US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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15.09.2020

"Five Takeaways From The Lukashenka-Putin Talks: Who Got What?"

https://www.rferl.org/a/lukashenka-putin-talks-five-takeaways-who-got-what/30840523.html

Tony Wesolowsky berichtet über das erste direkte Treffen zwischen Präsident Lukaschenko und Präsident Putin seit dem Ausbruch der Massenproteste in Weißrussland. "Lukashenka came into the meeting weakened, facing growing international condemnation and isolation over his government's violent crackdown on protests and the arrest of opposition leaders who contend that the August 9 election was rigged. Putin, one of few international leaders to back Lukashenka, was probably hoping to use the meeting to extract further concessions, especially on deeper integration between the two countries based on a 1999 'Union State' treaty that remains largely on paper. Grabbing headlines after the talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi was the news that Lukashenka had secured a $1.5 billion Russian state loan to keep his government afloat. But did he pay too high a price? Here are five takeaways from the Sochi meeting."

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10.09.2020

"Why Did The Taliban Appoint A Hard-Line Chief Negotiator For Intra-Afghan Talks?"

https://www.rferl.org/a/why-did-the-taliban-appoint-a-hard-line-chief-negotiator-for-intra-afghan-talks-/
30832252.html

Der Unterhändler der Taliban bei den Friedensverhandlungen mit der afghanischen Regierung gehört Frud Bezhan zufolge zu den "Hardlinern" der Gruppe. "Experts say the appointment of Ishaqzai, who is close to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, could be an attempt by the core leadership to reassert its direct control over the upcoming negotiations in Qatar. The Taliban's political office in the Qatari capital, Doha, is led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban who is considered a relative moderate. The ultraconservative Ishaqzai replaces Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, who along with Baradar spearheaded negotiations with the United States over a landmark agreement signed in February that is aimed at negotiating an end to the 19-year war in Afghanistan."

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08.09.2020

"Pakistani Christian Sentenced To Death Over 'Blasphemous' Text Messages"

https://www.rferl.org/a/pakistani-christian-death-sentence-blasphemous-text-messages-/30827783.html

In Pakistan ist ein Christ wegen einer "blasphemischen" Textnachricht nach sieben Jahren Haft zum Tod verurteilt worden. "The court order said Pervaiz would first serve a three-year prison term for 'misusing' his phone to send the text messages in question before being 'hanged by his neck till his death,' according to Reuters. The man was also fined 50,000 Pakistani rupees ($300). Insulting Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor of blasphemy can lead to lynching by mobs. In July, a Pakistani-American man accused of committing blasphemy was shot dead inside a courtroom in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Nearly 80 people were known to be imprisoned in the country on blasphemy charges, half of whom face life in prison or the death penalty, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said in its 2020 annual report released in April."

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01.09.2020

"China, Russia Deepen Their Ties Amid Pandemic, Conflicts With The West"

https://www.rferl.org/a/china-russia-deepen-their-ties-amid-pandemic-conflicts-with-west/30814684.html

China und Russland haben ihre strategische Kooperation Reid Standish zufolge weiter vertieft. Jüngstes Beispiel sei der Bau einer russischen Polymeranlage im Wert von 11 Milliarden US-Dollar. "With ground being broken on August 18, the massive project will make plastic components and will further boost trade between China and Russia in the latest display of expanding bilateral relations, as the two countries forge an economic and political partnership after decades of rivalry. (…) From big gas projects in Russia’s Arctic to growing partnerships in high tech and working together to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar, Beijing and Moscow are finding more opportunities for cooperation. (…) while the pandemic has made China an even more vital economic lifetime and market for Russia, Moscow has become a more needed partner for Beijing as it collides with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration over a wide range of issues: from a trade war to problems involving Hong Kong and rights in the South China Sea."

