Part VIII. In the Spotlight. Top International Security Events Chronology: Year 2023

April 15, 2024

January 1, 2023 – A powerful explosion occurred in military airfield near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Later Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)[2] claimed responsibility for carrying out this attack.

January 8, 2023 – Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson announced that having nuclear weapons on the Swedish territory in peacetime was in the cards. His speech including this statement was delivered at the Folk och Försvar Annual National Conference in Sälen.

January 12-13, 2023 – 50 women in Burkina Faso’s northern province of Soum were abducted and by gunmen. Military authorities laid all the blame upon armed terrorist groups considering them to have changed their tactics to targeting more civilians.

January 19, 2023 – Denmark announced that it would donate 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems to Ukraine. It was estimated as a move to exert pressure on Germany which held the export license for the Leopard 2 tanks to permit the countries to which Berlin had supplied the vehicles (as Poland) to send them to Ukraine.

January 20, 2023 – The Dutch Cabinet announced that the Netherlands would consider supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. It was also added that Denmark wanted to pay for modern Leopard 2 tanks that other countries would send to Ukraine.

January 20, 2023 – It was announced that Central African Republic was going to request Russia to increase the number of the Russian military instructors present in the country. According to the state’s authorities, Russian military instructors could provide Central African Republic with high-quality training of the local military personnel to effectively fight with against terrorist groups.

January 21, 2023 – Türkiye denounced Sweden after Islamophobic protests in front of its Embassy in Stockholm. It included the burning of Quran by far-right supporters and a separate demonstration by Kurdish activists previously permitted by Swedish authorities. In response Türkiye decided to cancel Swedish Defense Minister visit who had planned to discuss Türkiye’s position on Sweden’s NATO membership.

January 23, 2023 – Germany started to dispatch first two out of three Patriot air defense units to Poland to be deployed near the Ukrainian border to prevent any stray missile strikes. The decision was provoked by many fears that the conflict in Ukraine would spill over the border.

January 23, 2023 – The US decided not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range missiles in the territory of Japan. The decision was made that if Japan acquired long-range missiles by introducing counterattack capabilities, it would be unnecessary as it could strengthen its deterrence against China’s intermediate-range missiles.

January 29, 2023 – Several powerful explosions occurred in Iranian weapons factory in the central city of Isfahan. The strikes damaged a military industrial complex of Iran which was believed to be a production hub for drones and missiles that were used across the Middle East and by Russian forces in Ukraine. 

January 30, 2023 – Suicide bombing took place in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing over 84 and leaving over 220 injured. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. The city of Peshawar is frequently targeted by terrorist militant groups.

February 1-2, 2023 – The exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian groups in Gaza Strip took place. Israel launched air raids on Gaza Strip on February 2 in response to Palestinian rocket fire on February 1.

February 2, 2023 – President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić announced at the parliament meeting that Serbia would not join NATO and would maintain military neutrality. As Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and was recognized by the United States and most EU nations, some discussions on its membership in NATO and EU kept going.

February 2, 2023 – Police in Norway banned new Quran burning protests. It was to be held hours after Türkiye had summoned the Norwegian ambassador to voice protest against the planned provocation.

February 6, 2023 – Türkiye and Syria faced the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake near their borders. Tens of thousands of people were killed. The earthquake destroyed thousands of buildings including schools and hospitals. Russia provided both states with aid and rescue workers.

February 8, 2023 – American journalist Seymour Hersh published an article alleging that the United States was involved in sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline system in 2022. According to him, the operation was carried out by the United States Navy. The Pentagon denied the allegations.

February 8, 2023 – Russia accused the United States of failing to issue visas to its delegates at the United Nations General Assembly. According to the Russian officials, the US did not comply with the 1947 UN Headquarters Agreement and called for arbitration over violations of the UN law by the US.

February 18-20, 2023 –  The DPRK fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the sea off Japan’s west coast. It prompted the US to hold joint air exercises with South Korea and separately with Japan on February 19. The next day North Korea launched ballistic missiles again.

February 19, 2023 – According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran enriched uranium to about 84 percent which was almost at weapons-grade levels of 90 percent. As previously Israel stated it would stand ready to attack and destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. However, officially Iran denied all accusations of enriching uranium to a purity of 84 percent.

