Russian offensive campaign assessment (UK Ministry of Defence)
January : 27
Situation report and assessment (source Hans Petter Midttun)
January : 29
History of Russian offensive campaign assessments, situation reports and assessments and
relevant decisions of EU, NATO, OSCE, UN and G7
(Scroll down to Ukraine Conflict Update – Russia-Ukraine Crisis)
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs met on 23 January 2023 in Brussels. The meeting was chaired by Josep BORRELL, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Council exchanged views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Sahel and coastal countries of West Africa. They also held an informal exchange of views with the Palestinian Prime Minister.
The Foreign Affairs Council discussed the Russian aggression against Ukraine, after a short intervention via videoconference of Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. Ministers then had a discussion on Iran.
Under Current Affairs, Ministers exchanged their views on the Republic of Moldova, the Southern neighbourhood, human rights and Tunisia. The High Representative also informed Ministers about developments concerning the EU’s efforts in global outreach in the context of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and outline the takeaways of the first Global Gateway meeting. Ministers agreed on a top-up of the European Peace Facility financial ceiling.
Finlally, the FAC approved conclusions on: Iran, Yemen, and the Civilian CSDP Compact.
NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers ended two days of meetings in Bucharest on Wednesday, 30 November 2022, with meetings focused on the long-term challenges posed by China, as well as on support for partners facing Russian pressure.
“NATO is an Alliance of Europe and North America, but the challenges we face are global, and we must address them together in NATO,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Fourteen years ago, the Leaders of the G20 met for the first time, facing the most severe financial crisis in our generation. They recognized, as large global economies, that collectively they carry responsibilities and that their cooperation was necessary to global economic recovery, to tackle global challenges, and lay a foundation for strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. They designated the G20 the premier forum for global economic cooperation, and they reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate as they, once again, address serious global economic challenges.
The Leaders met in Bali on 15-16 November 2022, at a time of unparalleled multidimensional crises. They have experienced the devastation brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, and other challenges including climate change, which has caused economic downturn, increased poverty, slowed global recovery, and hindered the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
EU Ministers of Defence met on 15 November 2022 in Brussels. The meeting was chaired by Josep BORRELL, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. EU Defence Ministers were briefed on current events affairs. followed by an exchange of views on bridging the gap between defence capabilities and operational realities.
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs met on 14 November 2022 in Brussels. The meeting was chaired by Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Foreign Affairs Council held an exchange of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine; the Great Lakes region in Africa; and the Western Balkans.
On 20-21 October 2022, the European Council adopted conclusions on Ukraine/Russia, critical infrastructure, energy and economy, and external relations.
The Council took a number of important decisions, underpinning the EU’s resolve in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s aggression, advancing peace and stability in the South Caucasus and standing in for human rights in Iran.
NATO Defence Ministers will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday (12-13 October 2022) to step up and sustain support to Ukraine and continue to strengthen NATO’s own defences, against the backdrop of Russia’s most significant escalation since the start of the Ukraine conflict.
Previewing the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO will stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” He added that “NATO is not party to the conflict, but our support is playing a key role” in helping Ukraine defend itself and liberate territory, in the face of Russia’s “horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure”.
On Wednesday, the US-led Ukraine Defence Contact Group will meet at NATO. Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov will also update Allied Ministers on the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s urgent needs for the winter. Mr Stoltenberg welcomed “the recent announcements by Allies to provide more advanced air defence systems and other capabilities, and I look forward to further deliveries.”
On Thursday, the Secretary General will chair a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group to discuss Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric and the role of NATO’s nuclear capability in preserving peace and deterring aggression. Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon, “this is routine training, which happens every year to keep our deterrent safe, secure and effective.” Mr Stoltenberg said.
Ministers will agree measures to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence, by increasing stockpiles of munitions and equipment, providing industry the long-term demand they need to boost production through the NATO defence planning process, and increasing resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure. They will also discuss NATO’s missions and operations from Kosovo to Iraq.