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24.08.2020

"As Lukashenka Turns To Geopolitics, The West Faces Learning Curve In Belarus"

https://www.rferl.org/a/as-lukashenka-turns-to-geopolitics-the-west-faces-learning-curve-in-belarus/30800
512.html

Auch der Westen befinde sich angesichts der Revolte in Weißrussland in einer "Lernkurve", schreibt Reid Standish. Frühe Vergleiche mit dem Euromaidan in der Ukraine seien mittlerweile durch differenziertere Analysen abgelöst worden. "This has led some commentators, such as former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, to argue that the 2018 revolution in Armenia - where mass demonstrations led to the resignation of longtime President Serzh Sarkisian - is a more instructive example for Belarus. In an August 18 op-ed, Bildt said Armenia offered the best template for current developments in Belarus, where fresh elections could pave the way for a new government. While Armenian protests pushed out Sarkisian, the new administration led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has retained the country's pro-Russian policies. 'To ensure a smooth process, Belarus's external orientation should be kept off the table,' Bildt wrote. 'The election and broader struggle must be solely about democracy within the country, and nothing else.' 'Russia doesn't always intervene if a previous partner loses an election. They can live with power transfers and Armenia is the best recent example of that,' said Forbrig. 'Russia is still shaping its approach in Belarus and has shown in the past it can be adaptable.'"

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18.08.2020

"U.S., Russia Remain At Odds Over Extension Of New START Treaty"

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-russia-remain-at-odds-over-extension-of-new-start-treaty/30790607.html

Die USA und Russland haben sich auch nach der dritten Verhandlungsrunde in Wien nicht auf eine Verlängerung des New-START-Abkommens einigen können. "The United States and Russia have concluded a third round of arms-control talks still at odds over several key issues, but the two sides showed a willingness to possibly extend the New START Treaty before it expires next year. New START, which caps the number of deployed long-range nuclear warheads each country can have, expires in February unless the two sides agree to extend it for five years. It is their last remaining bilateral nuclear-arms-control agreement."

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14.08.2020

"Belarusian Protests Upend Lukashenka’s Geopolitical Game With Russia, China, The West"

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarusian-protests-upend-lukashenka-s-geopolitical-game-with-russia-china-the-we
st-/30784169.html

Die Proteste in Weißrussland stellen Präsident Lukashenka Reid Standish zufolge auch vor außenpolitische Probleme. "As protests swell across the country, the deepening domestic standoff is creating a geopolitical conundrum for Lukashenka and Belarus’s European Union neighbors and Russia -- as well as major powers like the United States and China -- who are all searching for a way to further their interests while preventing the domestic situation in Belarus from escalating into deeper unrest. '[Lukashenka] is embattled on all fronts in a way that he hasn't been before, both domestically and internationally,' Nigel Gould-Davies, a former British ambassador to Belarus and a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told RFE/RL. (…) With Belarus’s strategic value to China waning and the EU weighing a tough response, Russia is hoping to capitalize on the current chaos. Minsk remains highly dependent on Russia, with Moscow operating as Minsk’s largest creditor and Belarus’s key exports are derived from products made with subsidized Russian oil. Belarus is also a member of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organization. But while ties between Belarus and Russia are close, they remain dysfunctional."

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12.08.2020

"Russia, Germany Highlight Shared Interest, Despite Frictions"

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-germany-highlight-shared-interest-despite-frictions/30779229.html

Die beiden Außenminister Sergei Lavrov und Heiko Maas hätten bei ihrem Treffen in Moskau die geteilten Interessen Russlands und Deutschlands hervorgehoben, berichtet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "During a visit to Moscow on August 11 to discuss wide-ranging issues, Maas reaffirmed Berlin's interest in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline intended to carry Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. (…) Maas emphasized Russia's global role but also the irritants that have strained relations between the two countries. Maas described Russia as an essential partner in resolving 'the many conflicts and crises in the world.' But Maas said the two countries must also be able to discuss issues that directly involve them both, such as charges brought in Germany against a Russian accused of killing a Georgian man in Berlin a year ago and the accusations leveled at another Russian over his alleged role in the hacking of the German parliament. 'It is important that we communicate well bilaterally,' Maas said after the talks. 'Wherever needed, it’s important that we talk openly. That’s how we did it in the past as well,' he said."

