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18 septembre 2015 5 18 /09 /septembre /2015 16:40
Ukraine’s other war

 

Ukraine is fighting two wars simultaneously. The most obvious is the hybrid conflict in the east, fuelled and sustained by Russia. But while the ‘hot phase’ in this arena is over, at least for now, Ukraine is also engaged in a war against itself.

It is locked in a struggle against its own dysfunctionality and endemic levels of corruption which will affect millions, from low-level policemen and fire inspectors to oligarchs and leading politicians. And while Ukraine can cope with the existence of an almost frozen conflict in the Donbas, there is no possibility of accepting the status quo with regard to the latter war.

 

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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 07:40
Opération UNIFIER: la mission canadienne d’instruction en Ukraine commence pour de bon

Le Major Ben Rogerson, officier commandant de la Compagnie d’entraînement, se tient au Garde-à-vous avec ses troupes lors de la cérémonie marquant le début de l’entraînement des troupes Ukrainiennes par des soldats canadiens pendant l’opération UNIFIER au Centre international de maintien de la paix et de sécurité, à Starychi, Ukraine le 14 septembre, 2015. (MDN)

 

15 septembre 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

Après une longue période de préparation, la mission d’instruction opération UNIFIER, annoncée en avril dernier par le premier ministre Harper et le ministre de la Défense Jason Kenney, a finalement démarré officiellement cette semaine.

 

Le 14 septembre 2015, le personnel militaire ukrainien et canadien s’est tenu au garde-à-vous à deux endroits en Ukraine à l’occasion des cérémonies d’ouverture soulignant le début de la mission d’entraînement militaire du Canada en Ukraine, annonce le ministère canadien de la Défense.

Au Centre international de sécurité et de maintien de la paix à Starychi, en Ukraine, le commandant du centre international de sécurité et de maintien de la paix, le Colonel Ihor Slisarchuk a présidé la parade incluant près de 200 membres du personnel militaire ukrainien et canadien.

Entre temps, à Kamyanets-Podilsky, au Centre de déminage du ministère de la Défense ukrainien, le Major canadien Matt Littlechild s’est tenu côte à côte avec le commandant ukrainien Colonel Rodikov, à l’occasion d’une petite cérémonie soulignant le début de l’entraînement où les membres du personnel militaire canadien et ukrainien perfectionneront les compétences en génie allant des tâches de base du génie comme le dégagement des obstacles aux tâches complexes comme l’élimination des Dispositifs explosifs de circonstance (IED).

Le 14 avril 2015, le premier ministre Stephen Harper, entouré de son ministre de la Défense et du chef d’état-major de la Défense, avait annoncé que le Canada allait déployer près de 200 membres des FAC en Ukraine jusqu’au 31 mars 2017.

Mais, alors que les formateurs américains étaient déjà à l’oeuvre depuis longtemps, la mission canadienne tardait à commencer, faute d’avoir déjini le cadre juridique de l’opération canadienne avec les autorités ukrainiennes.

Le 27 juin, le ministre de la Défense, Jason Kenney, en visité en Ukraine le centre d’entraînement de Yavoriv, près de la frontière polonaise, avait salué le personnel des Forces armées canadiennes qui observait là-bas l’entraînement que reçoivent les forces armées ukrainiennes et avait annoncé que les obstacles juridiques et diplomatiques au déploiement des formateurs militaires canadiens en Ukraine avaient été pour la plupart levés, a déclaré le ministre..

Le 31 août le deuxième et dernier groupe de la Force opérationnelle interarmées en Ukraine avait atterri à l’aéroport international de Lviv (ouest ukrainien) le 31 août, lançant ainsi la mission d’instruction appelée Opération UNIFIER.

Durant la parade à Starychi le 14 septembre, le commandant de la Force opérationnelle du Canada, le Lieutenant-colonel Jason Guiney, a longuement parlé du partenariat militaire continu entre les deux pays et la façon dont les leçons seront communiquées entre le personnel militaire canadien et ukrainien dans les mois à venir.

«Au cours des derniers mois, les Forces armées canadiennes ont reçu un soutien exceptionnel et un accueil chaleureux de la part des militaires ukrainiens. Nous sommes impatients de commencer l’entraînement conjoint et de transmettre nos connaissances et notre expérience à nos frères d’armes ukrainiens,», a déclaré à cette occasion le Lieutenant-colonel Guiney.

En plus de l’entraînement tactique qu’offrira le Canada à Starychi et de l’expertise en génie qu’apportera le personnel des Forces armées canadiennes à Kamyanets-Podilsky, la mission d’entraînement militaire du Canada en Ukraine fournira une formation dans les domaines de la police militaire, de la sécurité aérienne, du secourisme militaire et de la logistique, indique la Défense canadienne dans son communiqué annonçant le démarrage de l’opération.

« Bien que l’Opération UNIFIER ne soit pas le premier partenariat militaire entre le Canada et l’Ukraine, elle demeure l’engagement militaire le plus long et le plus significatif entre les deux pays depuis que l’Ukraine a proclamé son indépendance », souligne aussi le ministère de la Défense du Canada.

Le Canada et l’Ukraine sont des alliés de longue date et, à la chute du bloc soviétique, Ottawa a été parmi les premières capitales à reconnaître l’indépendance de l’Ukraine. En outre, depuis le renversement du président pro-russe Ianoukovitch en février 2014 et le début de la crise ukrainienne, le Canada, qui compte une importante minorité ukrainienne forte de i,2 millions de personnes, a été un soutien indéfectible des nouvelles autorités pro-occidentales à Kiev.

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15 juin 2015 1 15 /06 /juin /2015 07:40
La Russie et l’Ukraine, un an après l’annexion de la Crimée - La lettre de l'IRSEM n°3 - 2015


10/06/2015  par IRSEM

 

La Lettre de l'IRSEM est notre lettre d'information. Chaque mois, chercheurs résidents et invités y présentent un dossier stratégique, des chroniques et points d'actualité.
 

