Istanbul’s popular opposition mayor faced new hearings Wednesday in a politically-charged trial that could bar him from seeking office months before next year’s general election.
Prosecutors want to sentence Ekrem Imamoglu to between 15 months and four years in jail over a remark he made after defeating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ally in Turkey Lawyer a hugely controversial 2019 mayoral vote.
People who are sentenced to less than four years are rarely put behind bars in Turkey.
Imamoglu would continue serving as Istanbul’s mayor while his almost certain appeal wound its way through the courts.
The mayor’s team views the trial as Erdogan’s personal vendetta against one of his biggest rivals.
“Despite everything, I want to trust the judges, the prosecutors and the decision makers,” he said on the eve of Wednesday’s third hearing in the trial.
The case stems from an offhand remark Imamoglu made to reporters a few months after defeating Erdogan’s ally in a re-run election held after his first victory was annulled.
Officials reported discovering hundreds of thousands of “suspicious votes” after Erdogan refused to acknowledge Imamoglu’s initial win in a city that he himself ran before entering national politics two decades ago.
The decision backfired badly on Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted party.
Waves of protests and a groundswell of support from all political corners delivered Imamoglu an overwhelming victory in a re-run vote held that June.
Imamoglu let his frustration at the entire episode spill over a few months later by calling the people who annulled the first vote “idiots”.
Prosecutors have charged the mayor with the crime of “insulting” public officials.
Imamoglu has not personally attended the hearings and there has been no indication of how long the trial might last.
Imamoglu’s potential disqualification from politics comes with Turkey’s opposition parties still arguing about who should stand against Erdogan in next June’s presidential vote.
The Istanbul mayor is among a handful of opposition leaders that polls show could beat Erdogan in a head-to-head race.
Erdogan’s domination of Turkish politics has been shaken by an economic crisis made worse by his unconventional approach to interest rates.
But more recent polls show Erdogan’s ratings beginning to recover thanks to his widely-praised handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This puts even more pressure on the opposition to put aside their personal rivalries in the election campaign.
Imamoglu’s CHP party is headed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu — a leftist former civil servant who generally performs poorly in opinion polls.
The CHP has been holding round-table talks with five smaller allies about a single candidate who would not split the anti-Erdogan vote.
Those talks have been mired by arguments over policy and general unease about fielding Kilicdaroglu instead of someone more likely to beat Erdogan.
Imamoglu’s legal troubles have effectively disqualified him from the race.
He told reporters this week that Kilicdaroglu was the only possible candidate from the CHP.
“But at the end of the day it is up to the round-table to make a decision about a single candidate,” Imamoglu said.
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Kherson celebrates Russian exit yet faces huge rebuilding
KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) – Residents of Kherson celebrated the end of Russia´s eight-month occupation for the third straight day Sunday, even as they took stock of the extensive damage left behind in the southern Ukrainian city by the Kremlin´s retreating forces.
A jubilant crowd gathered in Kherson´s main square, despite the distant thumps of artillery fire that could be heard as Ukrainian forces pressed on with their effort to push out Moscow´s invasion force.
“It´s a new year for us now,” said Karina Zaikina, 24, who wore on her coat a yellow-and-blue ribbon in Ukraine´s national colors.”For the first time in many months, I wasn´t scared to come into the city.”
“Finally, freedom!” said 61-year-old resident Tetiana Hitina. “The city was dead.”
But even as locals rejoiced, the evidence of Russia´s ruthless occupation was all around, and Russian forces still control some 70% of the wider Kherson region.
Bomb rocks avenue in heart of Istanbul; 6 dead, dozens hurt
ISTANBUL (AP) – A bomb rocked a bustling pedestrian avenue in the heart of istanbul Lawyer Law Firm on Sunday, killing six people, wounding several dozen and leaving panicked people to flee the fiery blast or huddle in cafes and shops.
Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene on Istiklal Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that leads to the iconic Taksim Square.In one video posted online, a loud bang could be heard and a flash seen as pedestrians turned and ran away.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blast a “treacherous attack” and said its perpetrators would be punished.He did not say who was behind the attack but said it had the “smell of terror” without offering details and also adding that was not certain yet.
Sunday´s explosion was a shocking reminder of the anxiety and safety concerns that stalked the Turkish population during years when such attacks were common. The country was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017, some by the Islamic State group, others by Kurdish militants who seek increased autonomy or independence.