“We have a difficult winter ahead. So it is even more important that North America and Europe continue to stand united in support of Ukraine and in defence of our people,” Mr Stoltenberg concluded.
From 16 to 18 September 2022, the Allied Chiefs of Defence gathered for their annual conference, in Tallinn, Estonia. For the first time, Finland and Sweden attended the Military Committee Conference as NATO Invitees. The agenda reflected the changed security environment as well as the implementation of the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid, last June.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to NATO Headquarters on Friday (9 September 2022) for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to address Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine.
EU Foreign Affairs Ministers met on 18 July 2022 in Brussels. The Council exchanged views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, with the participation via video teleconference of Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. The Council also held a discussion on relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, and digital diplomacy. Under current affairs, Ministers discussed foreign information manipulation and interference, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a possible EU-Israel association council, the upcoming ministerial meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States, and the situation in Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
NATO Ambassadors signed the Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden at NATO Headquarters on Tuesday (5 July 2022), in the presence of Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
NATO Leaders gathered in Madrid, Spain to discuss important issues facing the Alliance. The Madrid Summit has set NATO’s strategic direction for the future, ensuring that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.
During the three-day meeting, the G7 leaders discussed a wide range of topics including: Ukraine and cooperating on foreign policy, addressing energy and food security, investing in climate and health, promoting partnerships for infrastructure and investment, shaping the global economy, advancing gender equality, shaping international cooperation.
The German presidency also invited leaders from Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to take part in several working sessions during the summit.
On 23-24 June 2022, the European Council adopted conclusions on Wider Europe, Ukraine, the membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, Western Balkans, economic issues, Conference on the Future of Europe and external relations.
The Foreign Affairs Council exchanged views on the latest developments in relation to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Ministers stressed their full determination to continue supporting Ukraine militarily, by putting pressure on Russia, and working with the international community.
The Council then focused on the negative consequences of Russia’s war of aggression on food security worldwide.
The European Council adopted conclusions on Ukraine, food security, security and defence and energy. On the first day of the summits during the discussion on Ukraine, EU leaders were joined by Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, via video conference. On the second day of the summit, they were joined by Chairperson of the African Union, Macky Sall, via video conference during the discussion on food security.
The meeting was the opportunity for discussing the implications of the current geopolitical situation and the main Common Security and Defence Policy military activities, with a special focus on the paramount implementation of the Strategic Compass, and particularly on achieving the EU ability to project security, through the new EU Rapid Deployment Capacity (EU RDC), by 2025.
Finland and Sweden on Wednesday morning (18 May 2022) simultaneously handed in their official letters of application to join NATO.
“The result of our defence investments gap analysis is that Europeans need to spend together more and better. Spending together is the best way to spend better.” Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The meeting of the EU-Canada Joint Ministerial Committee was chaired by High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly. It reaffirmed the unique and vibrant nature of the EU-Canada partnership, grounded in shared values and extensive historical, cultural, political and economic ties, and discussed ways to further deepen it. The Committee adopted a joint statement.
NATO Foreign Ministers met in Berlin on Sunday (15 May 2022) to discuss the possible membership application of Finland and Sweden as well as to reaffirm NATO’s support for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion.
The European Union and China held their 23rd bilateral Summit via videoconference on 1 April 2022. President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, held the Summit meeting with China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, followed by exchanges with China’s President Xi Jinping.
