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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Erdogan, Putin Strike Deal on Idlib Demilitarized Zone

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin say they have reached an agreement that averts a looming military offensive on the Syrian rebel-held Idlib enclave.

Read more: Erdogan, Putin Strike Deal on Idlib Demilitarized Zone

US defense interest goes beyond Souda Bay

While US interest in boosting defense ties with Greece remains strong, there is little scope for expanding the US naval base in Souda Bay on Crete, so authorities are considering other options, Kathimerini understands.

Read more: US defense interest goes beyond Souda Bay

US Expands Romanian Air Base Facilities for Reported Drone Deployments

The US Air Force is pouring $40 million into new construction at an air base in Romania in addition to prior infrastructure projects that may provide housing for combat drones, reports suggest.

Read more: US Expands Romanian Air Base Facilities for Reported Drone Deployments

Turkey, Russia dissent on Syria’s impending Idlib operation

It is beyond dispute that one of the game changing impacts in the Syrian theater was a joint product by Turkey and Russia, who have created the Astana Process later with the participation of Iran in early 2017.

Read more: Turkey, Russia dissent on Syria’s impending Idlib operation

US to deploy 125 troops to Kosovo

In September 2018 more than 125 Soldiers of the US Tennessee National Guard assigned to the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion will begin an 11 month deployment to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian, the NATO-led international peacekeeping force which is responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo.

Read more: US to deploy 125 troops to Kosovo

Serbia, Montenegro sign cross-border agreements

Deputy PM and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic spoke on 01.08.2018 in Belgrade with Montenegrin Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodzic.

Read more: Serbia, Montenegro sign cross-border agreements

US Senate passes bill prohibiting sale of F-35 jets to Turkey

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $717 billion defense policy bill on August 1, 2018, which includes an amendment that prohibits the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey until Pentagon issues a report in 90 days.

Read more: US Senate passes bill prohibiting sale of F-35 jets to Turkey

Civil-military relations in new Turkey

The first Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) under the new executive presidential system will take place on 02.08.2018. Held each year before August, YAŞ meetings are important in terms of shaping the top echelons and future cadres of the military.

Read more: Civil-military relations in new Turkey

US trying to persuade Turkey to buy Patriots instead of Russian S-400s

An American official says the United States is engaged in negotiations with Turkey in a bid to sell Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to the Ankara government as an alternative to the advanced Advanced S-400 air defense missile systems.

Read more: US trying to persuade Turkey to buy Patriots instead of Russian S-400s

16 NATO Allies and 3 partners agree to acquire land munitions together

Under the leadership of Belgium, the Defence Ministers of 16 Allies (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain) and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on MultinationalCooperation for the Provision of Land Battle Decisive Munitions (LBDM) in Brussels during the NATO Summit (11 and 12 July 2018).

Read more: 16 NATO Allies and 3 partners agree to acquire land munitions together

NATO Secretary General and Macedonia Prime Minister Zaev mark the beginning of accession talks

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Prime Minister Zaev on Thursday 12 July 2018 for a ceremony marking the beginning of accession talks with Skopje.

Read more: NATO Secretary General and Macedonia Prime Minister Zaev mark the beginning of accession talks

Turkey’s land, air, navy forces subordinated to defense minister

A presidential decree published early July 10, 2018 has stipulated Turkey’s land, air and navy forces to be subordinated to the Defense Ministry hours after Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was appointed as the new Defense Minister and Land Forces Commander Gen. Yaşar Gürel became the top soldier.

Read more: Turkey’s land, air, navy forces subordinated to defense minister

Nine European countries to formalise EU defence force plan

Nine EU nations will on Monday (25 June 2018) formalise a plan to create a European military intervention force, a French minister said, with Britain backing the measure as a way to maintain strong defence ties with the bloc after Brexit.

Read more: Nine European countries to formalise EU defence force plan

Senate Approves Ban On Sale Of U.S. F-35s To Turkey Over Russia Deal

The U.S. Senate has passed a major defense bill that would block the sale of U.S. F-35 fighter jets to Turkey unless it abandons a deal to buy S-400 missile-defense systems from Russia, drawing criticism from Ankara.

Read more: Senate Approves Ban On Sale Of U.S. F-35s To Turkey Over Russia Deal

Brussels unveils EUR 13 billion defence fund

The EU Commission outlined plans for a new EUR 13 billion European Defence Fund Wednesday, with a view to increasing the EU's 'strategic autonomy' and strengthening its ability to protect its citizens.

Read more: Brussels unveils EUR 13 billion defence fund

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