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30.07.2020

"Russian Intelligence Hit In First Ever EU Sanctions Against Cyberattacks"

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-intelligence-first-ever-eu-sanctions-cyberattacks-gru/30757520.html

Die EU hat zum ersten Mal Sanktionen gegen mutmaßliche Hacker verhängt, denen die Beteiligung an mehreren Cyberangriffen vorgeworfen wird. "The European Union has imposed its first-ever sanctions against alleged cyberattackers, targeting four Russian citizens and a unit of Moscow's GRU military intelligence agency. The EU sanctions list also includes two entities based in China and North Korea, as well as two Chinese nationals. Restrictive measures will be taken against the six individuals and three entities 'responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks,' including the attempt to hack into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the European Council said in a statement on July 30. The sanctions include a travel ban and an asset freeze, the statement said, adding that EU persons and entities are also not allowed to directly or indirectly make funds available to those targeted."

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26.07.2020

"Coronavirus Crisis Accelerates China's Grab For Power, Influence In Central Asia"

https://www.rferl.org/a/coronavirus-crisis-accelerates-china-s-grab-for-power-influence-in-central-asia/3
0747653.html

Die Coronakrise habe die wirtschaftliche und auch politische Abhängigkeit Zentralasiens von China verstärkt, berichtet Reid Standish. "With only a relative handful of coronavirus cases remaining, China appears to be the first major economy in the world to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. But the virus continues to ravage Central Asia, where the economies of its five countries were already suffering the shocks of major drops in commodity prices, a fall in remittances from migrant laborers, and a global economic slowdown that could see Central Asia's gross domestic product contract by up to 5.4 percent by the end of the year, according to the World Bank. Such a situation leaves Beijing as the main source of help for the region."

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22.07.2020

"EU 'To Impose Sanctions' On Russia, China, North Korea Over Cyberattacks"

https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-to-impose-sanctons-on-china-north-korea-russia-over-cyberattacks-sources-tell-
rfe/30741504.html

Die EU hat wegen unterschiedlicher Cyberattacken in den letzten Jahren Sanktionen gegen Russland, China und Nordkorea verhängt. "Several sources familiar with the file told RFE/RL on July 22 that the ambassadors decided to freeze assets of the GRU, China's Tianjin Huaying Haitai Science & technology development Co., and North Korea's Chosun Expo. They also will freeze potential funds held by all three in the bloc and impose visa bans on six unnamed citizens from China and Russia who the bloc believe are behind the WannaCry, NotPetya and Cloud Hopper cyberattacks. The sanctions, which will be formally adopted before the end of July, are the first ever imposed by the EU under its new cybersanctions regime, which was adopted last year and allows the bloc to implement visa bans and asset freezes on people and entities involved in cyberattacks both against EU member states and third countries and international organizations."

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15.07.2020

"U.S. Threatens To Expand Sanctions On Nord Stream 2 As Russia Moves To Complete Pipeline"

https://www.rferl.org/a/u-s-threatens-to-expand-sanctions-on-nord-stream-2-as-russia-moves-to-complete-pi
peline/30728812.html

Die US-Regierung hat mit einer Ausweitung ihrer Sanktionen zur Verhinderung der Fertigstellung der Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 gedroht. "The United States has threatened to sanction any individual or company helping Russia build a controversial natural gas pipeline to Germany as the Kremlin moves to complete the last kilometers of the nearly $11 billion project. 'Get out now -- or risk the consequences,' U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said July 15 during a press conference in Washington announcing the new sanction guidelines for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. (…) Russia is now trying to use its own vessels to finish Nord Stream 2 after receiving permission from Denmark earlier this month. The unfinished portion of the pipeline lies in Denmark’s economic waters. However, the Russian ship would still need to use the services of Western companies, such as port facilities and insurance, giving the United States the potential to hamper their efforts."

