UK Grants Ambassador Rank to EU Representative in London | Europe | DW

The British government agreed to grant the status of full ambassador to the representative of the European Union in London, after months of refusals due to Brexit, the two parties announced this Wednesday (05.05.2021).

The decision was presented at the end of a meeting between the head of British diplomacy Dominic Raab and his counterpart in the EU, Josep Borrell, on the sidelines of the meeting of G7 foreign ministers in London.

“The EU ambassador will have a status of the same rank as that of the heads of mission of the States, including the accreditation and presentation of credentials to the head of state,” Queen Elizabeth II, they detailed in a joint statement.

“The staff of the EU delegation will have the necessary privileges and immunity to function effectively,” they added.

The Boris Johnson executive had so far insisted on granting the European ambassador, the Portuguese Joao Vale de Almeida, simply the status of representative of an international organization, which caused strong tensions with Brussels, which described the British decision as “unfriendly”.

In retaliation, the EU had decided in January to postpone its contacts with the new UK ambassador to the bloc until the dispute was resolved.

afp / reuters / ap / rr


USA has no closer ally than Great Britain

This confession should be well received in the British capital: After the change of power in the White House, Great Britain feared the deterioration of the traditional “special relationship” between the two states, as the relationship between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the new US President was considered to be burdened applies.

Johnson had made no friends with the US Democrats when, during the election campaign before the 2016 Brexit referendum, he insinuated in a newspaper article that ex-President Barack Obama had a grudge against the former colonial power Great Britain because of his Kenyan roots. Biden later referred to Johnson as a “physical and emotional clone” of his predecessor Donald Trump.

Foreign Minister Raab emphasized on Monday that they stand “shoulder to shoulder” and share many common values ​​and interests. The USA and Great Britain also worked closely together when it came to condemning human rights violations and holding states accountable – as was most recently the case with China.

The foreign ministers of the G7 countries are meeting this week for the first time in two years for personal deliberations. It should be about current conflicts in Afghanistan, Myanmar or Ukraine, but also about future goals and challenges.

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G7 meeting in Great Britain: finally back at one table | World | DW

The personal meeting of the foreign ministers from the seven economically strongest democracies (G7) begins this Monday with a joint dinner – albeit at a distance and at a very large table. After all, the corona rules of the host country Great Britain should be meticulously adhered to.

All participants, their staff and the staff of the UK Foreign Office will be tested for the virus on a daily basis. During the meetings, plexiglass panes separate the limited number of people from the USA, Canada, Japan, France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain.

A face-to-face meeting is necessary despite the travel restrictions that apply to normal citizens, says host Dominic Rab, British Foreign Minister. “What you can do in Zoom has its limits,” said Raab, referring to the online conference platform on which the G7 meetings have been taking place for over a year due to the pandemic.

Host Raab in front of the Foreign Minister in London: “Video conferences have their limits”

Old format revived

Ministers and diplomats want to be able to chat informally again, discuss problems in quick dialogue on the famous “edge” of the conference, in the hallway or at bilateral meetings. As the G7 Foreign Ministers meet only once a year, the conversation in Carbis Bay on the UK’s south coast is the first since 2019.

At that time they met in the French seaside resort of Dinard. For most of the participants it is a first anyway, because only the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas were in Dinard. The five remaining ministers are new on board.

Last year, the G7 under the American presidency was basically a complete failure because the then US President Donald Trump considered international cooperation in this group to be superfluous. He paralyzed the G7 with his proposal to reopen Russia, which was excluded from the club after the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea in 2014. Because no one wanted to follow his Russia-friendly course, Trump canceled the usual summit without further ado.

France G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Dinard

Dinard 2019: There are only two of the men and women left (Maas 3rd from left, Le Drian 2nd from right)

The British want to play a global role

This year, the 47th summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, UK, will definitely take place this year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to use his G7 presidency to present the United Kingdom as “global Britain” after leaving the EU, as a player on the world stage. Johnson has therefore invited South Africa, India and Australia to the G7 meetings as guests.

It is all about finding a unified, global response from the largest democracies to the health challenges of the pandemic, said British Health Minister Matt Hancock. “I was very disappointed that clinical studies on the effectiveness of vaccines are not mutually recognized. We need more transparency,” says Hancock. After all, you can use the data across borders if you coordinate it better.