February 19, 2023 – Four F-16 tactical jets of the Israeli air force delivered a missile strike on Damascus from the Golan Heights. As a result, the buildings of the Technical Institute of Applied Arts and the Center of culture in the Kaft Sousa neighborhood were destroyed. Two shelling attacks from the positions of the Jabhat al-Nusra[3] terrorist group were reported in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

February 21, 2023 – President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Federation would suspend its participation in the New START Treaty. Besides, he said that the Defense Ministry and Rosatom State Corporation must “make everything ready for Russia to conduct nuclear tests” and that Russia “will not be the first to proceed with these tests but if the United States goes ahead with them, we [Russia] will as well”. Both statements were made during his 2023 Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.

February 21, 2023 – The US President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for Ukraine during his speech after the meeting with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Poland. The day before he made a surprise visit to Kiev, Ukraine, and met with Vladimir Zelensky. Biden announced more military aid to Ukraine to fight against Russia.

February 24, 2023 – One year passed since Russia had started its Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

March 2, 2023 – G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting under the Indian Presidency came to an end without adopting the joint declaration. As Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, Western countries were going all-out to highlight the situation around Ukraine which they were presenting as Russian aggression in numerous rhetorical statements, and their remarks were too emotional disrupting normal discussion of the issues on the G20 agenda.

March 5, 2023 – Iran announced it was planning to launch two homegrown satellites into space in cooperation with Russia.

March 6, 2023 – President of Benin Patrice Talon said in his interview to French channel La Chaîne Info that African countries had the right to use the services of private military companies, including Wagner Group, to ensure their own security.

March 6-10, 2023 – The 1st Session of the 9th Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) was held in Geneva.

March 8, 2023 – South Korea approved export licenses for Poland to provide Ukraine with Krab howitzers built with South Korean components. It was the first confirmation that South Korea was at least indirectly providing weapons components to Ukraine for its military actions against Russia.

March 9, 2023 – The DPRK fired at least six short-range missiles in response to the joint military exercises between the US and South Korea which were to be held on March 2023.

March 10, 2023 – Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations which had been broken since 2016. The agreement came after talks held in Beijing, China. Iranian foreign minister and his Saudi counterpart agreed to follow up on the arrangements to reopen their diplomatic missions, to encourage visits of official and private delegations and to facilitate visa issuance for Iranian and Saudi citizens.

March 10, 2023 – The representative of South Korea stated that the country could be interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. Oh Se-hoon, one of the most high-profile officials of the South Korean ruling party, said that the Republic of Korea should build nuclear weapons to defend itself against the DPRK.

March 13, 2023 – San Diego, California, hosted the AUKUS summit. The leaders of the US, UK and Australia reaffirmed that Australia would acquire a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability. Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese highlighted that the deal was “the biggest single investment in Australia’s defense capability in all of our history”.

March 13, 2023 – TheUS Air Force conducted tests of a hypersonic missile AGM-183A. As US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said “the latest test of hypersonic missile was not successful” as the US did not get the results it needed.

March 15, 2023 –The President of Syria Bashar al-Assad announced that official Damascus recognized the borders of Russia with the new territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

March 15, 2023 –The DPRK fired two short-range ballistic missiles. The launch came two days after North Korea had test-fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine.

March 15, 2023 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors discovered 2.5 tonnes of uranium missing from a Libyan test site. The Agency will take all necessary measures to establish the circumstances of the removal of uranium from the site.

March 15, 2023 –The US Department of Defense announced 800 million dollars Security Assistance Package for Ukraine including the supply of cluster munitions. Cluster munitions are prohibited by more than 100 countries. American President Joe Biden described the decision on cluster bombs as difficult but said that Ukraine needed them.

March 15, 2023 – The US military drone crashed into the Black Sea. Russian Ministry of Defense declared that “the drone flew with its transponders off violating the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the Special Military Operation”. As a result, a Russian fighter jet forced down an American drone over the Black Sea after damaging the propeller of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone.

March 16-18, 2023 – Russia, China and Iran conducted joint naval drills in the Arabian Sea. These were the third such trilateral military trainings since 2019.

March 20-22, 2023 – The President of China Xi Jinping paid a three-day state visit to Russia. It was his first foreign trip since securing the third term as China’s president. The parties discussed issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China and signed more than a dozen agreements.

