Davos Updates | Spain believes Finland and Sweden will join NATO

title=s

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, second from left, arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum takes place in Davos from May 22-26, 2022. ( AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

PA

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he believed Sweden and Finland would succeed in joining NATO despite Turkey’s objections to joining.

In an address Tuesday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sánchez said “the political will of the allies is to welcome these two countries.”

He said Spain will “accelerate all the parliamentary processes” of the two Nordic nations important for the stability of NATO and the European Union.

Turkey has opposed what it sees as Finland’s and Sweden’s support for groups it sees as terrorists and their blocking of arms sales.

Regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war, Sánchez said it was “imperative that we do everything possible to restore food productions, trade systems and ensure food security for the most vulnerable”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently accused Russia of weaponizing food and hijacking grain that Ukraine produces for millions of people around the world. UN food chief David Beasley has warned that the war has created “an unprecedented crisis” of escalating food prices that is already sparking protests and riots and growing hunger.

___

Finland’s foreign minister told the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos that a delegation from his country and Sweden will visit the Turkish capital as Turkey rejects the Nordic countries’ request to join. NATO.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a geopolitical outlook panel on Tuesday that the representatives would travel to Turkey on Wednesday for talks.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed the negotiations. Turkey opposes Sweden and Finland’s historic bid to join the military alliance, citing their perceived support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other groups Turkey considers terrorists . Turkey also points the finger at its restrictions on arms exports against it.

Haavisto says he understands that Turkey has “security issues” regarding terrorism and that Finland has “good answers to those because we are also involved in the fight against terrorism. So we think this issue can be settled”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Davos NATO would do ‘what we always do’ and that is ‘sit down and respond to concerns when allies raise concerns’ .

He says he is confident that the group will be able to “resolve these issues and come to an agreement, and then welcome Finland and Sweden as full members of our alliance.”

___

Speakers on a panel on migration at the World Economic Forum meeting said the European Union’s response to the arrival of millions of Ukrainian refugees was a prime example of solidarity. But it also served as a reminder of the need for an overhaul of the bloc’s migration policy.

European Union Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said in Davos on Tuesday that “this is Europe at its best”.

The exodus of more than 6 million Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, prompted the EU to activate an emergency protection system for the first time since its creation in 2001, facilitating access to employment, housing, education and health care in the EU for Ukrainians.

Negotiations on a proposed new EU migration and asylum policy in 2020 have stalled as member states disagree on responsibility for welcoming migrants and asylum seekers arriving on its shores and its land borders irregularly.

Schinas urged EU states to face “reality” and reach consensus.

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita says she is proud of her small country’s response to the refugee crisis. He has seen half a million refugees come from Ukraine since the start of the war. She says Moldova has eased entry for those whose passports have expired, allowed them to bring pets and housed displaced Ukrainians in their homes.

But she warned that longer-term aid would be needed for Moldova to cope.

___

Kremlin critic Bill Browder wants governments to step up efforts to access the wealth accumulated by Russian oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin by forcing accountants, lawyers and others who have set up legal and financial structures dark to become whistleblowers.

Browder, author of the best-selling nonfiction book Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath, says Russia’s war in Ukraine has focused on how oligarchs are the guardians of the Russian ruler’s wealth.

He told The Associated Press on Tuesday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos that “the oligarchs are not naive.” He says they have lawyers, asset protection specialists and shell companies.

Founder of Heritage Capital, one of the first investors in post-Soviet Russia, Browder sounded the alarm after the death of his Russian tax adviser Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison in 2009.

Browder credited US efforts to pressure the Kremlin since the start of the war, freezing Russian central bank assets, driving out oligarchs, halting technology exports to Russia and supplying arms to Russia. Ukraine.

But when it comes to getting the money from the Russian oligarchs, Browder says “we’re only scratching the surface.”

Citing a “fairly drastic” solution, Browder says “what would solve the problem…is to force the people who put these structures in place, the facilitators, the lawyers, the accountants, the trustees under the law to become whistleblowers for the government”.

He says such an amendment to the money laundering and sanctions laws should come with fines and jail time.

___

The top European Union official said the 27-nation bloc should avoid becoming dependent on untrustworthy countries, as it has done with fossil fuels from Russia, as it moves towards an economy greener with the need to find crucial raw materials.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the “economies of the future” will no longer depend on oil and coal.

She says the green and digital transitions will increase the need for materials like lithium and silicon metal required for batteries, chips, electric vehicles or wind turbines.

The EU’s chief executive says: “We rely on a handful of producers around the world. We must therefore avoid falling into the same trap as with oil and gas.

Von der Leyen said the EU has entered into material partnerships with countries like Canada.

She added that the war in Ukraine has strengthened Europe’s resolve to quickly get rid of Russian fossil fuels. EU countries have approved an embargo on Russian coal but have yet to reach an agreement on oil sanctions.

___

The European Union’s chief executive said Russia’s war in Ukraine should end in a “strategic failure” for the invading country, as she pledged on Tuesday that the bloc would continue to fight. invest heavily to support the war-torn nation.

In addition to economic sanctions imposed on Russia and military aid provided to Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU27 had offered more than €10 billion in macro-financial aid, the largest package ever offered to a third party. country.

She told the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering that the EU is “mobilizing all our economic might” and “we will, hand in hand, help Ukraine rise from the ashes.”

Von der Leyen added that reconstruction efforts should also aim to modernize Ukraine’s administration. This will be necessary if the country wants to join the 27-nation bloc in the future.

According to her, the reforms should “firmly establish the rule of law and the independence of the (Ukrainian) judiciary” and help fight corruption.

___

The World Economic Forum’s annual gathering resumes for a second day, with business leaders, government officials, representatives from global institutions and journalists gearing up for more panel discussions and networking at the exclusive gathering in the Swiss Alps.

Tuesday’s agenda in Davos is jam-packed with sessions on one of the meeting’s key themes – climate change. US climate envoy John Kerry is due to make an appearance.

There will also be speeches by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Meanwhile, outside the conference venue, a Ukrainian activist was planning a street performance to urge foreign energy companies to stop doing business with Russia.

Later, billionaire financier George Soros hosts a dinner for the media – an unofficial forum event but a date outside the Davos meeting.

Sharon P. Juarez