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°3 - 2015

 

Dossier stratégique : La Russie et l’Ukraine, un an après l’annexion de la Crimée

 

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°2 - 2015
Dossier stratégique : La diplomatie proactive des pays du Conseil de Coopéra-tion du Golfe au Moyen-Orient

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°1 - 2015
Dossier stratégique : Risques et défis internationaux

 

2014 - La lettre de l'IRSEM

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°8 - 2014
Dossier stratégique : Sécurité globale et surprises stratégiques en Europe

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°7 - 2014
Dossier stratégique : La Syrie : Quelles perspectives pour une sortie de crise ?

La lettre de l'IRSEM n°6 - 2014
Dossier stratégique : La politique étrangère et de défense de la Chine :  Une nouvelle étape?

La lettre de l'IRSEM n° 5 - 2014

La Lettre de l'IRSEM n°4 - 2014
Dossier stratégique : Quelles stratégies étatiques dans le monde arabe face au jihadisme?

La Lettre de l'IRSEM N°3 - 2014
Dossier stratégique: La Pologne, un acteur de la défense européenne

Version en polonais du dossier stratégique

La Lettre de l'IRSEM N°2 - 2014

La Lettre de l'IRSEM N°1 (2,02 Mo)

 

Afin de recevoir par mail notre newsletter mensuelle, la Lettre de l'IRSEM, merci de nous préciser :
- vos noms, prénoms, grade, fonction, organisme, et adresse mail, à partir du lien ci-dessous :

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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 14:40
 Ukraine: Porochenko met en garde contre le risque d'une reprise des combats

 

04 juin 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Kiev - L'Ukraine a mis en garde jeudi contre la menace gigantesque d'une reprise des attaques des rebelles au lendemain d'une flambée de violence qui a fait 26 morts dans l'est du pays, selon un nouveau bilan, la Russie avertissant de son côté que le processus de paix risquait de voler en éclats.

Les combats de mercredi ont été les plus violents en Ukraine depuis la reprise par les rebelles du noeud ferroviaire stratégique de Debaltseve, à mi-chemin des bastions séparatistes de Donetsk et de Lougansk, peu après l'entrée en vigueur du cessez-le-feu le 15 février.

La menace d'une reprise d'actions militaires de grande envergure des groupuscules terroristes russes demeure gigantesque, a déclaré M. Porochenko, lors de son adresse annuelle au Parlement ukrainien, affirmant que plus de 9.000 soldats russes se trouvaient actuellement en Ukraine.

L'Union européenne a fait écho à ces propos, estimant que l'escalade des combats la veille, considérée comme la plus grave violation du cessez-le-feu depuis février, risquait d'enclencher une nouvelle spirale de violences.

Alors que les rebelles ont nié toute implication dans l'offensive près de Mariinka, à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Donetsk, la Russie, accusée par l'Ukraine et par les Occidentaux de soutenir et d'armer les séparatistes prorusses, a pour sa part dénoncé des provocations ukrainiennes. Elle s'est aussi dite préoccupée quant à l'avenir des accords de Minsk 2, signés le 12 février.

Ces derniers sont en permanence menacés de voler en éclats à cause des actes des autorités de Kiev, a déclaré le ministre russe des affaires étrangères Sergueï Lavrov, cité par l'agence Interfax.

 

- Mouvement d'armes lourdes -

Kiev a accusé les rebelles d'avoir déclenché une offensive majeure avec plus de 10 chars et 1.000 hommes contre leurs positions à Mariinka mercredi à l'aube.

Dans un rapport publié mercredi soir, l'Organisation pour la sécurité et la coopération en Europe (OSCE) a indiqué avoir observé le mouvement d'un grand nombre d'armes lourdes dans les territoires contrôlés par la République populaire de Donetsk, généralement vers l'ouest de la ligne de front, près de Mariinka, avant et durant les combats.

L'OSCE a précisé avoir notamment vu huit véhicules blindés se diriger vers l'ouest, dont quatre étaient des chars, ainsi qu'un camion militaire transportant une pièce d'artillerie de calibre 122 millimètres ou encore une colonne d'infanterie.

La mission, basée à Donetsk, a de plus rapporté avoir entendu environ 100 tirs sortants d'artillerie, lancés depuis une zone située entre 1 et 5 kilomètres de Donetsk à l'aube mercredi , ainsi que des tirs sortants de lance-roquettes multiples Grad. Selon l'OSCE, les tirs sortants se sont poursuivis par la suite, et des tirs entrants ont ensuite également été entendus. Le calme était revenu dans la soirée, a précisé l'OSCE.

Les armes de calibre supérieur à 100 millimètres auraient normalement dû être retirées de la ligne de front selon les accords de Minsk 2.

L'état-major ukrainien a admis mercredi que ses troupes avaient rapporté de telles armes sur la ligne de front pour contrer l'attaque rebelle. Selon le président Porochenko, ces armes ont déjà été retirées de la ligne de front.

 

- 'Toute nouvelle attaque est inacceptable' -

Le bilan des affrontements s'élève pour l'instant à au moins 26 morts. Un représentant de la République populaire autoproclamée de Donetsk, Edouard Bassourine, a déclaré à l'AFP que 16 rebelles et 5 civils avaient été tués ces dernières 24 heures. De son côté, Iouri Birioukov, un proche conseiller du président ukrainien Petro Porochenko, a fait état de cinq soldats tués, sur sa page Facebook.

Cette flambée des violences fait craindre que les accords de Minsk, qui visaient à mettre fin à une crise qui a conduit à une confrontation sans précédent depuis la Guerre froide entre la Russie et les Occidentaux, ne volent en éclat. Le conflit dans l'Est a déjà fait plus de 6.400 morts depuis son déclenchement en avril 2014.

Nous sommes préoccupés par les informations faisant état de combats hier à Mariinka. Ils doivent cesser immédiatement, a réagi le ministère français des Affaires étrangères.