March 21, 2023 – Great Britain announced it would provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. It is a byproduct of the uranium-enrichment process needed to create nuclear weapons which can cause radiation, damage to DNA and cancer disease.

March 23, 2023 – The Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev said that about 50 NATO member states of the so-called Ramstein coalition were involved in the Ukrainian conflict. Thus, they provided Ukrainian military personnel with military supplies and instructions from NATO countries.

March 23, 2023 – The talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Burundi Albert Shingiro took place in Sochi. They discussed the issues of developing friendly relations between the two states, confirmed the willingness to deepen their dialogue and cooperation in many different fields and reviewed prospects for the implementation of joint projects, particularly in peaceful nuclear energy, healthcare, and education.

March 23, 2023 – Ukrainian Air Force confirmed the use of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), an air-launched precision-guided weapon, against the Russian forces. The announcement followed the confirmation from the US officials that a long-range JDAM-ER version of the weapon had been supplied to Ukraine earlier that month  to hit targets up to 45 miles away with considerable destructive power.

March 25, 2023 – The President of Russia Vladimir Putin said on the Rossiya-24 news channel that Russia would deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. The Russian leader emphasized that “the US has been doing the same for decades placing their tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of NATO countries”. He stressed that the deal between Moscow and Minsk would not violate international law and the obligations in the sphere of nuclear nonproliferation.

March 28, 2023 –Hungary opposed sanctions against Russia in the field of peaceful nuclear energy. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in a telephone conversation with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak that Budapest would continue to block anti-Russian sanctions in the field of peaceful atom.

March 28-30, 2023 –The Summit for Democracy was held in the US. The event was attended by 120 countries in both real and virtual format. Additionally, the US President Joe Biden announced 690 million dollars into a new funding for democracy programs around the world. The conflict in Ukraine was high on the agenda at the Summit. However, some countries did not welcome it. Only 73 countries (of 121 invited) signed the final declaration.

March 29, 2023 –Russia ceased its participation in Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the decision was made as part of the response to the hybrid warfare by Western countries against Russia since the start of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

March 31, 2023 – Russia approved a new version of its Foreign Policy Concept. The document reflects a general Russian commitment to promote the formation of a more fair and sustainable multipolar world order based on the principles of international law and equitable international cooperation to solve common problems and promote common interests.

April 1-30, 2023 – Russia assumed the Presidency of the UN Security Council.

April 4, 2023 – Finland officially joined NATO and became its 31st member state. For decades, Finland had officially remained neutral before it came to military alliances. But on May 17, 2022, the Finnish Parliament approved the government’s proposal to join NATO.

April 6, 2023 – The Israel Army Press Service reported launching of 34 rockets from Lebanon towards Israel. 25 rockets were intercepted, and five rockets fell on Israeli territory.

April 7, 2023 – The Israel Army Press Service announced strikes on the Gaza Strip. Israeli Air Force aircraft targeted Hamas weapons facilities and two tunnels in response to security violations.

April 8, 2023 – The DPRK declared it had tested underwater nuclear attack drone Haeil-2. As it was announced by Korean Central News Agency the “test perfectly proved the reliability of the underwater strategic weapon system and its fatal attack ability”. 

April 13, 2023 – It was reported that North Korea launched unspecified ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan. Japan urged the residents of Hokkaido to evacuate immediately and to seek shelter in a building or underground. Anyway, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that “no missile had landed within the Japanese territory”.

April 14, 2023 –The authorities in Burkina Faso announced general mobilization to fight terrorists. The President of the Republic Ibrahim Traoré explained that the mobilization was necessary to provide the state with all the necessary means to counter extremist attacks in the country.

April 15, 2023 –The conflict in Sudan flared up again. It started with the clash between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The fighting began in Khartoum and soon spread to other parts of the country.

April 19, 2023 – France’s ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Le Terrible successfully test-fired an M51 ballistic missile; it is a Triomphant-class submarine of the French Navy.

April 19, 2023 – The government of Iceland reported that the US Navy submarines could make short-term stops and resupply off its coast. However, they can dock off the coast of Iceland only if there are no nuclear weapons on board.

April 22, 2023 – The world marked 55th anniversary since the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) came into force. 

