Just a few years ago, Russia and the EU were actively engaged in dialog on a visa-free regime. Sadly, visa matters have taken an entirely differently turn within some ten years. Today, far from discussing abolishing visa requirements for all Russian nationals, some EU nations are considering a prohibition on issuing Schengen visas to Russians.
In early August 2022, the President of Ukraine called upon Western states to close their countries off to Russians, while Ukraine itself is so far abstaining from such steps.
Virtually simultaneously, Estonia’s Prime Minister and several politicians from Lithuania, Latvia, and Finland suggested that the EU stop issuing visas to Russian nationals. Previously, Polish authorities had made a similar proposal.
After Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, several EU states, on various grounds, either restricted the issuance of Schengen and national visas to Russian national, or stopped issuing them altogether, or restricted Russian nationals’ entrance by other means. However, the EU statistics for the year 2019, the one before the COVID pandemic, indicates that the states that suspended issuance of visas in 2022, taken together, issued to Russians no more than 20% of the overall number of Schengen visas back then. At the same time, some EU member states, as part of lifting COVID restrictions, resumed issuing all types of visas to Russians already after February 24, 2022.
Since the EU has a common visa space, unilateral restrictions on visas imposed by some states will not facilitate the desired effect of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions. Therefore, by the end of summer, proponents of greater sanctions pressure on Russia were seen discussing an EU-wide ban on issuing Schengen visas to Russian nationals.
Predictably, Moscow took a very negative view of this idea, while the European Commission and leaders of other EU member states were rather skeptical. Nonetheless, plans envisage discussing this matter at the meeting of the Council of the European Union to be held on August 31, 2022.
National measures for restricting visa issuance and entry
Alongside restricting the issuance of Schengen visas, some EU member states restrict Russian nationals’ entry. For instance, since August 18, 2022, Estonian authorities restricted entry into Estonia for Russian holders of Schengen visas issued by Estonian foreign missions. Polish authorities came up with a rather original way of restricting entry of Russian nationals. In February 2022, while lifting coronavirus-related restrictions, Poland kept in place restrictions for entry via Russian-Polish and Belarusian-Polish borders. Officially, Russian nationals are not prohibited from entering Poland, and they may enter the Republic of Poland via any domestic and foreign borders except for the Russian-Polish and Belarusian-Polish border crossings. Moreover, these are blanket restrictions, since they apply to nationals of any states crossing the border with Russia and Belarus, with the exception of those directly listed in the Order of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Poland. No matter how absurd these restrictions are, they are not technically at odds with either the EU law or international law as they constitute part of anti-COVID measures where states have a broad discretion.
As for Estonia’s decision to prohibit Russian nationals from entering, this directly contravenes the EU law. Article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code establishes conditions for foreign nationals entering the Schengen space on having a travel document (passport), a visa, reason for travel, no alerts issued in the Schengen Information System, and no reasons to believe that a foreign national posits a threat to public policy, internal security, public health, and international relations. If a foreign national meets all conditions of entry, a border guard has no reason to deny entry to such a person. This norm has direct force, and Estonian authorities must comply with it.
Besides, under Article 4 of the Schengen Borders Code, all decisions on applying this code should be made on an individual basis. In other words, authorities cannot classify all Russian nationals as persons positing a threat to public policy. It means that the European Union’s law rules out blanket denial of entry to Russian nationals. It should be mentioned that the concept of “threat to public policy” has been repeatedly explained in the EU in case law and in the Union’s legislation. However, no one has ever propagated the idea of declaring an entire nation a threat to public policy.
As for individual EU member states that suspend the issuance of Schengen and national visas, such actions are dubious as regards compliance with EU law. Technically, the EU’s Community Code on Visas has direct force as it establishes the procedure and conditions for issuing Schengen visas. Any decision to deny a visa must comply with the Code’s requirements and must be well-founded (Article 32). Moreover, national legislation should envisage the possibility of an appeal. When applying the Code on Visas, law enforcement bodies must make decisions on individual basis (Article 1). However, the states that have suspended issuance of visas do not deny visas, they do not accept visa applications. In other words, these states do not conduct activities with a view to issuing Schengen visas to Russians, and the European Union cannot force them to conduct such activities since this issue comes within the purview of national governments.
