Who is the Enemy? EC President Reportedly Wants to Form European Army

A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hannover, Germany. (File)

A projected army will help the bloc fight external threats all over the world and show Russia the EU’s serious approach to upholding its values.

 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is advocating the creation of a Europe-wide army, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag weekly reported Sunday.”Such an army would help us to build a common foreign and security policy, as well as jointly assume the responsibilities of Europe in the world,” Juncker said in an interview.

A European army, according to the EC president, could “react credibly” to dangers facing the 28-member bloc or its neighbors.

 

Juncker added that forming the European armed forces would signal to Russia the hitherto political and economic union is “serious about upholding the values ​​of the European Union.”Welt am Sonntag reports the EC head’s proposal has found support in the German legislature, with chairman of its foreign affairs committee noting that time has come for the vision to materialize.

 

“The Europeans spend enormous sums of money for the military combined, much more than Russia. But our military capabilities remain an insufficient security policy as long as we maintain small national armies, which make and buy many parts of the same thing on a smaller scale,” Norbert Rottgen was quoted as saying.Moscow, for its part, has on numerous occasions pointed to an unprecedented expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization toward Russia’s western border.

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Russian manufacturer of microsatellites decided to close its representative offices in EU and USA

dauria krut.png-550x0

Russian private company Dauria Aerospace, which specializes in development and production of small spacecraft, is going to close its representative offices in foreign countries, TASS reports with reference to the Dauria Aerospace President Mikhail Kokorich.

“At present we are focusing on Russian market and export potential of space systems manufactured by Russian branch of Dauria Aerospace. European and US branches are preparing to cease their activities,” he said.

According to him, this is caused by difficult political and economic situation, which affects the Russian company and its ability to raise funds.

The Russians are coming! UK media hypes up RAF interception of Latvian plane

Eurofighter Typhoon jet from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) (AFP Photo / Paul Ellis)

Eurofighter Typhoon jet from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) (AFP Photo / Paul Ellis)

Two Royal Air Force jets reportedly threatened to shoot down a Latvian cargo plane, rushing at supersonic speeds to intercept it, after the plane failed to respond to air traffic control over Kent in Southern England and sent authorities into panic mode.

“I am instructed by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom to warn you that, if you do not respond immediately to my orders, you will be shot down,” radioed one of the jets, according to an audio recording circulating in UK media.

The incident occurred at about 5pm local time after the Latvian Antonov An-26 aircraft failed to make contact with air traffic controllers.

British Typhoons were tasked with intercepting the cargo plane. “To fulfill their quick reaction role, they were cleared to travel at supersonic speed,” an RAF spokesperson said, adding that the speed explains the loud noise people heard in the air.

Many locals took to Twitter, describing how their houses shook after the loud bangs.

NATO, EU Military Assistance in Ukraine Impossible – Finnish Prime Minister

Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb believes that there is no way to respond to Ukraine’s request for military support

16:23 18/08/2014 
 

MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – There is no way to respond to Ukraine’s request for military support, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said in an interview with radio and TV station Yle.

“Of course it’s not possible. Not from NATO, because NATO only provides military assistance to its members, and that’s well known. And the EU doesn’t have the capacity to provide this kind of support,” Stubb said, discussing Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin’s request for military aid Sunday.

Stubb said Russia-EU relations are going through a lengthy deterioration and Finland’s wish is “for the wall between Russia and the West to be as low as possible.”

Sunday, foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in Berlin to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that NATO and the European Union would break all the agreements that had been reached so far if they decided to provide Ukraine with military support.

Russia, Egypt Agree to Boost Military Cooperation – Putin

Russia and Egypt have agreed to expand military cooperation, Vladimir Putin announced.

19:10 12/08/2014 
 

SOCHI, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Egypt have agreed to expand military cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

“We actively develop our military cooperation. We signed a protocol on the issue in March. We sell our weaponry to Egypt. We agreed to expand this cooperation,” the Russian leader said.

Moscow and Cairo discussed the deliveries of high-tech Russian military products, including 24 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets, as well as its Kornet anti-tank missile systems, and Kamov Ka-25, Mil Mi-28 and Mi-25 attack helicopters.

The Egyptian president arrived in Russia Tuesday, on his first official visit since he was elected in May 2014. The two leaders planned to discuss the implementation of joint economic projects, including the possible creation of a free-trade zone between Egypt and countries of the Customs Union, and the settlement of the conflict in the Gaza Strip. In February, when he was still Egypt’s defense minister, Sisi met with Putin in Moscow.

The United States, the European Union and their allies introduced several rounds of targeted sanctions against Russian companies and individuals after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, and followed up with sectoral sanctions targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors in July. In response, Russia started looking for alternative markets for its products, including in Asia and the Middle East.

Russia to Destroy S-300 Weapons Systems Meant for Export to Syria

S-300 air defense system

14:12 11/08/2014 

MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s anti-aircraft S-300 weapons systems, intended for export to Syria before sanctions were imposed, will be destroyed, the director for the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said Monday.

“The S-300 complexes meant for Syria will be destroyed. This decision has been made on the level of the country’s political leadership,” Konstantin Biryulin said.

Asked if the complexes could be sold to a different country, Biryulin said that it was possible, “but very unlikely.”

Russia is the world’s second-largest weapons exporter after the United States. In 2013, Russia exported weapons valued at about $15.7 billion and another $2 billion between January and March 2014.

Altogether, as of March 2014, Russia’s weapons export orders portfolio exceeded $47 billion. Despite sanctions imposed by some Western countries, Russia’s leadership claims the country’s military-industrial complex will not be impacted and will only grow as a result.

The European Union, the United States and its allies since March have compiled several sanctions lists against Russian companies, banks and politicians, freezing their bank accounts, barring them from entry and have refused to buy Russian goods. The move has been linked to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In a more recent development, in July, Washington introduced a so-called Sectoral Sanctions Identification List that specifically targeted the Russian economy’s most sensitive sectors, such as the defense, energy and banking sectors. The European Union soon followed the United States’ lead, imposing third-stage economic penalties that limited Russian state-owned banks’ access to EU capital markets, outlawed arms trade with Moscow, established an export ban for dual-use goods for military end-users and curtailed Russian access to sensitive technologies, particularly in the oil sector.

Moscow stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict and has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive, saying the sanctions could have a boomerang effect on Western economies.

German Arms Manufacturer Downgrades Annual Forecast Amid EU Sanctions on Russia

Rheinmetall headquarters in Dusseldorf

15:51 07/08/2014
 

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – German military technology group and automotive parts supplier Rheinmetall has been forced to downgrade its annual forecast for fiscal 2014 after the cancellation of an export permit for Russia amid EU sanctions against Moscow, an official statement from the company said Thursday.

“Due to the fact that the export license for the Mulino combat training center in Russia has been withdrawn owing to changes in the political environment, it is no longer possible to fulfill the respective contract from today’s perspective. Rheinmetall already assumes that this will lead to financial burdens in the current fiscal year,” the statement published on the company’s website said.

According to the forecast, the defense sector’s operating result has been adjusted from 85 million to 95 million euros ($114 million to $127 million) to 65 million to 75 million euros ($87 million to $100 million).

“Rheinmetall is working hard to ensure that these burdens are kept as low as possible including the utilization of all available legal options,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, the German government canceled a 100 million euro ($134 million) joint project between Russia’s Defense Ministry and Rheinmetall for the building of the Mulino combat training facility in Russia’s Western Military District.

The deal was canceled in light of the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it was preparing documents in order to sue Rheinmetall over the cancellation of the contract.

The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian companies, banks, politicians, as well as the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian economy, accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Moscow has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive and denied any involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.