G7 cards

The world of the G7: Canada, USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan (from west to east)

China in sight

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not only want to achieve progress in health policy, the Indian media speculate. He is thinking of expanding the G7 into the D10, the group of the ten most important democracies to which Australia, South Korea and India should also belong in addition to the usual G7.

French and Italian diplomats, however, opposed such ambitions in the run-up to the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting. They demanded guarantees that the G7 and its guests would not be converted into a large “anti-China coalition”.

The relationship with China will probably be the most important topic of the meeting. The new American chief diplomat Antony Blinken wants to clearly address competition and demarcation from its trading partner and political rival China. Blinken announced this in a TV interview before he left for Europe.

“We have seen in recent years that China is more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad. That is a fact,” Blinken told the broadcaster CBS. A military conflict is not in the interests of China or the United States. Every step in this direction must be avoided. It is not about “containing” China, but about enforcing an international order based on rules.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Blinken arrived in London yesterday: Back on the international stage

The British host of the London Foreign Ministers’ Roundtable, Dominic Raab, has put a whole series of topics on the agenda in order to enable “joint action by the leading democracies”. In addition to access to corona vaccines, there should be educational goals for girls around the world, strict goals for financing climate protection and new measures to avoid hunger and food shortages.

Specifically, Raab wants to agree on a “mechanism” with which the G7 states can track down and repel Russian propaganda and disinformation. Great Britain wants to increase the budget of the BBC’s foreign service for this.

However, the British government has cut its budget for development aid due to the financial burdens caused by Corona. This led to fierce criticism from the opposition, who said that this is how the United Kingdom makes itself “implausible” as a global player.

Virtual G7 summit |  Boris Johnson

Still online in February: G7 special summit hosted by US President Biden and Premier Johnson

British “respect” for EU

John Kirton, G7 expert at the University of Toronto, Canada, still gives the British G7 presidency a good start. “Already the first virtual summit, which took place in February, showed that the heads of state and government appreciate the G7 forum,” writes Kirton in an analysis.

The return of the new US administration to international cooperation was arguably decisive. The G7 researcher expects concrete results this year in fighting pandemics, economic reconstruction and climate protection.

The illustrious group of the G7 states also includes the EU foreign affairs officer Josep Borrell, who represents the EU with observer status at the table of the mighty. Borrell was not mentioned by the British government as a participant in preparatory briefings, reports the British newspaper “The Guardian” and suspects further diplomatic taunts between the ex-member Great Britain and EU headquarters.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab would rather bury the diplomatic hatchet. He indicated that the EU ambassador in London could get the same status back as all other ambassadors. This status was withdrawn from him after Brexit.

Before the G7 meeting, Raab said: “We will treat our EU partners with the respect they justifiably deserve. We look forward to leaving the Brexit saga behind us.”

According to the Guardian, diplomatic pressure from Washington was responsible for this change of heart. The US needs the EU for the G7 to take a common stance on China. A petty squabble between London and Brussels over the status of an ambassador does not fit into the picture.


Britain punishes those involved in international corruption

Elaf from London: The United Kingdom announced the imposition of first sanctions on 22 of those involved in serious international corruption under the New Global Anti-Corruption System.
The sanctions target 22 people involved in corruption cases in Russia, South Africa, South Sudan and across Latin America. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has pledged to prevent corrupt individuals from using the UK as a safe haven for corruption money.
The new penal system prevents those involved in serious corruption cases from entering the UK and transferring money through it. Those involved in some of the world’s most serious corruption cases will no longer be able to transfer their money through British banks or enter the country.
This is the first time that the UK has imposed an asset freeze and travel ban against 22 people under the new global anti-corruption penal system, which gives the UK unprecedented powers to prevent corrupt practitioners from taking advantage of the UK economy and exploiting our citizens.

Rule of law
Corruption harms people and harms global trade, development and the rule of law, as global GDP loses more than 2% annually due to corruption, in addition to corruption increasing the cost of individual businesses by up to 10%.
Corruption also threatens national security by exacerbating the conflict and facilitating the practice of dangerous and organized crime, and making room for the practices of terrorist and criminal groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram.
This new system should assist the UK in combating serious corruption, particularly bribery and embezzlement. It also promotes effective governance, strong democratic institutions and the rule of law – which will clearly affirm the UK’s position as a force for good around the world.