By stopping issuing visas to all Russian nationals, individual EU member states violate the principles of non-discrimination and of prohibiting collective responsibility while they must comply with these principles as the EU’s members.
Prospects of a Union-wide ban on issuing Schengen visas to Russian nationals
This situation requires considering both legal and political aspects of this initiative.
Technically, the EU law does not provide for such a ban. Under Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, restrictive measures may entail partial or complete suspension or reduction of economic and financial relations with one or several third countries, and also measures against natural and legal persons, groups, or non-State entities. Individual sanctions may envisage visa restrictions, yet the Union’s law does not grant the EU the option on introducing a blanket visa restriction against all nationals of a certain state. The Community Code on Visas does not contain such provisions either. Under the Code on Visas (Article 25a), the Council may, acting upon the Commission’s proposal, make the decision to toughen visa regime for nationals of states that refuse to cooperate in the field of readmission, i.e. states that posit a high risk of immigration. According to the EU’s own data, Russia is not a state with a high immigration risk. In accordance with the EU’s official statistics, Russian nationals lately have been issued the highest number of Schengen visas with the highest percentage of multi-entry visas and they also have one of the lowest percentages of visa refusals.
Additionally, a prohibition on issuing visas to all nationals of a certain state contravenes such core principles of modern democratic society as non-discrimination and prohibition on collective responsibility. For, should a prohibition on issuing visas to all Russian nationals be introduced, it may be qualified as punishment imposed on all persons without account for each citizen’s role and guilt, and international law prohibits collective responsibility. A blanket prohibition on issuing visas may also be qualified as discrimination on the basis of nationality which is prohibited by international law and the EU’s law. This is why the history of European integration has known no such prohibitions up to this day.
As regards the political aspect of this initiative, this step will be counterproductive in any case.
Under the guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU common foreign and security policy, the EU adheres to the targeted measures principle. The point of this approach is that sanctions’ greatest effect should be aimed directly against decision-makers and persons with connections to decision-makers, and should have minimal effect on the country’s general population. If a prohibition on issuing visas is introduced, it will primarily affect regular citizens and specifically that part of the population that is to some degree connected with EU states and is fairly sympathetic to them. Supporters of visa restrictions against Russian nationals believe that prohibition on entering the EU will cause the population to become discontented with Russia’s political leadership. This prohibition, however, is more likely to induce negative attitude toward EU authorities, which will certainly be conducive to a greater escalation of tensions between the parties.
Unfortunately, even though this initiative is irrational and has no legal grounds, the possibility of this decision being adopted cannot be ruled out since the anti-Russian sanctions policy—as currently implemented—shows that the EU has repeatedly taken steps that contravene both international law and the law of the Union itself.
At the same time, the EU is fairly unlikely to adopt a Union-wide ban on issuing Schengen visas to Russian nationals. As of today, only a small group of EU member states is sternly advocating this initiative, while this decision requires consent of all EU states (Articles 24, 29 of the Treaty on the European Union) and approval of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) since they are the two parties that will need to jointly draft the restriction bill. An initiative proposed by member states remains merely an initiative until the Commission and the High Representative shape it into a bill.
So far, the European Commission is evidently in no hurry to endorse such a radical step. Besides, many EU member states are not willing to sever relations with Russia and its nationals; and some do not wish to lose Russian tourists to accommodate someone else’s ambitions. Adopting such an EU-wide ban will become a very disturbing precedent that evidences the Union’s moving away from the fundamental principles of the European integration.
From our partner RIAC
The Eurasian Zeitenwende: Germany and Japan at the Crossroads
Russia’s decision to invade in Ukraine in February of last year has been nothing short of a critical juncture in recent history—sending reverberations across the entirety of Eurasia. Seldom have events on one end of the continent been so consequential on the other. Russia’s invasion has shattered the prime directive underpinning the long peace after the Great Wars—the inviolable right to sovereignty has been shattered, as mass armed aggression has reared its head once again. Nowhere is this sweeping change felt than in Berlin and Tokyo—to capitals separated by over 12,453 kilometers of land and sea.
