Sponsored by Exensor
27 Jan 23. Serbia: Demonstrations at Chinese copper mine elevate domestic unrest risks. On 26 January, workers at the Chinese-owned Zijin copper mining and smelting facility in Bor held a demonstration to demand higher wages. Protesters blocked four entrances to the plant to demand a 14.3% salary increase, while the company pledged a 10% increase for 2023 last year. The protest took place only weeks after a previous demonstration at the plant, while in 2021 the plant’s partial closure was ordered by the Serbian government citing concerns regarding non-compliance with environmental protection standards and following complaints from locals about noise levels. While Serbia is the second largest copper producer in Europe, frequent strikes at the copper mine threaten to disrupt output and increase domestic unrest risks. (Source: Sibylline)
26 Jan 23. The UK supports the expansion of the Security Council.
Statement by Ambassador Richard Croker, at the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform.
Thank you Co-Chairs.
On behalf of the United Kingdom I’d like to thank you for taking on the responsibility of co-chairing this session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform.
The UK recognises that the world is not the same today as it was in 1946 when the Security Council first met, or as it was in 1965 when it was last expanded. This is why the UK has long supported reform of the Security Council. This task is more relevant and important today than ever. At a time when the Charter itself is under threat following Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine it is incumbent on all of us to ensure the Security Council is able to uphold international peace and security. And to show that we are united in our commitment to the principle that no state should threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another, as enshrined in the Charter.
The UK believes that to fulfil its important mandate, the Security Council must be efficient, effective, and accountable. This is why the UK was proud to co-sponsor the initiative led by Liechtenstein last year to bring greater scrutiny to the use of the veto in the Security Council. And it is why we approach the task of Security Council reform seriously. Although we recognise its inherent challenges, we believe momentum for change is building around the UN, and hope that all Member States will approach these negotiations with flexibility and the intent to make progress.
We remain convinced that a move to text-based negotiations in a fixed timeframe could help us to make meaningful progress on our collective task. I would like to reiterate the UK’s longstanding position – as articulated recently by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly: the UK supports the permanent membership of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan; permanent African representation; and the further expansion of the non-permanent category towards a total membership in the mid-20s.
Our position is grounded on the core principles of the UN Charter: that the Council should represent the world whose peace and security it seeks to protect and should draw on diverse perspectives and expertise. And that Council members are willing and able to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security. On the question of regional representation, we are also clear that the Council acts on behalf of the whole membership and therefore we remain clear that States are elected to the Council, by the General Assembly, in their own right. We note that this is reflected in the Co-Chairs Elements Paper of 2022.
Thank you, co-chairs for convening this meeting. We look forward to discussions in the coming months as a further step towards securing a Security Council that is fit for purpose for the twenty first century. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
26 Jan 23. UK annual defence procurement worth more than £2bn to Scotland. New figures today (Thursday January 26, 2023) show Ministry of Defence (MoD) expenditure with industry and commerce in Scotland in 2021/22 was £2.01bn. This is up from just under £2bn the previous year and is the equivalent of £370 per person in Scotland. For the whole UK, it is £21.1bn, working out at an average of £310 per person.
These figures show how crucial defence is to both the security of the United Kingdom and to delivering on the Prime Minister’s priorities – growing the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Nothing is more important than defending our country. We are so proud of our Royal Navy and all of our Armed Services. But these figures also show defence spend contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland, not least through shipbuilding at which we are a world leader.”
Defence investment in Scottish shipbuilding will see order books full until the 2030s.
In 2021/22 construction began on the first of five new Type 31 Royal Navy frigates – HMS Venturer. Building the fleet will support around 2,500 jobs both at Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard and nationally through the UK supply chain, as well as creating 150 additional apprenticeships.
Earlier this week, the steel was cut in Rosyth on the second frigate – HMS Active. During the coming months they will rise to 6,000-tonne warships. The construction of the Type 31 frigates is part of a wider investment in UK yards and industry under the UK Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy of more than £4bn.