Depletion of wealth
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Corruption has a devastating effect because it slows development, saps the wealth of poor countries, and keeps their people trapped in poverty. It poisons the bounties of democracy.”
“The individuals we sanctioned have participated in some of the worst corruption cases around the world.
“As global Britain defends democracy, good governance and the rule of law, we say to those involved in gross corruption: We will not accept your presence or your dirty money in our country,” Raab said.
“The measures are designed to target those involved in corruption, so that the UK can impose sanctions on corrupt individuals and those behind them, rather than imposing sanctions on entire peoples,” the foreign minister said.
Some of these measures are being taken in parallel with the United States, which is also announcing more corruption-related sanctions. Our two countries working together would send the clearest message possible that corruption has a heavy price.

Being targeted
The UK’s first wave of sanctions under this new sanctions regime targets:
– Those involved in diverting $ 230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax recovery scheme revealed by Sergey Magnitsky – one of the largest tax frauds in modern Russian history.
Ajay, Atul, Rajesh Gupta and their partner, Salem Issa, for their role in a serious corruption operation. They have been at the center of a long, drawn-out corruption process in South Africa that has caused enormous damage to its economy.
Sudanese businessman Ashraf Syed Ahmed Hussein Ali, known as the Cardinal, for his involvement in the embezzlement of large sums of state assets in one of the world’s poorest countries. This diversion of resources, in collusion with influential elites from southern Sudan, has contributed to the perpetuation of instability and conflict.
Many people in Latin America are implicated in serious corruption, including facilitating bribes to support a major drug trafficking organization, and embezzlement that has deprived citizens of vital resources for development.

human rights
The Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions System is based on the success of the Global Human Rights Sanctions System established in July 2020, which resulted in the UK imposing sanctions on 78 individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations, including in Myanmar, Belarus, China and Russia.
The United Kingdom will continue to use a range of avenues to tackle serious corruption around the world, including funding the International Corruption Unit of the National Crime Agency. This unit and its predecessors have restricted, confiscated or returned more than 1.1 billion pounds of misappropriated assets stolen from developing countries since 2006.


UK to expand Magnitsky Act to combat money laundering from Russia

Meeting broadcast was conducted on the website of the parliament.

Raab’s comment followed criticism from parliamentarians.

In particular, Labor MP Lisa Nandy said that “half of all money laundered from Russia” passes through the UK, and accused the government of inaction during the Russian buildup of military presence near the border with Ukraine and in the occupied Crimea.

Another Labor MP – ex-Labor Minister Chris Bryant – asked why it took “so many years” to find out that the Czech police were looking for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two Russian citizens whose passport details coincide with the names of Russian citizens suspected of poisoning of ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

“What are we going to do to make sure that the killers on the payroll [президента РФ Владимира] Putin, do not go to all the capitals of Europe? “- asked Bryant.

Raab responded that the UK could use the Magnitsky Act “as a means to combat human rights abuses,” and that these sanctions could be “equally” applied to “dirty money.”

“I have already made it clear that we will soon expand the Magnitsky sanctions to cover this,” he added.

In addition, Raab said the UK Foreign Office has “significant concerns about the recent build-up of Russian military forces on the Ukrainian border” and that the UK is working with its allies “to de-escalate the situation.”


Ukraine Britain – Dominic Raab promised Ukraine British assistance in the fight against Russia

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab assured that the United Kingdom is in solidarity with Ukraine, and also expressed confidence that any attempts by Russia to go to a large-scale military escalation will have grave consequences for it. About it the British minister said during a conversation with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday, April 2, reported in MID.

The interlocutors discussed the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the field of security against the background of the aggravation provoked by the Russian Federation.

Kuleba informed his British colleague about the exacerbation of the situation in Donbass, the military activity of the Russian occupiers in Crimea, as well as the large-scale disinformation and propaganda campaign of the Kremlin against Ukraine.

“Russian propaganda does not abandon its attempts to impose a delusion about some alleged plans of Ukraine to carry out some kind of military action or provocation. This is complete nonsense. Ukraine has never sought and does not seek escalation, Ukraine has always sought and is striving for peace, ”the minister stressed.