Mercredi soir, la diplomatie américaine avait déjà qualifié d'inacceptable toute nouvelle attaque ou acte d'agression de la part des forces russo-séparatistes.

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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 12:40
Le processus de paix en Ukraine risque de voler en éclats

 

04 juin 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Moscou - Le processus de paix dans l'est de l'Ukraine, où un conflit armé oppose les forces régulières aux séparatistes prorusses, risque de voler en éclats à cause des actes de Kiev, a accusé jeudi le chef de la diplomatie russe Sergueï Lavrov.

 

Les accords de paix de Minsk 2, signés le 12 février, sont en permanence menacés de voler en éclats à cause des actes des autorités de Kiev qui tentent d'échapper à leurs obligations d'établir un dialogue direct avec les séparatistes, a déclaré M. Lavrov, cité par l'agence Interfax, lors d'une conférence sur la sécurité à Moscou.

 

Il a déploré une grave crise intérieure en Ukraine où au moins 24 personnes ont péri dans les combats au cours des dernières 24 heures, selon des bilans des autorités ukrainiennes et des séparatistes.

 

Des tentatives de déstabiliser la situation et de provoquer les tensions sont évidentes, a déclaré pour sa part le porte-parole du Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, en affirmant que ces actes provocateurs sont organisés par les forces ukrainiennes.

 

La partie ukrainienne a déjà pris à plusieurs reprises des mesures visant à faire monter la tension, a-t-il déclaré, cité par l'agence publique Ria-Novosti.

 

Nous sommes très préoccupés par une nouvelle répétition de ces activités, a souligné M. Peskov.

 

Le gouvernement ukrainien a accusé mercredi les rebelles d'avoir lancé, malgré la trêve en vigueur, une offensive majeure près de Mariinka, à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Donetsk.

 

Les rebelles ont eux nié ces accusations mais ont confirmé la tenue de combats près de cette localité.

 

Il s'agit des plus importants affrontements depuis la reprise par les rebelles du noeud ferroviaire stratégique de Debaltseve, à mi-chemin entre les bastions séparatistes de Donetsk et de Lougansk, peu après l'entrée en vigueur du cessez-le-feu le 15 février, à la suite des accords de paix de Minsk.

 

Le conflit armé entre Kiev et les séparatistes prorusses a fait plus de 6.400 morts depuis avril 2014, selon l'ONU.

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3 juin 2015 3 03 /06 /juin /2015 16:50
Information Warfare: Romania Defends NATO Cyberspace

 

May 28, 2015: Strategy Page

 

 NATO member Romania has been put in charge of a NATO effort to improve Ukrainian Cyber War defenses. This is one of five areas NATO recently agreed to concentrate on in an effort to improve Ukrainian ability to defend itself against Russian aggression.

 

When Romania joined NATO in 2004 Eastern Europe was considered Ground Zero for criminal hacking gangs. There are still a lot of black hat (criminal) hackers around but Romania has made a remarkable turnaround. Romania is now the home of many legitimate Internet security firms and Romanian programmers and engineers are frequently encountered at major software firms like Microsoft. Some twenty percent of Interpols Cyber War experts are from Romania. There are still a lot of black hats active in Romania but the local police have their own growing force of skilled hackers to make Romania a more inhospitable place for black hats. Some Internet security companies actively try to get black hats to come over to the white hat side of the business.

 

Taking on the Ukrainian Cyber War defense assignment is a big opportunity for Romania because if they are successful they will have a high-visibility success for their software industry and an edge in getting contracts from other countries and large corporations to come in and upgrade defenses against hackers and Cyber War attack. Many of these attacks come from black hats in Russia and China.

 

In 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO, putting parts of the former Soviet Union (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) within NATO and on Russia’s border. Many Russians do not like this, for Russian policy since 1945 has been to establish a "buffer" of subservient countries between Russian territory and Germany and the rest of Western Europe. This attitude is obsolete in a practical sense, but old habits die hard. The Russian government said it was willing to work with NATO in areas of mutual benefit but that did not work out. Now there is a state of undeclared war between Russia and NATO and the Internet is one of the more active battlefields.

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21 mai 2015 4 21 /05 /mai /2015 15:50
Joint Press Conference - NATO Chiefs of Defence Meeting - 2015 MAR 21

 

21 mai 2015 by NATO

 

Joint Press conference with General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) and General Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation (SACT) during the 173rd meeting of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Staff session.

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3 avril 2015 5 03 /04 /avril /2015 11:40
Photo FB Цаплиенко

Photo FB Цаплиенко

 

April 1, 2015: Strategy page

 

 One of the many reasons NATO believes the Russians are actively involved in the fighting in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) is the presence of Russian electronic warfare equipment. Not just Cold War era stuff (which Ukraine inherited some of when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991) but equipment NATO knows was developed in the 1990s or later. This Russian gear has greatly aided the rebels, who have neither captured any advanced Ukrainian electronic warfare equipment or possess the number of electronic warfare experts needed to operate the equipment needed to explain the amount of jamming and eavesdropping the rebels are being supported with. Thus the rebels can jam or eavesdrop on all manner of Ukrainian communications (cell phones, military communications and control equipment for UAVs and anything else operated remotely) and jam those communications as well.

 

Ukraine has asked NATO for electronic warfare support and there has been no publicity about the result. That could mean that some NATO nations responded, quietly, mainly for the opportunity to get a better understanding of the latest Russian electronic warfare gear under combat conditions. That is important because Russia exports a lot of this equipment. The Russians don’t mind making their electronic warfare tech more vulnerable to theft because Russian manufacturers need the money to stay in business. NATO would simply like to know more about the latest Russian gear, just in case.

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1 avril 2015 3 01 /04 /avril /2015 07:50
SEDE/DNAT visit to the NATO Headquarters
 

27-03-2015 - by SEDE

 

On 26th March a delegation of several Members of SEDE and DNAT visited the NATO Headquarters. Members were informed on the follow-on of the Wales Summit, on New Forms of Warfare as well as on Russia and Ukraine followed by an exchange of views with Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General and NATO experts.