Russia: EU prolongs economic sanctions over Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, 27 JANUARY 2023
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine: EU adopts 9th package of economic and individual sanctions, 16 DECEMBER 2022
Russian oil: EU agrees on level of price cap, 03 DECEMBER 2022
Joint statement of NATO and G7 Leaders on the margins of the G20 Summit in Bali, 15-16 NOVEMBER 2022
Ukraine: EU sanctions three individuals and one entity in relation to the use of Iranian drones in Russian aggression, 20 OCTOBER 2022, Brussels
Ukraine: EU Council agrees on further support under the European Peace Facility, 17 OCTOBER 2022, Brussels
Ukraine: EU sets up a military assistance mission to further support the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 17 OCTOBER, Brussels
NATO steps up support for Ukraine, strengthens deterrence and defence, 13 OCTOBER 2022, Brussels
G7 statement on Ukraine, 11 OCTOBER 2022
Latest package of sanctions in view of Russia’s escalating aggression against Ukraine: EU adopts restrictive measures against an additional 30 individuals and 7 entities, 06 OCTOBER 2022, Brussels
Message of President Charles Michel on Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
NATO Secretary General condemns Russia’s illegal attempts to annex Ukrainian territory, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Statement by the Members of the European Council, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Ukraine: UN Secretary-General condemns Russia annexation plan, 29 SEPTEMBER 2022, New York
Ukraine: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the illegal sham “referenda” by Russia in the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, 28 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Statement by the North Atlantic Council on the so-called “referenda” in parts of Ukraine, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Russian aggression against Ukraine: EU individual sanctions over territorial integrity prolonged for a further six months, 14 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Joint press release following the 8th Association Council meeting between the EU and Ukraine, 05 SEPTEMBER 2022, Brussels
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: The EU imposes restrictive measures on Viktor and Oleksandr Yanukovych, 04 AUGUST 2022, Brussels
European Peace Facility: EU support to Ukraine increased to €2.5 billion, 22 JULY 2022, Brussels
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: The EU targets additional 54 individuals and 10 entities, 22 JULY 2022, Brussels
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: EU adopts “maintenance and alignment” package, 21 JULY 2022, Brussels
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: the EU targets additional 65 individuals and 18 entitie, 03 JUNE 2022, Brussels
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: EU adopts sixth package of sanctions, 03 JUNE 2022, Brussels
European Council conclusions on Ukraine, 30 MAY 2022, Brussels
Ukraine: EU Council adopts temporary trade liberalisation with Ukraine, 24 MAY 2022, Brussels
EU support to Ukraine: Council agrees on further increase of support under the European Peace Facility, 24 MAY 2022, Brussels
Russian cyber operations against Ukraine: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union, 10 MAY 2022, Brussels
G7 Leaders’ Statement to to phase out dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil, 08 MAY 2022.
Remarks by the President of the EU Council at the High-level international donors’ conference for Ukraine, 05 MAY 2022, Warsaw
Remarks by the President of the EU Council at the press conference with President Maia Sandu, 04 MAY 2022, Chisinau
Remarks by the President of the EU Council at the inauguration of the floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Alexandroupolis, 03 MAY 2022, Brussels
Main results of the extraordinary Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy), 2 MAY 2022, Brussels
EU adopts fifth round of sanctions against Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine, 8 APRIL 2022, Brussels
UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, 7 APRIL 2022, New York
NATO Allies agree to further strengthen and sustain support for Ukraine, 6-7 APRIL 2022, Brussels
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Russian atrocities committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns, 4 APRIL 2022, Brussels
UN General Assembly passes resolution demanding aid access, by large majority, 24 MARCH 2022, New York
European Council, Joint readout by the Council and the US, European Council conclusions on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, 24 MARCH 2022, Brussels
Extraordinary NATO Summit, Statement of the Heads of State and Government, 24 MARCH 2022, Brussels
G7 Leaders’ Statement, 24 MARCH 2022, Brussels
EU support to Ukraine: Council doubles funding under the European Peace Facility, 23 MARCH 2022, Brussels
EU Foreign Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council (Defence), 21 MARCH 2022, Brussels
Extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence, 16 MARCH 2022, Brussels
Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine: fourth EU package of sectoral and individual measures, 15 MARCH 2022, Brussels