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12.07.2020

"As U.S. Moves To Exit Afghanistan, Rivals Prepare To Swoop In"

https://www.rferl.org/a/as-u-s-moves-to-exit-afghanistan-rivals-prepare-to-swoop-in/30721830.html

Zu Beginn der US-Invasion in Afghanistan habe es in der Region einen durchaus breiten Konsens gegeben, der die Intervention akzeptiert und zum Teil sogar unterstützt habe, schreibt Frud Bezhan. Dieser Konsens sei in den vergangenen 19 Jahren zunehmend ausgehöhlt worden. "(…) Washington’s ties with many regional players - including Pakistan, Iran, and Russia - became toxic. With U.S. forces scheduled to exit Afghanistan next year as part of a framework peace deal with the Taliban, Washington’s rivals see an opportunity to step in and expand their footprint in the war-torn country. (…) Experts say that in the absence of a peace deal, a U.S. military withdrawal could ignite a free-for-all that involves regional powers pursuing often competing interests in Afghanistan. 'The stage has already been set, with many key actors - including Russia and Iran - increasing their ties with both the Afghan state and the Taliban,' says Michael Kugelman, South Asia senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington."

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29.06.2020

"Explainer: Controversy Over Alleged Russian Bounties Puts Spotlight On Moscow's Motives, History In Afghanistan"

https://www.rferl.org/a/explainer-controversy-over-alleged-russian-bounties-for-taliban-to-kill-u-s-troop
s-puts-spotlight-on-moscow-s-motives-history-in-afghanistan/30697171.html

Anlässlich der Kontroverse um angebliche russische Kopfgeldzahlungen an die Taliban erklärt Abubakar Siddique in diesem Überblicksartikel, welche Interessen Russland in Afghanistan verfolgt. "Counterterrorism ostensibly still tops Moscow's declared interests in Afghanistan. 'The situation in Afghanistan has been one of the key items on our agenda with Washington since we launched the Russia-U.S. dialogue on counterterrorism in December 2018,' Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told Interfax in May. He likewise celebrated the addition of the Afghan branch of IS, locally called IS Khorasan, to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee's list in May 2019 as a 'good example of effective cooperation' with the United States. Russia and China have backed Washington's efforts to end the war in Afghanistan through negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government. (…) But Hameed Hakimi, a research associate with the Chatham House think tank in London, says Russia is now bent on cultivating its own patronage networks in Afghanistan to gain advantage over the United States and China. 'This is a departure from a brief period post-2001, U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan when there was a seeming convergence of interests between Moscow and Washington over 'stabilizing' Afghanistan,' he told RFE/RL."

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28.06.2020

"The Art Of The Trilateral Deal? U.S. Nuke Agreement With Russia, China Proving Difficult"

https://www.rferl.org/a/the-art-of-the-trilateral-deal-u-s-nuke-agreement-with-russia-china-proving-diffi
cult/30694802.html

Der ambitionierte Versuch der USA, China in die Atomwaffenverhandlungen mit Russland einzubeziehen, drohe u.a. aus Zeitgründen zu scheitern, schreibt Reid Standish. "This raises the possibility that one of the last building blocks of the arms-control framework governing the U.S.-Russia nuclear competition might collapse if progress isn’t made on Trump’s new nuclear agenda focused on China - leaving no limits on the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly half a century. 'This is a hugely ambitious idea and time is very short,' Steven Pifer, an arms-control expert at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told RFE/RL. 'The New START deadline is approaching and there is a U.S. election coming with the potential for a new administration. That doesn’t lend to making any kind of deal.' (…) Unconstrained by treaties, the United States could outspend and outmaneuver China and Russia and aim to pressure both countries into agreeing to a larger-scale deal more amenable to U.S. terms. However, experts are quick to warn that such a move could be a risky gambit for global arms control. 'It is in China’s interest to engage with the United States on these questions,' said [Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat-reduction policy at the Arms Control Association in Washington], 'but they are not going to be coerced to the table.'"