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1 avril 2015 3 01 /04 /avril /2015 07:50
Statement of the SEDE Members, following the mission in Ukraine, Kiev 18-20 March 2015
 
30-03-2015 - by SEDE

 

The delegation of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence reiterated the European Parliament's global comprehensive support to Ukraine and its authorities. The SEDE delegation chaired by Anna Fotyga, included Ana Gomes, Michael Gahler, Eugen Freund as well as Andrej Plenkovic, Chair of EU-Ukrainian Delegation who joined the visit. Members were in Kiev in the framework of a joint mission with the Committee on Budgetary Affairs.

The delegation met with Ukrainian authorities including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin, the Speaker of the Verhovna Rada, Volodymyr Groysman and Members of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security and Defence as well as with the Head of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksandr Turchynov.

All Ukrainian interlocutors stressed that Russian strategy goal is to undermine not only the independence of Ukraine, but more generally European security. Turchinov said indeed that Russia has not achieved this goal and it will pursue, as before, by not implementing the Minsk ceasefire and preparing new offensive. To this "empire strikes back" strategy we need to build common counter strategy, a wall of economic sanctions and other measures that Putin will not be able to climb. For Klimkin a UN or EU peacekeeping mission is the solution, although a Russian veto is to be expected at the UN Security Council.

Members assured that sanctions will not be lifted before the Minsk agreement is fully implemented, which means that Ukraine will regain control over all of its border.

The delegation stressed the solidarity of the majority of EP with Ukraine and suggested that keeping this solidarity is key to deter further attempts to undermine Ukraine's and Europe's security.

The other meetings concentrated also on the difficulties in implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Members focused also on activities of EU Advisory Mission (EUAM Ukraine) under CSDP, which is a non executive civilian mission for the advise and mentoring to Ukrainian actors. Delegation agrees that EUAM costitutes an important element of the support in the process of reforms in Ukraine in areas of SSR, Rule of Law, fighting against corruption etc.

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27 mars 2015 5 27 /03 /mars /2015 08:40
Humvee armoured vehicles photo Ukrainian MoD

Humvee armoured vehicles photo Ukrainian MoD

 

March 26th, 2015 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday took delivery of ten US armoured vehicles, two days after American lawmakers voted to urge President Barack Obama to provide “lethal” aid to Kiev.

 

Dressed in camouflage, the Ukraine leader thanked Washington for the 10 Humvees, the first of 30 promised by Washington, as they arrived at Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport.

 

In total, the US plans to send 200 regular Humvees, radios, counter-mortar radars and other non-lethal equipment worth $75 million.

 

The US House of Representatives on Monday voted 348-48 in favour of putting pressure on Obama to ship “lethal defensive weapon systems” to help Kiev forces defend against Russian “aggression”.

 

Obama has so far resisted calls to provide Kiev with weapons and other heavy military equipment, but House Democrat Eliot Engel, the lead sponsor of the resolution, told colleagues it was time to stop treating the Ukraine crisis “as just some faraway conflict.”

 

The United Nations estimates that more than 6,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east since April.

 

Kiev and its allies in the West accuse Russia of arming and spearheading the pro-Kremlin uprising, but Moscow denies the allegation.

 

A ceasefire signed on February 12 has largely held despite sporadic fighting along the frontline.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 17:40
Fin de l'opération d'envergure de l'armée russe

 

21.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)

 

La Russie a mis fin samedi aux manoeuvres militaires d'une ampleur exceptionnelle qui ont mobilisé plus de 80'000 soldats. Ces mouvements de troupes ont constitué une démonstration de force, en plein bras de fer avec les Occidentaux dans le contexte ukrainien.

Le président Vladimir Poutine avait donné lundi l'ordre de mener ces exercices, de la mer Noire au Pacifique en passant par l'Arctique et comprenant le déploiement de bombardiers nucléaires en Crimée et des missiles balistiques à Kaliningrad, enclave russe au coeur de l'Europe.

Les manoeuvres russes, vivement critiquées par les pays européens voisins de la Russie, sont destinées selon les experts à montrer aux Occidentaux, notamment à l'OTAN, qu'elle est prête à tous les scénarios sur fond de crise ukrainienne.

 

Réplique occidentale

L'Alliance atlantique a renforcé ses capacités en Europe de l'Est pour rassurer les voisins de la Russie, accusée par Kiev et ses alliés d'envoyer troupes et armes pour soutenir les séparatistes prorusses de l'Est de l'Ukraine.

L'OTAN a ainsi déployé pour trois mois 3000 soldats américains dans les pays baltes, renforcé la défense de son flanc oriental avec la création d'une nouvelle force de 5000 hommes et décidé de créer un centre de commandement en Bulgarie.

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 07:50
Operation Atlantic Resolve photo US DoD

Operation Atlantic Resolve photo US DoD

 

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 – By Jim Garamone - DoD News

 

Thirteen months after Russia began its occupation of Crimea, the United States and its European allies must remain steadfast against the threat such actions pose, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said here this week.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges told the Defense Writers Group at a March 17 breakfast that the Russian action of illegally annexing Crimea from Ukraine and its continuing threat to the eastern part of Ukraine is a game-changer on the continent.

 

Read more

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
Place de la coopération régionale dans la démarche stratégique de la Lituanie


18/03/2015 Živilė KALIBATAITĖ -  IRSEM

 

En quelques pages seulement, les Fiches de l'IRSEM présentent l’état de l’art synthétique d’une question précise pour en indiquer les principaux débats, animateurs et enseignements.

 

La place de la coopération régionale dans la démarche stratégique d’un petit État européen. Le cas de la Lituanie.

 

Fiche de l'IRSEM n°37 - 2015

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:40
 La prudence du Pentagone l’incite à retarder l’entrainement de soldats ukrainiens

 

18 mars 2015 par Bastien Duhamel - 45eNord.ca
 

Le Pentagone retarde son programme d’entrainement des soldats ukrainiens par crainte de donner un prétexte à Moscou pour saboter les récents accords de paix passés avec les autorités ukrainiennes.

