Ukraine: China’s new bridge to Europe? | EURACTIV.com


One of the reasons behind the recent rapprochement between Ukraine and China is related to the transformation of Ukraine into one of the gate countries of the Belt and Road Initiative, writes Yunis Sharifli.

Yunis Sharifli graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the Azerbaijan State University of Economics in 2020. At the moment, he is studying at the University of Bologna for his Master’s Degree.

In July, China and Ukraine signed an agreement to strengthen their cooperation towards building their respective infrastructure sectors. In the same month, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, had a phone conversation with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

Source: Ukraine: China’s new bridge to Europe? – EURACTIV.com

America’s new instrument in the Balkans | EURACTIV.com


The ‘European way’ in the Balkans has led to an excessive waste of time in achieving the strategic goals of bringing the region into the Western structures, and consequently, the new US administration will now try to make up for it, writes Orhan Dragaš.

Dr Orhan Dragaš from the International Security Institute is the author of the book “Two faces of globalization – truth and deceptions”.

“America will do everything, and it will help you, in every way, in your efforts to become part of Europe. There is no limit to the amount of that assistance.”

Source: America’s new instrument in the Balkans – EURACTIV.com

Europe’s gas supply squeeze engineered by Russia, Poland says | EURACTIV.com


Statements from Russian officials linking an increase of gas deliveries to Europe with the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are “manipulative” and aimed at cementing Gazprom’s dominant position on the EU gas market, Poland has argued in a letter to the European Commission.

Gazprom is currently seeking German and EU regulatory approval before pumping gas through Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that bypasses Russia’s traditional Ukraine route to Europe.

But transmission pipes in Poland and Ukraine are currently underutilised, making the new pipeline unnecessary, Poland argued in the letter, addressed to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

Source: Europe’s gas supply squeeze engineered by Russia, Poland says – EURACTIV.com

NATO to focus on hybrid warfare, how to deter Russia | EURACTIV.com


NATO defence ministers are set to adopt several strategy papers and agree on a new master plan on Thursday (21 October) to defend against any potential Russian hybrid attack, diplomats and officials said.

Conflicts are “not only carried out with cartridges and bombs but also with bytes and big data”, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the meeting.

The confidential strategy goes beyond existing regional defense and deterrence plans. It aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly including nuclear weapons and cyberattacks coordinated from space.

Source: NATO to focus on hybrid warfare, how to deter Russia – EURACTIV.com

Taiwan foreign minister adds Slovakia to rare Europe trip | EURACTIV.com


Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will visit Slovakia next week on a rare trip to Europe that will also include a trip to the neighboring Czech Republic and a virtual address to a forum in Rome, his ministry said on Thursday (21 October).

Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with any European country, apart from the Vatican City, but has been keen to promote ties with other like-minded democracies in the European Union.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania have all donated COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, and Lithuania and Taiwan are due to open de facto embassies in each others capitals before the end of the year, to Beijing’s anger.

Source: Taiwan foreign minister adds Slovakia to rare Europe trip – EURACTIV.com

China vows to open up market, but US sees no change | EURACTIV.com


China on Wednesday (20 October) promised the World Trade Organization it would further open its vast market, but the United States swiftly countered that Beijing showed “no inclination to change”.

Beijing made the pledges during a WTO review of China’s trade practices, an exercise held behind closed doors that all 164 members of the global trade body undergo on a regular basis.

In a report released by the WTO, China proposed to accelerate efforts to foster “a new development paradigm” — a strategy in which the domestic and international markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as “the mainstay.”

Source: China vows to open up market, but US sees no change – EURACTIV.com

Biden says United States would come to Taiwan’s defense | EURACTIV.com


The United States would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the island China claims as its own, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday (21 October), though the White House said later there was no change in policy towards the island.

“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has complained of mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty.

While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

Source: Biden says United States would come to Taiwan’s defense – EURACTIV.com

Putin says Western military backing of Ukraine threatens Russia | EURACTIV.com


President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (21 October) that the Western-backed military development of Ukraine posed a serious threat to Russia, two days after the US defense secretary staged a show of support for Kyiv and encouraged its aspiration to join NATO.

Putin told a group of journalists and Russia experts that Tuesday’s visit to Ukraine by Lloyd Austin, in which he said no third country had the right to veto its hoped-for NATO membership, had effectively paved the way for Kyiv to join.

Whether it did or not, Putin said, Russia’s interests were targeted.

“Formal membership (of Ukraine) in NATO may not take place, but it is not necessary to be a NATO member to deploy American, British military infrastructure on the territory of Ukraine”, Putin told the Valdai Discussion Club, according to an official transcript. “And this really poses a threat to Russia. We are aware of that.”

Source: Putin says Western military backing of Ukraine threatens Russia – EURACTIV.com

With Xi-Biden telco, US aims to show responsible handling of China ties | EURACTIV.com


White House officials are gearing up for a virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping they hope will show the world Washington can responsibly manage relations between the rival superpowers, people familiar with the matter say.

Combative diplomatic exchanges with China early in the Biden administration unnerved allies and US officials believe direct engagement with Xi, who has consolidated power in Beijing to a degree not seen since Mao Zedong, is the best way to prevent the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies spiraling toward conflict.

Source: With Xi-Biden telco, US aims to show responsible handling of China ties – EURACTIV.com

NATO calls on EU to expand joint cooperation but avoid doubling structures | EURACTIV.com


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on the EU on Friday (22 October) to cooperate more closely with the military alliance after the latest EU defense efforts in recent months raised concerns of a parallel structure that might be competing with NATO.

“We have to ensure that our security concept remains uniform,” Stoltenberg said after a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

The NATO chief was referring to the negotiations on a new EU-NATO joint declaration of mutual cooperation which is to be presented before the end of the year.

Source: NATO calls on EU to expand joint cooperation but avoid doubling structures – EURACTIV.com