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NATO Ukraine policy

Foreign ministers of the US-led NATO military alliance are meeting in Oslo to discuss providing security guarantees to Ukraine amid divisions over Kiev’s bid to join the bloc. The top German diplomat urged the alliance to stick to its principles. Annalena Baerbock said Ukraine cannot join NATO while it is still in the middle of the war with Russia. She said, however, that the door remains open for new members. Baerbock made the remarks on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Oslo. French and Spanish foreign ministers echoed her call. They said it would take time for members to come up with a powerful message for Kiev. The 2-day Oslo meeting is expected to focus on Ukraine, including providing security guarantees after its war with Russia ends. NATO members also look set to narrow divisions over Kiev's push to join the bloc. The development comes in face of Russia's repeated assertion citing NATO’s eastward expansion as a reason for its military operation in Ukraine. 

US Syria violations 

Russia says the US keeps violating the de-confliction protocols that were designed to deter a possible clash between forces of the two countries operating in Syria. The accusation comes from the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria. He has been quoted as saying that American pilots activate their weapons systems when approaching Russian planes in eastern Syria. He described such actions of the US air force as gross violations of the agreed protocols. Previously, the Russian military official also condemned Washington for flying its aircraft in zones it had agreed not to enter. Moscow has been providing aerial support to Damascus to fight terrorism. That’s while the US keeps maintaining its occupation troops there without an authorization from the Syrian government. Syria maintains the US of invading the country in order to plunder its natural resources.

War crimes in Afghanistan

An Australian war veteran has lost a defamation lawsuit against some newspapers that reported he had committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Ben Roberts-Smith took legal action against three newspapers and two investigative journalists for allegedly undermining his reputation. Sydney’s federal court, however, has ruled that the publications successfully proved the truthfulness of reports related to the highly decorated veteran. Five years ago, the media outlets cited evidence showing that Roberts-smith killed unarmed civilians, assaulted detainees and bullied his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Outside the courtroom, the winners of the case called on the Australian government to use the court’s findings to investigate the crimes committed by Aussie soldiers in Afghanistan.

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