Under the impression of the Ukraine war, the foreign ministers of the states of the Baltic Sea Council met on Wednesday morning in Kristiansand, Norway, for their first formal consultations since 2014.

Originally, Russia also belonged to the format. However, due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the actions in eastern Ukraine, the consultations were formally suspended at the time. After the war of aggression against Ukraine began in February, Russia was suspended as a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

“Especially in the Baltic Sea region, where we have relied on dialogue with Russia and regional cooperation for decades, there is now a turning point in security policy,” said Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock before the start of the meeting. “It was never planned for Sweden and Finland to join NATO – but Russia gave them no other choice.”

The Council of the Baltic Sea States was founded in 1992 by Germany and Denmark, and its members are Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the European Union. (Reuters)

Union politicians accuse the federal government of concealing its exact procedure for arms deliveries to Ukraine. “Obviously, the German government made promises to exchange rings with the Polish government, which are not being kept,” said CDU leader Friedrich Merz on Tuesday evening on TV station Welt. “The federal government must now quickly clarify why it is not fulfilling the commitments it has made.”

Merz referred to statements by Polish President Andrzej Duda. He had told the TV station that Berlin had promised Poland Leopard tanks to replace the existing Polish tanks that his country had delivered to Ukraine. “They didn’t keep that promise. And frankly, we’re very disappointed.” (AFP)

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