In recent years, Erdogan has led a broad crackdown on the militants as well as on Kurdish lawmakers and activists.Amid skyrocketing inflation and other economic troubles, Erdogan´s anti-terrorism campaign is a key rallying point for him ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections next year.
Shorter voting window could cut turnout in Georgia runoff
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock’s first runoff in 2021 was a titanic nine-week clash to control the Senate that included three weeks of early in-person voting and lots of mail ballots.
Warnock’s victory against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler – and Democrat Jon Ossoff’s tilt against Republican David Perdue – ended in two Democratic victories that gave the party control of a 50-50 Senate, thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ ability to break ties.
But the Dec.6 runoff won’t be for Senate control this time with Democrats retaining seats in Arizona and Nevada earlier this month. Successful reelection bids by Sens. Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto were what Democrats needed to keep the slimmest of margins in the chamber.
Georgia requires a runoff if a candidate doesn´t win a majority in the party primary or in the general election. Neither Warnock nor Republican Herschel Walker got to 50%.
Under Georgia’s 2021 election law, there will be only four weeks before the runoff – with Thanksgiving in the middle.Many Georgians will be offered only five weekdays of early in-person voting beginning Nov. 28. And June’s primary runoffs showed time for mail ballots to be received and returned can be very tight.
Pelosi holds open option of another term as House Dem leader
WASHINGTON (AP) – With control of the House still hanging in the balance, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stayed mum Sunday on her future plans but said congressional colleagues are urging her to seek another term as Democratic leader following a strong showing in the midterm elections.
Appearing in Sunday news shows, Pelosi said Democrats are “still alive” in their fight to win the chamber and that she will make a decision on whether to run for House leadership in the next couple weeks.
“People are campaigning and that´s a beautiful thing. And I´m not asking anyone for anything,” she said, referring to House Democratic leadership elections set for Nov.30. “My members are asking me to consider doing that. But, again, let´s just get through the (midterm) election.”
“A great deal is at stake, because we will be in a presidential election,” Pelosi said.
Over the weekend, Democrats clinched control of the Senate following Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada.But in the House, a majority remains unsettled with neither party having yet reached the 218 seats needed to control the 435-member chamber. As of Sunday, Republicans had 212 seats compared to 204 for the Democrats, with 19 races still to be called by The Associated Press.
Investigation underway over midair crash at Dallas air show
DALLAS (AP) – A national transportation official probing the cause of a midair crash of two historic military planes during an air show that left six people dead said Sunday that one of the key questions for investigators is why the aircraft were seemingly sharing the same space just before impact.
A World War II-era bomber and a fighter plane collided and crashed to the ground in a ball of flames on Saturday, leaving crumpled wreckage in a grassy area inside the Dallas Executive Airport perimeter, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the city´s downtown. Several videos posted on social media showed the fighter plane flying into the bomber.
“One of the things we would probably most likely be trying to determine is why those aircraft were co-altitude in the same air space at the same time,” Michael Graham, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference.
The crash came three years after the crash of a bomber in Connecticut that killed seven, and amid ongoing concern about the safety of air shows involving older warplanes.The company that owned the planes flying in the Wings Over Dallas show has had other crashes in its more than 60-year history.
The crash claimed six lives, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted Sunday, citing the county medical examiner.Authorities are continuing work to identify the victims, he said. Dallas Fire-Rescue said there were no reports of injuries on the ground.
EXPLAINER: What’s happening at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX?
The imploding cryptocurrency trading firm FTX is now short billions of dollars after experiencing the crypto equivalent of a bank run.
The exchange, formerly one of the world’s largest, sought bankruptcy protection last week, and its CEO and founder resigned.Hours later, the trading firm said there had been “unauthorized access” and that funds had disappeared. Analysts say hundreds of millions of dollars may have vanished.
The unraveling of the once-giant exchange is sending shockwaves through the industry.Here’s a look at the company’s collapse so far:
WHY DID FTX GO BANKRUPT?
Customers fled the exchange over fears about whether FTX had sufficient capital, and it agreed to sell itself to rival crypto exchange Binance.But the deal fell through while Binance´s due diligence on FTX´s balance sheet was still pending.