April 26, 2023 – The US and the Republic of Korea signed the Washington Declaration. Among all other things, it stipulated that the US would further enhance regular visibility of the strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula, as evidenced by the upcoming visit of a US nuclear ballistic missile submarine to the South Korea. The two states also announced the establishment of a new Nuclear Consultative Group to strengthen an extended deterrence, discuss nuclear and strategic planning and manage the threat to the nonproliferation regime posed by the DPRK.

April 27, 2023 – Akkuyu nuclear power plant (NPP) was opened. Turkish NPP was built by Russia’s Rosatom State Corporation.

May 7, 2023 – Foreign ministers from the League of Arab States member states agreed to bring Syria whose membership was suspended in 2011 back in the Organization. The decision was made pending the Arab League Summit in Saudi Arabia, against the backdrop of normalization of ties between the Arab countries and Damascus.

May 15, 2023 – Russia together with Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria introduced a new concept of convention on international information security to the UN General Assembly. According to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, “the Concept of the Convention is based on the principles of sovereign equality of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. It is aimed at prevention and settlement of conflicts, establishment of interstate cooperation, including on building capacities of the developing countries in the field of information security”.

May 15-19, 2023 – The 2nd Session of the 9th Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) was held in Geneva. As a result, the report was adopted which said, among other things, that “states should ensure accountability over the use of weapon systems based on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems” through various measures.

May 21, 2023 – Russia gained full control over the city of Artemovsk (Bakhmut). The battle for the town lasted more than 224 days.

May 22, 2023 – Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin paid a visit to China. He addressed the plenary session of the Russia-China Business Forum; he also visited the Shanghai Petrochemical Research Institute of Sinopec Corporation where he met with the representatives of the Russian business community.

May 23, 2023 – The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the training of Ukrainian pilots for the F-16 fighter jets that the West planned to supply to Kiev had already started. He specified that Poland and a number of other states had started training the Ukrainian military.

May 26, 2023 – New wave of clashes started in Kosovo, Serbia, after Kosovo police fighters had forcibly occupied government buildings in several districts. Later, NATO sent there 500 soldiers from the Turkish military group. 

May 28, 2023 – The President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan won presidential elections. He received 52.14 percent of votes in the second round while his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu received only 47.86 percent of votes.

May 29, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov flew to Kenya where he met with the country’s leadership. During the visit potential areas of cooperation between Moscow and Nairobi were discussed including in such fields as energy, mining, telecommunication, cybersecurity, agriculture, tourism, and food security.

May 29, 2023 – The Central African Republic’s Ambassador to Moscow Leon Dodonu-Punagaza said that the Republic was interested in hosting Russian military base on its territory. He suggested that such a base could station five to ten thousand Russian soldiers.

May 30, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a visit to Burundi. As he pointed out his negotiations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Burundi Albert Shingiro were held in a cordial and trusting atmosphere and covered almost all areas of interaction between the two states. For example, they positively assessed the steps taken by both countries to develop cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

May 31, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came to Mozambique. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, all the meetings and conversations confirmed intention of both countries to further strengthen bilateral relations including the promotion of further foreign policy coordination, expansion of trade, economic and investment cooperation, intensification of interparliamentary and humanitarian ties, etc.

May 31, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a visit to the Republic of South Africa where he also attended the meeting of foreign ministers from the BRICS countries on June 1-2. The meeting included a separate session with the participation of invited foreign ministers of a number of developing countries. South Africa became the last country of Sergey Lavrov’s African tour in 2023; some days before he visited Kenya, Burundi, and Mozambique.

June 1, 2023 – The US stopped providing nuclear data to Russia within the New START Treaty. According to the US Department of State statement, “beginning June 1, 2023, the United States is withholding from Russia notifications required under the Treaty, including updates on the status or location of Treaty-accountable items such as missiles and launchers”.

June 4, 2023 – The start of the Ukrainian Counteroffensive was announced. Ukraine was expected to struggle with all its might to retake the territory it lost in the opening months of the Russia’s Special Military Operation. Later it proved to be unsuccessful. 

June 6, 2023 – Kakhovka Dam was attacked by Ukraine which resulted in its destruction. Some villages were flooded, and their residents were evacuated. Russian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned the destruction of the Kakhovka hydropower plant by the Ukrainian armed forces that has led to a devastating humanitarian and environmental disaster”.

June 14-17, 2023 – The 26th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum was held. There were signed more than 900 agreements.