German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz spoke to the Bundestag just three days after Russia’s invasion, on the ‘historic turning point’, the Zeitenwende this moment presented. Not a year later, on December 16, after much negotiation Japan finally released their first National Security Strategy in almost a decade. Ukraine provided for both governments the impetus to shed decades of consensus on defense policy. Berlin and Tokyo were once partners in the greatest conflict wrought on mankind, and today they are once again on the same page—but this time arming in the name of global peace.
The postwar consensus
With 1945 came the crashing down of the German and Japanese imperial ambitions that underwrote the explosions of violence from 1914 to 1945. The first half of the twentieth century saw successive orders predicated the passing of power; the imperialist order long preceded the turn of the century, and came crashing with the First World War. From there, a brief liberal interlude of the Washington Conference was doomed to fail given Anglo-American isolationism, and from that chaos was born—a return to imperialism. With these passing orders, German and Japanese leaders debated and sought to reinvent themselves in response to changing tides across the globe.
In fact, twice in the last century, during Twenty-five Years Crisis, Wilhelmine and Nazi imperialism exploded in the European theater. For the Japanese, a slow roll to imperial domination in Asia began much before the war and exploded in the 1930s. This imperial flame was extinguished almost as soon as it was ignited—bringing with it the deaths of millions through genocide and war, and the destruction of much of the world’s industrial capacity. In the wake of it, a similar thinking overtook both Berlin and Tokyo. In the wake of the horrors of war, both peoples came to a similar conclusion that militarism ought be eschewed—with Japan going as far as enshrining its anti-militarist urge in the constitution’s article 9. Though it must be noted, the Germans accepted their guilt—the Japanese continue to engage in denialism and apologia.
For decades, under the guise of guilt in Germany, and occupation-enforced constitutional limits for Japan, both countries eschewed providing for their own national defense needs—instead relying on the all-powerful U.S. security guarantee.
A new look in a new environment
This change that has occurred here has happened within the context of what Dr. Kent Calder described in The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Geopolitics, and Supercontinent: the Logic of Eurasian Integration, as ‘proto-continentalism’—the modern stirrings of transcontinental integration. The continent was transformed by China’s Four Modernizations, the Oil Shock, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union—all requiring readjustments on the continent. Continental integration followed the integration and modernization within China, the Oil Shock highlighted the need for energy-driven interconnection, and the collapse of the Soviet Union meant no more Cold War political antagonisms. These changes meant that there were suddenly lower costs for trade across the continent—one rife with great complementaries. Like some geographic providence, the world’s largest energy producers in the Middle East, sat between the world’s biggest consumers in Europe and Asia.
Of course, this integration isn’t just relegated to the economic realm—but also the defense sector. Whereas integration was predicated by the near-collapse of mass interstate conflict, the War in Ukraine would seem to threaten just that. But in fact, integration ensures the costs associated with this conflict are felt from one end of the continent to the other. This inherently ties the most far-flung countries on matters of defense—exactly what ties Berlin and Tokyo, and their similar responses to the war in Ukraine. This integration doesn’t just tie Berlin and Tokyo, but also Seoul and Warsaw, both of which have seen deepened defense cooperation not limited to the production of South Korean tanks and artillery in Poland. Furthermore, Japan has sought out increased cooperation with NATO.
The mutually-reinforcing loop
Russia’s invasion has been an unmitigated tragedy for the people of Ukraine—but a boon for solidarity in the ‘Western’ security architecture, including the West’s numerous Asian allies and partners, and Eurasian integration writ large. In fact, the mutual economic ties that have fostered closer defense ties across the region, will continue to reinforce each other. Integration between these partners, across various sectors is the greatest mitigator of future conflict—an idea that underpins the great postwar peace, and one that will continue to endure.
Today, Germany and Japan, once imperial menaces to the international system, now make a proactive contribution to global peace—in deciding to behave like normal countries, and arm amidst a threatening global environment. Their contribution to the peace is in the solidification of transcontinental defense ties—ones predicated on deep economic integration.
