Latvia wants to resume military service

Latvia abolished conscription in 2007 and transformed its armed forces into a professional army supported by a volunteer army. The Baltic state shares borders with Russia and its ally Belarus.

EU: Member States allowed to re-examine valid visas of Russians

3:55 PM: In the European Union, about one million entry visas already issued for Russians could come under scrutiny. EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson said in Brussels on Wednesday that member states were “authorized to re-examine all valid visas”. According to the European Commission, as of September 1, there were approximately 963,000 valid Schengen visas in circulation for Russians.

The new issue of tourist visas for Russians in particular should make the EU significantly more difficult. The foreign ministers of the member states agreed in principle on this in Prague last week. In particular, an agreement with Russia on visa facilitation since 2007 will be cancelled. According to the commission, this will increase the visa fee from the current 35 to 80 euros. In addition, allocation is no longer fast, multiple entries in the Schengen area have been made more difficult. According to Johansson, member states could make a formal decision to end the deal this week.

Also, the commissioner suggested that Russian passports from the occupied territories of Ukraine should no longer be recognized. It requires the approval of 27 member states and the European Parliament.

Erdogan: European countries ‘reap what they sow’

3.40 pm: After gas supplies from Russia through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were cut off, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Western sanctions on Russia for Europe’s energy crisis. European countries will “reap what they sow,” Erdogan said in Ankara on Tuesday.

Erdogan said Putin is using all his means and weapons. “Unfortunately, natural gas is one of them,” the Turkish head of state said. He predicts that Europe will have “serious problems” this winter. But it is not applicable in his country.

With this statement, the Turkish president followed Moscow’s account. On Monday, the Kremlin blamed the West for cutting off gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1. “The problems arose because of the sanctions imposed by Western states, for no other reason,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Lavrov accused West of breaking his word

1:22 PM: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of failing to keep promises made as part of the deal to resume blocked grain exports from Ukrainian ports. “Our Western colleagues are not doing what the UN Secretary General promised us,” he claimed at a press conference in Moscow. “They make no decision to lift the logistics embargo that prevents free access to Russian grain and fertilizer on world markets.”

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, western countries imposed massive sanctions. However, punitive measures against grain exports have been dropped, as the West has repeatedly insisted.

The agreement reached in July is so far the only major diplomatic breakthrough between the warring parties in Ukraine since February. The agreement allows the resumption of grain exports through ports on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, which have been blockaded for months. Without delivery, numerous, especially poor, countries are at risk of food shortages and even famine.


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