Biden announces permanent base in Poland. Sweden, Finland join NATO. Russia says West is destabilizing the situation

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Europe’s new Iron Curtain: The defenses designed to keep Putin out as Biden announces a new permanent base in Poland – while Sweden and Finland are formally invited into alliance and Russia blasts ‘destabilizing’ move
  • US will sent thousands more troops to Europe along with fighter jets and ships to help defend against Russia
  • Biden also announced first permanent US military base will be created in Poland – a move hailed by Warsaw
  • Finland and Sweden were also formally invited to join the alliance, after Turkey dropped its opposition
  • NATO has sent 4,000 extra troops to eastern flank and will boost high-alert force from 40,000 to 300,000

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Turkey votes to clear Sweden and Finland to join NATO after they change stance on Kurdish rebels

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Sweden and Finland are CLEARED to join NATO after negotiations with Turkey and ahead of Biden’s meeting with Erdogan on Wednesday
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the deal on Tuesday evening ahead of President Joe Biden’s scheduled meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Erdogan objected to Finland and Sweden’s application to join because he wants them to change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
  • Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier Tuesday that the U.S. believes Finland and Sweden have taken ‘significant steps forward in terms of addressing Turkey’s concerns.

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Turkey taking Russia’s side in possible Veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘The stakes here are now massive’: Turkey is threatening to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland
  • Turkey’s Erdogan has doubled down on his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the NATO alliance, in a move some analysts say is aimed at gaining concessions.
  • NATO ascension for a new member state requires consensus approval from all existing members.
  • Turkey, which joined the alliance in 1952, is a crucial player in NATO, boasting the second-largest military in the 30-member group after the United States.

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Decision on Finland and Sweden joining NATO this week

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Crucial NATO decisions expected in Finland, Sweden this week
  • To join or not to join? The NATO question is coming to a head this week in Finland and Sweden where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered the long-held belief that remaining outside the military alliance was the best way to avoid trouble with their giant neighbor.
  • NATO membership was never seriously considered in Stockholm and Helsinki until Russian forces attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24. Virtually overnight, the conversation in both capitals shifted from “Why should we join?” to “How long does it take?”
  • If Finland and Sweden join the alliance, Russia would find itself completely surrounded by NATO countries in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic.
  • The Kremlin has warned of “military and political repercussions” if the Swedes and Finns decide to join NATO.
  • Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president who is deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, said last month it would force Moscow to strengthen its military presence in the Baltic region.

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If Sweden, Finland join NATO the Baltic Region would no longer be Nuclear Free Russia warns

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia threatens new nuclear deployments if Sweden, Finland join NATO
  • Russia says a nuclear-free Baltic region would no longer be possible if Finland and Sweden join NATO, alluding to additional nuclear deployments in Europe.
  • The comments come a day after Finland and Sweden said their decision on whether to apply for NATO membership would come within a matter of weeks.
  • Sweden and Finland are members of the EU, but not NATO, and the latter shares an 830-mile border with Russia
  • Russia has long warned against any enlargement of NATO, reportedly accusing the alliance of being “a tool geared towards confrontation.” Ahead of its invasion of Ukraine, it demanded that the organization, which was created in 1949 in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union, return to its pre-1997 borders — something the U.S. and NATO refused.

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Sweden and Finland gain support to join NATO

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Ukraine War: Russia warns Sweden and Finland against NATO membership
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation”.
  • Before it launched its invasion, Russia demanded that the alliance agree to halt any future enlargement, but the war has led to the deployment of more NATO troops on its eastern flank and a rise in public support for Swedish and Finnish membership.
  • Last week Mr. Peskov said that Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures were Sweden and Finland to join Nato.
  • Washington is believed to support the move which would see the Western alliance grow to 32 members. US State Department officials said last week that discussions had taken place between Nato leaders and foreign ministers from Helsinki and Stockholm.

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Finland, Sweden Consider Joining NATO – Moscow Warns It Would be Forced to Take Action

Important Takeaways:

  • Finland, Sweden brush off Moscow’s warning on joining NATO
  • A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry Friday voiced concern about what it described as efforts by the United States and some of its allies to “drag” Finland and Sweden into NATO and warned that Moscow would be forced to take retaliatory measures if they join the alliance.
  • Finland has a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) land border with Russia — the longest border shared by any European Union member state and Russia.
  • Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said Saturday that “we’ve heard this before.”
  • In Sweden, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson addressed Moscow’s statement in a joint news conference Friday with Sweden’s military commander Micael Byden.
  • “I want to be extremely clear. It is Sweden that itself and independently decides on our security policy line,” Andersson said.