 

 

 

Le 11 février dernier, Kiev et les rebelles indépendantistes de l’est de l’Ukraine soutenus par Moscou étaient parvenus aux accords «Minsk 2». Bien que déjà largement fragilisés et violés, Washington semble mettre un point d’honneur à défendre et appliquer ces accords qui posaient essentiellement les termes d’un cessez le feu entre les belligérants.

C’est dans ce but que le lieutenant-général américain Ben Hodges, commandant de l’armée américaine en Europe a annoncé le report du programme d’entrainement des soldats ukrainiens: «Le début de la formation a été retardé pour laisser du temps afin de voir si le cessez-le feu et l’accord de Minsk pourraient être mise en œuvre avec succès».

Celui-ci a poursuivi en affirmant que «nous ne voulons pas donner aux russes la possibilité de dire: regarder, les américains amènent tous ces soldats. Ils ne peuvent pas être dignes de confiance».

«L’administration est très prudente, elle ne veut pas faire s’effondrer les accords de Minsk» confie pour sa part Steven Pifer, l’ancien ambassadeur américain en Ukraine désormais chez Brookings Institution.

L’entrainement des forces ukrainiennes était censé avec lieu dans l’ouest du pays soit très loin des lignes de front actuelles. Il était prévu que les unités ukrainiennes soient jumelées avec les bataillons de l’armée américaine pour apprendre notamment à améliorer leurs techniques de premier soin en combat,  comment lutter contre le brouillage radio de l’ennemi ou encore comment survivre à des tirs d’artillerie lourde.

La présence supposée des soutiens militaires occidentaux au sein des forces ukrainiennes est un thème de propagande récurent dans les discours de Vladimir Poutine. En janvier, le Président russe n’avait d’ailleurs pas hésité à utiliser l’appellation de «légion étrangère de l’OTAN» pour qualifier les forces de l’armée ukrainienne.

Mais le dilemme entre soutenir l’armée ukrainienne et éviter de provoquer Moscou est-il  vraiment pertinent étant donné la prédominance de l’agressivité dans la stratégie russe en Ukraine ?

C’est ce que souligne le lieutenant-général Hodges: «Il y a des gens qui sont très préoccupés par ce que nous faisons en Ukraine et qui craignent que cela ne provoque les russes. Ils n’ont clairement besoin d’aucune provocation quand vous regardez ce qu’ils font»

Mentionnons à cet effet, la récente interview télévisée où le Président russe, Vladimir Poutine a dévoilé qu’il avait mis les forces nucléaires russes en alerte lors de l’annexion de la Crimée un an auparavant.

Le 27 février dernier, le Canada avait eu cette même crainte d’ébranler les accords de paix récemment conclu en Ukraine et avait également pris la décision de suspendre temporairement son programme de formation des policiers militaires ukrainiens dirigé par les Forces armées canadiennes.

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 13:50
CSDP newsletter nr. 2

 

source EEAS
 

Towards the European Council on defence and security

 

In view of the European Council in June, the EU is preparing its response to the deteriorating security situation in our neighbourhood. Ukraine and Libya at the top of the agenda

The EU Defence Ministers gathering on 18 February and the Foreign Ministers meeting (Gymnich) on 6-7 March in Riga prepared the ground for formal decisions in the next Foreign Affairs Council on 16 March and in the European Council in June. "The meeting we are having," – stated the HR/VP on 18 February in her remarks – "is particularly important as it comes in times where our security is threatened, both at our Eastern borders and at our Southern borders".

During the discussion, Defence Ministers underlined that it is important that in June the Heads of State and Governments discuss the EU response to the security challenges with the objective of reviewing the European Security Strategy.

Concerning Ukraine, on 6 – 7 March the 28 Ministers for Foreign Affairs stressed the necessity for immediate implementation of the Minsk Agreement, which calls for a ceasefire and withdrawal of illegal weapons. They also agreed that, in order to monitor the implementation of the Agreement, OSCE capacity must be strengthened. “We insisted on the fact," - said Federica Mogherini in her remarks – "that we need to have more effective humanitarian support and access to the West and also to the East of Ukraine”. The EU is already financially supporting Ukraine and cooperation is getting closer also on security sector reform. The EU recently launched EUAM Ukraine, a CSDP Advisory Mission which is supporting the government to implement the reform of the Civilian Security Sector.

The Ministers also addressed developments in Libya. “The very fact that the talks are taking place and are moving forward is definitely a very positive sign” – said Federica Mogherini. The EU is investing a lot in this process. On 9 March the EU hosted in Brussels a meeting of Libyan businessmen from all across the country. After the event, Federica Mogherini congratulated “the large number of business people who were present for showing their commitment to dialogue.” Without a secure and stable environment, there can be no economic development in Libya. “The EU" – continued the HR/VP – "stands ready to support other initiatives that can accompany the political dialogue with the involvement of Libyan civil society.” “A meeting of Libyan municipalities will also be hosted by the EU in Brussels" – she said -. "All possible support, all possible forms of support, including also missions or operations could be explored in the coming days.”

The new Head of EUPOL Afghanistan: "we can have impressive results"

 

Pia Stjernvall, the new Head of EU Police Mission in Afghanistan is an experienced Finnish diplomat. She will lead the Mission in a challenging environment and ensure that it will fulfil its promises to the Afghans. Below some extracts from her interview.

What are your thoughts today on 16 February as you start your tour as Head of Mission?

“[…] we have a great team of dedicated experts at EUPOL and I’m very much looking forward to working with them as well as our colleagues in Brussels and international partners here in Afghanistan.”

 

The security situation in Afghanistan is volatile and there are still open positions in the cabinet. How do you see the possibilities of EUPOL to work efficiently in this situation?

