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Uniting democracies has been the key international political trend of the last hundred years. Understanding this trend and enabling it to continue is the key to world political development.

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Streit Council Advisory Board Member Stanley R. Sloan on "Rebuilding Washington's Transatlantic Alliance"
In an article for the National Interest, Stanley R. Sloan argues that the next president of the United States will need to rebuild the transatlantic relationship to address threats to Western security and fundamental values. In Ukraine, NATO and the EU need to support the reform of the country's political and economic system while holding off on the provision of lethal arms. To ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS, Western allies should engage Middle Eastern states and the broader international community to stabilize and govern retaken territory. While the next president must remember that the Russian agenda often runs contrary to that of the U.S., cooperation on managing strategic arms, promoting a peaceful end to the Syria conflict, counterterrorism and other issues is in America's interest. Click here for the full article.

New Book by Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode
In Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers, historian Kenneth Weisbrode asserts that Old Diplomacyis not really that old—many of its concepts and methods date to the mid-nineteenth century—while the practices of New Diplomacy emerged only a couple of generations later. Moreover, "Diplomacy 2.0" and other variants of the post-Cold War era do not depart significantly from their twentieth-century predecessor: their forms, particularly in technology, have changed, but their substance has not. In this succinct overview, Weisbrode reminds us that to understand diplomatic transformations and their relevance to international affairs is to see diplomacy as an entrepreneurial art—and that, like most arts, it is adapted and re-adapted with reference to earlier forms. Diplomatic practice is always changing, and always continuous. To read more about this book, click here.

Kenneth Weisbrode, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University, Turkey and has written and edited several books, including Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers; Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI; and The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Toynbee Prize Foundation's Network for the New Diplomatic History, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.

New Book by Streit Council Board Member Richard Rosecrance

In The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Richard Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. A U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength. Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order. To read more about this book, click here.


At the Washington D.C. Summit on Cross Continental Cooperation,held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from November 4-7, Streit Council President Richard Conn Henry reviewed the history of the Streit Council, starting with Clarence K. Streit's self-publication of Union Now just prior to World War II, and continuing with the passing of the Atlantic Union Resolution in 1964. Henry also expounded his idea on a possible Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, if adopted, would lead to a federal union with the European Union. His proposal can be found here.

Brendan Simms, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is a Professor of the History of European International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the think tank Project on Democratic Union, which supports a full political union of the Eurozone. He also founded and is the President of the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank dedicated to fostering a strong British and European commitment to liberty; constitutional democracy; human rights; governmental and institutional reform; a robust foreign, security, and defense policy; and the transatlantic alliance. His publications include Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire 1714-1783 (2008) and Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (2001).

Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News

Brexit Won’t Affect UK’s Membership of NATO
24 June 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the British exit from the European Union will not change the UK's role in the military alliance. Stoltenberg stated that the Brexit means NATO is more important than ever as a platform for European cooperation, and that the UK will remain "a strong and committed NATO ally."
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Indonesia president visits islands on warship, makes point to China
23 June 2016 – Reuters
Indonesian President Joko Widodo held a cabinet meeting on a warship near the Natuna Islands in the contested waters of the South China Sea. The move comes after China voiced an "overlapping claim" on nearby waters, and Widodo called for new military patrols in the area after a series of confrontations between Indonesian and Chinese vessels.
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Britain votes to leave EU; Cameron plans to step down
23 June 2016 – New York Times
In a historic turn of events, Britain voted to leave the European Union. Shortly after the vote was declared, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he will be stepping down by October. Cameron stated that while he will continue to work on stabilizing the country in the coming months, he felt that Britain is in need of leadership “committed to carrying out the will of the people.”
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Former U.S. Defense Officials Warn Of Russian Response to NATO Summit
23 June 2016 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
NATO deployments to the alliance's eastern flank and Russian troop movements are heightening the risk of an accidental outbreak of conflict, according to a former top U.S. Defense official. Ian Brzezinski, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO, was joined by another former defense official in warning that Russia may choose to increase tensions if NATO leaders endorse the deployment of multinational battalions to Poland and the Baltics at the alliance's summit in Warsaw next month.
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World watches as Britons vote on EU membership after tight campaign
23 June 2016 – Reuters
Voting on the choice for the United Kingdom to stay or depart from the European Union began on Thursday and is currently ongoing. Polls collected a few days before the vote found that while “remain” was in the lead, the referendum is too close to call. The vote will close at 2100, and the final result is expected to be announced around 0100 and 0300 on Friday.
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Lithuania Loses Billion Dollar Appeal Against Gazprom
23 June 2016 – Forbes
A ruling by the Stockholm Arbitration Court on late Wednesday determined that Gazprom does not owe Lithuania money for allegedly overcharging the nation for gas supplies between 2004-2012. Lithuania sought more than $1.6 billion for a settlement, which would have amounted to more than 10% of Gazprom’s 2016 earnings. Gazprom’s finances have taken a beating in the last two years following American and EU sanctions, low oil and gas prices, and continued EU resistance to further Gazprom-led pipelines and projects.
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The Latest: Hungary, Austria want joint EU border defense
23 June 2016 – The Washington Post
Hungary and Austria stated that the joint protection of the EU's external borders is necessary for a solution to the migration crisis while maintaining passport-free travel in the bloc. Hungarian and Austrian foreign ministers said that the countries agree refugees coming to the EU should apply for asylum before they enter, following a meeting on Thursday.
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Exclusive: NATO chief says UK staying in the EU is key to fighting terrorism
22 June 2016 – The Guardian
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that Britain's role in Europe is critical for combating terrorism and illegal mass migration, ahead of the UK's referendum on EU membership. Stoltenberg, interviewed at NATO headquarters, added that a fragmented Europe would increase instability in the region.
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Merkel says NATO must be strengthened
22 June 2016 – Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasized Germany's commitment to strengthening NATO's eastern flank following a warning by Germany's prime minister against escalating tensions with Russia by "saber-rattling." Merkel stated that Germany would continue to seek regular dialogue with Moscow, but that "new threats" confronted by Europe require Germany to strengthen both its own military and the NATO alliance.
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EU calls for free passage through South China Sea
22 June 2016 – Reuters
The European Commission has said that countries must have freedom of navigation in the South China Sea - the body's first diplomatic warning to China after Chinese jets intercepted a U.S. military plane in the region last month. Though the Commission did not directly criticize Beijing, it stated in a new policy document that it opposes "unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tension."
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Israel opens NATO mission as relations with Turkey thaw
22 June 2016 – Deutsche Welle
Israel is due to open a NATO mission at the alliance's headquarters, seeking closer cooperation which has until now been blocked by Turkey, a NATO member. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the mission would increase cooperation between NATO and Israel, as well as the alliance's Mediterranean Dialogue partners, bringing together Israel and Arab nations without formal relations with the state.
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Putin says Russia must strengthen as “aggressive” NATO approaches
22 June 2016 – Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for Russia to increase combat readiness due to "aggressive actions" by NATO near Russia's borders. Putin admonished NATO's unwillingness to create "a modern, non-bloc collective security system" that includes Russia, stressing Russian "readiness for dialogue" during an address to parliament on the 75th anniversary of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union.
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Putin Heads to China to Cement Ties, but Obstacles Remain
22 June 2016 – ABC News