NATO Allies send reinforcements to the eastern flank, 13 MARCH 2022
G7 Leaders’ statement, 11 MARCH 2022
Informal meeting of Heads of state and government, 10-11 MARCH 2022, Versailles
Ukraine: Council unanimously introduces temporary protection for persons fleeing the war, 4 MARCH 2022, Brussels
Extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs with Finland, Sweden and the EU, 4 MARCH 2022, Brussels
EU imposes sanctions on state-owned outlets RT/Russia Today and Sputnik’s broadcasting in the EU, 2 MARCH 2022, Brussels
Remarks by President Charles Michel at the extraordinary debate at the European Parliament on Russian aggression against Ukraine, 1 March 2022 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy), 28 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels
UN General Assembly holds emergency special on Ukraine crisis, 28 FEBRUARY 2022
Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine: Council imposes sanctions on 26 persons and one entity, 28 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels
Informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs, 27 FEBRUARY 2022
Statement by the President von der Leyen on further measures to respond to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, 27 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels
Extraordinary EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, 27 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels
Vladimir Putin puts Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, 27 FEBRUARY 2022
Extraordinary EU Foreign Affairs Council, 25 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels Activation of the NATO Response Force – SACEUR statement, 25 FEBRUARY 2022
Extraordinary meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government, 25 FEBRUARY 2022
Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution on Ukraine, 25 FEBRUARY 2022, New York
Press statement of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission on Russian’s unprecedented military aggression of Ukraine, 24 FEBRUARY 2022
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation, 24 FEBRUARY 2022
Special meeting of the European Council, 24 FEBRUARY 2022 Extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council, 24 FEBRUARY 2022, Brussels
Emergency UN Security Council meeting, 24 FEBRUARY 2022, New York
The Russian President Putin orders the start of a military operation in Eastern Ukraine, 24 FEBRUARY 2022
Emergency UN Security Council meeting, 21 FEBRUARY 2022, New York
The latest round of talks aimed at defusing tensions between Russia and the West within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ended here on Thursday without a breakthrough as both sides warned of potential escalation. Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE, said after the talks that Moscow was disappointed by the West’s response to its proposals on Ukraine and European security. However, Lukashevich said that Moscow will not give up on diplomacy and that the sides must reach an agreement or else run the risk of a potentially catastrophic outcome. “It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” said Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, whose country will chair the OSCE in 2022. Michael Carpenter, U.S. envoy to the OSCE, also warned of a major security crisis in Europe. “The drumbeat of war is sounding loud and the rhetoric has gotten rather shrill,” he said. The Vienna talks followed bilateral meetings between Russia and the United States in Geneva on Monday and Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels on Wednesday. However, these negotiations have failed to narrow their differences. Russia has repeatedly accused the West of threatening its security by expanding NATO eastwards and deploying weapons systems near the country’s borders.
The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 30 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 to discuss the situation in and around Ukraine, and the implications for European security.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna, to NATO Headquarters on Monday, 10 January 2022 for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, focused on Russia’s continued military build-up.
US and Russian diplomats have emerged from a day of negociations in Geneva over the faith of Ukraine, describing the talks as “useful” and “very professional” – but also stressing they had not made progress towards resolving fundamental disagreements.
The two sides largely spent the eight hours of talks presenting their points of view on the situation in Ukraine, currently hemmed in by some 100,000 Russian troops, and on European security in general, and deferred further debate on them to a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday between Russia and all NATO members.
“We had useful discussions and exchanges today that will help inform our way forward,” Wendy Sherman, the deputy US secretary of state and leader of the delegation in Geneva, reported after the day of talks.
Her Russian counterpart, Sergei Ryabkov, said: “The conversation was difficult, long, very professional, deep, concrete, without attempts to embellish or smooth over sharp corners. We have been left with the impression that the American side approached the Russian proposals very seriously, studied them in depth,” Ryabkov said.