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28.06.2020

"White House Denies Trump Was Briefed On Reported Intelligence That Russia Offered Bounties"

https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-intelligence-russia-bounties-afghanistan-taliban/30694624.html

Russische Geheimdienstler haben die Taliban einem Bericht der New York Times zufolge für Angriffe gegen US-Truppen bezahlt. Während der Bericht sowohl von Russland als auch von den Taliban zurückgewiesen worden ist, wird US-Präsident Trump von seinem Rivalen im Präsidentschaftswahlkampf Joe Biden Untätigkeit vorgeworfen. "Biden said the shocking revelation -- if true -- is that Trump 'has known about this for months' and had done 'worse than nothing.' Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee, said not only has Trump failed to impose any kind of consequences on Russia, he 'has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin.' He promised that if he is elected on November 3, 'Putin will be confronted and we’ll impose serious costs on Russia.'"

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22.06.2020

"Nearly 300 Afghan Security Forces Killed Over Past Week, Official Says"

https://www.rferl.org/a/nearly-300-afghan-security-forces-killed-over-past-week-official-says/30684672.ht
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Einem Mitarbeiter der afghanischen Regierung zufolge sind bei einer "Welle" von Taliban-Angriffen in der vergangenen Woche fast 300 afghanische Sicherheitskräfte getötet worden. "'The past week was the deadliest' in Afghanistan's 18-year war, Javid Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council, tweeted on June 22, adding that the Taliban carried out 422 attacks in 32 provinces. 'Taliban's commitment to reduce violence is meaningless, and their actions inconsistent with their rhetoric on peace,' Faisal also wrote. A Taliban spokesman rejected the latest government figures, saying 'the enemy aims to hurt the peace process and intra-Afghan talks by releasing such false reports.' The militant group launched 'some attacks last week, but they were mostly in defense,' Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP."

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18.06.2020

"Afghan Anti-Corruption Efforts 'Slowed' Due To Elections, COVID-19"

https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/afghan-anti-corruption-efforts-slowed-due-to-elections-covid-19/30677277.htm
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Einem neuen UN-Bericht zufolge sind die Bemühungen der afghanischen Regierung zur Eindämmung der Korruption aufgrund der kontroversen Präsidentschaftswahl und der Corona-Pandemie deutlich "verlangsamt" worden. "Analyst Jelena Bjelica from the Kabul-based think tank Afghanistan Analysts Network sees a shift in the political priorities as a reason for the slowdown. 'Obviously, there is a focus on the peace talks by both the international community and government. And it just seems that anti-corruption is totally not [the focus],' Bjelica told dpa. In Afghanistan, particularly serious cases of corruption are handled by the Anti-Corruption Justice Centre (ACJC), which began its work in 2016. The report notes dozens of open arrest warrants, from a list of 255 in total, for high-ranking civilian and military officials charged with corruption for years, but they could not be fully executed. 'It seems that there is no cooperation between the police, law enforcement, and prosecution,' Bjelica said."

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14.06.2020

"Germany Says Further U.S. Sanctions Over Nord Stream 2 Would Interfere With EU Energy Security"

https://www.rferl.org/a/germany-says-further-u-s-sanctions-over-nord-stream-2-would-interfere-with-eu-ene
rgy-security/30670340.html

Die deutsche Bundesregierung hat auf die Androhung neuer US-Sanktionen zur Verhinderung der Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 mit "Bedauern" reagiert. "The German government has 'noted with regret' a U.S. proposal to expand sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. 'New sanctions would constitute a serious interference in European energy security and EU sovereignty,' a statement by the Foreign Ministry said on June 14. A group of bipartisan U.S. senators early this month submitted legislation to stop Russia from completing the controversial natural gas pipeline along the floor of the Baltic Sea."