June 23, 2023 – The US reaffirmed its readiness to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia Laura Cooper said that the “dual-purpose improved conventional munition would be useful, especially against dug-in Russian positions on the battlefield”.

June 24, 2023 – Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted the first peace meeting aimed to advance the proposal by Vladimir Zelensky for a peace summit to promote peace formula, building on a 10-point plan designed by him in November 2022. Senior officials from Ukraine, G7 countries, the European Union, and the nations such as Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Türkiye took part in the meeting. 

June 26, 2023 – France conducted a maiden test of a prototype hypersonic glider. According to the French defense procurement agency, “flight test of the glider on a very demanding long-range trajectory represented an unprecedented technical challenge that will pave the way for the future of our [French] national hypervelocity roadmap”.

June 26, 2023 – The head of the German Defense Ministry Boris Pistorius said that Berlin had no possibility to send F-16 fighter jets to Kiev as it did not have them. The German Air Force had Eurofighter and Tornado fighters at its disposal. However, the authorities were extremely reserved in responding to requests for their supplies to Ukraine.

June 30, 2023 – Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya declared that Moscow had circulated a letter to the Organization saying that Russia urged the UN Secretary General António Guterres to force Kiev to stop provocations at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

July 4, 2023 – Iran officially joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The process of Iran’s accession to the SCO started in 2021. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, commenting Tehran’s accession to the Organization, said that membership in the SCO would provide Iran with an opportunity for sustainable economic development.

July 4, 2023 – The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of State Council was held in the format of videoconference. The agenda was focused on the prospects for the development of multilateral cooperation across SCO activities.

July 8, 2023 – All declared chemical weapons stockpiles verified as irreversibly destroyed, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced. According to the OPCW press release, “the United States of America, the last possessor-state, completed the destruction of its declared chemical weapons stockpile”.

July 10, 2023 – The 6th Russia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial meeting for Strategic Dialogue was held in Moscow. The participants discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, touched upon the issue of establishing a stable collective security system in the region, stressed the importance of the strategic dialogue between Russia and the GCC and of strengthening relations based on friendship, mutual trust, and cooperation. The sides approved the Joint Statement including the Joint Action Plan of the Russian Federation and the GCC for 2023-2028.

July 17, 2023 – The US sent F-16 fighter jets to the Gulf region to help protect ships from being hijacked by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. It was planned that the F-16s arriving in the region would provide air cover for ships travelling through vital waterways and increase the visibility of the US military in the region in efforts to deter Iran.

July 18, 2023 – The Black Sea Grain Initiative was terminated. Russia had been saying for months that the conditions for the Deal’s extension had not been fulfilled. The situation had not changed which resulted in the collapse of the Grain Initiative.

July 18, 2023 – The UN Security Council met for the first time to discuss the risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI). All the countries participating in the event expressed their concern about AI.

July 20-23, 2023 – Russia and China conducted joint military exercises in the Sea of Japan. According to China’s Ministry of Defense, the military drills aimed to enhance the level of strategic cooperation between the two armies and improve their ability to jointly maintain regional peace and stability and respond to various security challenges.

July 26-28, 2023 –A coup d’état took place in Niger. Armed forces seized power and suspended the constitution. President Mohamed Bazoum was placed under house arrest, and the military came to power.

July 27, 2023 – A Russian military delegation led by the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu paid a visit to the DPRK. The leader of the North Korea Kim Jong Un and Sergey Shoigu discussed the issues of mutual concern related to regional security. They also visited an exhibition of weapons including ballistic missiles.

July 27-28, 2023 – The 2nd Russia-Africa Summit was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Summit resulted in the adoption of five key documents: Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit; Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space; Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit on Cooperation to Ensure International Information Security; Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit on Strengthening Cooperation to Combat Terrorism; Action Plan of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum for 2023-2026. Additionally, there were signed 161 agreements that did not constitute commercial secrets (146 agreements with foreign organizations and authorities), although the value of the agreements was not disclosed.

July 31-August 11, 2023 – The 1st Preparatory Committee for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was held.

August 5, 2023 – Saudi Arabia held consultations on a peaceful settlement of the crisis over Ukraine. Senior officials from some 40 countries including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, but not Russia, took part in them. The Saudi authorities presented an alternative plan to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. There were no practical results achieved after the consultations.

