granting an exemption to avoid souring the relationship they have been cultivating to hedge against Chinese military expansion.
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Germany’s Merkel to visit Trump, as trade, Iran deadlines loom
5 April 2018 - Reuters

Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are due to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at separate occasions this month. The trips, on April 24 and 27, come shortly before the expiry of an exemption for the European Union from American import duties on steel and aluminum. Trade is thus likely to feature heavily in the discussions, as both leaders will likely lobby for a permanent exemption from the tariffs. However, the meetings also come shortly before the May 12 deadline for Trump to re-approve the Iran Nuclear Deal, which both European leaders support.
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Merkel coalition hits back at Trump’s attack on gas pipeline
4 April 2018 – Bloomberg

Germany’s governing coalition rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that links Germany and Russia, and is of concern to many EU member states. In the same statement, Trump also criticized Germany for its low level of defense spending. Calling the two issues “apples and oranges,” members of the coalition dismissed Trump’s remarks a transparent attempt to promote the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas.
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U.S. plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week: sources
4 April 2018 - Reuters

The United States plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week under a law targeting Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, in what could be the most aggressive move so far against Russia’s business elite. The sanctions, which two sources said will be announced as early as Thursday, would follow the March 15 U.S. decision to sanction 19 people and five entities, including Russian intelligence services, for cyberattacks stretching back at least two years. Four sources said the sanctions would be imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, also known as CAATSA, which was passed by Republicans and Democrats seeking to punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian civil war, and meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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Russia tests missiles in the Baltic Sea, a day after Baltic leaders met with Trump
4 April 2018 - The Washington Post

One day after the Presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia met with Trump at the White House, Russia started a live-fire military exercise in the Baltic Sea, just outside of NATO territorial waters. The three-day missile test forced a partial shutdown of Latvian civilian airspace and was the first time Russia has tested live munitions in Latvia’s exclusive economic zone, a stretch of international waters just outside of Latvia’s territory in the Baltic Sea. Sweden and Poland also received notifications from the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday about live-fire exercises in the Baltic Sea, and Sweden rerouted flights during the operation.
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Chinese defense chief says his trip to Russia is a signal to the U.S.
4 April 2018 - CNN

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said that U.S. officials should take notice of the increasingly significant high-level military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. During his visit to Russia, Fenghe reiterated several times that China wants to, "show [the] Americans the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia," and noted the "common concerns and common positions on important international problems" between the two countries. Fenghe, a fierce loyalist to President Xi Jinping, was appointed to his position last month. 
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Trump instructs military to begin planning for withdrawal from Syria
4 April 2018 – The Washington Post

President Trump has instructed military leaders to prepare to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but has not yet set a date for them to do so. In a meeting with top national security officials on Tuesday, Trump stressed that U.S. troops can be involved in current training tasks for local forces to ensure security in areas liberated from the Islamic State, but added that the U.S. mission would not extend beyond the destruction of the Islamic State. The President added that he expects other countries, particularly wealthy Arab states in the region, to pick up the task of paying for reconstruction of stabilized areas, including sending their own troops, if necessary. There are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Syria advising and assisting local proxy forces and directing U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State forces; Trump claims their mission is as “close to 100 percent” accomplished.
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NATO chief says alliance is not trying to isolate Russia
4 March 2018 – Reuters
Speaking at the University of Ottowa, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg offered assurances that the alliance is not trying to isolate Russia. The comments come a week after NATO expelled seven Russian diplomats and downsized Russia's NATO mission to two thirds of its manpower. The move was a result of Russia's suspected involvement in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, an allegation Russia vehemently denies. Stoltenberg went on to say that, although NATO has no intention to isolate Russia, it could not view the Skripal poisoning as an isolated incident; he highlighted the fact that, in the last decade, Russia has annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, propped up embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and meddled in the affairs of other nations. He described Russia's past actions as a "pattern of hatred."
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The United States is starting a trade war with China. Now what?
4 April 2018 – The New York Times

The Trump administration is on the brink of a trade war with China, as China threatened to retaliate on Wednesday against products and industries that President Trump has vowed to protect, hitting back against the administration which detailed a list of $50 billion in Chinese imports that it plans to tax on Tuesday. In response, China outlined tariffs on $50 billion worth of American soybeans, cars, chemicals, and other goods. President Trump suggested in a series of tweets that he saw no reason to back down, saying that the United States was already on the losing end of a trading partnership with China. Markets plunged on Wednesday, but administration officials remained calm saying Wall Street should not have been surprised by China’s reaction and that the U.S. could ultimately negotiate with the Chinese.
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Erdogan, Putin mark start of work on Turkey's first nuclear power plant
3 April 2018 – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Mersin today to officially launch the $20 billion joint construction of the Akkuyu nuclear reactor, Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The 4,800 megawatt plant is expected to open in 2023, and alongside discussions between Moscow and Ankara to procure S-400 missile systems, represents a significant detente in Russia-Turkey relations. Just days after the plant's groundbreaking ceremony, Iranian, Russian, and Turkish officials will host a summit in Ankara later this week seeking to unify their policies toward to the Syrian civil war. 
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Facebook removes dozens of Russia-linked accounts
3 April 2018 – Politico

Facebook announced Tuesday that it removed dozens of multiple platform accounts and pages controlled by Russia’s Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. A total of 70 IRA-controlled Facebook accounts, 65 Instagram accounts, and 138 Facebook pages were removed. Most of the pages ran advertisements and were targeted at Russian speakers. Uncovering these accounts took "months of work," and Facebook removed them because of their connection to the IRA and not because of their content.
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EU carbon market emissions rise for first time in 7 years in 2017
3 April 2018 – Reuters

According to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission, emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market rose for the first time in seven years in 2017. According to the analysts’ interpretation of the data, emissions totaled 1.756 billion tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) last year for companies under the Emissions Trading System (ETS) excluding airlines, which is up 0.3 percent on the previous year. This rise is attributed to the European economy’s growth of 2.5% in 2017, as well as an increase in the number of flights. The emissions figure will be keenly watched by participants in the ETS as it provides a first indication of the supply and demand balance.
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Turkey, Russia deepen ties amid troubled relations with West
2 April 2018 – The Washington Post

Ties between Russia and Turkey are growing closer as Putin revisits Turkey this week. On Tuesday, Putin will join Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for a Russian- made nuclear power plant built on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, and on Wednesday the two will meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussing Syria’s future. The warming relations between the two countries come as ties between the European Union nations and Turkey have become increasingly testy, and as Turkey announced it would not follow NATO and EU allies in ousting Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.
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China hammers U.S. goods with tariffs as “sparks” of trade war fly
1 April 2018 – Reuters

China increased tariffs by up to 25% on 128 U.S. products, escalating a dispute between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel. The tariffs, which will take effect Monday, matched a list of possible tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by Cinna on March 23. U.S. President Donald Trump is separately preparing to impose tariffs of more than $50 billion on Chinese goods following an investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act.
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