Russia demanded on Friday that the United States and its allies halt all military activity in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a sweeping proposal that would establish a Cold War-like security arrangement, posing a challenge to diplomatic efforts to defuse Russia’s growing military threat to Ukraine.
The Russian proposal — immediately dismissed by NATO officials — came in the form of a draft treaty suggesting NATO should offer written guarantees that it would not expand farther east toward Russia and halt all military activities in the former Soviet republics, a vast swath of now-independent states extending from Eastern Europe to Central Asia.
The proposals codified a series of demands floated in various forms in recent weeks by Russian officials, including by President Vladimir V. Putin in a video call with President Biden. They represent in startling clarity goals long sought by Mr. Putin, who analysts say is growing increasingly concerned that Ukraine is drifting irretrievably into a Western orbit, posing a grave threat to Russian security.
The meeting started with an exchange of views with the European Parliament President, David Sassoli. The Slovenian Prime Minister Janša presented the presidency progress report. EU leaders discussed COVID-19, energy prices and crisis management and resilience. They also discussed the external dimension of migration, security and defence as well as preparations for the EU – African Union Summit. Over a working lunch, EU leaders tackled external relations issues focusing on Belarus and Ukraine. A Euro Summit meeting took place in inclusive format (with all member states) over dinner. Leaders were joined by the Presidents of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, and of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, to take stock of progress on the banking union and the capital markets union.
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs met on 13 December 2021 in Brussels. The meeting was chaired by Josep BORRELL, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Foreign Affairs Ministers exchanged views on EU-Africa relations, on Afghanistan, as well as on EU’s bilateral and regional engagement in Central Asia. Furthermore, Ministers assessed the outcome of the elections in Venezuela and were informed about the Russian military build-up and movements of troops at the border with Ukraine, and discussed Varosha, Belarus, and Ethiopia.
They also adopted conclusions on the Common Security and Defence (CSDP) Policy Compact and had a working lunch with the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Qatar.
EU defence ministers were briefed about current affairs, exchanged views on EU training missions, and adopted a decision approving 14 new PESCO projects. The new projects are another step towards investing and developing together on defence, in particular in the air and space domains. For instance, the Strategic Air Transport for Outsized Cargo (SATOC) fills a critical shortfall by developing a European solution for the transport of outsized and heavy cargo using a gradual approach. The Medium size Semi-Autonomous Surface Vehicle (M-SASV) will develop a vehicle with multiple mission modules and provide increased operational flexibility and crew protection that can be used for littoral operations as well as naval task groups. The Next Generation Small RPAS (NGSR) will develop the next generation of tactical drones to be used by military units in the maritime and air domains as well as for dual use (civilian-defence) namely by law enforcement organizations or disaster/emergency agencies. The Defence of Space Assets (DoSA) will increase the EU’s operational efficiency in the space domain by making the best use of current and future space assets through cross-cutting space functions of access, passive defence and operational efficiency through training. The list also includes: Essential Elements of European Escort (4E) for the maritime area, Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC), Next Generation Small RPAS (NGSR), Rotorcraft Docking Station for Drones, Small Scalable Weapons (SSW), and Air Power for the air systems. The EU Military Partnership (EU MilPart) is included in the land systems area, while the Common Hub for Governmental Imagery (CoHGI) is part of the space area. Lastly, Automated Modelling, Identification and Damage Assessment of Urban Terrain (AMIDA-UT) and Cyber Ranges Federations (CRF) are included in cyber defence and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers) systems. On 15 November, they also discussed the Strategic Compass jointly with EU foreign affairs ministers.