August 7, 2023 – South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said that the leaders of 23 countries expressed their desire to join BRICS. According to him, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam were on the list of the countries wishing to join BRICS that submitted official applications.

August 11, 2023 – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to launch a military operation in Niger “as soon as possible”. It was pointed out that Côte d’Ivoire would contribute a battalion of between 850 and 1.100 troops along with soldiers from Nigeria and Benin and that other countries would join them.

August 11, 2023 –Russian Foreign Ministry published a press releaseOn the Decisions Adopted by Russia, the UK and the United States Regarding the De-Targeting of Strategic Nuclear Missiles. It underlined that “guaranteeing that a potential adversary can be deterred from aggression against the Russian Federation and/or its allies is one of the top state priorities”.

August 11, 2023 – Chinese Foreign Ministry said the US was grabbing space resources for its own gain and undermining peace in outer space.  Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the United States of escalating arms race in the outer space.

August 17, 2023 – The United States approved sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands as soon as Ukrainian pilots training was completed.

August 22-24, 2023 – The 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The final declaration comprised a variety of issues: from multilateralism, international law, and cooperation in a number of fields to regional conflicts, food security, sanctions, etc. Six new countries, namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates were invited to join BRICS.

August 28, 2023 – Aleppo International Airport in northern Syria was knocked out of action by an Israeli air attack. The attack destroyed the runway and caused material damage.

September 4, 2023 – A pro-American coalition carried out airstrikes with F-16 and F-35 aircraft against two sites in the Syrian province of Homs. 

September 9-10, 2023 – G20 Summit was held in New Delhi, India. It was a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies. G20 members reached consensus on a final declaration of the Summit. It reflected the agreements reached on a wide range of current issues and actions, including food, climate, energy, the necessity of reforming international financial institutions, digital transformation, and macroeconomic policy.

September 11, 2023 – Armenia and the US started military drills which took place at two exercise areas near Yerevan. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, “the purpose of the exercise is to increase the level of interoperability of the units participating in international peacekeeping missions within the framework of peacekeeping operations, to exchange best practices in control and tactical communication”. The drills were to be held from
 September 11 to September 20.

September 15, 2023 – Al-Qaida[4] threatened to attack French and Swedish authorities. The threats against the two countries were related to the Quran burnings that had taken place in Sweden. The actions of the terrorist organization were also provoked by France’s decision to ban the wearing of the Muslim abaya at schools.

September 18, 2023 – The US temporarily deployed the Raytheon Standard SM-6 ground-based mobile missile launcher. This was the first time a US medium-range missile was deployed in Europe after the INF Treaty had been signed in 1987.

September 19-20, 2023 – Azerbaijan launched a military offensive into the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic which was considered as “anti-terrorist measures of a local nature”. On September 20, 2023, Baku claimed full control of the region. The President of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Samvel Shahramanyan signed a decree to dissolve all state institutions by January 1, 2024.

September 25-29, 2023 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference 2023 (GC67) took place in Vienna, Austria. Participants adopted resolutions on nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear security and strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency safeguards, IAEA technical cooperation activities and activities related to nuclear science, technology, and applications, etc.

September 29-October 2, 2023 – Moscow hosted the 1st Russia-Latin America International Parliamentary Conference. There was signed a special agreement granting the State Duma of the Russian Federation an observer status at the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).

October 4, 2023 – Brazil reaffirmed its intention to build nuclear submarines. The Brazilian special shipyard Itaguai Construçoes Navais launched the process of constructing this first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine, designated SN-BR.

October 5, 2023 – Russia declared it had successfully tested a Burevestink missile. It is a ground-launched and low-flying cruise missile that is not only capable of carrying a nuclear warhead but is also nuclear-powered. Burevestnik is considered to be able to reach any spot of the world. 

October 6, 2023 –NATO deployed new troops to Kosovo, Serbia. The first group consisted of 200 military personnel from the UK came to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in the face of protest in northern Kosovo. Later, on October 14, NATO announced the arrival of a new group. According to NATO’s official statement, “more than 130 Romanian military personnel arrived in Kosovo to further reinforce the KFOR [Kosovo Force] mission”.

October 7, 2023 – Hamas militants attacked Israel. Israel announced the start of a war and mobilized its army. Many European leaders and the US condemned the attack by Hamas and expressed their support to Israel. Iran, on the contrary, supported Hamas. Russian Foreign Ministry urged the parties to hold a ceasefire.