“[…] I’m happy to tell that we are fully operational: our advisers have begun their work with their Afghan counterparts. However, the key issue is the interests of the Afghans. We should never forget that we are here to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable and effective civilian police working together with the justice system and ultimately improving the safety of the population. Whatever the plan, whatever the action, we must always ask ourselves and also our Afghan counterparts: does it serve this goal, does it benefit the Afghans? If the answer is “yes”, we will have impressive results.

What will change now that you are in charge of the mission?

“[…] As a leader I believe that any efficient organisation needs not only strategies but also a sound organizational culture which gives all the staff members chance to enjoy their work and be creative without fear. If you don’t enjoy your work you will not deliver results either.”

Read the full text of the interview

Three months of the EU Advisory Mission in Ukraine

 

The new EU crisis management Mission started its activities three months ago. Its mandate is to provide support to the Ukrainian government on the Civilian Security Sector reform. The Mission operates in the context of tightening EU-Ukraine relations and in a politically challenging environment.

EUAM Ukraine, was launched on 1 December 2014 under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The Mission will provide advice to the Ukrainian authorities on the Civilian Security Sector Reform.

During its first meeting on 15 January 2015, the EU-Ukraine Association Council acknowledged the importance of intensifying EU support to the political and economic reform process in Ukraine.

“The advisors are at the heart of the Mission” – said the Head of Mission Kálmán Mizsei. “We will work in Kyiv and in the oblasts”. The Mission currently counts 55 members, but will step up to 174 in the coming months. In the first three months EUAM Ukraine got more and higher level recognition as an actor in the civilian security sector reform.

The reform process currently wraps itself in a difficult environment subscribed by the critical situation in the East and the overall precarious economic situation. Nevertheless the political will to move forward is there. The assistance requests that Kiev sent to the Brussels indicates that Ukrainian authorities are committed to the Civilian Security Sector reform. On the other side, with EUAM the EU is showing its readiness to support and be actively involved.

The overall European effort to Ukraine is to be seen in the context of the Association Agreement. There is no other Eastern Partnership country, with which the EU has such close ties as with Ukraine. The agreement is unprecedented in terms of number of areas covered and level of commitments. The common ground of such close political relations is common values and principles: democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

New Head of Mission for EUPOL COPPS

The EU Police Mission in the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) has a new Head of Mission: Rodolf Mauget. Under his command, the EU Mission will support the Palestinian State building.

On 17th February the Political and Security Committee appointed Rodolf Mauget as Head of EU crisis management Mission, EUPOL COPPS. “I am honoured," - explained Rodolf Mauget – "to have been appointed by the Political and Security Committee as the next Head of the EUPOL COPPS CSDP Mission in the Palestinian territories.

I have had the good fortune to serve this region for the past 10 years and trust that my experience and understanding of the challenges and issues likely to be faced, will ensure that the excellent support to and relations with our Palestinian counterparts in the Ministry of Interior, the Police and the wider Criminal Justice institutions continues at pace. Having served here as Deputy Head of Mission, supported by an outstanding EUPOL COPPS team, I already enjoy the full cooperation of the EU family, plus Canada, Norway and Turkey, together with our other international community partners, and I look forward to continuing and developing these relationships, which will be key as we embrace the opportunities and challenges that a new mandate would provide, beyond June of this year.” 

EUPOL COPPS is a European Union Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) civilian mission, based in the West Bank. Established in 2006, it forms part of the wider EU efforts to support Palestinian state building, in the context of peace and based on a two-State solution. The EU Mission assists the Palestinian Authority in building its institutions, for a future Palestinian State, focused on security and justice sector reform.

Federica Mogherini visits EUFOR ALTHEA

Federica Mogherini visited EUFOR Althea headquarters at Camp Butmir, as part of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 25 February, the HR/VP Federica Mogherini visited EUFOR Althea headquarters at Camp Butmir, as part of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The HR/VP was welcomed by a guard of honour and then attended a brief on EUFOR’s Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina given by the Head of Mission, Major General Johann Luif. 

 The Senior National Representatives of all 22 Troop -Contributing Nations were also in attendance.

Read more: http://eeas.europa.eu/csdp/missions-and-operations/althea-bih/news/20150226_en.htm

EU supports Afghan women

On the International Women's Day, Federica Mogherini announces new opportunities for Afghan women in the EU institutions as well as a new programme for civil society.

On 8 March, the International Women Day, the HR/VP Federica Mogherini announced a number of new initiatives to promote Afghan women in leadership positions and gender equality in Afghanistan.

"The last thirteen years have been a time of change for Afghanistan. Positive change." – said Federica Mogherini -.

"Girls go to school. Women go to vote and are elected. […] We have to continue improving Afghan lives and in particular Afghani women lives. […] Afghanistan needs women leaders: judges, politicians, economists, opinion leaders. Women to look up to. Women leaders are needed to address the legacy of discrimination against Afghan women; to ensure that their constitutional rights are respected; that their value in society is recognised; that horrific violence for outdated notions of honour is brought to an end. These new programmes will help prepare a new generation of Afghan women to take up leadership positions in the Afghanistan of tomorrow."

The EU will offer several training programmes to young Afghan women. This offer will include internships in various EU institutions, training on public administration at the dedicated European institutes and longer term intakes, as part of a new exchange programme. In the next five years, in response to specific requests, dozens of Afghan women will be able to benefit from these programmes.

Read more: http://www.eupol-afg.eu/node/550

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
BUDG & SEDE visit to Kiev

 

16-03-2015 - SEDE

 

Members from the BUDG and SEDE committees will travel to Kiev from 18 to 20 March for talks with the Ukrainian government and parliament. The SEDE committee will focus on the work of the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine and other security-related questions, whereas the BUDG committee will concentrate on the use of EU funds and other EU support measures in Ukraine and the country's financial and economic situation in general.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 12:40
Germany warns of ‘dangerous’ consequences to arming Ukraine

 

March 13th, 2015 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday argued against arming Ukraine during a trip to Washington where support is growing for delivering weapons to help Kiev battle pro-Russian separatists.

