BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – NATO defence ministers met on
Thursday to sign off on a network of command centres in eastern
Europe to rapidly reinforce the region in the event of any
threat from Russia, as well as a new regional headquarters and a
bigger rapid reaction force.
They were expected to agree to more than double the size of
NATO’s existing rapid reaction force – to 30,000 soldiers from
13,000 – and to flesh out details of a 5,000-strong “spearhead”
force with a faster reaction time of only a few days.
BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – NATO defence ministers will on
Thursday strengthen the alliance’s presence in eastern Europe by
setting up a network of small command centres that could rapidly
reinforce the region in the event of any threat from Russia.
Ministers will also decide on the make-up of a new rapid
reaction force and agree to expand a corps-level headquarters in
western Poland as part of a plan to bolster NATO’s eastern flank
in response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Concern is growing in NATO over Russia’s nuclear strategy and indications that Russian military planners may be lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons in any conflict, alliance diplomats say.
NATO officials have drawn up an analysis of Russian nuclear strategy that will be discussed by alliance defence ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Concern is growing in NATO over
Russia’s nuclear strategy and indications that Russian military
planners may be lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons
in any conflict, alliance diplomats say.
NATO officials have drawn up an analysis of Russian nuclear
strategy that will be discussed by alliance defence ministers at
a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Greek and Turkish Cypriots
should both agree to suspend the search for offshore natural gas
until they have reached a settlement to reunify their divided
island, the chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator said on Tuesday.
The island’s hopes of a natural resources bonanza were dealt
a blow last week when it emerged that France’s Total
was likely to abandon its current search for oil and gas off
Cyprus after finding no tangible evidence of reserves.
BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – European Union leaders asked
their foreign ministers on Tuesday to consider possible new
sanctions on Russia in response to a rebel offensive in eastern
Ukraine, but a final decision to impose them is likely to be
left to a summit next month.
Foreign ministers have called an extraordinary meeting for
Thursday after Kiev said 30 civilians were killed in shelling of
the government-held port of Mariupol by pro-Russian rebels on
Saturday, shattering a five-month ceasefire.
BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – European Union hawks on Russia,
including Poland and Lithuania, called on Monday for sanctions
on Moscow to be stepped up after a new offensive by pro-Russian
rebels in eastern Ukraine, but EU power-broker Germany took a
more cautious line.
The EU called an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers
for Thursday after separatists attacked Mariupol, a strategic
Black Sea port, on Saturday with what NATO said was Russian
support. Kiev said 30 civilians were killed.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO blamed Russian-backed separatists on Monday for a sharp escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine and called on Moscow to stop destabilising Ukraine.
Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg criticised Russia’s actions and supported Ukraine’s independence after NATO and Ukrainian ambassadors held an extraordinary meeting in Brussels.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO has detected signs of heightened Russian involvement in fighting in parts of eastern Ukraine, the alliance’s top military commander said on Thursday.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander Europe, said fighting in the pro-Russian separatist uprising was now more intense in some places than it was before September’s Minsk ceasefire agreement.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on Jan. 7.
The meeting aimed to lay the groundwork for an EU leaders summit on Feb. 12-13 in Brussels which will cement the bloc’s strategy to deal with young European Muslims heading to Middle East war zones or returning radicalised from the region.