See also: The Pentagon is concerned about the escalation of the situation in Donbass

Note that today took place long-awaited conversation between the presidents of Ukraine and the United States, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Joe Biden… Defense Minister of Ukraine Andrey Taran talked to his British colleague with Ben Wallaceand yesterday by the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin. The US Secretary of Defense assured that The United States will not leave Ukraine alone with Russia c in case of military escalation.
The intensification of international contacts with Western partners is taking place against the background of aggravation in the JFO zone and pulling Russian troops to the Ukrainian border and the strengthening of the contingent in the occupied Crimea under the pretext of exercises. According to military intelligence, the Russian Federation is preparing provocations against Ukraine, it is possible that we are talking about preparations for an offensive in Donbass.


London sanctions four Chinese officials for treatment of Uighur minority

United Kingdom imposed this Monday sanctions four senior Chinese officials for their role in human rights violations in the region of Sinkiang, in particular against the Uighur Muslim minority, announced the Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab.

These sanctions, adopted by London in coordination with the European Union, the United States and Canada, include the prohibition of entering British territory and the freezing of assets ”, noted Dominic Raab

Warning Beijing that the international community will not close its eyes to violations as serious as they are systematic, ” added.

He also said that the focus of UK It has consisted of denouncing these egregious human rights abuses on an industrial scale, together with its international partners.

The sanctions concern four high-ranking regional Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau or local police.

Raab assured that China is guilty of forced sterilizations of women Uighurs, widespread surveillance of the Muslim minority and the largest mass arrest of an ethnic or religious group since World War II (WWII).

However, the British Government failed to describe the situation of the Uighurs as genocide and opposes the efforts of some rebel deputies of the government Conservative Party for including that term in a project of Trade Law which involves China, with whom London wants to increase exchanges.


London accuses China of breaching Hong Kong agreements | The World | DW

Through a statement from Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, the United Kingdom condemned this Saturday (03/13/2021) the Chinese decision to impose changes in the Hong Kong electoral system, a measure that London considers a “new violation” of the declaration. joint sovereignty they signed over this former British territory.

Raab assures that Beijing “imposes radical changes that restrict participation in the Hong Kong electoral system”, breaking what was agreed in 1984. For this reason, he urged the Chinese government to respect “its legal obligations and fundamental rights and freedoms” in the metropolis. , which was the scene in 2019 of massive pro-democracy demonstrations, some of them violent, against Chinese interference.

The agreement between London and Beijing was signed before the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, and was intended to temper fears generated by the future of the territory under the sovereignty of an undemocratic communist regime. Such an agreement guarantees a special financial status and economic freedom, as well as autonomy and civil liberties that do not exist in the rest of China.

It was supposed to last 50 years

On Thursday, March 11, the Chinese Parliament paved the way to impose an electoral reform in the enclave and approved a bill that would authorize an “electoral committee”, subordinate to Beijing, the selection of candidates for the legislative elections in the autonomous territory. This is a new measure taken by China to more strictly control Hong Kong politics.

According to the British minister, that decision is part “of a pattern designed to harass and suppress all voices critical of China’s policies.” Furthermore, Raab added, “marks a third violation of the legally binding Joint Declaration in less than nine months. “This agreement guaranteed that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy would remain unchanged for 50 years.



Johnson, GB hasn’t blocked a single vaccine – Ultima Ora

(ANSA) – LONDON, MARCH 10 – The United Kingdom “has not blocked a single vaccine or component” against Covid vaccine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this today when he returned to reject the accusations of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, during the Question Time on Wednesday in the House of Commons. “We are against nationalism on vaccines in all forms,” ​​Johnson added, publicly asking Michel to withdraw his claims and instead claiming the merits of his government in the speed of the British vaccination campaign, with about “22.5 million people” vaccinated so far in the Kingdom.

The British Prime Minister today formalized the summoning to the Foreign Office of the affairs officer of the EU diplomatic delegation in London, Nicole Mannion, to whom he delivered a letter of protest after the words with which the President of the European Council, Charles Michel , had accused the United Kingdom and the US of having effectively stopped the export of anti Covid vaccines produced in their territories for some time to justify the threat from Brussels to impose a blockade. Previously, the BBC had announced the sending of a letter from the British Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab, to Michel, with the peremptory request to “correct” what was declared.

“Any reference to a UK blocking of vaccine exports or restrictions is completely false,” Raab said shortly. (HANDLE).