Massive turnout in defense of Mexico’s electoral authority
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Tens of thousands of people packed the Mexican capital´s main boulevard Sunday to protest President Andrés Manuel López Obrador´s proposal to overhaul the country´s electoral authority in the largest demonstration against one of the president´s efforts during his nearly four years in office.
The massive turnout was a strong rebuke of the president´s assertion that criticism comes only from a relatively small, elite opposition.
Opposition parties and civil society organizations had called on Mexicans to demonstrate in the capital and other cities against proposed electoral reforms that would remake the National Electoral Institute, one of the country´s most prized and trusted institutions.
López Obrador sees the institute as beholden to the elite, but critics say his reforms would threaten its independence and make it more political.The initiative includes eliminating state-level electoral offices, cutting public financing of political parties and allowing the public to elect members of the electoral authority rather than the lower chamber of Congress.
It would also reduce the number of legislators in the lower chamber of Congress from 500 to 300 and senators from 128 to 96 by eliminating at-large lawmakers.Those are not directly elected by voters, but appear on party lists and get seats based on their party´s proportion of the vote.
Musk’s latest Twitter cuts: Outsourced content moderators
Twitter´s new owner Elon Musk is further gutting the teams that battle misinformation on the social media platform as outsourced moderators learned over the weekend they were out of a job.
Twitter and other big social media firms have relied heavily on contractors to track hate and enforce rules against harmful content.
But many of those content watchdogs have now headed out the door, first when Twitter fired much of its full-time workforce by email on Nov.4 and now as it moves to eliminate an untold number of contract jobs.
Melissa Ingle, who worked at Twitter as a contractor for more than a year, was one of a number of contractors who said they were terminated Saturday. She said she´s concerned that there´s going to be an increase in abuse on Twitter with the number of workers leaving.
“I love the platform and I really enjoyed working at the company and trying to make it better. And I´m just really fearful of what´s going to slip through the cracks,” she said Sunday.
‘Here comes the bride’: White House to host its 19th wedding
WASHINGTON (AP) – “Here Comes the Bride” will be heard at the White House very soon. Again.
Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of President Joe Biden, and Peter Neal are getting married on the South Lawn on Saturday in what will be the 19th wedding in White House history.
It will be the first wedding with a president’s granddaughter as the bride, and the first one in that location, according to the White House Historical Association.
A mutual friend set up Naomi Biden, 28, and Neal, 25, about four years ago in New York City and the White House said they have been together ever since.Naomi Biden is a Lawyer Law Firm Turkish ; her father is Hunter Biden. Neal recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school. The couple lives in Washington.
Nine of the 18 documented White House weddings were for a president´s daughter – most recently Richard Nixon´s daughter, Tricia, in 1971, and Lyndon B.Johnson´s daughter, Lynda, in 1967.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s downfall sends shockwaves through crypto
NEW YORK (AP) – Sam Bankman-Fried received numerous plaudits as he rapidly achieved superstar status as the head of cryptocurrency exchange FTX: the savior of crypto, the newest force in Democratic politics and potentially the world´s first trillionaire.
Now the comments about the 30-year-old Bankman-Fried aren´t so kind after FTX filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, leaving his investors and customers feeling duped and many others in the crypto world fearing the repercussions.Bankman-Fried himself could face civil or criminal charges.
“Sam what have you done?,” tweeted Sean Ryan Evans, host of the cryptocurrency podcast Bankless, after the bankruptcy filing.
Under Bankman-Fried, FTX quickly grew to be the third-largest exchange by volume.The stunning collapse of this nascent empire has sent tsunami-like waves through the cryptocurrency industry, which has seen a fair share of volatility and in istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm turmoil this year, including a sharp decline in price for bitcoin and other digital assets. For some, the events are reminiscent of the domino-like failures of Wall Street firms during the 2008 financial crisis, particularly now that supposedly healthy firms like FTX are failing.
One venture capital fund wrote down investments in FTX worth over $200 million. The cryptocurrency lender BlockFi paused client withdrawals Friday after FTX sought bankruptcy protection. In case you have any inquiries with regards to where along with how to utilize in istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm, you can e-mail us on our web page. The Singapore-based exchange Crypto.com saw withdrawals increase this weekend for internal reasons but some of the action could be attributed to raw nerves from FTX.
‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner defends his relationship with the notorious crown prince of Saudi of Arabia in a forthcoming memoir, saying that Mohammed Bin Salman was a reforming power in the kingdom and that he believed his denials of any personal involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Kushner’s ties to MBS have been under intense scrutiny this year.
Six months after leaving the , his new private equity firm secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the 36-year-old Saudi crown prince, raising questions about whether Kushner was being rewarded for acting as a go-between.
In ‘Breaking History: A White House Memoir,’ which will be published on August 23, Kushner defends working with MBS, even after dissident journalist Khashoggi was killed in 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
‘While this situation was terrible, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the reforms that MBS was implementing were having a positive impact on millions of people in the kingdom—especially women,’ he writes, according to excerpts published by the
‘All of these reforms were major priorities for the United States, as they led to further progress in combating extremism and advancing economic opportunity and stability throughout the war-torn region.
‘The kingdom was poised to build on this historic progress, and I believed it would.’
In a forthcoming memoir Jared Kushner defends his close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, even though U.S. intelligence agencies concluded he was responsible for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi
MBS, as he is known, has worked ruthlessly to silence opponents and consolidate power
Khashoggi criticized MBS’s approach to power in commentaries published in the Washington Post and elsewhere. He was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 after MBS personally ordered that he be killed or captured, according to US intelligence agencies
Breaking History is published by Broadside Books on August 23
Kushner also said he accepted the Saudi leader’s claim that he was not personally involved. If you have any type of inquiries relating to where and ways to make use of Law Firm Turkish, you can call us at our own web page.
That puts him at odds with U.S. intelligence agencies, which concluded that MBS had directly approved an operation to kill or capture Khashoggi.
Trump shrugged off the episode as an anomaly that should not get in the way of relations between Washington and Riyadh.
And although President Joe Biden has talked of building a foreign policy based on values and of making Saudi Arabia a pariah for its actions, earlier this month he met with MBS as part of an effort to improve relations and bring down oil prices.
Throughout Trump’s time in office, Kushner’s close relationship with MBS was a source of friction between officials. He was widely reported to use WhatsApp to communicate with the crown prince, keeping other staff and Cabinet secretaries in the dark.
In 2017 he had an angry showdown with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who accused him of undercutting his authority.
President Joe Biden exchanges an awkward fist bump with MBS during his trip to Jeddah earlier this month. Biden had promised to make Saudi Arabia a pariah
Tillerson opposed Kushner’s effort to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and accused him of backing Saudi Arabia’s push to isolate Qatar, home to a vital U.S. airbase.
‘You are lighting a match in a dry forest, and the whole Middle East is on fire,’ Tillerson said, according to the book.
‘You might as well go before the Senate for confirmation because you are going to cause a war, and I am not going to be the one to be blamed for it.’
In Kushner’s account, he then called MBS so that he could reassure Tillerson that he was not being cut out of talks.
But Tillerson stormed out of the room, shouting: ‘I can’t operate like this!’
Meet MBS, the Saudi crown prince who owns a $500m yacht and French chateau, plays ‘Call of Duty,’ reopened theaters, and according to U.S. intelligence ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shaken up the conservative kingdom with head-spinning reforms while quashing any threats to his status since becoming de facto ruler of the world’s biggest oil producer five years ago.
The hard-charging heir drew international revulsion after Saudi agents killed and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but US President Joe Biden’s visit to the kingdom this month has helped restore his position on the international stage, forcing world leaders to deal with him whether they want to or not.
A towering figure with a full-face beard, deep growling voice and seemingly boundless energy, Prince Mohammed is known for his super-sized ambitions, from building the futuristic megacity known as NEOM to waging the seven-year-old war in neighbouring Yemen.
The brash 36-year-old, known widely as ‘MBS’ and said to have a fondness for fast food and the ‘Call of Duty’ video games, is also fabulously rich, owning a $500 million yacht, a French chateau and, according to officially denied reports, a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Then President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speak at the G20 Osaka Summit on June 28, 2019
Unlike other Saudi princes with their British accents, sharp suits and Oxford degrees, MBS embraces the country’s Bedouin roots, usually donning a traditional robe and sandals, treating friends and relatives to lavish roast lamb meals in luxury desert camps.
Having plotted his path to power from relative obscurity, Prince Mohammed has overseen the biggest transformation in Saudi Arabia’s modern history, the world’s top crude oil exporter and host of Islam’s two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina.