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Increasing signs of the times: Evangelist Ray Comfort an incentive to share the gospel like never before

Rev. 13:16-17 NKJV “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘Exactly as the Bible Predicted’: Evangelist Ray Comfort Points to ‘Mark of the Beast’ Tech
  • Around 6,000 people in Sweden have already had a chip inserted in their hands since 2014, according to Euronews.com.
  • As CBN News reported in December, Sweden has enacted new rules that require individuals to have a vaccine passport at all events with more than 100 people. As a result, a number of Swedish citizens have opted to implant microchips with their vaccine passports into their hands.
  • Three Square Market, a Wisconsin-based technology company, became the first company in the U.S. to offer its employees similar free microchip implants, as CBN News reported in August 2017.
  • Meanwhile, Ray Comfort says the increasing signs of the End Times should be an incentive for Christians to share the gospel like never before.

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Canada and others say patience running out with Iran over downed plane

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and Britain on Thursday said they could consider new steps in line with international law against Iran if it failed to respond by Jan. 5 to demands for reparations after the downing of a passenger airliner last year.

Most of the 176 people killed when Iran shot down a Ukrainian jet in January 2020 were citizens from those four countries, which created a coordination group that seeks to hold Tehran to account.

“The Coordination Group’s patience is wearing thin,” it said in a statement, adding that the group had pressed Tehran to open talks on reparations and to deliver justice but said Iran had shown it was reluctant to respond in a timely manner.

It said Iran should respond by Jan 5 or the group would “have to seriously consider other actions to resolve this matter within the framework of international law” but gave no details.

Tehran says Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down the Boeing 737 jet and blamed a misaligned radar and an error by the air defense operator at a time when tensions were high between Tehran and the United States.

Last month, families of victims alleged in a report that high-ranking Iranian officials were responsible. In June, Canada said it had found no evidence that the downing of the plane had been premeditated.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Five EU countries say focus should be on vaccine production, not patents

By John Chalmers and Marine Strauss

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Five European Union countries distanced themselves on Friday from the idea of waiving patent rights on coronavirus vaccines, saying the key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic was making more vaccines quickly.

Leaders of the 27-nation bloc were to discuss the suggestion, backed by U.S. President Joe Biden, at a two-day summit that opened in the Portuguese city of Porto on Friday, but are divided about its usefulness.

Experts say waivers could take years to negotiate, and would not address the immediate need to manufacture more doses fast.

“What is the current issue? It is not really about intellectual property. Can you give intellectual property to laboratories that do not know how to produce and will not produce tomorrow?” French President Emmanuel Macron said on entering the talks.

“The main issue for solidarity is the distribution of doses,” he said, adding that France was working hand in hand with Germany on the issue. Berlin expressed its opposition to the idea on Thursday.

Biden on Wednesday backed a call from India and South Africa to waive patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines, responding to pressure from Democratic lawmakers and more than 100 other countries, but angering pharmaceutical companies.

Some EU officials argue that it could take two years to agree on the waivers in the World Trade Organization (WTO), most likely making it irrelevant to the current pandemic.

DIFFICULT PROCESS

The EU leaders are likely to hear advice from the bloc’s executive, the European Commission, that a waiver would not help to boost production, especially in poorer countries, as the manufacturing process requires advanced technologies and facilities, officials said.

The U.S. firm Moderna waived patent rights in October on its vaccine, which uses using the latest mRNA technology, but no other firm has yet announced that it will try to copy the shot.

Germany, home to BioNTech, which owns a patent on another mRNA vaccine developed jointly with Pfizer of the United States, opposes waivers, while Italy supports them, EU officials said.

While the pandemic rages, the chances are high that even more dangerous new variants of the coronavirus will emerge.

The pharmaceutical industry argues that the most expedient approach is to overcome existing production bottlenecks, and sell or donate vaccines to countries around the world.

“No one we will be safe until we all are. If vaccination takes place only in developed countries, our victory over COVID-19 will only be short-lived. We are seeing how quickly the virus is mutating, creating new variants that entail new challenges,” the leaders of Belgium, Sweden, France, Denmark and Spain said in a joint letter to the Commission.

“Vaccines have become security policy and the EU cannot afford to lag behind; to this end, an increased European production capacity will be a key priority,” they said.

The EU, which is among the biggest producers of vaccines in the world, is also the main exporter, with 200 million doses already shipped outside the bloc. The United States and Britain have not exported any of the vaccines they have made.

(Additional reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Phil Blenkinsop, Francesco Guarasio and Gabriela Baczynska; Writing by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Kevin Liffey)