Each ship is larger than the current Type 23s they replace but slightly shorter and lighter than HMS Glasgow and the seven other planned Type 26 frigates also being built for the fleet by BAE Systems in Govan.
The 26s will focus on anti-submarine warfare leaving the 31s to carry out patrols wherever they are needed, from conducting counter-terrorism/drug smuggling patrols in the Indian Ocean to helping out in the aftermath of a disaster.
Within the last couple of decades Scotland has also delivered six Type 45 destroyers, two aircraft carriers and five offshore patrol vessels.
In 2021/22 defence has also invested in the expansion of the operational support facilities for the Poseidon P8 submarine hunter aircraft which are based at RAF Lossiemouth and there is continued investment in facilities for the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet on the Clyde.
MoD expenditure supports around 12,700 Scottish private sector jobs – on top of the 10,400 MoD staff in Scotland. The money spent by the MoD directly supports around 25,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, plus some 20,000 jobs supported indirectly. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mod-regional-expenditure-with-uk-industry-and-supported-employment-202122 (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
26 Jan 23. Finland: Helsinki plans to proceed with NATO bid alone amid rising Sweden-Turkey tensions. On 24 January, Finland’s Foreign Ministry indicated in a statement that the country is now considering proceeding with its NATO application without Sweden, following new tensions between Stockholm and Ankara over far-right demonstrations. Since the two countries’ official membership request in May 2022, this is the first time that Finland has signalled it would not pursue a joint admission process. The announcement by the ministry came after Turkish President Erdogan stated that his country would no longer support Sweden’s NATO bid. Should Finland gain accession to the defence alliance later this year, regional security would likely improve. Tensions between Sweden, Turkey and other NATO member states are expected to increase as Ankara continues to block Stockholm’s admission. (Source: Sibylline)
25 Jan 23. Germany: Tank deliveries to Ukraine will boost NATO cohesion; revitalise German defence industry. On 25 January, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The decision marks a significant shift in German foreign policy following months of hesitation around the delivery of heavy armour to Ukraine. The decision was taken in conjunction with the US government’s expected announcement regarding the supply of its own M1 Abrams tanks. Olaf has also confirmed Germany’s U-Turn on the re-export of Leopard 2s, allowing Poland and other NATO allies to deliver their own tanks to Kyiv. The move will help bolster cohesion among NATO allies and help ease tensions within the coalition government in Germany. It will also help revitalise Germany’s defence industry and its main defence contractor Rheinmetall. (Source: Sibylline)
24 Jan 23. Berlin’s reluctance to approve re-exports of German-made tanks to Ukraine is damaging trust in the country’s defence sector, prompting warnings from Polish, Slovak and industry officials that future purchases and military co-operation are at risk. The EU and Nato have sought to respond to the war in Ukraine by encouraging European governments to work on joint defence projects, but the furore over chancellor Olaf Scholz’s refusal to allow Leopard 2 tanks to be exported to Kyiv has given other countries a reason to question Germany’s partnership credentials, officials told the Financial Times. “It’s always better to go national. If you have to go multinational, there may be some strings attached and there are some lessons learned that are indeed derived from the current crisis,” said Tomasz Szatkowski, Poland’s ambassador to Nato. “The Leopard case is just one of them,” he added. “And we are implementing those lessons now with the new procurement decisions.” Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday that Warsaw would formally apply to Berlin for permission to export Leopards to Ukraine, in a bid to pressure Scholz into approving the tank deliveries. The war in Ukraine has been a boon for German defence producers. The Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall, which manufactures the cannon and electronics for the Leopard 2 as well as a range of other vehicles and ammunition, has seen its share price more than double since last year’s invasion. Recommended FT News Briefing podcast8 min listen Germany’s tank dilemma 3 HOURS AGO A promise by Scholz to overhaul Germany’s armed forces and increase its defence spending also raised market expectations of a flurry of orders for German arms manufacturers. Germany has long been regarded as one of