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Macron wants to create a new European community, and the EU is considering renegotiating treaties

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French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a new “European political community” that would include countries like Ukraine that want to join the European Union (EU) but whose accession process could take years. Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also want to remove the requirement for unanimity in EU decisions on issues such as defense or foreign policy; thus, they advocated a revision of the organization’s treaties.

The head of the French state proposed at the end of the conference on the future of Europe in the European Parliament to create a “European political community” as “a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in the field of energy, the movement of people” and, “in particular, youth.” It would be designed primarily for countries that, having ceased to be “under the yoke of the Soviet Union”, are now liberal democracies.

For Macron, this would be the most appropriate formula for deepening rapprochement between the EU and Ukraine, without neglecting the rigor required by the latter’s accession to the Union. “The EU cannot be the only means of restructuring the European continent in the short term,” the French leader warned.

“Ukraine, thanks to its courage and its struggle, is already a member of our family. She is a member at heart,” Macron continued. “But even if tomorrow he is given the status of a candidate [a aderir à UE], we are all well aware that this process will take several years, and to be honest, several decades. This is reality,” he said.

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Relations with Russia “without the spirit of revenge”

Despite condemning Russia’s “untold crimes” in Ukraine, the French president has once again taken a constructive stance towards Vladimir Putin’s government, in contrast to the position of strength favored by the US from the start of the invasion.

“We are not at war with Russia,” Macron recalled, while confirming his intention to continue supporting the Ukrainians. When peace returns, he said, it will be necessary to “create a new security balance” in Europe, resisting the Russians’ desire to “humiliate” or the “spirit of vengeance.”

“In the past, these feelings have already ravaged the ways of the world too much,” he said, referring to the Treaty of Versailles signed in 1919. In the document under consideration, Germany was blamed for the First World War, forcing the country to pay large reparations. the victors and contributed to the emergence of discontent among the Germans, which would have contributed to the rise of the Nazis.

More European integration

Emmanuel Macron has also advocated amending European treaties: “It’s clear, we will have to reform our texts,” he said in his first public speech since re-election.

“One of the ways of this reform is to convene a convention to revise the treaty. This is the proposal of the European Parliament, which I support,” the French President stressed.

A few minutes earlier, Ursula von der Leyen had already stressed in her speech the need for these reforms. The leader of the Commission assured that she was ready to “amend treaties if necessary”, thus placing herself alongside Macron and Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister who went to the European Parliament last week to defend that the EU should deepen integration of member states in the direction of “pragmatic federalism”.

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One of the goals of Macron, von der Leyen and Draghi is to end the obligation of member states to take unanimous decisions on issues such as foreign policy, defense or taxation. On the table is the possibility of making only a qualified majority necessary to discuss the above issues.

PS preview “live discussion”; “Costa didn’t applaud,” Rangel says.

PS MEP Pedro Silva Pereira told JN that the “new institutional architecture of European integration” announced by Macron “will undoubtedly be the subject of lively discussion in the near future.” PSD’s Paulo Rangel recalled that the idea was “not new”.

The social democratic parliamentarian said that even before Brexit, the EU is discussing the division of member states into three circles according to the degree of integration; the latter will include countries that are not yet members of the Union. However, the creation of a new organization is a new nuance, he admitted.

Asked about the implications of a possible treaty renegotiation, Silva Pereira acknowledged that it could mean “greater integration” in Europe. “The main point is the issue of blocking decision-making processes based on the rule of unanimity, which many want to develop into a qualified majority,” he explained.

“We know that there is resistance in the Council from several countries,” the socialist said, although he believes that “the most important thing is to find a way so that the EU can make more effective decisions. The Lisbon Treaty, which also makes decision-making processes more flexible,” he stressed.

J. N. Rangel made a curious observation, only possible because during the Strasbourg session he himself was sitting only “six or seven rows” from the prime minister: when Macron and von der Leyen talked about canceling the EU treaties, António Costa clap once.” The Prime Minister’s position may indicate some reservations on the part of the PS on this issue, the MEP believes.

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Rangel said the EU currently has “residual” defense or health powers. However, he said he was aware that “big member states” such as Germany, France or Italy would “apply strong pressure” to get the reform implemented. He warned that the fact that unanimity is needed to end unanimity could create barriers to change.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

See also  Kyiv is the target of the bombings. Putin Confirms Attacks, Threatens 'Strong' Response

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

See also  Bolsonaro's supporters destroy cars and attempt to invade the military police headquarters in Brasilia.

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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