17 February 2022

Morning headlines – February 17th 2022

Florin Jipa

Image source: Mediafax

Global political and military events

  • Russia added 7.000 troops to the border with Ukraine. CNN quotes a White House official who said Russia enhanced its military units at the border with Ukraine adding 7.000 troops recently, the total number of the Russian armed forces around Ukraine reaching 150.000. (CNN)
  • The Russian MFA is accusing US of disinformation. The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, has accused the US of disinformation when it comes to an imminent attack of Russia over Ukraine and has warned that this situation is seriously affecting the Ukrainian economy. (Tass)
  • Olaf Sholz-Joseph Biden discussion. Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the US president, Joseph Biden, has expressed their concerns on Wednesday night over the risks of a Russian military aggression against Ukraine and asked Moscow to adopt real actions as in to reduce the tensions. (Mediafax)
  • Putin promised Bolsonaro fertilizers, power plants and military cooperation. Following a discussion with Putin in Kremlin, Bolsonaro has stated that Brasil is interested in small nuclear power plants produced by the Russian state energy company Rosatom. The two hours discussion between Bolsonaro and Putin included also discussions on selling fertilizers to the Brazilian agriculture sectors and the cooperation in the defence and nuclear technology domain. (Mediafax)
  • The reunion of the defence ministers in the NATO member states. Thursday is the second day of the reunion  of defence ministers from the NATO states where they discuss among others the security situation in eastern Europe. On Wednesday, the NATO secretary general has announced the decision to establish a fight group in Romania. (Press release)
  • Bridge built overnight near the border with Ukraine. Satellite images taken in the last two days show a construction of new roads and a tactical bridge over an important river in Belarus, less than 6 km from the border with Ukraine, given that the Russian military forces are continuing the buildup around Ukraine. (CNN)
  • EU is building its own satellite network. The EU ministers, reunited in Toulouse to discuss about the space policy, have agreed on Wednesday that the community bloc needs an autonomous satellite infrastructure to access high speed internet, has stated the French minister of economy, Bruno Le Maire, according to Reuters. (Mediafax)
  • The European Parliament approved a loan to Ukraine worth of 1,2 billion euro. The European Parliament has approved on Wednesday evening a new loan as financial support from the EU for Ukraine, worth of 1.2 billion euro. The money is dedicated to helping Ukraine given the serious situation generated by the Russian threat. (Digi24)
  • The Estonian foreign intelligence service confirms the imminence of an attack from Russia. Russia continues to move troops at the border with Ukraine and will probably launch a `limited` military attack against this country. (Mediafax)

The British military intelligence service confirms the increase of the Russian military presence. Jim Hockenuhll, the chief of the intelligence service of the British armed forces has stated that Russia continues to consolidate its military capacities at the border with Ukraine, especially armored vehicles, helicopters and a military hospital. (BBC)

  • United Kingdom - Australia Summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison discussed at a virtual summit on Wednesday the "significant" progress of the program to build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. (BBC)

Romania's defense and security

  • Iohannis attends the European Council Meeting. President Klaus Iohannis will attend an informal European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday on the latest developments on the security situation at Ukraine's borders and at the 6th European Union-African Union Summit. (Agerpres)
  • Iohannis met with Macron. The President of Romania was welcomed on Wednesday evening by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysée Palace, where an informal meeting on the security situation in the Sahel was held. (TVR)