October 8, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Moscow. As Sergey Lavrov stated, he was “referring to the need to resolve the Palestinian problem based on the two-state solution in keeping with the UN Security Council resolutions, the agreements reached by the two parties in Oslo and Madrid and the Arab Peace Initiative. These agreements and resolutions provide for the creation of the State of Palestine which will live side by side with Israel in peace, security, and cooperation”.  

October 17-18, 2023 – The President of Russia Vladimir Putin visited Beijing to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit. The Russian leader met with the President of China Xi Jinping. They discussed a wide range of issues and described Russia-China relationship as having no limits.

October 18, 2023 – The requirements set forth in the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 on the Iranian missile program and international cooperation with Tehran on this matter expired. However, the European Council confirmed that the European Union would maintain all sanctions imposed on Iran that should have been lifted on October 18, 2023, under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) including the measures related to Iran’s missile program. Russian Foreign Ministry in this regard condemned the bad-faith practices of the Western countries.

October 20, 2023 – The US conducted tests at a nuclear test site in Nevada, USA. It was on that day that the State Duma of the Russian Federation withdrew the ratification of the CTBT.

October 25, 2023 – The Red Sea crisis started. Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked the ships that were linked to Israel. The Houthi continued their attacks in the following weeks which resulted in the biggest disruption to global trade since the COVID-19 pandemic and provoked a military response including the US and UK airstrikes on Yemen.

October 25, 2023 – Moscow received a set of informal proposals from Washington regarding strategic stability issues. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that it was unlikely that Russia and the US would resume their dialogue on strategic stability “as long as the US does not change its deeply hostile policy towards Russia…”. Later, in December 2023, Russia declared that these proposals were unacceptable.

October 25, 2023 – The Israel Defense Forces launched strikes against Syrian army military infrastructure. Israel motivated its actions as a response to rocket launches from Syria towards Israel.

October 26-27, 2023 – Minsk, Belarus, hosted a High-Level International Conference “Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects in a Transforming World”. The aim of the Conference was to hold a frank and inclusive discussion on the prospects for Eurasian security in the context of the existing world order crisis. The Conference was attended by member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), other countries of Eurasia, heads of a number of international organizations, representatives of academia and a number of think tanks from about 30 countries.

November 1, 2023 – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported an overnight attack on Hamas targets in Gaza including operational headquarters and militant squads.

November 1, 2023 – The UN General Assembly First Committee approved a draft resolution on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). The participants expressed their concern about possible negative consequences and impact of autonomous weapons systems on global security and regional and international stability and stressed an urgent need for the international community to address the challenges and concerns raised by such systems.

November 2, 2023 – The President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a bill revoking Russia’s ratification of the CTBT. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov reminded that Russia “will only resume nuclear tests if the US does it first”. 

November 2, 2023 – The 78th session of the UN General Assembly First Committee adopted Russian resolution Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security. According to the official press release of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the document reaffirmed the central role of the UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security. The Resolution also contributes to the elaboration of a legally binding document that governs the activities of states in the information space. Such a resolution has been adopted annually since 1998 when Moscow first introduced it to the UN General Assembly.

November 7, 2023 – Russia withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). In its official statement Russian Foreign Ministry noted that “changes led to a situation where certain CFE Agreement provisions, particularly the flank limitations, stopped meeting Russia’s interests”. It also underlined that “the United States initiated the expansion of NATO and, as a result, alliance countries began to openly circumvent the group restrictions imposed by the Agreement…”.

November 10, 2023 – About 700 people were killed in clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Response Force in West Darfur state.

November 11-17, 2023 – San Francisco hosted the APEC Leaders’ Week under the theme Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk and members of the Russian delegation took part in the event as well. At the beginning of the visit Alexey Overchuk laid flowers at the World War II (WWII) (1939-1945) Memorial in Lincoln Park honoring service personnel killed in action during WWII.

November 15, 2023 – Germany began withdrawing its air defense systems and military personnel from Poland. Berlin delivered its Patriot systems to Warsaw in January 2023 after Ukraine’s missile had fallen on the territory of Poland.