 

“I understand that many of you are calling for a more rapid, therefore determined, therefore military-based solution,” Steinmeier said at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank.

 

But providing Kiev with lethal military aid could “catapult the conflict into a next phase” and trigger a “dangerous permanent escalation” between Ukraine and Russia, he warned.

 

“This can be in nobody’s interest.”

 

His visit comes as US President Barack Obama is under pressure not just from hawks in Congress but also from within his own administration to supply the outmatched Ukrainian army with weapons to shore up its faltering defenses.

 

Obama’s new defense secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate in his confirmation hearing last month that he was “very much inclined” towards providing weapons to Kiev.

 

The US military’s top-ranking officer, General Martin Dempsey, said last week that “we should absolutely consider lethal aid and it ought to be in the context of NATO allies.”

 

Germany and many European nations believe Western arms would not offset the military advantage enjoyed by pro-Russian forces allegedly backed by Moscow, and instead would simply fuel a conflict that has claimed an estimated 6,000 lives.

 

The White House on Wednesday also played down the idea of sending lethal military assistance, stressing that this would “lead to greater bloodshed.”

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
L'OSCE va porter sa mission en Ukraine à près de 1.000 observateurs

 

12 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Vienne - L'Organisation pour la sécurité et la coopération en Europe (OSCE) va pratiquement doubler sa mission d'observation dans l'est de l'Ukraine, la portant à près de mille personnes, a annoncé jeudi à l'AFP à Vienne une porte-parole de l'OSCE.

 

La décision a été prise (jeudi, par les Etats membres de l'organisation). La mission peut maintenant compter jusqu'à mille personnes, en fonction des circonstances. Son mandat a aussi été allongé, jusqu'au 31 mars 2016, a précisé cette porte-parole, Mersiha Podzic.

 

La semaine dernière, les ministres des Affaires étrangères allemand et russe avaient appelé à étendre cette mission pour contrôler de manière efficace le dernier cessez-le-feu conclu entre séparatistes prorusses et troupes du gouvernement ukrainien dans des zones de l'Ukraine frontalières avec la Russie.

 

Plus tôt jeudi à Kiev Alexander Hug, chef-adjoint de la mission spéciale d'observation de l'OSCE en Ukraine, avait déclaré que le cessez-le-feu tenait globalement, mais sur de la glace fine. Il tient globalement sur la ligne de contact dans les régions de Donetsk et Lougansk, avec des échanges de coups de feu persistants à certains endroits mais à un niveau moindre, selon lui.

 

Les endroits les plus critiques étaient le village de Shyrokyne, à l'est du port de Marioupol, et les alentours de l'aéroport de Donetsk, a précisé M. Hug.

 

Ce responsable de la mission de l'OSCE a jugé positif que la plupart des combats se déroulent avec des armes de petit calibre, ce qui est une indication que les armes lourdes ont réellement été retirées et ne sont plus utilisées aussi souvent.

 

Il a ajouté que l'OSCE avait essayé de contrôler le retrait de l'artillerie lourde mais que sa mission se heurtait encore à des obstacles des deux bords, qu'elle ne disposait pas encore de l'inventaire complet des armes ni d'un accès complet aux sites où elles peuvent être stockées.

 

L'actuelle mission de l'OSCE est composée de membres d'environ quarante pays travaillant par équipes pour assurer une présence sur le terrain 24h sur 24 sept jours par semaine.

 

Le dernier accord conclu le 12 février à Minsk stipule que les belligérants cessent le feu et retirent leur artillerie d'un calibre supérieur à 100 millimètres à 25 kilomètres de la ligne de front.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:40
La Russie se retire du Traité FCE : un signal envoyé à l’Occident

Le traité sur les forces conventionnelles en Europe "adapté" (FCE)

 

12 mars, 2015 Alexeï Timofeïtchev, RBTH

 

La Russie a annoncé son retrait du Traité sur les forces armées conventionnelles en Europe (FCE), qualifiant ce dernier « d’absurde ». Les experts estiment que Moscou exprime ainsi son mécontentement à l’égard des démarches de l’Occident sur fond de crise ukrainienne.



Moscou a annoncé son retrait du traité FCE à partir du 11 mars en déclarant que le traité était désormais « absurde sur le plan politique et pratique ». Le secrétaire général de l'Otan Jens Stoltenberg a réagi en déclarant que l’Alliance était déçue par la décision de la Russie.


Suite de l'article

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 13:50
The Eastern Partnership after Five Years: Time for Deep Rethinking - SEDE
The first five years of the Eastern Partnership have witnessed the most challenging period of relations between the EU and its eastern neighbours since the fall of communism in 1991. The year 2014 was a pivotal one, marked by the signing of Association Agreements with the European Union by three partners countries – Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia – but also by Russian military intervention in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea. The continued aggression of a revanchist and intransigent Russia has altered the political and social landscape, and the original concept of the Eastern Partnership, however well-intentioned and suitable for a previous era, is not adequate to meet the challenges of 2015 and beyond. Therefore, there is a need for the EU to rethink its policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia, and build new approaches to suit the new reality. More than ever, the EU needs to focus its attention on relations with those Eastern Partner countries that are willing to cooperate more closely and who truly wish to integrate with the Union, politically, economically and socially. Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia should be perceived as more than partners, and the ‘more for more’ approach should be strengthened. Such an approach would send a clear political signal to all parties involved, and make for a better use of limited resources.


 

Study - The Eastern Partnership after Five Years: Time for Deep Rethinking - PE 536.438

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
photo NATO

photo NATO

 

11 Mar. 2015 by NATO

 

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed security challenges with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove, and participated in a conference of senior military commanders during a visit to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe on Wednesday (11 March 2015). The Secretary General thanked the commanders for the remarkable work of Allied forces in the face of a highly complex and uncertain security environment. “Every day, they keep our nations safe,” he said.