Under his rule, the kingdom’s religious police have been de-fanged, cinemas have reopened, foreign tourists have been welcomed, and Saudi Arabia has staged a film festival, operas, Formula One Grand Prix, heavyweight boxing, professional wrestling and a huge rave festival.
Yet he has also jailed critics and, in a sweeping purge of the nation’s elite, detained and threatened some 200 princes and businessmen in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in a 2017 anti-corruption crackdown that tightened his grip on power.
Turkish writer Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, poses next to his portrait in Washington on October 1, 2021, on the third anniversary of his murder at the Saudi consulate in istanbul Lawyer Law Firm
His image was most severely tarnished by the brutal murder of Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s istanbul Law Firm consulate in October 2018, which prompted condemnation of the crown prince, despite Riyadh’s insistence that rogue agents carried out the killing.
‘MBS is a hugely divisive character, praised by supporters as a long-awaited game-changer in a region aching for it and dismissed by foes as a brutal dictator in the making,’ wrote Ben Hubbard in ‘MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman’.
‘He is determined to give Saudis a shining, prosperous future and exercises an unflinching willingness to crush his foes. Combined in different doses, those attributes will likely guide his actions far into the future.’
This handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on November 20, 2019 shows Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz, on the right, arriving with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to address the Shura council in Riyadh
Prince Mohammed, son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was born on August 31, 1985. He is one of the hundreds of grandchildren of the country’s founder, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, and grew up in a Riyadh palace with his mother, Fahda, one of his father’s four wives, and his five brothers.
‘As the sixth son of the 25th son of the founding king, Law Firm Turkish there was little reason to expect that he would rise to prominence,’ wrote Hubbard. ‘And for most of his life, few people did.’
He earned a law degree from Riyadh’s King Saud University but never studied abroad, and soon worked as a special adviser to his father, the then-Riyadh governor.
Saudi Arabia has opened up to cultural and sports events, including the Dakar Rally 2021
When King Salman assumed the throne in early 2015, he named Prince Mohammed as defence minister. Soon the young man also coordinated economic policy, oversaw the state oil company Saudi Aramco and supervised the kingdom’s military intervention in Yemen.
Within a year, he held so many portfolios that diplomats called him ‘Mr Everything’.
The prince – now a father of three boys and two girls, who unlike other Saudi royals has only one wife – reportedly worked 16-hour days and drew inspiration from Winston Churchill and Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’.
His rise was rapid, replacing his elder cousin Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to become heir to the throne in 2017. Three years later Prince Nayef, along with a brother of King Salman, was reportedly detained.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has overseen the most fundamental transformation in the kindom’s modern history
Prince Mohammed has pledged to forge a ‘moderate’ Saudi Arabia and courts international investors for his wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the oil-reliant economy.
‘We want to live a normal life,’ he once told business leaders in Riyadh. ‘All we are doing is going back to what we were — a moderate Islam that is open to all religions and open to the world.
‘Seventy percent of the Saudi population is under 30 and, honestly, we will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideas. We will destroy them today.’
– ‘Fire hose of ideas’ –
As he rose to prominence, he toured the United States and charmed leaders in the White House and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and Hollywood.
People attend the Soundstorm music festival, organized by MDLBEAST, in Banban on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 16, 2021
New York Times writer Thomas Friedman recounted how in an interview that lasted late into the night, the prince ‘wore me out with a fire hose of new ideas for transforming his country’.
Perhaps his most hyper-ambitious initiative is the $500 billion NEOM project on the Red Sea coast, to be powered by solar energy and staffed by robots, which the prince describes as a ‘civilisational leap for humanity’.
Reflecting the hopes of the country’s youthful population, Prince Mohammed has eased restrictions on women’s rights, allowing them to drive, attend sports events and concerts alongside men, and obtain passports without the approval of a male guardian.
Along with the reforms, though, came a crackdown on dissidents, including intellectuals and women’s rights activists, part of an apparent strategy to stamp out any trace of opposition before a formal transfer of power from King Salman.
Internationally, he has pursued a more assertive foreign policy, plunging the kingdom into a quagmire of regional rivalries: the Yemen war, hostility toward Shiite power Iran, a three-year blockade of Qatar until 2021, and the reported detention of Lebanon’s prime minister for several tense days.