the world’s top manufacturers of tanks. Many countries, including the US, require customers to agree to re-exporting restrictions. But those restrictions usually do not apply to Nato partner countries such as Ukraine. Several defence industry officials said that the country’s arms makers were fearful that the Leopard row would dent the sector’s potential. One German defence industry lobbyist who declined to be named said his country’s re-exporting rules were seen as stricter than, for instance, France and UK’s. “Although the label ‘made in Germany’ still stands for quality, it is never entirely clear to the customer whether the export permits will be granted,” the lobbyist said. Leopards, which are operated by a dozen EU armies, are widely viewed as well-suited for Ukraine’s needs. Multiple bloc foreign ministers used a meeting in Brussels on Monday to demand Germany agree to their export to Kyiv. “Put simply, it is great news for any of Germany’s competitors in the defence space,” said a second defence industry official. Last May, the EU responded to concerns over the bloc’s defence capabilities by setting up a new body tasked with exploring “future joint procurement projects”. But EU officials said that the Leopards experience could impact appetite for future co-operation with Berlin. “The risk is that this idea takes hold that ‘if the Germans are involved, then we don’t know if we can fully trust it’,” said one bloc official involved in talks over closer defence co-operation. “These are the times when trust is being built,” said Peter Bator, Slovakia’s ambassador to Nato. “If this [permission] is going to be refused by anyone, then it would definitely not contribute to trust.” (Source: FT.com)
23 Jan 23. Major defence spending increase will bolster French, European security. On 20 January, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans for a major increase in his country’s defence spending. As part of this initiative, the defence budget will increase to EUR 413bn for the period 2024-30, up from EUR 295bn for the seven years prior. Key aspects of the reforms include a 60% increase in military intelligence spending and investment in the country’s nuclear deterrence, cyber-defence, air defence and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The plans are largely a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and align with defence spending plans outlined by other European governments. However, the spending has also been influenced by the military’s eight-year anti-Islamist operation in the Sahel region, which ended in 2022. Since France is the EU’s major military power and leads NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Romania, the spending is also designed to improve European security. (Source: Sibylline)
23 Jan 23. Sweden: Far-right demonstrations will elevate tensions with Turkey. On 21 January, anti-immigrant demonstrations were held in the capital Stockholm. Protesters, including the Danish-Swedish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, expressed anti-Turkish sentiment at the gatherings. During the protests, demonstrators also burned a copy of the Quran near the Turkish embassy, which will almost certainly increase ethno-religious tensions in the country and elevate tensions with Turkey. The demonstration took place amid ongoing negotiations between Sweden and Turkey regarding Stockholm’s accession to NATO. Increased bilateral tensions will therefore possibly hamper the country’s membership bid. Notably, Ankara already cancelled a scheduled meeting between the two countries’ defence ministers, citing the lack of measures by Sweden to restrict anti-Turkish demonstrations. Furthermore, increasing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in Sweden will elevate the risk of targeted attacks against immigration centres. (Source: Sibylline)
Founded in 1987, Exensor Technology is a world leading supplier of Networked Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Systems providing tailored sensor solutions to customers all over the world. From our Headquarters in Lund Sweden, our centre of expertise in Network Communications at Communications Research Lab in Kalmar Sweden and our Production site outside of Basingstoke UK, we design, develop and produce latest state of the art rugged UGS solutions at the highest quality to meet the most stringent demands of our customers. Our systems are in operation and used in a wide number of Military as well as Homeland Security applications worldwide. The modular nature of the system ensures any external sensor can be integrated, providing the user with a fully meshed “silent” network capable of self-healing. Exensor Technology will continue to lead the field in UGS technology, provide our customers with excellent customer service and a bespoke package able to meet every need. A CNIM Group Company