Russia starts delivery of S-400 missile system to Turkey, setting up standoff with US

(CNN)The first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system has landed in Ankara, in a move that sets up a potential showdown between Turkey and the United States. Turkey’s decision to purchase the equipment solidifies ties that have been developed between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and is just the latest setback to US-Turkish relations which have seen the two NATO allies at odds over issues such as Syria. The US has long warned that Turkey risked being blocked from receiving the advanced F-35 stealth jet due to Ankara’s insistence on acquiring the Russian missiles — a system US officials fear could be used to analyze and collect intelligence on the F-35. A …

Germany says it will stand in ‘full solidarity’ with Ireland over Brexit

German president echoes Angela Merkel in saying the backstop will not be revisited Germany will stand fully in solidarity with Ireland over Brexit, the countrys president has said, and look to underpin rather than undermine the peace process that has kept the border with Northern Ireland invisible in the past 20 years Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Irelands president, Michael Higgins, on a visit to Berlin that Germany stands firmly by Irelands side, raising questions about Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnsons optimism that the Irish border backstop can be revisited. Politically and economically, Ireland is more directly affected by Brexit than any other EU member state. For this reason, too, your country has our full solidarity. We have reiterated this pledge in …

Edi Rama, Albania’s unconventional PM who wants to escape the ‘curse of history’

The artist and ex-basketball player faces an uphill battle to put Albania on the path to EU membership Albanias prime minister, Edi Rama, wants to be the man who puts his country on the path to European Union membership, but he is facing two major problems. In Europe, enlargement-fatigued leaders are playing hardball, wary of accepting new potential members at a time of rising populist and Euro-pessimist sentiment, while at home Rama is facing weekly demonstrations against his rule, from an opposition that is also pro-EU but accuses his government of corruption and links to organised crime, and is demanding early elections. In an interview at his office in central Tirana last week, Rama said that for Albania, joining the …

Europe’s populist nightmare won’t end with Brexit

London (CNN)The UK’s failure to leave the European Union has created an almighty headache in Brussels. In 2014, Nigel Farage’s anti-EU UKIP came first place in the UK’s European elections. This put euroskeptic pressure on the then Prime Minister David Cameron, and ultimately forced him to call for the Brexit referendum. And we all know what happened next. In 2019, Farage’s new Brexit Party has an even easier job. Brexit betrayal is a powerful message, and Farage is once again expected to finish first. Euroskeptic parties won’t do well only in Britain. The most recent polling from Europe Elects predicts that these parties could win up to 35% of seats in the European Parliament. Previously, euroskeptics have failed to coordinate …