20th-26th February 2023

Translated by: José Chaiça

Putin places the New START agreement on hold
The New START agreement (New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) signed between Russia and the United States of America in 2010, whose validity had been extended into 2026, two years ago, was suspended on Tuesday (21st). The bilateral agreement aimed to restrict the number of nuclear warheads both states possess, whose arsenals are the largest in the world, and allowed them to monitor each other, 18 times a year on the ground.

Despite its unilateral suspension, Russia did not withdraw from it completely.

This suspension came at the same time as US President Joe Biden was making a surprise visit to Kiev, to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky. For Putin, this was a forced decision, “I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty” – he said, and also stressed the idea that Russia will not lose a direct conflict, through the means of conventional warfare. Putin also accused the West, of actively engaging in attempts to target Russia’s strategic air bases.

Later, in its first official response, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia’s decision unfortunate and irresponsible, and stressed that the United States would continue to act responsibly in that area. Biden, when confronted with the issue, said it was just a big mistake.

The European Union approves the 10th sanctions package against Russia
The date, 24 February, is a symbolic one as it marks one year of conflict, and European Union member states agreed on the tenth package of sanctions against Russia and its allies.

In an attempt to continue to help Ukraine to win the war, the tenth package of sanctions increases the pressure on Russia and those countries that support her effort.

This package features suspensions on European exports to Russia worth 11 billion Euros, depriving the Russian economy of industrial and technological supplies, essential to Russia’s war effort and in an attempt to limit its capacity. It also includes specific measures to counter misinformation, spread by the Russian government.

It also added 121 senior Russian and Iranian government and military officials to the sanctions list, which now totals 1473 individuals and 205 entities.

The agreement was marked by differences of opinion among European countries, about the measures to be applied to Russian trade, with Italy calling for lighter sanctions and Poland requesting more restrictive measures.

G20 countries condemn Russia for the armed conflict in Ukraine
The G20 meeting, of the world’s 20 largest economies, was held on Friday 24th February, in Bengaluru, India.

The main host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, avoided using the word “war” at the meeting, marked by an attempt to draft an agreement on the war in Ukraine, which Russia and China vehemently opposed. Russia also blamed the West for undermining the real purpose of the ministers’ meeting, by forcing a joint statement by the group, on the conflict.

Without unanimity, the meeting ended with a single declaration of condemnation of the conflict, by the majority of the group.

Other News:

China strongly condemns the visit of a senior Pentagon official to Taiwan

Yemen’s southern separatists demand to enter peace talks with Saudi Arabia, to be held in Oman

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has estimated that 1.5 million Turks have been left homeless, following the earthquake last February 6th and 20th

Dozens of refugees died in shipwreck off the Italian coast

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