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In today’s news from the capitals:
Some of the best Russian bankers received Bulgarian “golden passports”, although there is no evidence that they are making the actual investments required in the poorest EU member state, as required by the conditions of the scheme. Read more.
Scholz travels to Kiev, Moscow in an effort to prevent war in Europe. As tensions in Ukraine reach a critical stage, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kyiv and Moscow on Monday and Tuesday (February 14-15) to prevent the outbreak of war and bring Russia back to the table. negotiations. Read more.
The French “freedom convoys” are now heading for Brussels. After self-proclaimed “freedom convoys” protested against COVID-19 measures and the passage of the vaccine in Paris and across the country on Saturday, some of them have now decided to continue the protest in Brussels. Read more.
Austria will organize a conference on the faster repatriation of migrants. The Austrian government will organize a conference bringing together 23 countries to speed up the repatriation of illegal migrants, ensure stricter controls at the EU’s external borders and help the Balkan countries to operationalize repatriations. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Ireland will define the COVID restrictions of the future. Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet soon to discuss the management of COVID-19 going forward, weeks after most restrictions have been lifted. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
The September elections in Sweden are still too close to be called. A new poll suggests that a right-wing government could come to power after the upcoming Swedish elections in September. But a fragmented political map makes predictions difficult. Read more.
The Russian ambassador issues a strong warning against Sweden joining NATO. Viktor Tatarintsev, Russia’s ambassador to Sweden, sounded the strongest warning to date against Sweden’s possible NATO membership in an interview with the Aftonbladet newspaper on Sunday. There is no way for Russia to agree to Sweden joining NATO under the current circumstances, he told the newspaper.
According to Tatarintsev, Russia would not have been against Swedish membership had it not been for the recent provocations from the United States and NATO. Tatarintsev also dismissed the threat of possible sanctions: “Forgive my language, but we don’t give a damn about sanctions. The interview also included a threat. “The more pressure the West exerts, the stronger the Russian counter-reaction will be.” (Pekka Vantinen | EURACTIV.com)
Danish FM disappointed by diplomatic appeals, urges Danes to leave Ukraine. Danish citizens should leave Ukraine, says ForForeign Minister Jeppe Kofod in an interview with Danske Radio on Saturday, adding that he was disappointed with the outcome of the phone call between the Russian, French and US presidents. Read more.
The Cypriot minister blames Turkey for the ’emergency’ migration. The tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus has an outsized problem of irregular migration, says the interior minister of the EU member state closest to the Middle East. “For us, it’s a state of emergency,” Nicos Nouris told AFP, adding that 4.6% of the country’s population are now asylum seekers or beneficiaries of protection, the highest rate. EU high. Read more.
Double standards of the Commission with Turkey and China. The EU reacted immediately to China’s discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania. However, in the case of the EU-Turkey customs union agreement, the European Commission still remains “passive”, writes Costas Mavrides. Read more.
The Spanish regional elections lead the far-right party to record results. Vox, Spain’s far-right party, achieved record results after yesterday’s regional elections in Castile and León, making Santiago Abascal’s party a key player in the Partido Popular to form a government. Read more.
The Italian Foreign Ministry is urging non-essential personnel to leave Ukraine. On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry urged around 2,000 Italians working as non-essential staff in Ukraine to return to Italy as soon as possible. Read more.
The Slovak opposition parties publish a list of “traitors”. After the meeting of the Slovak parliament last week, several members of the opposition targeted MPs who supported the defense agreement between the United States and Slovakia by posting a so-called “list of traitors”. The deal was approved with 79 votes. Read more.
Poland is preparing for a massive influx of Ukrainian refugees. the The Polish government has mobilized local governments to list buildings that could serve as temporary refugee camps amid fears of an influx of Ukrainian refugees as the situation with Russia continues to deteriorate. Read more.
Babis re-elected as head of the Czech liberals, is considering a presidential candidacy. Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was re-elected chairman of the ANO party despite his defeat in the October elections. Read more.
The government denies that Orban hinted at Hungary’s exit from the EU. The government’s international spokesperson on Sunday criticized a German news agency for reporting that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had mentioned Hungary’s withdrawal from the EU in his annual speech. Read more.
The EU is preparing sanctions against Dodik. EU debates sanctions against Republika Srpska regime in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bloomberg reported. The agency saw documents prepared for the meeting of EU foreign ministers later this month, which included restrictive measures, asset freezes and travel bans. Read more.
Romania’s inflation rate in 2022 is expected to be the highest since joining the EU, according to the central bank. Consumer prices will continue to rise in the coming months, with inflation expected to be the highest since the country joined the EU in 2007, surpassing the highest record ever set in 2021. Read more .
Jansa announces trip to Ukraine after expressing support for territorial integrity. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša announced that he would visit Ukraine by the end of the month after expressing Slovenia’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal. Read more.
Speaker of the Serbian Parliament: A possible EU boycott against the Serbian state is unreasonable. Foreigners have no right to interfere in Serbia’s internal affairs, parliament speaker Ivica Dačić says, commenting on reports that ambassadors from EU member countries will not attend celebrations of the State of Serbia Day because the member of the Bosnian Presidency Milorad Dodik would be present. Guests would still be welcome, Dačić added. Read more.
The President of North Macedonia takes a bullied girl to school. President Stevo Pendarovski walked an 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome to school after hearing she was being bullied. Read more.
The state of democracy in Albania is slightly improving. Albania ranked 68th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Democracy Index for 2021, marking a slight improvement from its 2020 ranking of 71. Learn more.
- EU: European Commission President von der Leyen meets Colombian President Duque / European Parliament Plenary / ECB President Lagarde addresses the European Parliament on the bank’s 2020 report / Commission Vice-President Jourova s’ talks with US Secretary of Commerce Raimondo / European Commission Africa-Europe Week.
- France: European trade ministers meet in Marseilles, European labor, employment and social affairs ministers meet in Bordeaux.
- Germany: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits Kiev, meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
- Belgium: The European freedom convoy pass and warrant against the Covid vaccine should arrive.
- Finland: Covid restrictions on alcohol sales, cultural and sporting events have been eased.
- Spain: The official results will be published after Sunday’s elections in the Castilla y León region.
- Cyprus: First visit of the Speaker of the British House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
- Croatia: Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković and Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure of Kosovo Liburn Aliu discuss cooperation between the two countries in transport air and rail.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]