November 19, 2023 – France successfully test-fired M51.3 long-range ballistic missile.  M51.3 missile is an upgraded version of M51, a three-stage sea-land strategic ballistic missile designed to be launched from French Navy submarines. M51 operational range is reported to be 8.000 to 10.000 km.

November 20, 2023 – Javier Milei won the presidential elections in Argentina. He is a far right-wing libertarian. He denies global warming, opposes abortion, supports the dollarization of the Argentinian economy, and opposes Argentina’s membership in BRICS. During the presidential campaign Milei also claimed that Israel and the US would be the most important partners for Buenos Aires.

November 21, 2023 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with the foreign ministers of Arab and Muslim countries who were the members of the committee established at the emergency joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the situation in Gaza. According to official press release of the Russian Foreign Ministry, “the meeting consisted of a detailed exchange of views and a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the zone of the Palestine-Israel conflict”.

November 22, 2023 – Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was held. The virtual summit took into consideration key outcomes of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, and reviewed global developments that happened since then.

November 23, 2023 – Minsk, Belarus, hosted the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Collective Security Council session. The leaders discussed military and technical cooperation, the development of collective response forces, combating terrorism and extremism, biological threats, and drug trafficking.

December 6, 2023 – The President of Russia Vladimir Putin held talks with the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The agenda of negotiations included the current state of multi-faceted Russia-UAE cooperation and the prospects for further expansion of ties, as well as topical international issues with a focus on the situation in the Middle East.

December 6, 2023 – The meeting between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud took place in the Saudi King’s al-Yamamah Palace. Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud underlined that Russia and Saudi Arabia “can find many topics and subjects of common interest on which we [Russia and the UAE] are working together to promote stability and development around the world including in the Middle East”.

December 7, 2023 – The Kremlin hosted talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi who arrived in Russia on a working visit. The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral cooperation with an emphasis on the implementation of promising joint trade and economic projects including transport and energy. They also exchanged their views on the main international and regional issues.

December 9, 2023 – The President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah es-Sisi. According to the Official Website of the Russian President, “the leaders continued their discussion of the highly aggravated situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. They expressed their profound concern over the unprecedented rise in casualties among the civilian population including thousands of children and women. The leaders underlined the critical importance of promptly halting the bloodshed, releasing hostages, and ensuring an unimpeded provision of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of Gaza”.

December 10, 2023 – President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. As the Official Website of the Russian President reported, “discussion was focused on the critical situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone, in particular, the disastrous humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Vladimir Putin reaffirmed his principled position of rejecting and condemning terrorism in all its manifestations”.

December 14-15, 2023 – European Union Summit was held. The Summit failed to approve a 50 euros billion budget aid program for Ukraine for the next four years as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoed the decision on a long-term budget aid program for Ukraine.

December 18, 2023 – The EU agreed the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. It included a ban on imports of Russian diamonds and tightened export and import controls to comply with previous restrictions including the obligation for companies to notify tanker sales. There were also introduced personal sanctions which included 86 organizations and 61 individuals.

December 18, 2023 –The 3rd meeting of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue on the issues related to information and communication technology (ICT) security was held virtually. According to the press release of the Russian Foreign Ministry, both parties expressed their intention to further develop legally binding instruments under the auspices of the United Nations with a view to combating criminal use of ICTs and preventing conflicts in the digital environment.

December 19, 2023 – Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin paid a working visit to China. He met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and held talks with Premier of the State Council Li Qiang. As a result, Russian and China signed a joint communiqué on the results of the 28th regular meeting of the heads of government of Russia and China and several other documents on custom services.

December 19, 2023 – The US and Finland signed a defense cooperation agreement to strengthen NATO’s effectiveness and to improve NATO interoperability.

December 24, 2023 – Chad held a referendum. The citizens voted in favor of a new constitution.

December 25, 2023 – Final summit of the year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was held in Saint Petersburg. The Summit was marked by signing of the Declaration on the development of the Eurasian Economic Union until 2045 called Eurasian Economic Way. In addition, the presidents of the EAEU member states signed an agreement on the creation of a full-fledged free trade zone with Iran

[1] The information provided in the Chronology is based on a wide range of different open sources including Russian and foreign media, news agencies, post and press releases as well as official statements, communiques, and declarations. – Editor’s Note.

[2] The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

[3] The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s note.

[4] The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

[3] The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

E16/MIN – 24/04/15