Bangladesh-UK strategic dialogue: Significance in the post-Brexit era
On September 12th, Bangladesh and the UK held their fifth strategic dialogue. The future of Bangladesh’s ties to the United Kingdom in the wake of Brexit has been the subject of much conjecture. Analysts questioned Dhaka’s duty-free access to Britain, which has been generous to an LDC economy like Bangladesh’s, as the UK prepared for its exit from the EU. However, the United Kingdom and Bangladesh have weathered these worries quite well. Rather, the statement by FCDO Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Philip Barton during the dialogue, sums up the strength of Bangladesh-UK relations in current times- “The Dialogue is a reflection of the growing relationship between our two countries, and our desire to work together more closely on our economic, trade and development partnerships and on regional and global security issues.”
Dhaka and London are having a great year on cooperation and connectivity. In the post Brexit era, the year 2023 seems like to be the year that will shift the ties between these countries from a bilateral partnership to each other’s crucial strategic partner in the current geo-politics.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to participate in the formal inauguration of the new King Charles III of the United Kingdom earlier this year. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had only good things to say about Bangladesh during the visit. This is also reflected in London’s post-pandemic approach to Dhaka.
Bangladesh-UK held their first ever defense dialogue in March of 2022 where they discussed various ways of strengthening cooperation including defense, security and trade and climate change. This year started with the second Bangladesh-UK Trade and Investment Dialogue on February. Both the UK and Bangladesh agreed during the discussion that they would want to enhance their trade connection in order to increase their prosperity. This discussion was followed by signing an agreement on March for working together in climate action bilaterally and multilaterally to help deliver the outcomes of COP26 and COP27.
UK’s Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan signed the doctrine during her visit to Bangladesh which also signifies UK’s understanding of Bangladesh’s geostrategic importance in the Bay of Bengal and in the Indian Ocean.
So, this dialogue was surely a much anticipated one among the foreign ministries of these countries.
The provisional agenda included the state visit of President Mohammed Shahabuddin to the United Kingdom in November and the possible visit of British King Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George) to Bangladesh in 2024. Other than that bilateral trade, investment, and market opportunities; migration, mobility and a new visa scheme for students are expected to be at the top of the agenda. Discussions on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Rohingya crisis will also be featured.
The more complex agendas this year include discussions on mutual legal assistance and the extradition of convicted persons.
But Bangladesh has failed to gain an extradition treaty with UK. Although both countries agreed to constitute a joint working group to discuss migration, mobility and mutual recognition of qualifications, and agreed to sign a standard operating procedure (SOP) on returns of Bangladesh nationals in irregular situations in the UK.
The discussions regarding extradition issues if was fruitful, it might have helped the government to bring fugitives to national justice finally. Except this, the strategic dialogues between these countries in recent years have usually brought deep discussions and decisions on bilateral issues.
On the first of this strategic dialogue was in 2017, the issue of defense purchase was discussed- a much needed ground setting for the Forces Goals 2030 of Bangladesh. On the last edition of this dialogue, held in London back in 2021, the UK pledge to extend duty-free, quota-free access to its market until 2029, aiming to facilitate Bangladesh’s export-led growth.
Not only that, UK also added Bangladesh’s name to the list of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) where the country will experience a more simplified regulation system and reduced tariffs on its products entering the UK. This only adds to UK’s commitment towards Bangladesh’s development – where the country is already one of the biggest developing partners of Bangladesh.
UK’s such generosity towards Bangladesh isn’t only because of the benevolence of its heart. The country is now out of the shell of EU, certainly has to widen its reach across other regions. Indo-Pacific is its preferred place to start.
Bangladesh’s geostrategic location between China and the Indian Ocean with its advantage of having a gate way to Southeast Asia makes Bangladesh seemingly the perfect candidate for UK’s strategic interests. Both countries have also announced their Indo-pacific policies which focuses mainly on their economic aspirations. With such resonating goals for the region, the countries can definitely build a bigger stage of collaboration with each other.
The countries used this occasion as the pinnacle of their further economic cooperation as Bangladesh and the UK have agreed to create new institutional cooperation to promote business, trade, investment and are considering signing a new MoU on economic cooperation. They also discussed potential increase of cooperation and capacity building on global and regional security issues of mutual interest, including maritime and blue economy goals in the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.