Prince Mohammed, who once publicly berated US president Barack Obama for criticising Saudi Arabia’s rights record, forged a strong bond with Donald Trump and especially his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, which served him well during the fallout over Khashoggi’s death.
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receiving French President Emmanuel Macron in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on December 4, 2021
The prince initially faced renewed scrutiny of his human rights record from Biden, who released an intelligence report stating MBS had ‘approved an operatio’ to capture or kill Khashoggi.
Biden did not, however, take action against the crown prince and this month the pair met on Saudi soil, despite an earlier pledge to make the country a ‘pariah’.
This shift is perhaps an acknowledgement that Prince Mohammed, still in his 30s, could rule Saudi Arabia for half a century or more.
ANKARA, July 27 (Reuters) – Sweden and istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm Finland have yet to extradite suspects Turkey seeks over terrorism-related charges despite signing an accord to lift Ankara’s veto to its NATO membership last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
The two Nordic countries applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but were faced with opposition from Turkey which accused them of imposing arms embargoes on Ankara and supporting groups it deems terrorists.
While Lawyer istanbul Turkey has not set a firm deadline, it has said it expects the suspects to be extradited as soon as possible and that it was monitoring the situation closely.
“Sweden maintains an ongoing dialog with Turkey and Finland on the trilateral agreement which Sweden is following and will carry out in full in accordance with Swedish and international law,” a spokesman at Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said in an emailed comment.
The three countries signed an accord to lift Ankara’s veto in exchange for counter-terrorism promises, but Turkey has said it will block the membership bids if the pledges are not kept.It has sought the extradition of 73 people from Sweden and a dozen others from Finland.
Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the Swedish charges d’affaires in Ankara to convey its “strong reaction” to what it called “terrorist propaganda” during a Kurdish group’s protest in Stockholm, diplomatic sources said at the weekend.
Officials from Turkey, Finland and Sweden will meet in August to evaluate the progress in meeting Ankara’s demands.
While Turkey holds off with its ratification for the two countries’ membership bids, 18 of NATO’s 30 members have already approved Sweden’s application to join the alliance.If you have any kind of issues concerning in which in addition to how to make use of istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm, you are able to contact us in our own web site. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay, additional reporting by Simon Johnson in Stockholm; Editing by Ali Kucukgocmen and Tomasz Janowski)
LONDON (AP) – Western fears that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent have eased but not disappeared.Diplomatic efforts to avert war got new energy this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was willing to discuss security issues with NATO, and Russia said it was withdrawing some of its troops gathered near Ukraine´s borders.
The United States and its allies have welcomed the diplomatic overture, but say they have seen little evidence of a Russian military de-escalation.
NATO defense ministers met Wednesday in Brussels as the West tries to deter an invasion – one that Russia insists it has no intention of starting.
Here´s a look at what is happening where and why:
WHAT´S HAPPENING WITH RUSSIAN TROOPS?
Contrary to Putin’s claims, Russia has added as many as 7,000 troops near the Ukrainian border in recent days, a senior Biden administration official said Wednesday.The official was not authorized to speak publicly about sensitive operations and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official did not provide underlying evidence.
A 200 meter long Ukrainian flag is unfolded at the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
U.S.President Joe Biden said Tuesday that 150,000 Russian troops were massed to the north, south and east of Ukraine, and Western officials said a Russian invasion could still happen at the drop of a hat.
Russia´s Defense Ministry has announced that some units participating in military exercises will begin returning to their bases, a statement welcomed as “a good signal” by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.The Russian Defense Ministry released footage of a trainload of armored vehicles leaving Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.
But NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance had not seen “any signs of de-escalation on the ground – no withdrawals of troops or equipment.”
“Russia maintains a massive invasion force ready to attack,” he said.
WHAT DOES RUSSIA SAY?
The Kremlin dismisses claims that it is planning an invasion. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Western “hysteria … profoundly puzzles us,” and accused the West of trying to dictate how Russia should behave on its own territory.
Moscow´s ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, told German daily newspaper Welt that “there won´t be an attack this Wednesday. There won´t be an escalation next week either, or in the week after, or in the coming month.”
Western officials say even if an invasion is not imminent, Russia could keep troops massed near Ukraine for weeks, turning the military buildup into a protracted crisis that has already harmed Ukraine’s economy.