 

The Secretary General warned that Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine have undermined the post-Cold War security order in Europe. He underlined that the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine remained the best foundation for a peaceful solution to the conflict. Mr. Stoltenberg noted that the ceasefire appeared to be holding, but remained fragile. “We have seen the withdrawal of some heavy weapons, but it’s unclear to what destination,” he said.  The Secretary General called on all parties to ensure that OSCE monitors have “the information, the freedom of movement and the security guarantees they require” in order to verify full compliance with the Minsk agreement.

 

In response to challenges both to the east and the south, NATO is implementing the strongest reinforcement of its collective defence since the end of the Cold War, Mr. Stoltenberg said. “We are doubling the size of the NATO Response Force from 13,000 to 30,000 troops” and “setting up a new 5,000-strong quick reaction Spearhead Force, with some units ready to move within as little as 48 hours.” He added that NATO is establishing six command and control centres in the Baltic States and three other eastern Allies, in order to coordinate training and exercises, and facilitate rapid reinforcements.

 

The Secretary General said the Alliance would “keep up the momentum”, noting a current exercise of NATO ships in the Black Sea, a major U.S. deployment to the Baltic region for training, and an upcoming exercise in the autumn – expected to be the Alliance’s largest in many years – with over 25,000 troops participating. “These measures are defensive, proportionate, and in line with our international commitments,” Mr. Stoltenberg said, adding: “these Headquarters and our Supreme Commander Europe, General Breedlove, play a key role in these efforts.”

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 08:40
NATO Allies and partners discuss Ukraine crisis

 

11 Mar. 2015 by NATO

 

Ambassadors of NATO Allies and twenty-two partners met in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on Wednesday (11 March 2015) for an exchange of views on the current situation in Ukraine. Chaired by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the session was convened at the request of Ukraine.

 

The meeting, attended by Russia’s Ambassador to NATO,  took place almost one year after the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia, which NATO Allies do not recognise.

 

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) nations expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, urging Russia to withdraw its forces and its support for the separatists. All members of the EAPC agreed that the full implementation of the Minsk agreement is the only path to a lasting and peaceful solution. Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed that the ceasefire remains fragile and sporadic violations continue. He said that all parties should fully implement the Minsk agreement in good faith, including Russia, whose support for the separatists has further fuelled the conflict. As a first step, he called for a "withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact in a transparent and verifiable manner", with full access to the OSCE monitors.

 

Allies and other EAPC participants also condemned Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, and called on Moscow to reverse course.

 

The NATO Secretary General said that "the stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic region have been undermined, as have the values of national sovereignty and peaceful conflict resolution, values which all members of the EAPC have committed to uphold". Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that the Basic Document of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council contains a joint pledge to promote peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. He called on all EAPC members to respect this fundamental commitment.

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 08:40
US to increase military aid to Ukraine including Humvees and drones

 

11 Mar 2015 By Peter Foster, Washington and agencies

 

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, says Britain also planning to increase its assistance

 

The US announced it was stepping up non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday with a $75m (£50m) package that includes armoured Humvees and surveillance drones. The moves come as US and Nato officials report that Russia has continued to move men and materiel, including tanks, into eastern Ukraine since the February 12 ceasefire that was brokered in Minsk by Germany and France. The US also announced new economic sanctions to be targeted at officials in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine as well as the Russian National Commercial Bank and a nationalist Russian group. The new measures will be accompanied by a US$5 billion credit from the International Monetary Fund which is expected in the coming days but falls far short of the demands from more hawkish members of the US Congress to provide lethal aide to Kiev. Mr Obama has resisted pressure from Congress and several senior officials in his administration, including his defence secretary, Ashton Carter, and secretary of state, John Kerry, to provide lethal support to Ukraine’s embattled armed forces.

 

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
UK Defence Secretary first to visit US counterpart

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and U.K. Defense Secretary Michael C. Fallon walk through an honor cordon at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. March 11, 2015.- (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

 

11 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has become the first defence minister to be hosted by his US opposite number since Defense Secretary Ash Carter was sworn in.

 

Mr Fallon today re-affirmed the UK’s resolve to provide help to Ukraine and reassurance to NATO Allies in the face of Russian aggression and to support the international coalition in combating ISIL. Mr Fallon also emphasised the UK’s commitment to investing in Defence during his visit, announcing over a quarter of a billion pounds of funding to the UK’s submarine industry.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The US-UK defence partnership is the broadest, deepest and most advanced in the world. As close allies in NATO, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and leading nuclear powers, our partnership has repeatedly proved vital to international peace and security, and will continue to do so far into the future.

For the UK’s part, the close co-operation between our two countries makes clear our commitment to facing up to present-day challenges, including the threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence from Russia’s aggression.

Our deployment of training teams, gifting of non-lethal equipment and our regular participation in reassurance exercises in Eastern Europe demonstrates the strength of that commitment.

Mr Fallon also took the opportunity to reaffirm the UK’s resolve to support the international effort in combating ISIL; having conducted 176 airstrikes in Iraq to date, the UK is the second biggest contributor to the coalition airstrikes after the USA.

In Iraq the UK has provided over 50 tonnes of non lethal support, 40 heavy machine guns and nearly half a million rounds of ammunition to the Iraqi ground forces. British forces have trained 144 Peshmerga fighters on the gifted heavy machine guns and have successfully implemented a training course for Peshmerga fighters on combat infantry skills, including sharp-shooting and first aid.

More recently, the UK has gifted 1,000 surplus counter-IED VALLON detectors to Iraqi Security Forces (incl Kurdish Fighters); and delivered over 300 tonnes of weapons and ammunition on behalf of other coalition nations. The UK also announced it will be sending additional trainers to support Iraqi Security Forces to take on ISIL. 20 trainers will depart later this month to help tackle the growing threat of improvised explosive devices being used by ISIL.

The UK, like the US, has been committed to continuous at-sea deterrence for more than 45 years in order to protect its citizens, and Mr Fallon also spoke about the £285 million pound investment to continue design work for the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.

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