In the Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council meeting, Ministers exchanged views on the state of play of the WTO reform and preparations for the next WTO Ministerial Conference. Ministers held a discussion on the recent developments in EU-US trade relations and the prospects for future engagement. Furthermore, Ministers were informed about the latest Commission report on the implementation and enforcement of the trade agreements. They also addressed the state of play regarding the review of Trade and Sustainable Development provisions in the trade agreements. Finally, Ministers were debriefed, discussed the state of play in other bilateral trade negotiations and also held an informal exchange of views with the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
On 30 and 31 October 2021, G20 leaders met for a two-day summit hosted by the Italian G20 presidency in Rome. At the summit, the G20 leaders agreed to : keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels within reach; accelerate their actions towards achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by or around mid-century; reaffirm developed countries’ climate finance commitment to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year, and welcome new commitments by some G20 members; implement the new rules for a more stable and fairer international tax system, including a 15% global minimum corporate tax, by 2023; advance efforts to ensure better and more timely access to COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries; establish a G20 Joint Finance-Health Task Force to ensure adequate financing of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
On the 25th and 26th of October, the EU Chiefs of Defence (CHODs) met in Brussels for the last Military Committee meeting at CHODs level of 2021. The meeting, chaired by General Claudio Graziano, focused on the main EU defence initiatives. The Strategic Compass was one of the first points discussed. CHODs expect the Strategic Compass to provide clear guidance on the Military Level of Ambition. They look forward to providing military advice on the first draft and agreed to possibly hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the second draft of the Strategic Compass. Then the Director-General EU Military Staff, Vice Admiral Hervé Blejean updated the CHODs on an EU rapid response toolbox. The CHODs stressed the need for the EU to significantly reinforce its capacity to act autonomously, when necessary. For this, the CHODs fully support the proposals for further adaptation of EU Battlegroups, aiming at making them more relevant and attractive, thereby improving EU rapid response effectiveness. During the meeting, the urgent need for Member States to provide CSDP Missions and Operations with adequate human resources, assets and logistics, was recalled. Other important topics discussed during the second day of the meeting were EU-NATO cooperation, with the request to increase the mil-to-mil relations in the domain of Climate Change and Defence, and the effectiveness of EU Military Training Missions.
NATO Defence Ministers agreed in their 21–22 October meeting in Brussels to fundamentally change how they protect their collective territory against attacks, especially from Russia and terrorist groups. Their newly approved Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area lays the groundwork for new sub-regional military planning in the coming months. Noting that the concept calls for “the right forces at the right place at the right time”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told that it will involve “significant improvement to our air and missile defences, strengthening our conventional capabilities with fifth-generation jets [and] adapting our exercises and intelligence”, among other changes. NATO sources said the framework concept will shift the alliance’s defensive thinking away from protection against single-source or isolated geographic threats to multiple threats and entry points, with a stress on using cross-domain responses to counter 21st century technologies such as cyber attacks, hybrid warfare, hypersonic missiles, or automated weaponry. “Whereas NATO has traditionally looked at defence in terms of piecemeal chunks of its territory, the new approach will centre around the knock-on effects of how pressure on one region could affect other NATO regions and the need to shift integrated operational resources across the alliance.”
An extraordinary G20 meeting on Afghanistan will be held on Oct. 12, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced. Italy currently holds the rotating G20 presidency and Draghi has been pressing for a meeting on the situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power last month. “We are heading for a humanitarian catastrophe [in Afghanistan] and it is our duty to intervene,” he told a news conference. He urged G20 members to “do something without conditionality,” emphasizing the need to “save human lives.” Qatar and the UN will be among the participants. The extraordinary meeting will be held weeks before the summit of G20 leaders in Rome on Oct. 30-31. Draghi told the UN General Assembly last week that the summit will focus on security, humanitarian aid, and human rights in Afghanistan. The Italian premier’s announcement came a day after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reiterated “the need for strong coordination among international partners on political and humanitarian aspects, and for carefully calibrating future engagement for the good of the Afghan people.”
Germany called on the EU to enable coalitions of the willing within the bloc to rapidly deploy a military force in a crisis as members discussed the lessons learned after the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan.
EU efforts to create a rapid reaction force have been paralysed for more than a decade despite the creation in 2007 of a system of battlegroups of 1,500 troops that have never been used due to disputes over funding and a reluctance to deploy.