Russia and China have hailed a growing "strategic partnership" preceding Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing this week. The two have renewed a push to foster relations following EU sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, but Russia-China trade recently experienced a steep decline with little implementation of planned projects.
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WTO cautions against rising protectionism among G20 economies
22 June 2016 – The Economic Times
In a report released by the WTO, the G20 economies have applied the highest number of trade-restrictive measures per month since the beginning of the report’s monitoring in 2009. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo expressed worry about this trend, adding that the trade-restrictive measures along with anti-trade rhetoric could have “a further chilling effect on trade flows.”
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EDA releases spending data from member countries
21 June 2016 – IHS Jane’s
The European Defence Agency (EDA) released a report on defense expenditures by EU members. The report shows that the then 27-country bloc increased defense spending overall by 2.6% from 2014 to 2015, with 6 members decreasing, 20 increasing, and 1 static. Lithuania showed the greatest increase of 32.1%, followed by Poland at 22.2%.
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Final Brexit appeals made as “leave” edges ahead in two polls
22 June 2016 – Bloomberg
One day prior to the British referendum on EU membership, two polls show the “leave” camp ahead. The shift comes as leaders on the continent warn that a British departure would be permanent, and that there would be no access to the Single Market or a renegotiation of membership.  The final results of the referendum are expected by early Friday morning.
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Eastern Europe needs permanent NATO troops, say ex-US policymakers
21 June 2016 – The Guardian
Two former U.S. policymakers called for permanent NATO air, sea, and ground troops to be based in Eastern Europe to deter and guard against potential aggressive moves by Russia. Nicholas Burns, the former U.S. ambassador to the alliance, and General James Jones, the former supreme allied commander for Europe, called for force buildup in a report for the Atlantic Council think tank. The two former officials argue for NATO deployments to become permanent "as long as Russia maintains its aggressive posture."
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EU’s Climate Change Targets Tough to Meet Without the UK
21 June 2016 – ABC News
Should the UK vote to leave the EU this Thursday, the EU may find it difficult to meet its ambitious goals for mitigating climate change. The EU pledged last year to reduce total emissions by 40% by 2030 with a series of legally binding regulations. The UK has been one of the leaders in the bloc for emissions reductions since 1990. Total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK fell by about 34% between 1990 and 2014. Without the UK, meeting the target of 40% may not be feasible.
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U.S. navy chief hopes carriers deter East Asia destabilization
20 June 2016 – Reuters
The deployment of two aircraft carriers on a training mission in East Asia will serve as deterrence for attempts to destabilize the region, according to a U.S. Navy chief. Two U.S. carriers have started joint operations in waters east of the Philippines ahead of a ruling by the international court in the Hague regarding Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, where tensions have risen.
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Putin Seeks To Include China, India, Iran in Fledgling Eurasian Union
20 June 2016 – Forbes
Russia's President Vladimir Putin seeks to include China in its Eurasian Economic Union, with India, Iran, and Pakistan also being considered. Putin proposed the partnership during the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and negotiations with China will commence later this month.
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Cracks emerge in the European consensus on Russia
20 June 2016 – Reuters
Unity in Europe regarding the positions of the EU and NATO towards Russia is waning, according to analysts, with some German and European officials considering a more conciliatory approach in Russia policy. The divide has become particularly present in German domestic politics, with Social Democrats splitting from Merkel-led conservatives in urging softened rhetoric on Russia.
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US NATO general fears rapid Russian troop deployments
20 June 2016 – BBC
NATO cannot rapidly deploy large forces to Eastern Europe to match Russia, according to the commander of U.S. troops in Europe. The official stated the need for NATO to be able to counter the Russian military's ability move troops and equipment quickly over long distances. The comments come after the end of NATO's Anaconda-16 exercises in Poland, in which 31,000 allied and partner troops participated.
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Likely Sanctions Renewal on Russia Welcomed by U.S. Allies
20 June 2016 – Defense News
Sanctions on Russia are expected to be renewed by the European Union for another six months, with the U.S. and allies welcoming the news. Though sanctions beyond the next six months are in question, Slovakia's Foreign Minister said the current extension is "by no means a controversial one."
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In push for equal NATO status, Poland asks for flashpoint troops
20 June 2016 – Reuters
Poland is pushing for NATO to use part of its planned new multinational forces to secure the Suwalki Gap, a key area of potential conflict with Russia that presents a vulnerability to the Baltic states. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance "has already changed its military posture" by increasing readiness of NATO forces in the area, which is the only land route linking Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia with other NATO allies.
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EU sanctions on Russia should remain - NATO's Stoltenberg
20 June 2016 – Reuters
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that the EU should keep sanctions on Russia in place, following a statement by the German foreign minister that they should be gradually phased out. Stoltenberg called for sanctions not to be removed "before Russia has changed its behavior,” adding that "there is a broad agreement" on the issue among EU members.
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China’s Xi weaves Poland into “new silk road” plan
20 June 2016 – The Straits Times
