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Turkey FM Cavusoglu urges Russia to drop ‘one-sided’ NATO demands

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Turkey urged Russia on Monday to drop “one-sided” demands and adopt a more constructive approach in its standoff with Western powers and NATO over Ukraine.

NATO member Turkey has irritated Moscow by supplying combat drones to Ukraine that Russia fears could be used by Kiev in its conflict with separatists in two eastern regions.

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But Turkey has also upset Washington and NATO by acquiring an advanced missile defense system from Russia that resulted in sanctions from the United States.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged Moscow and the Western defense alliance to air their differences in direct negotiations proposed by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
Russia wants NATO to provide Moscow with a binding security guarantee and withdraw its forces to positions they held before a wave of eastward expansion that began after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

“For any proposal to be accepted, it should be acceptable by both sides. Russia made some proposals. But maybe NATO seeks the same kind of guarantees from Russia. This is not a one-sided issue,” Cavusoglu told reporters.

“If the requests are maximalist — I’m not saying that Russia is maximalist in any case — both sides must be constructive,” he said. “They should come to the table with proposals that both sides can accept.”

A NATO spokesman said the Brussels-based alliance had been “in touch” with Moscow about holding a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on January 12.

Russia has not yet formally accepted the offer.

“If Russia has any certain specific expectation or issue from Turkey regarding reducing tensions between Russia and NATO, Turkey will evaluate this positively because our objective is clear,” said Cavusoglu. “Everyone would be affected, God forbid, by conflict in the region.”

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US considering moving troops from Western Europe to Eastern Europe: NATO diplomat

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The United States is considering transferring some troops stationed in Western Europe to Eastern Europe in the coming weeks, a NATO diplomat told Reuters, amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

“This has to do with American troops that are already in Europe,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirming a New York Times report that said US President Joe Biden was considering sending US troops to the Baltics and Eastern European allies.

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NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, in what Russia denounced as an escalation of tensions over Ukraine.

The diplomat said the potential troop movements would be gradual and that any filling of NATO gaps on its eastern flank could take place in the coming weeks.

Read more: From Kyiv, top US diplomat warns Russia against Ukraine aggression

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Several wounded in shooting in German city; gunman dead

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A lone gunman wounded several people at a lecture theater in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg on Monday, police said.

Police said in a brief statement that the perpetrator was dead, but didn’t give details of how that happened. They had earlier asked people on Twitter to avoid the Neuenheimer Feld area of Heidelberg, where the city’s university campus is located.

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Police didn’t specify how many people were wounded, or how seriously, and there was no information on their identities or that of the suspected shooter. The university’s press office declined to give any details on the shooting and referred all inquiries to police.

German news agency dpa cited unidentified security sources as saying that the gunman killed himself.

Police said the weapon used in the shooting was a long-barreled firearm.

Heidelberg is located south of Frankfurt and has about 160,000 inhabitants. Its university is one of Germany’s best-known.

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Aramco CEO says oil demand nearing pre-pandemic levels: Report

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Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al Nasser said that the demand for oil is nearing pre-pandemic levels, Asharq Business reported in a tweet on Monday.

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