Russian forces kept up their massive war games Wednesday in Belarus, to the north of Ukraine, with fighter jets flying training missions and paratroopers holding shooting drills.
The West fears those exercises could be used as cover ahead of an invasion of Ukraine, but Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said all Russian troops and weapons will leave the country after the maneuvers wrap up Sunday.
WHAT IS NATO DOING?
Defense ministers from NATO member nations met in Brussels to try to bolster the deterrence side of its twin-track deterrence and diplomacy strategy for Russia.
Stoltenberg said NATO would “convey a very clear message to Russia that we are ready to sit down and discuss with them but at the same time, we are prepared for the worst.”
He said Russia’s actions had provoked “a crisis in European security” and showed that Moscow was willing to undermine the pillars of the continent’s stability by threating its neighbor.
“I regret to say that this is the new normal in Europe,” he said.
Stoltenberg said NATO had discussed setting up new battlegroups in central, eastern and southeastern Europe, including one led by France in Romania, but a final decision has not been made.
NATO has ruled out sending troops to fight Russia in Ukraine, which is not a member of the Western alliance.But hundreds of American, British and other NATO troops have been sent to bolster the defenses of Eastern European member countries, including Poland and the Baltic states, that fear they may also be Russian targets.
Moscow accuses NATO of moving ever closer to Russia’s borders.A key Russian demand is that Ukraine drop its ambition to join NATO. The alliance says Ukraine must have the freedom to make its own choices.
European Union leaders are to discuss the latest developments in the crisis on Thursday before the start of an EU-Africa summit.The bloc, the U.S. and Britain have all threatened heavy sanctions on Russia if it invades.
WHAT ELSE IS THE WEST WORRIED ABOUT?
Western diplomats have called the crisis the biggest challenge to the international order since the end of the Cold War. It also has focused the attention of many European governments on the security of their future energy supplies.
Western governments accuse Russia of cutting back on its natural gas supplies to Europe to leverage Russia´s security demands, contributing to months of sharply higher energy prices.
In the short term, Europe is seeking extra gas from other nations, including Japan. The crisis may also hasten a switch to climate-friendly renewable energy that is already underway.
In the U.S., Biden is warning that gasoline prices could get higher if Putin chooses to invade.Inflation has become an albatross for Democrats going into the 2022 midterm elections, despite the nation´s strong economic growth last year.
The cost of crude oil – and gasoline- began to climb over the past month as Putin massed forces on the Ukrainian border.Forecasts from JPMorgan and other investment firms suggest that crude oil – already at about $95 a barrel – could exceed $125 a barrel due to tight supplies, which an intensify.
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry will underscore the connection between climate efforts and global security at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, where he is scheduled to speak Friday.U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also is expected to attend the security event.
WHAT ABOUT CYBERATTACKS?
Disruption continued from a cyberattack that knocked out the websites of the Ukrainian army, the defense ministry and major banks in Ukraine on Tuesday.Ukrainian officials say they are investigating the origin of the distributed-denial-of-service attacks. Russia has denied involvement.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities issued a warning that hackers backed by the Russian state have waged a long-running campaign to get classified material from private contractors working for the Pentagon.
The warning issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security´s cyber unit, the FBI and National Security Agency said the hackers, using “common but effective tactics,” have been targeting defense contractors since at least January 2020 and will likely continue to do so.
U.S.authorities said the intrusions “enabled the actors to acquire sensitive, unclassified information, as well as CDC-proprietary and export-controlled technology,” but did not identify any of the victimized companies.
WHAT IS THE MOOD IN UKRAINE?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared Wednesday a “day of national unity.” He called on citizens to display the blue-and-yellow national flag and to sing the national anthem in the face of “hybrid threats.” To mark the day, demonstrators unfolded a 200-meter (656-foot) national flag at a sports arena in Kyiv.
“Russia will not leave us in peace, that´s why we have to be always ready for it,” Yuri Maistrenko, 52, a scientist in Kyiv, said.”It did not start today, but it could tomorrow or after a month.”
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN RUSSIA?
Putin, who has had tense meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany´s Scholz in recent days, was all smiles Wednesday when he met authoritarian Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Moscow.