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently signed a broad strategic partnership deal with Polish President Andrzej Duda to further political and economic cooperation. President Xi also encouraged President Duda to take advantage of opportunities for Poland as a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This partnership is part of China’s continuing efforts to establish land and sea trading routes, and Polish deputy development minister Radoslaw Domagalski stated that Poland was prepared to set up special investment zones.
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NATO commander sees no imminent Russian threat to Baltics
20 June 2016 – Reuters
NATO's military chief said that NATO does not intend to increase troop deployments to Poland and the Baltics beyond its current plans, and there is no imminent threat from Russia. The official stated that the four battalions currently planned for deployment in the countries "would act as a political deterrent rather than a military one," and that a larger force is not currently needed.
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Afghan lawmakers approve defense, intelligence chiefs ahead of NATO summit
20 June 2016 – Reuters
The Afghan parliament has approved a new defense minister and intelligence chief for the country ahead of the NATO Warsaw summit next month. The approval comes during an intensified Taliban insurgency, with the role of international coalition forces in Afghanistan expected to be a major issue amongst NATO leaders.
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Gazprom Renews Interest in New Black Sea Pipeline
20 June, 2016 – Platts
Gazprom recently completed a series of studies regarding a new gas pipeline to Europe beneath the Black Sea. Undeterred by the failure of prior projects South Stream and TurkStream, Gazprom plans to partner with Italian and Greek companies to resurrect a trans-Black Sea pipeline. It is not yet clear what route the pipeline will follow, though geography may necessitate a landfall in either Bulgaria or Turkey to bring the pipeline into the rest of the EU.
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China’s Xi seeks Serbia as milestone on new “Silk Road”
19 June 2016 – Reuters
During a visit to Serbia, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that China is ready to cooperate further with Belgrade and open trading links through the One Belt One Road initiative. This statement accompanies a recent deal in which China Hesteel purchased Serbia’s Smederevo steel-works, an action that has raised concern among European Union steel producers. President Xi expressed hope that this would serve as an example to future cooperation with other countries in Southern and Eastern Europe.
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Russia says agrees with U.S. to improve military coordination in Syria
19 June 2016 – Reuters
Russia announced that it has reached an agreement with the United States to improve coordination between the countries' respective military operations in Syria. Russia's defense ministry stated it was urging for the creation of a shared map of positions of fighting forces, following accusations by Washington that Russia had attacked U.S.-backed Syrian insurgents.
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German minister warns NATO of “saber-rattling” against Russia
18 June 2016 – Reuters
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that NATO plans for military maneuvers in Eastern Europe could worsen tensions with Europe. Steinmeier stated that NATO should not escalate with Russia "by loud-saber rattling and shrill war cries," urging dialogue and cooperation.
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Norway plans to boost defenses against “unpredictable” Russia
18 June 2016 – France 24
Norway announced plans for its largest military buildup since the end of the Cold War, citing concerns over an "increasingly unpredictable" Russia. Norway's planned military upgrade includes new fighter jets and submarines. The buildup is slated to take place over the next 20 years, with Norway adding nearly $20 billion to its defense budget.
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Austria to help Hungary to secure EU border
17 June 2016 – Deutsche Welle
Austria has offered equipment and personnel to Hungary for the purpose of setting up a working group "to organize the common security" of the EU's border, according to Austria's defense minister. The equipment and staff will be deployed to the Hungarian border with Serbia, which is a key point in the flow of migrants to Europe.
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Russia is Biggest Threat to Global Security Says Poland
17 June 2016 – Newsweek
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz called Russia "the biggest threat to global security,” speaking after a NATO decision to deploy forces in Poland and the Baltics. Russia's foreign minister recently announced that Russia would not invade any NATO state, but Russian defense officials have repeatedly stated that they view NATO expansion as a threat.
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South China Sea Mission: Advanced U.S. Attack Jets Arrive In Philippines
17 June 2016 – Forbes
The U.S. navy has sent four fighter aircraft and their supporting personnel to the Philippines. The aircraft will "support routine operations that enhance regional maritime domain awareness" and support access to the sea and air "in accordance with international law." The deployment comes before an expected ruling by the international court at The Hague over territorial disputes between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea.
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Juncker: Nord Stream 2 Debate “Goes Beyond Legal Discussion”
17 June 2016 – Reuters
In a letter sent to several EU member states opposed to Nord Stream 2, European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker noted his own fears that Nord Stream 2 would “likely alter the landscape of the European Union’s gas markets.” He further noted that the Commission was only interested in providing funds for projects that are “in line with the core principles” of the EU’s energy programs. Juncker sent the letter just ahead of his trip to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He is still in Russia for the duration of the conference. 
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Naftogaz seeks stronger sanctions on Russia to stop pipeline
17 June 2016 – Bloomberg
Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev called upon the U.S. and the EU to impose greater sanctions on Russia in order to kill the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline In the Baltic Sea. Fearing a loss of supply  and transit fees for Ukraine and other Eastern European nations, Kobolyev wants “financial sanctions” against the AG Nord Stream consortium “…so they will not be able to draw financing from an International bank.”
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Finland "will deepen cooperation" in face of changing security situation, NATO option still open
17 June 2016 – Yle
Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini has announced that Finland is seeking to intensify international cooperation, with Russia's annexation of Crimea and involvement in eastern Ukraine as the driving factor. Other factors include mass migration and terror attacks in Europe. Soini also stated that Finland still views NATO membership as an option.
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Shifting Attention to Mediterranean, NATO Fights Internal Dissent
16 June 2016 – The New York Times
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance is discussing additional measures and an increased presence in the Mediterranean in response to Europe's migrant crisis. The proposals, however, have been met with resistance from Turkey, which argues that limited NATO resources are better used to respond to traditional threats like Russia. Turkey is also urging the alliance to end its limited effort in combating the smuggling of migrants in the Aegean Sea.
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Russia assails NATO’s move to deploy troops near its border
16 June 2016 – The Washington Post
Russia's ambassador to NATO has warned that the deployment of additional NATO forces near Russia's borders will undermine European security. The warning comes after NATO defense ministers agreed to deploy four multinational battalions to the Baltics and Poland on a rotational basis, and discussed a Romanian-led brigade of ground troops by the Black Sea at a meeting held this week.
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Western Leaders, CEOs Visit Russia Amid Sanctions Fatigue
16 June 2016 – Reuters
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has said that Bulgaria will not join a proposed NATO fleet meant to deter Russian forces in the Black Sea, stating that he "does not need a war," and that Bulgaria "is a peaceful country and its foreign policy is not aimed at anyone." Bulgaria, which maintains close relations with Russia, previously expressed readiness to participate in a multinational NATO brigade based in Romania. The proposed fleet is expected to be discussed at NATO's Warsaw Summit in July.
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UK assassination casts shadow over “Brexit” campaigns
16 June 2016 – USA Today
The two Brexit campaigns came to a halt on Thursday following the assassination of a member of parliament Jo Cox, who campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU. The motives of the assailant remain unknown as police investigate.
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Singapore to join G20 plan against tax avoidance
16 June 2016 – Reuters
Singapore announced that it will participate in a G20 plan opposing tax avoidance and artificial profit shifting by multinational corporations. The G20 plan is centered around a project by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which aims to ensure profits are taxed where the value is actually created. Well known as a low-tax haven, Singapore has been a center for the Asian headquarters of huge companies like Apple and Google, but the finance ministry denounced the practice of profit shifting in a statement released on Thursday.
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European development bank joins China’s new Silk Road project
16 June 2016 – gbtimes
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and China’s new Silk Road Fund signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. The two will work together to co-finance projects in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is working to restore the ancient Silk Road trade route between Asia and Europe. This memorandum mirrors a similar agreement between the EBRD and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, which was also recently established by China to assist with the Belt and Road Initiative.
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White House Gives Ukraine $220 Million In Aid For Reform Efforts
16 June 2016 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
The U.S. will give Ukraine $220 in aid this year in support of Ukrainian political, economic, and energy reforms. The White House stated that the aid is intended to help Ukraine "strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law," in addition to promoting economic growth and delivering humanitarian assistance.
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NATO Agrees On “Comprehensive Package Of Assistance” For Ukraine
16 June 2016 – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
NATO defense ministers agreed to increase support for Ukraine with a comprehensive assistance package, following a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels. The package aims to aid Ukraine in strengthening defenses by building "stronger security structures," according a statement issued following the meeting. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated that NATO is also developing new projects for Ukraine, including responses to hybrid warfare and explosive devices.
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U.S. wants to see Britain stay in EU, U.S. defense minister says
16 June 2016 – Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has reiterated a call by the U.S. for Britain to stay in the European Union, stating that there is a "strategic reason" for membership. Carter said that he discussed the implications of a Brexit with UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon during a NATO defense ministers meeting.
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NATO to Keep Bases in Afghanistan Open
16 June 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
NATO is postponing a plan to reduce the number of its bases in Afghanistan and will keep all six operational next year, said allied officials. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the number of U.S. troops deployed to Afghan bases was not a focus of the NATO discussion, and the alliance's decision leaves the opportunity for the U.S. to keep a higher level of troops than currently planned in the country.
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