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Greece and Bulgaria harassed by Russian embassies – EURACTIV.com

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In today’s news from the capitals:


Russian embassies across Europe have been active on social media in defense of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. But in some cases, such as Greece and Bulgaria, Russian embassies have gone too far, even intimidating local politicians and journalists.

Meanwhile, in other European countries, Russian embassies remained silent, regurgitated state propaganda or complained about the way the war was portrayed. Read more.



German secret service warns of Russian cyberattacks. Germany could face an increased threat of cyberattacks against its critical infrastructure, political and military institutions and businesses, the national intelligence agency warned in a security brief on the war in Ukraine. Read more.



Putin tells Macron he will not attack Ukrainian nuclear facilities. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will abide by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and not carry out offensives against civilian nuclear facilities, the Elysee Palace said. Read more.



Austria will significantly increase its military spending. Austria will dramatically increase military spending, Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said, following calls in the political aisle to get Austria’s military back in shape. Read more.



The UK is slow to grant visas to Ukrainian refugees. Britain’s Home Office is struggling to quickly grant visas to Ukrainian refugees and confirmed on Sunday that it has only granted 50 visas to Ukrainians under a scheme that allows them to settle with the family members already based in the UK. Read more.



Ireland is taking steps to strengthen its self-sufficiency in the face of wartime food security issues. Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will meet with agricultural associations this week to discuss potential food security issues caused by the war in Ukraine and related sanctions against Russia. Read more.



The Swedish Prime Minister hesitates about a referendum on NATO. A referendum may not be the right method to decide NATO membership, PM says Magdalena Andersson after discussing the situation with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin on Saturday. Read more.



Denmark is considering abandoning the European defense opt-out. Denmark will let its citizens vote to overturn its withdrawal from EU defense policy in a referendum to be held on June 1, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read more.



Finland is buying missiles, anchoring itself to Western security structures. After an eventful weekend of diplomacy and the President’s visit to the White House, military and political ties have deepened with the United States and Sweden. Finland is also strengthening its defense capabilities with new purchases. Read more.



Qatar will help Italy in a context of major crisis of energy resources. Qatari authorities will provide increased support to Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced from Doha as a major energy resource crisis looms. Read more.



Spain releases 2 million barrels of oil to support the Ukrainian army. The Spanish government on Friday approved the release of two million barrels of oil from its “strategic reserves” as part of a coordinated action with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support the Ukrainian army. Read more.



Czech MPs call for revision of Green Deal due to war on Ukraine. The EU should assess the impact of the war on the Green Deal and the European energy sector, three Czech MPs from Renew Europe have said. Read more.



Polish government launches special website for Ukrainian refugees. As hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Ukraine arrive in Poland, the government has decided to use the internet to manage their entry into the country and meet their needs. Read more.



The old Budapest airport terminal has reopened to serve refugees. After ten years, Terminal 1 of Liszt Ferenc Airport was reopened due to the Russian-Ukrainian wartelex reported via RTL. Read more.



The war in Ukraine is changing the opinions of the Slovaks towards NATO. Over 77% of Slovaks see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an act of aggression. Recent polls show that half of the population would agree to stationing NATO troops in the country, and 61% of people believe that NATO membership is a good thing for Slovakia. This is a substantial change in opinions towards NATO compared to polls prior to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Read more.



Montenegro expels Russian diplomat. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro declared persona non grata an anonymous diplomat from the Russian Embassy in Podgorica and ordered his expulsion from the country. Read more.



A Canadian company is to invest 400 million euros in a lithium plant in Romania. RockTech Lithium will sign a memorandum of understanding in Romania to build a 400 million euro plant to produce materials for lithium batteries used in electric cars. Read more.



Women only appear in 36% of TV feature films in Croatia. RTL accounts for the largest share of female feature films (39%), followed by Croatian TV (37%) and Nova TV (33%), and the combined average of the three channels is 36%, according to an analysis whose results were presented Saturday at a conference on women in the media. Read more.



Vucic will again be a presidential candidate. The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has nominated incumbent President Aleksandar Vučić for the presidential elections. Read more.



France will carry out a rapid reaction training flight over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given the deterioration of the international security situation and as a precautionary measure, the commander of the European Union military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Althea) has accepted a voluntary national contribution from France to carry out rapid reaction training over BiH over the next few weeks. Read more.



Stable budget and denar, state reserves at the highest level. EThe budget is stable and liquid and in perfect condition to fund all obligations to support citizens and the economy, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovčcevski said in an interview with Morning Briefing on Slobodna. Read more.

North Macedonia supports Kosovo’s application for NATO membership. North Macedonia supports Kosovo’s candidacy for NATO membership, Macedonian Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said during a visit to Prishtina on Friday, March 4. Read more.



Tirana renames the street housing the Russian Embassy, ​​”Free Ukraine Street”. The Albanian government has announced that a road serving the Russian embassy in Tirana will be renamed “Free Ukraine Street” from Monday after several cities, including Riga and Vilnius, made similar gestures in recent days. Read more.


  • EU: Plenary session of the European Parliament with the participation of Commission Vice-President Timmermans in a debate on the effects of the war in Ukraine on climate policies and on the European Green Deal / European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meets Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
  • France: Informal meeting of development ministers in Montpellier / European Climate Conference, under the aegis of the French EU Presidency / European ministers of culture meet in Angers.
  • Belgium: The Covid health pass and mask mandate in enclosed public spaces has been dropped.
  • Netherlands: The ICJ holds a hearing on Ukraine’s genocide charges against Russia.
  • Latvia: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits NATO Battlegroup Riga.
  • Poland: Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides visits the Medyka border post.
  • Romania: Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, visits Romania.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]