The UK also announced a further £3m contribution to the Rohingya response, taking its total contribution since 2017 to £368m.
Another important discussion was on defense and cooperation where UK expressed its interest in selling advanced weapons to Bangladesh for protecting its air and maritime territory.
UK already recognizes Bangladesh as a critical stability provider in the Indo-Pacific and as both the countries have played their cards right, one could argue that bilateral ties are stronger than ever before. The dialogue has served as a further golden thread binding their visionary future together.
Greece-UAE Relations through a Personal Lens
Bilateral relations between two countries are cultivated over time through shared values, partnerships, as well as common strategic interests and concerns. This is the case between UAE and Greece, as described below as per my personal experience.
As part of the bilateral military cooperation, the F-16s of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) came to Crete and trained with the Greek crews in the operational environment of the Eastern Mediterranean. Emirates aircraft have also frequently flied from Greece during operations in Libya.
Any strategic analyst, in order to study, understand and then successfully analyse the complex issues of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, should have visited the countries in the region and should have exchanged views with their citizens and experts.
I visited the UAE as a member of the Greek delegation of the Ministry of Defence, but also, I was member of the team hosting the UAE military delegations in Greece, for the signing of the annual bilateral military cooperation programs.
The First Official Experience.
The first official visit to the UAE was my participation, as a representative of the Greek Ministry of National Defence, in IDEX-2001 (International Defence Exhibition & Conference). The entire event was held under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The hospitality was excellent with accommodation at the Abu Dhabi Officers Club which is an impressive building with a bat-shaped architectural design, with hydro-cultures in the inner corridors and wonderful gardens in the surrounding area.
At my disposal was a luxurious white car with the Greek flag on the windshield and an officer of the Emirates Air Force as my escort. This officer had studied for ten years in the United States, attending professional development Training Schools. He was an outstanding professional with military training and strategic thinking.
During a break in the scheduled activities of the Exhibition, the attendant offered to give me a “surprise” as he called it and show me something that connects the UAE and Greece. I accepted the challenge. We visited a small harbour in the north, where colourful boats from Iran were moored. Merchandise was spread out on the dock and on the boats, creating a great bazaar like a flea market. The strange thing was that around this peculiar bazaar there were iron bars and a strong police presence.
My escort explained: “we have serious problems with Iran, but we wish to maintain good relations with Iranian citizens through trade. For this reason, we allow this trade bazaar to be organized at regular intervals”.
Relations between UAE and Greece
“What does this “bazaar” have to do with Greece?” I asked, and my escort explained: “Iran claims islands of the UAE and has taken a military operation on Abu Musa Island where there are oil wells, as well as on the Little and the Great Tunb islets. These are near the entrance to the Gulf, inside from the Straits of Hormuz. Due to the depth of the sea, large ships must pass between Abu-Musa and Tunb, giving to these occupied islands great geostrategic importance, that Iran has been exploiting since their military occupation.
The UAE has submitted a formal proposal to the UN for a negotiated settlement of the disputes with the goal of a final settlement at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), based on International Law. On the contrary, Iran has militarized the dispute by occupying the islands with military forces. The Iranians do not accept the validity of International Law for these islands, because as they believe, historically they once belonged to the Persian Empire and were occupied by the British, who then handed them over to the UAE under an international treaty.” Iranians do not respect this International Treaty.
Concluding, my escort mentioned that the tension in the relations between the UAE and Iran resembles the corresponding relations between Greece and Turkey, especially after the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus. “Our staff monitors and analyses the way Greece deals with Turkey’s aggression, both diplomatically and militarily, and draws useful conclusions that we apply in our relations with Iran. This is our unique strategic relationship with Greece,” he told me.
Turkish Ministry of Defence Industry
Within the framework of the IDEX Exhibition, the Turkish Deputy Minister of Defence Industry invited all participants to a reception at one of the luxury hotels in the area. After proper advice from Greek Ambassador Zoes, I accepted the invitation. On the evening of the reception, I approached the Turkish Deputy Minister for the formal reception. The “allied” official offered me the emblem of his Deputy Ministry saying: “I want you to have as a gift from me the emblem that symbolizes the development efforts of the Turkish Defence Industry. We plan to be self-sufficient in the production of weapons systems in a decade.”
