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NATO warns of “serious risk of new armed conflict in Europe” in the face of Russian attack

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“There is a serious risk of a new armed conflict in Europe, but that is why today’s meeting and other meetings taking place this week are so important, because we will do everything possible to prevent a new armed conflict,” said Jens Stoltenberg. at a press conference in Brussels.

In statements following the meeting between Moscow and the Atlantic Alliance (NATO-Russia Council) on the Russian military escalation on the border with Ukraine, the official added that we are ready to sit down and consider a wide range of issues, such as arms control, mutual restrictions on missiles or many other issues. to prevent a new armed conflict. “

Nonetheless, Jens Stoltenberg stressed that NATO has “eyes wide open”, so “it also sent a signal to Russia that if they use military force, there will be serious consequences such as economic sanctions, political sanctions.”

“And we provide practical support to Ukraine to strengthen its ability to defend itself,” he added.

However, the NATO leader recalled that Ukraine is not a member of the Atlantic Alliance, so the allies can only provide it with “practical political support in different ways.”

“I think it’s very dangerous to talk too much about this real risk. [de conflito armado], but we take this opportunity into account, in good faith promoting the dialogue, and also, in part, clearly aware of the risks of disrupting these conversations, ”concluded Jens Stoltenberg.

Ukraine and NATO have condemned the concentration of large numbers of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border in recent months as a prelude to the invasion.

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Westerners fear a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, such as the 2014 invasion that culminated in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

The Kremlin (Russian Presidency) rejects the bellicose design of these maneuvers.

However, Russia has demanded the signing of treaties prohibiting any future expansion of the Atlantic Alliance and an end to Western military maneuvers near its borders, calling into question the post-Cold War European security architecture, when several countries of the former communist bloc joined NATO.

On the eve of this meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the headquarters of the alliance in the Belgian capital, Russia announced new military exercises in four regions, three of them along the border with Ukraine, with the participation of almost 3,000 troops.

The NATO-Russia Council, a cooperation forum established in 2002, has not met formally since 2019.

ANE // SKA

Lusa / End

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Saudi Arabia: Woman sentenced to over 30 years in prison for using Twitter

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Salma al-Shehab, a Saudi student at the University of Leeds, UK, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for having a Twitter account, following and distributing posts by dissidents and anti-Saudi activists when she returned home this summer. on holiday.

Initially, according to The Guardian, Salma was sentenced to three years in prison for the “crime” of using the website to “cause public disorder and destabilize civil and national security.” But on Monday, after a prosecutor’s request to consider other crimes, the court of second instance issued a new sentence: 34 years in prison, followed by a 34-year travel ban.

According to an English newspaper that had access to a translation of court records, the new allegations include an allegation that Shehab “helped those who seek to cause civil unrest and destabilize civil and national security by following his Twitter accounts” and sharing his tweets.

In a brief social media consultation for a 34-year-old Saudi mother of two, Shehab appears to have no activist profile, while on Instagram she reveals her more personal life, presenting herself as an oral hygienist and doctoral student. student. Twitter already has shares of Saudi dissidents living in exile asking for the release of political prisoners in the kingdom.

The Guardian on Twitter declined to comment on the case, clashing with journalist Stephanie Kirchgessner over the possible influence of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns more than 5% of the social network through Kingdom Holding.

The case comes just weeks after Joe Biden’s heavily criticized visit to Saudi Arabia, during which several activists confronted the President of the United States of America about various human rights violations by the regime of Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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North Korea launched two cruise missiles

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The Seoul Ministry of Defense said North Korea launched two cruise missiles on Wednesday, ending a month-long hiatus in Pyongyang’s record-breaking series of weapons tests this year.

“We discovered this morning that North Korea launched two cruise missiles towards the West Sea off the coast of Oncheon, South Pyongan Province,” a ministry spokesman told AFP. “US and South Korean military officials are looking into detailed specifications such as range.”

North Korea has not tested a cruise missile, which is not prohibited by UN sanctions against the country, since January, the Yonhap news agency reported. Pyongyang last tested weapons on July 10, when several rocket launchers were launched.

Since January, North Korea has conducted a series of sanctions-repressive tests, including the launch of a full-range ICBM for the first time since 2017. Officials in Washington and Seoul also warned that the isolated regime was preparing to carry out what would be its seventh nuclear test.

Earlier this week, the South Korean and US military began preliminary drills ahead of their annual Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) joint exercise. The drills infuriate Pyongyang, which sees them as a rehearsal for an invasion.

South Korea says it will not pursue nuclear deterrence

South Korea’s president said today that his government has no plans to interfere with nuclear deterrence after North Korea’s nuclear capabilities increase. Yoon Suk-yeol urged Pyongyang to resume negotiations and diplomacy aimed at trading the stages of North Korea’s denuclearization for economic benefits.

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Yoon’s office said South Korea’s director of national security, Kim Seong-han, discussed the launch with other officials before Yoon spoke to reporters at a press conference and reaffirmed South Korea’s military readiness.

Yoon told reporters that South Korea does not want violent political change in North Korea and called for a return to negotiations for a lasting peace.

Yun’s proposal, namely large-scale assistance in the fields of food, medicine and health care, as well as in the modernization of the energy industry and port infrastructure, is reminiscent of previous proposals by South Korea that were rejected by North Korea, namely, accelerating the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un regarded as the main guarantee of his survival.

Nevertheless, Yoon expressed hope for a “meaningful dialogue” with North Korea about his plan and emphasized that Seoul is ready to provide appropriate economic benefits at every stage of the denuclearization process if North Korea adopts a real roadmap to abandon its weapons program.

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Macron calls for Russian troops to be withdrawn from Zaporozhye power plant – columnist

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, highlighting the “risks” their presence poses to the facility’s security.

In a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, he expressed “concern about the threat of the presence, the actions of the Russian armed forces and the military context with ongoing conflicts over the security of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, and called for the withdrawal of such forces,” said the Champs Elysees, the residence of the President of the French Republic. .

The plant, the largest in Europe, was taken in early March by Russian troops at the start of their invasion of Ukraine launched on February 24.

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Since the end of July, there have been several explosions, of which two sides blame each othertargeted the facilities, raising fears of a nuclear holocaust and triggering last week’s meeting of the UN Security Council.

Emmanuel Macron also “supported” the proposal of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi send a mission to a location “as soon as possible” to inspect the object.

The heads of the two states “exchanged views on such a mission,” the French presidency said.

Russia accused the UN services of obstructing the IAEA mission. Ukraine, for its part, opposed, believing that such legitimize the Russian occupation of the central in the eyes of the international community.

The presidents of France and Ukraine, in turn, welcomed the departure of the first humanitarian ship, chartered by the UN and loaded with wheat from Ukraine, heading to the African continent, “where the needs are most urgent.”

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Ukrainian-made cereals were delayed in the country for several months due to the war. Exports resumed on August 1 across the Black Sea by agreement between Russians and Ukrainians, mediated by Turkey and under the auspices of the UN.

Emmanuel Macron also confirmed France’s support for efforts to export Ukrainian grain. along the road and the river.

This European initiative made it possible to export 2.8 million tons of grain in July, and “the pace continues to accelerate,” Eliseu congratulated.

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