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12.06.2020

"NATO Grants Ukraine 'Enhanced Opportunities Partner' Status"

https://www.rferl.org/a/nato-grants-ukraine-enhanced-opportunities-partner-status/30667898.html

Die NATO hat ihre Beziehungen zur Ukraine weiter vertieft. "NATO has entered a closer partnership with Ukraine, recognizing the former Soviet republic as an enhanced opportunities partner (EOP) after Kyiv demonstrated its 'commitment to Euro-Atlantic security.' This status is part of a NATO initiative intended to 'maintain and deepen cooperation between Allies and partners that have made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions,' the Western alliance announced on June 12. (…) The statement said Ukraine's new status will enable the country to benefit from 'enhanced access to interoperability programs and exercises, and more sharing of information.' However, it insisted that the new status 'does not prejudge any decisions on NATO membership.'"

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10.06.2020

"Explainer: Why The U.S.-NATO Exercises In Eastern Europe Are Important"

https://www.rferl.org/a/explainer-why-the-u-s--nato-exercises-in-eastern-europe-are-important/30663259.ht
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Rikard Jozwiak erklärt, warum die NATO trotz der Coronakrise auf Militärübungen in Osteuropa besteht. "The COVID-19 pandemic has upended several military exercises, but now that restrictive measures have been eased some are going forward, albeit in a scaled-down form. Two kicked off in early June in Poland and the Baltic Sea, drawing particular interest around the world, and not just because of the logistics of holding them amid an ongoing pandemic. The proximity of the training to Russian territory is seen by many as a possible signal that the U.S. military is shifting its interest in Europe eastward. (…) The U.S. military and NATO have been quick to point out that all exercises are 'defensive in nature.' Lisa Franchetti, the commander of the Naples-based U.S. 6th Fleet, told journalists that Baltops 20 should not be interpreted as a threat to any specific country and exercises are held in international waters and international airspace. Franchetti encouraged the Russian military to behave professionally. However, many observers expect the Russian Navy to make close approaches to the exercises and that Russian jets may 'buzz' allied planes, meaning that they will fly so close as to create 'wake turbulence.'"

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08.06.2020

"Trump Envoy: U.S., Russia To Hold Nuclear Arms Talks In June, China Invited"

https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-envoy-u-s-russia-to-hold-nuclear-arms-talks-in-june-china-invited/30659804.
html

Die USA wollen einem US-Offiziellen zufolge noch im Juni neue Atomwaffenverhandlungen mit Russland führen und haben auch China zu den Gesprächen eingeladen. "The official didn’t rule out that the United States may be willing to extend the New Start nuclear-weapons treaty, if Russia 'commits to three-way arms control with China and helps to bring a resistant Beijing to the table,' according to Bloomberg. New START, the last major arms control treaty between the United States and Russia, is scheduled to expire in February 2021. The accord caps the number of nuclear warheads and so-called delivery systems held by the two countries. While Moscow has pushed for a five-year extension, Washington has balked, saying it wants the deal to be broadened to include China. China, whose nuclear arsenal is a fraction of the size of Moscow’s and Washington’s, has said it was not interested in participating in such talks."

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05.06.2020

"U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation To Stop Completion Of Russian Gas Pipeline"

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-senators-introduce-legislation-to-stop-completion-of-russian-gas-pipeline/3065
4079.html

Eine Gruppe von US-Senatoren will der Fertigstellung der russischen Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 mit einer neuen Gesetzesinitiative weitere Hindernisse in den Weg legen. "The five senators, led by Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) and Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat-New Hampshire), introduced the legislation on June 4 to expand existing sanctions against Nord Stream 2, which would double Russian gas exports to Germany if completed. The United States in December 2019 passed the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act, which placed sanctions on vessels laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline along the floor of the Baltic Sea, halting the $11 billion project shortly before its completion. (…) The new legislation widens the sanctions in the existing law to include any entity that provides insurance, port facilities or tethering services for the project as well as any company that certifies Nord Stream 2 for operation. (…) Russia hopes to finish the pipeline by the first quarter of 2021 at the latest, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in January. It took Congress seven months to pass the first Nord Stream 2 bill. Perhaps amid concerns that Russia could complete the project before the new legislation is approved, the authors have made the new sanctions retroactive to December 2019."