But the exit of U.S.-led troops from Afghanistan has brought the subject back, with the EU alone potentially unable to evacuate personnel from countries where it is training foreign troops, such as in Mali.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Borrell urged the bloc to create a rapidly deployable “first entry force” of 5,000 troops to reduce dependence on the United States. He said President Joe Biden was the third consecutive U.S. leader to warn the Europeans that his country was pulling back from interventions abroad in Europe’s backyard.
Asked to comment on the German call, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said “a stronger, more capable Europe is in our shared interests” and that Washington strongly supported enhanced cooperation between the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance.
G-7 leaders (U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan ) met by video conference to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and coordinate international action. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU at the virtual meeting. The first issue discussed was the safe evacuation of the coalition’s citizens, Afghan staff, and their families. Regarding humanitarian aid and migration, President Michel assured that the EU will do its part to support the safety and proper living conditions of Afghans who flee their country. And that the EU will work with the countries in the region, especially Iran, Pakistan, and central Asia, to address the different needs. He also stressed the importance of preventing the creation of a new market for smugglers and human traffickers, underlining the EU’s determination to keep the migratory flows under control and its borders protected. Concerning to the new Afghan authorities, President Michel explained that it is too early to decide what kind of relations the EU will develop with the new Afghan authorities. On the topic of security issues, the President reminded that cooperation with NATO is key, while remarking on the importance of developing EU strategic autonomy. The meeting came just one week ahead of the U.S.’s Aug. 31 deadline for the complete withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
The extraordinary meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers was preceded by an extraordinary meeting the 19 August of the NATO Military Committee with the counterparts representing Resolute Support’s Operational Partners* to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, their common approach and the continued evacuation of NATO-affiliated staff. Since the country’s collapse, NATO and Allies have been working round the clock to maintain operations at Kabul international airport and enable NATO, Allied, Partner and affiliated staff to be safely evacuated. * The RSM Partners are: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Sweden and Ukraine
European Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs gathered for an extraordinary meeting to consider the latest developments in Afghanistan. They stressed the need to ensure the safe evacuation of EU citizens and local staff. Ministers called for the protection of all human life and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order with respect for fundamental rights. Ministers also stressed that cooperation with any future Afghan government will be conditioned on a peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and persons belonging to minorities, as well as respect for Afghanistan’s international obligations, commitment to the fight against corruption and preventing the use of Afghanistan’s territory by terrorist organisations.
Scientists and engineers from the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) have been trying to gain a better understanding of how climate change is transforming the Arctic Ocean. The group gathered various samples during a sea trial referred to as the Nordic Recognized Environmental Picture 2021 (NREP21). They also laid long chains equipped with sensors along the seabed to monitor temperature changes. NREP21 was part of a joint oceanographic campaign planned in coordination with the Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute’s High North 2021 programme. NREP21 was conducted in the Greenland Sea from 11 June until 12 July 2021. The goal is for NATO Allies to better understand the implications of climate change for defence and security and to learn how NATO can adapt to upcoming scenarios in the changing Arctic region.
The Foreign Affairs Council adopted a decision setting up an EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique), with the aim of training and supporting the Mozambican armed forces in protecting the civilian population and restoring safety and security in the Cabo Delgado province. Ministers approved conclusions on a Globally Connected Europe and exchanged views on geopolitics of new digital technologies, Ethiopia and the Strategic Compass. Under current affairs, the Council was informed about Afghanistan, Lebanon, the video conference between the Chinese State Counsellor/Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the EU High Representative on 8 July, as well as the visit of some EU Foreign Affairs Ministers on behalf of the High Representative to South Caucasus. Over a working lunch, ministers had the opportunity to informally exchange views with the Israeli Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Alternate Prime Minister, Yair Lapid.