Russian lawmakers, meanwhile, have urged Putin to recognize as independent states the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine where Russia has supported rebels in a conflict that has killed more than 14,000 people since 2014.Putin signaled that he wasn´t inclined to back the motion, which would effectively shatter a 2015 peace deal.
Blinken said if Putin did approve the appeal, it would be “a gross violation of international Law Firm Turkey istanbul” and bring “a swift and firm response” from the U.S.and its allies.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT FURTHER AFIELD?
The crisis is causing ripples in the skies and the seas.
Ukraine International Airlines said it has sent some of its passenger planes to Spain “for safe keeping.” The airline said it took the decision under pressure from insurance companies “due to the foreign policy situation.”
The airport at Castellón in eastern Spain said five planes had arrived, with a sixth expected.
The Ukrainian airline continues to operate to and from the country with a reduced fleet.
The Cockpit union, which represents pilots in Germany, called for planes to avoid flying over “regions of tension” in eastern Ukraine.
In 2014, 298 people aboard a Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when the Boeing 777 was brought down by a missile over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Norwegian fishermen, meanwhile, were upset over a three-day Russian naval drill in the Arctic that started Wednesday.Fishing boats are being warned from a zone about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) long north of Norway – a situation Sturla Roald of the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association called “totally unsustainable.”
Associated Press Writers Vladimir Isachenkov a in Moscow, Yuras Karmanau in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Lorne Cook and Raf Casert in Brussels, Frank Jordans in Berlin, Joseph Wilson in Barcelona and Ellen Knickmeyer and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
Follow all AP stories on tensions over Ukraine at website
A view of Ukraine’s national flag waves above the capital with the Motherland Monument on the right, in Kyiv Sunday, Feb.When you cherished this informative article in addition to you want to obtain more info regarding istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm generously pay a visit to our page. 13, 2022. Some airlines have halted or diverted flights to Ukraine amid heightened fears that an invasion by Russia is imminent despite intensive weekend talks between the Kremlin and the West. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy listens to Ukrainian national anthem as he takes part in celebration of the Day of the Unit at an international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022, prior to his trip to Rivne and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian President ordered to held the Day of the Unity with solemn ceremonies across the country. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
People hold Ukrainian flags as they gather to celebrate a Day of Unity in Odessa, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Secretary for Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks during a press statement prior to a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. NATO defense ministers are meeting to discuss Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine as it fuels one of Europe’s biggest security crises in decades.
(Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
Secretary for Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, left, speaks during a joint press statement with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg prior to a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. NATO defense ministers are meeting to discuss Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine as it fuels one of Europe’s biggest security crises in decades.
(Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, second left, talk to each other during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022, a Russian navy’s team at work during naval exercises in the Mediterranean. Russia’s naval drills in the Mediterranean come amid the tensions with the West over Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022, a Russian serviceman fires from his weapon during naval exercises at a military base in Syria. Russia’s naval drills in the Mediterranean come amid tensions with the West over Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022, The Russian navy’s destroyer Admiral Tributs is seen from a military helicopter during a naval exercises in the Mediterranean . Russia’s naval drills in the Mediterranean come amid tensions with the West over Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her speech at the European Parliament, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022 in Strasbourg. EU leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen address the dire conditions in Ukraine and the diplomatic chances to avert a Russian invasion during the plenary debate at the European Parliament. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb.15, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, left, arrives with his delegation for a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. NATO defense ministers are meeting to discuss Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine as it fuels one of Europe’s biggest security crises in decades. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
FILE – A Ukrainian serviceman carries an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Feb.15, 2022. As the U.S. and other NATO members warn of the potential for istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm a devastating war, Russia is not countering with bombs or olive branches — but with sarcasm. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
A child walks under a large Ukrainian flag carried by people marking a “day of unity” in Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb.
16, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he welcomed a security dialogue with the West, and his military reported pulling back some of its troops near Ukraine, while U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. had not verified Russia’s claim and that an invasion was still a distinct possibility.
(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Assumption or Dormition Cathedral, the main Orthodox church of Kharkov, stands out in the center of Kharkiv, istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm Ukraine’s second-largest city, Wednesday, Feb.
16, 2022, just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from some of the tens of thousands of Russian troops massed at the border of Ukraine, feels particularly perilous. As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country.
(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)
Ukrainian Army soldiers pose for a photo as they gather to celebrate a Day of Unity in Odessa, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb.16, 2022. As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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