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02.06.2020

"U.S. Defense Secretary Esper Invited To Moscow Military Parade"

https://www.rferl.org/a/u-s-defense-secretary-esper-invited-to-moscow-military-parade/30649062.html

Der russische Verteidigungsminister Sergei Shoigu hat seinen amerikanischen Amtskollegen Mark Esper zur Militärparade zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs nach Moskau eingeladen. "The Russian ministry said Shoigu made the invitation during a telephone conversation on June 2, without saying whether Esper had accepted it. The June 24 parade on Moscow’s Red Square is to mark the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Russia traditionally holds the parade on May 9, but the grand celebration was postponed over the coronavirus pandemic that is still triggering thousands of new infections each day. Relations between Washington and Moscow remain strained over a range of issues including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. During their phone conversation, Shoigu and Esper discussed arms control and cooperation to fight the coronavirus epidemic, according to the Russian Defense Ministry."

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31.05.2020

"The Taliban, The Government, And Islamic State: Who Controls What In Afghanistan?"

https://www.rferl.org/a/taliban-government-islamic-state-who-controls-what-in-afghanistan-/30644646.html

Nach 18 Jahren sei der Krieg in Afghanistan in eine "tödliche Pattsituation" geraten, schreibt Frud Bezhan. "Afghanistan is divided among government forces backed by international troops, the Taliban and its militant allies, the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, and a collection of smaller foreign terrorist groups. The United States and the Taliban signed a landmark agreement in February aimed at 'bringing peace to Afghanistan.' That deal foresees a power-sharing arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and the full withdrawal of all foreign troops. As a Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul for talks on prisoner releases and the Afghan government and the Taliban prepare to launch direct peace talks, most of the country is fiercely contested and ravaged by violence, with warring factions pursuing a 'fight-and-talk' strategy."

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27.05.2020

"U.S. Ends Sanctions Waivers On Iran's Civilian Nuclear Program"

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-nuclear-us-pompeo-sanctions/30638361.html

Die US-Regierung hat Ausnahmeregelungen für ihre Sanktionen gegen den Iran beendet, die anderen Ländern bisher eine zivile nukleare Zusammenarbeit mit Teheran erlaubten. "The United States will end sanctions waivers that allow Russian, Chinese, and European firms to carry out civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, effectively scrapping the last remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on May 27 that Iran’s continued 'nuclear brinkmanship' by breaching some of its nuclear commitments did not justify renewing the waivers. (…) Nonproliferation experts say that the waivers give international experts a valuable eye into Tehran’s nuclear activities and that its scientific research is for legitimate civilian purposes, such as medicine. The U.S. move may also further ratchet up tensions with other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal who have tried to salvage it - Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain - at a time when Washington is seeking their cooperation to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran."

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22.05.2020

"White House Official: Trump To Seek Extension Of New START Arms Treaty With Russia"

https://www.rferl.org/a/new-start-arms-treaty-russia-trump-united-states/30627011.html

Die USA wollen sich einem Offiziellen der US-Regierung zufolge in Verhandlungen für eine Verlängerung des New-START-Abkommens mit Russland einsetzen. Auch der angekündigte Ausstieg aus dem "Open Skies"-Abkommen könnte Donald Trump zufolge unter bestimmten Bedingungen noch vermieden werden. "Signed by Washington and Moscow in 2010, New START caps the number of warheads and delivery systems in each country's arsenal. It also includes rigorous on-site inspection provisions, which supporters of the treaty have cited as one of the main arguments for extending it. The agreement will expire in February unless the two sides agree to extend it by five more years. Asked by Fox News if the United States would pull out of New START, O’Brien said no. 'We are going to enter into good-faith negotiations with the Russians on nuclear arms control,' he said. But. while Russia has agreed to an extension, the Trump administration has called for a new treaty that would include China. (…) Trump signaled (…) that the United States would consider remaining a signatory to Open Skies under certain conditions."

