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Geopolitics

UK Police Seek Assange's Arrest After Wikileaks Founder Seeks Asylum With Ecuador

Worldcrunch

DAILY TELEGRAPH, BBC (UK), EXPRESO (Ecuador)

LONDON - British police said Wednesday that Julian Assange had violated the terms of his bail, and was subject to re-arrest after the 40 year-old Wikileaks founder spent the night at the embassy of Ecuador, where he is seeking asylum.

Assange, who is set to be extradited from the UK to Sweden to face rape charges, requested asylum late Tuesday under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration. A Metropolitan police spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph that Assange had violated the terms of his bail by staying at the embassy: "One of the conditions was that he was supposed to be at a named bail address between 10pm and 8am, and it was 10.20pm that we were notified that he had breached that particular condition."

Assange had posted bail of 200,000 pounds, which was contributed by several high-profile supporters including filmmakers Ken Loach and Michael Moore, who now stand to lose their money.

BBC reported that if the situation was resolved quickly by Ecuador "effectively putting him on the doorstep of the embassy" for police to arrest, he may not be prosecuted for the breach and the extradition to Sweden would take its course.

Assange released a statement Tuesday night: "I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum...I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application."

Ecuadorian daily Expreso reported a statement by an embassy official saying Assange's presence should not be interpreted as interference of the Ecuador government in either British or Swedish judicial proceedings.

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Geopolitics

It's A Golden Era For Russia-Turkey Relations — Just Look At The Numbers

On the diplomatic and political level, no world leader speaks more regularly with Vladimir Putin than his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the growing closeness of Russia and Turkey can also be measured in the economic data. And the 2022 numbers are stunning.

Photo of Erdogan and Putin walking out of a door

Erdogan and Putin last summer in Sochi, Russia

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via ZUMA
Aytug Özçolak

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — As Russia has become increasingly isolated since the invasion of Ukraine, the virtual pariah state has drawn notably closer to one of its remaining partners: Turkey.

Ankara has committed billions of dollars to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and contracted to Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The countries’ foreign policies are also becoming increasingly aligned.

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But the depth of this relationship goes much further. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin more than any other leader: 16 times in 2022, and 11 times in 2021. Erdoğan has visited Russia 14 times since 2016, compared to his 10 visits to the U.S. in the same time period (half of which were in 2016 and 2017).

But no less important is the way the two countries are increasingly tied together by commerce.

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