This Info Flash analysis how from the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the European Union member states took several steps against the Russian government, especially in terms of individual and economic sanctions to publicly condemn the illegal and unjustified aggression of February 2022. This war has been recognized as a wake-up call for the EU, which - for the first time - devoted funds for the supply of lethal weapons to a third country. Specifically, the European Peace Facility (EPF) has become the most important budget tool for the EU to implement a number of active military operations and assistance missions. The latest project put forward by the EU—and partially connected to the EPF—has been a three-track proposal meant to collectively provide Ukraine with additional artillery ammunition. Despite the criticism and doubts that have been raised on the subject, this Info Flash represents a landmark juncture for the EU in terms of military and defence efforts.
This Info Flash approaches the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and its Architecture, taking stock of their impact on maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea. The Code is a multilateral maritime security framework that coordinates State and regional involvement in combatting piracy, kidnapping and robbery in the Gulf of Guinea (Code, 2013, p. 1). To complement this strategy, the EU adopted its maritime security strategy in 2014, which sought to enhance the Code’s implementation and compliance (EU External Actions Service 2021). This was further supported by international partners such as the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea (FoGG), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) (Côrte-Real 2022, p.69). As a result, this Info Flash will provide a brief overview of the impact of these regional initiatives and elaborate recommendations, coastal states and their partners should consider as we approach the 10th anniversary in June 2023.
This Info Flash examines the recent history and attempts to regulate mercenaries on national and international levels, the history of Russian mercenaries, and the implications of the use of mercenaries in Ukraine. There is a focus on the Wagner Group, which has grown in importance due to the group’s recent size increase and its leadership’s growing influence in the Kremlin. Targeting these groups through their finances and contracts is a good way for the West to counter their activities in Africa and the Middle East.
On 19 April 2023, a joint investigation of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish public broadcasters found that Russia has been using boats disguised as fishing and research ships to perform surveillance and gather intelligence in the North Sea.
This Info Flash presents how the Russo-Ukrainian War has devolved into a war of attrition. With material in short supply, Ukraine depends heavily on foreign contributions to maintain the war effort. Furthermore, loss in revenue from decreased production, exports, and taxes leads to massive deficits for the national government. Post-war reconstruction is also expected to be expensive, requiring significant external assistance. As a result, while continuous military and economic support from NATO, the EU, and others is essential to Ukraine, it will be important for countries to increase the necessary defence production to maintain their stockpiles and to plan for continued financial assistance for the duration of the war and following its conclusion.