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18.05.2020

"World Should Take 'Declining Power' Russia 'More Seriously,' Says Political Analyst Nye"

https://www.rferl.org/a/world-should-take-declining-power-russia-more-seriously-says-political-analyst-ny
e/30619007.html

Der renommierte Politikwissenschaftler Joseph Nye hat sich in einem Interview mit Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty zum Stand der internationalen Beziehungen geäußert. Russland sollte seiner Ansicht nach trotz der abnehmenden geopolitischen Bedeutung ernster genommen werden. "He coined the term 'smart power' a decade ago to argue for a greater reliance on accurate information and cultural and political arguments to complement military strength to achieve foreign policy goals. Nye told RFE/RL he believed 'American soft power has declined' since 2015, when he famously asked in the title of a book, 'Is The American Century Over'? But he argued that people in Poland or other Central European countries will tell you they could not imagine being in an alliance with Russia. Nye cited continued European support for U.S. engagement and NATO, for instance. But added that Russia cannot be ignored. 'I think Russia has to be taken very seriously,' Nye said. He called Russia a 'declining state' by virtue of its annual loss of around 750,000 people from its workforce in recent years and its failure 'to adapt its economy to a modern-technology economy as opposed to an energy-based economy.' But it is still a vast country with 'talented people' and a nuclear arsenal, he added. 'After all, sometimes it is declining countries which are the most dangerous, because they're the most willing to take risks,' Nye said. 'So Russia should not fall below the radar; it's something we should take much more seriously.'"

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14.05.2020

"Kaspersky: 'Greater Frenzy' Of Cybercrime During COVID-19 Lockdowns"

https://www.rferl.org/a/kaspersky-founder-says-cybercrime-on-riseduring-covid-19-lockdowns/30612725.html

Die internationale Cyberkriminalität hat während des Corona-Lockdowns deutlich zugenommen, so der CEO des russischen IT-Sicherheitsunternehmens Kaspersky Lab. "In an interview with the TASS news agency that was published on May 14, Yevgeny Kaspersky said that the quarantines 'have forced cybercriminals to hunt for prey with greater frenzy.' 'Every day we fish out several million files on the suspicion they may have malicious functions. Also, every day we identify more than 300,000 malicious samples we’ve never come across,' Kaspersky said, adding that each of those samples can be used hundreds of times. According to Kaspersky, as people have to stay at home due to the coronavirus, they spend more time surfing the net to buy food and other items and sometimes venture into no-go areas, which has led to an increase in cyberattacks by 25 percent globally."

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06.05.2020

"Freedom House Drops Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro From List Of Democracies"

https://www.rferl.org/a/freedom-house-democracies-breakdown-balkans-hungary-serbia-russia-armenia-ukraine
-uzbekistan/30595474.html

Die amerikanische NGO Freedom House hat Ungarn, Serbien und Montenegro in einem neuen Bericht von ihrer Liste der Demokratien gestrichen und Polen als "halbkonsolidierte" Demokratie eingestuft. "In its latest report, U.S.-based democracy monitor Freedom House warns of a 'stunning democratic breakdown' across Central Europe, the Balkans, and Eurasia as many leaders in the region attempt to do away with any remaining checks on their power. (…) The report singles out EU member Hungary as having the largest drop ever recorded in the 25 years since Freedom House -- a nonprofit organization largely funded by the U.S. government -- published its first Nations In Transit report. The country’s democracy score has been on a steep decline in the past decade and the report describes Prime Minister Viktor Orban as a leader who has 'dropped any pretense of respecting democratic institutions.' Similarly, Poland, also an EU member state, moved downward, becoming a semi-consolidated democracy largely because of losses in judicial framework and independence over the past five years."

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