The emblem was a red glass ladybug with a large eye on her right spine. I thanked him and walked away to my companion who witnessed the brief conversation and commented, “the Turks are making a very strong presence at this IDEX. They are trying to secure Arab funds for the development of their Defence Industry.” In a period of about ten years, they managed to gain access to Arab funds from Qatar, while in 2013, in their favourite tactic, they managed to establish a military installation in Doha.
For the Hellenic Aviation Industry (HAI)
In the year 2009, I visited the UAE once more time as member of a delegation of the Directorate of International Relations of the Ministry of Defence/National Defence HQ. One of the topics discussed was related to the Hellenic Aviation Industry (HAI). The ground technical personnel of the UAE Air Force were trained in the past at the Hellenic Aviation Industry (HAI) in Greece. The UAE officers resided in the town of Chalkida about 80 Km north of Athens, contributing to a certain extent to the economic life of the town. I had been informed by Chalkidian friends that the Emirati military were very friendly and were beloved by the locals.
The training of the UAE Air Force Staff was halted after an unfortunate moment of misunderstanding occurred by the representatives of the Police and Diplomatic Authorities of Greece at the expense of the Sheikh when his aircraft made an unplanned landing at the Hellenikon International Airport of Athens on March 2000.
Being in the UAE, I requested to meet with Colonel Mohammed who was the head of the last group of UAE technicians trained at the HAI. In the context of traditional Arab hospitality, the Colonel offered a working dinner. During the discussion, he mentioned the pleasant memories he had from his stay in Chalkida, but also the professionalism with which HAI organized the training of the technicians he supervised. Of course, the decision to resume technical training was far away from the jurisdiction of the Colonel, but he promised to work to support the resumption of bilateral cooperation between Greece and the UAE for the training of UAE Air Force technicians in Greece.
Finally, after ten years, the efforts succeeded and in 2019, an Agreement was signed to restart training of UAE AirForce technicians in HAI.
The Last Official Visit to UAE.
In November 2011, I visited the UAE once again, as representative of the Hellenic Ministry of Defence. During this visit, an extremely important event happened, precisely on the day of the opening of the Airshow and specifically during the day of the official reception. All the guests formed a line in front of the host Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The protocol of introduction and greeting was a formal process that unfolded in a calm and repetitive pattern.
When I approached the Sheikh and presented myself as representing the Greek Ministry of National Defence, something spectacular happened. Putting formalities aside, the Sheikh grabbed me by the shoulders and with genuine interest asked me: “How is Greece dealing with the economic crisis?” Will she be able to overcome it?” Impressed by the Sheikh’s reaction, I replied: “Your Highness, those of us who love Greece will help it deal with whatever economic problems the recent international crisis creates.” “Yes, indeed this is what we have to do” he replied.
After the reception was over, I headed to the exit of the hall in order to watch an aerobatic demonstration. Suddenly I felt a light tap on the shoulder. Turning I saw a gentleman in a grey suit, who politely asked me: “Excuse me, do you know the Sheikh personally? Because this appeared from your conversation. I replied that it was the first time I had ever met him in person, but we were connected by our common interest in the economic future of Greece. The gentleman nodded and handed me his card. He was the Defence Minister of India.
Thoughts and Conclusion.
The strategic threat faced by the UAE from Iran is like the strategic threat faced by Greece from Turkey. To counter this threat, the National Defence Policy that is formulated in both friendly countries is almost identical. On this basis, it is possible to develop relationships that are not temporary and situational, but a strategic cooperation that will be strong due to mutual understanding and mutual respect.
The development of the Greek Defence Industry is suffering due to the lack of vision, political determination, and long-term strategic planning. There is great opportunity for collaboration between the UAE and Greece on the field of Defence Industry. In contrast, the competitive Turkish Defence Industry, despite its structural problems, managed in a single decade, after succeeding to receive Arab funds from Qatar, not only to develop and cover much of the needs of the Turkish armed forces but also to export defence systems.
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