The recent bilateral summit between presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin has launched a geopolitical summit craze. On June 24, German Chancellor and French President launched a spectacularly ill-conceived effort to secure an EU-Russia summit that immediately fell apart. The next day, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a video conference between Putin and Xi Jinping. The video conference made for decent theater. The two leaders marked the upcoming 20th anniversary of the bilateral signing of their nations’ 2001 Treaty of Friendship and ran through the traditional laundry list of thematic priorities: the extension of said treaty, reaffirmation of the value of the strategic partnership, boilerplate statements about the Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s Greater Eurasia Partnership, and the same about the Northern Sea Route. Nowhere, however, was there any public statement of a significant new policy development regarding a wide range of areas of mutual interest.
EU leaders met in Brussels for a two-day summit. On 24 June, they discussed COVID-19, migration, external relations, including Turkey, Russia, Lybia, Belarus, Sahel and Ethiopia and cybersecurity. They also met UN Secretary-General António Guterres over lunch. In the evening, they discussed the EU fundamental value of LGBTIQ non-discrimination. On 25 June economic recovery and the challenges for the euro area were on the agenda.
The NATO alliance plans to procure new cyber defense systems to replace aging platforms, with contracts worth tens of millions of euros coming online before the end of 2021.
This program, part of a series of cybersecurity technology refresh efforts being run by the NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), will start in early 2022 and be worth about 27 million euros (or $32 million).
France and Germany have suggested inviting Vladimir Putin to a summit with the EU as part of a broader reset of the bloc’s relations with Russia.
The proposal from Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel comes after Joe Biden’s Geneva Summit with the Russian President, and supporters of the idea argue that European leaders can deliver the same direct messages about Russian behaviour while keeping the door open to compromise and cooperation.
Biden and Putin issue a joint statement following the historic Geneva summit :
“We, President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, note the United States and Russia have demonstrated that, even in periods of tension, they are able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war. The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.”
Biden and Putin speak after Geneva Summit (CNBC) – Click here
The EU-US Summit marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership and set a joint agenda for EU-US cooperation in the post-pandemic era. The leaders committed to regular dialogue to take stock of progress. Key summit deliverables include three major new trade initiatives. The leaders agreed to:
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU. President Joe Biden represented the United States. I
Click here to access the EU-US Joint Statement
Click here to access EU-US Relations Factsheet
Speech of Joe Biden on June 14, 2021. (9.25 min) Good evening. Before I turn to today’s meetings, I want to say a short word about our ongoing fight against COVID-19 at home. We made enormous progress in the United States, much of the country is returning to normal. And our economic growth is leading the world, and the number of cases and deaths are dropping dramatically, but there’s still too many lives being lost. We’re still averaging in the last seven days the loss of 370 deaths per day. That’s significantly lower than at the peak of this crisis, but it’s still a real tragedy.
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The 2021 Summit is announced as a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America. The Summit will address decisions on the substantive and forward-looking NATO 2030 agenda to deal with the challenges of today and tomorrow: Russia’s aggressive actions, the threat of terrorism, cyber-attacks, emerging and disruptive technologies, the security impact of climate change, and the rise of China. The NATO summit will take place as NATO and US troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the alliance’s biggest and most challenging operation ever.
Click here to access the website of NATO
Prime Minister Boris Johnson brought the world’s leading democracies together to reach major new agreements to help the world fight, and then build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future. The UK invited Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa as guest countries to this year’s G7. “We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies, we build back better. And I actually think we have a huge opportunity to do that, because as G7, we are united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world, a solution to the problems of climate change. And in those ideas, those technologies, which we’re all addressing together, I think there is the potential to generate many many millions of high wage, high skilled jobs. And I think that is what the people of our countries now want us to focus on. They want us to be sure that we’re beating the pandemic together, and discussing how we’ll never have a repeat of what we’ve seen, but also that we’re building back better together.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Click here to access the summary of Carbis Bay Summit Communiqué