European Council President Charles Michel urged the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday (16 November) to call a “full ceasefire” after new border clashes erupted between the old foes.
Michel said he had spoken to President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia.
Michel did not apportion blame for the “challenging situation in the region” but demanded an “urgent de-escalation and full ceasefire.”
Source: Charles Michel demands ‘full ceasefire’ after Armenia, Azerbaijan clash – EURACTIV.com
Germany may at first have been naive in some areas of cooperation with China, but should not sever all connections in reaction to growing tensions, Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Reuters.
Merkel’s strategy of engagement has seen China become Germany’s top trading partner during her 16 years in office, and has shaped Europe’s stance on Asia’s rising superpower, even amid concerns about unfair competition and industrial espionage.
“Maybe initially we were rather too naive in our approach to some cooperation partnerships,” Merkel said in an interview. “These days we look more closely, and rightly so.”
Source: Germany may have been naive on China at first, Merkel says – EURACTIV.com
France and Germany accused Russia on Thursday (18 November) of breaking diplomatic protocol after Moscow published their confidential correspondence over Ukraine, the latest sign of deteriorating ties between Moscow and the West.
On Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry released a number of diplomatic letters it exchanged with Germany and France to try to show that its stance on talks over eastern Ukraine has been misrepresented.
Source: France, Germany say Russia’s publication of notes breaks diplomatic rules – EURACTIV.com
The Greek government reacted strongly after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez agreed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to enhance their countries’ collaboration in the defense industry.
When the two leaders met in Ankara on Wednesday (17 November), Erdoğan praised Sánchez announcing armament programs in cooperation with Spain.
In particular, he reminded that Turkey, in cooperation with Spain, built the amphibious assault ship of the Turkish Navy “Anadolu”, which can be configured as a light aircraft carrier.
Source: Greece fumes over new Spain-Turkey armament deal – EURACTIV.com
The question of how COVID vaccines donated by wealthy countries are classified and priced could artificially raise the European Union’s development aid figures by billions of euros, EURACTIV understands.
The unequal access to COVID vaccines has been one of the most hotly disputed topics during the last year of the pandemic, both within Europe and across the world.
In June, donor countries agreed to report their COVID-19 vaccine donations as Official Development Assistance, starting in 2020.
Source: Plan by wealthy nations to treat COVID vaccines as aid prompts backlash – EURACTIV.com
China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania on Sunday (21 November), expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Baltic State after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there, escalating a row that has sucked in Washington.
China views self-ruled and democratically governed Taiwan as its territory with no right to the trappings of a state and has stepped up pressure on countries to downgrade or sever their relations with the island, even non-official ones.
Source: China downgrades diplomatic ties with Lithuania over Taiwan – EURACTIV.com
EU foreign and defense ministers welcomed the first blueprint of what the bloc’s future military strategy could look like, marking only the very start of the debate. Some member states, however, already signaled amendments are to come in the next steps of the process.
The EU’s Strategic Compass, meant to bolster the bloc’s military capabilities in light of the new threats facing the EU, is to “set out a common strategic vision for EU security and defense for the next 5-10 years”.
On late Monday (15 November), EU foreign and defense ministers had jointly received their first run-down of the document, drawn up by the EU’s diplomatic service (EEAS) and national security agencies.
Source: EU defence ministers welcome bloc’s military blueprint but hesitations remain – EURACTIV.com
When Ellen Lord exited the Pentagon in January, she left plenty of major acquisition issues for her successor. But that person hasn’t appeared; after an aborted nomination of Mike Brown for the role, the Biden administration has yet to nominate anyone for the key acquisition & sustainment job. As a result, says former Pentagon official Jeff Bialos, it’s time to take a new approach to getting acquisition reform done in the building.
With the Pentagon all but guaranteed to go more than a full year without a confirmed undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment (A&S), it’s time for the Defense Department to consider cutting bait on another round of shiny new acquisition reforms. The new A&S, with less than three years at the helm, should adopt a policy of acquisition “triage,” and focus on producing specific acquisition outcomes that can meet our national security needs in a reasonable — as fast as possible — time frame.
Source: It’s time for Pentagon to prioritize near-term acquisition fixes over systemic change – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
Next month the Air Force will conduct a capstone exercise for a program aiming to turn cargo planes into aerial bomb trucks, when a standard-looking pallet will be airdropped out of an MC-130J and launch a live cruise missile as it parachutes down through the air.
The demonstration will wrap up the first phase of the Air Force’s Rapid Dragon program, the service’s effort validating its “palletized munitions” concept, Dean Evans, the service’s Rapid Dragon program manager, told Breaking Defense today.
Source: US Air Force one step closer to turning cargo planes into makeshift bombers – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
If China wonders how committed Australia, the US and the UK are to working together, they need look no further than today’s comments by Kurt Campbell, who leads all things Indo-Pacific on President Biden’s National Security Council.
Look for “almost a melding of our services” between the allied navies in a remarkable new phase of allied partnership, Campbell said at the US Institute of Peace this morning.
“We will have more British sailors serving on our naval vessels, Australians and the like on more of our forward-deployed assets in Australia. This leads to a deeper interconnection and, almost a melding in the new respects of our services and working together on common purpose that we couldn’t have dreamed about five or 10 years ago,” Campbell said.
Source: ‘Almost a melding’ of US, UK, Aussie services coming: NSC’s Kurt Campbell – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary