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Defence and security

A continent's preparations for a world of challenges
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Europe's defence structure is taking shape. The EU in December 2017 launched a "permanent structured cooperation" on defence agreement (PESCO) across 25 countries to stimulate the development of military projects and the design of common defence equipment. As the United Kingdom and its powerful army prepare to leave the EU, new challenges to the security of the continent are emerging with the Islamist threat, growing tensions with Russia and pressure from migration. With this new common defence structure, will European countries redefine their relations with NATO? Will the EU live up to these new challenges?
A Ukrainian recruit holds a Javelin anti-tank weapon during a five-week combat training course with UK armed forces near Durrington, southern England on October 11, 2022. Photo: Daniel Leal / AFP
A Ukrainian recruit holds a Javelin anti... […]

Arms for Ukraine: US pulls ahead, Europe slows

Dozens of countries have supplied military support to Ukraine since Russia invaded it on February 24, but new pledges of support from European countries have tapered off, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy notes
Vehicles coming from Russia queue at the Vaalimaa check point, Finland, on the border with the Russian Federation on September 28, 2022. Photo: Alessandro Rampazzo / AFP
Vehicles coming from Russia queue at the... […]

Europe faces dilemma on Russians fleeing Putin’s draft

The European Union is facing a tough balancing act over how to deal with Russians fleeing military mobilisation, as some countries look to block entry and others offer possible refuge
Tourists gather on a bridge overlooking a dam on the Vuoksi river, near the Imatra Rapids in Imatra, Finland, on August 12, 2022. Photo: Alessandro Rampazzo / AFP
Tourists gather on a bridge overlooking ... […]

Russian tourists to Finland greeted with Ukrainian anthem

A crowd including Russian tourists gathers in the Finnish town of Imatra as water rushes from a dam to the sound of music. But since the end of July, the show has begun with Ukraine's national anthem.
A view of the centre of Kaliningrad, the largest city in the Russian exclave of the same name, pictured during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament on June 21, 2018. Photo: Patrick Hertzog / AFP
A view of the centre of Kaliningrad, the... […]

Kaliningrad: Russian outpost in the heart of Europe

Situated some 1,000 miles from Moscow, the Russian outpost of Kaliningrad has been drawn into the war in Ukraine, after Lithuania said it would no longer act as a conduit for sanctioned goods arriving in the territory from the motherland
Smoke rises after explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early on June 5, 2022. Photo: Sergei Supinsky / AFP
Smoke rises after explosions hit the Ukr... […]

War, hunger, Covid-19 cast gloomy shadow over Europe

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the list of Europe's woes keeps growing as it battles rising food and energy prices and continued disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
Despite Hungarian government claims of providing for hundreds of thousands of refugees, only an estimated 10 to 20% of Ukrainians stay more than a few days, relief organisations say. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek / AFP
Despite Hungarian government claims of p... […]

Hungary’s neutral war stance puts off Ukraine refugees

Like Kristina Novytska, most Ukrainian refugees in Hungary are keen to leave the country, whose nationalist leader's neutral stance on the war is an exception in the EU
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