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UKRAINE: Council of Foreign Relations & OCSE

Courtesy of Council of Foreign Relòations (Usa) and OCSE (Austria)

di Emanuele G. - venerdì 15 aprile 2022 - 2275 letture

- COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS

Finland, Sweden Eye NATO Bids | Russian Exports to East Asia | Rwanda-UK Asylum Deal

Top of the Agenda

Russia Threatens Weapons Buildup in Baltic Sea as Finland, Sweden Weigh NATO Application

The prime ministers of Finland and Sweden announced that their countries are considering applying (WaPo) to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she expects a decision within weeks. In response, a top Russian official threatened to deploy nuclear weapons (Bloomberg) in and around the Baltic Sea.

Finland and Sweden have long maintained a status of military nonalignment but consult with NATO closely. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said there are “no other countries that are closer” to the alliance. The war in Ukraine has increased public approval (NYT) for NATO membership in both countries.

Analysis

“Finland, with its long border with Russia, famously survived the Cold War as an independent and unoccupied democracy by studiously hewing to neutrality, something some have suggested for Ukraine. Finland has sided openly with the West since the Soviet Union collapsed, though it has kept, like Sweden, a policy of military nonalignment,” the New York Times’ Steven Erlanger and Johanna Lemola write.

“Because unity generates strength, Western countries should improve their mutual defenses and deepen their economic relations,” the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Ivo H. Daalder and CFR’s James M. Lindsay write for Foreign Affairs.

CFR provides comprehensive coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Pacific Rim

Russian Exports to Parts of East Asia Rise

The value of Russian exports to China last month was 26 percent higher than the March 2021 amount, with higher energy sales contributing to the increase, Nikkei reported. Russian exports to South Korea and Taiwan also rose.

At this meeting, CFR’s Zongyuan Zoe Liu, Evan S. Medeiros, and Susan A. Thornton discuss China’s Russia dilemma.

- OCSE

Russia must stop aggression and destruction of religious sites and places of worship – joint statement by Special Representatives of OSCE and CoE

VIENNA/STRASBOURG, 13 April 2022 – As the Russian military attack against Ukraine continues, we mourn the victims of war and lament the millions forced to leave their homes and their country behind, seeking shelter and safety within Ukraine, in Europe and beyond. Children, women and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Many victims of the war suffer from profound psychological trauma.

We are appalled at the destruction of religious sites and places of worship: churches, synagogues and mosques. They are vital to the country’s diverse religious communities, more than ever in times of crisis.

The Council of Europe was established in the aftermath of the Holocaust and World War II and the OSCE was created at the height of the Cold War, with the promise of maintaining peace and security for the European continent.

As representatives of both organisations committed to promote peaceful dialogue, we call on Russia to stop the destruction of religious sites and places of worship, which, together with the indiscriminate killing of tens of thousands of civilians, constitute crimes against humanity.

Rabbi Andrew Baker, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on Combating Antisemitism

Ambassador Mehmet Paçacı, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims Professor Regina Polak, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of other Religions

Daniel Höltgen, Council of Europe Special Representative on Antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious intolerance and hate crimes


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