LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers will hold talks on Monday to discuss how to toughen sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine without losing the support of some EU governments worried about antagonizing a power with an energy stranglehold over Europe.
Under discussion are possible new economic sanctions, as well as an EU mission to train police and other law-enforcement officials in Ukraine and the bloc’s approach to issuing visas and trade with the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in March after popular protests toppled pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich.
BRUSSELS, April 11 (Reuters) – Five European countries
interested in buying eight to 10 military refuelling and
transport planes have asked for information on products and
pricing from Airbus and Boeing, a European
defence official said on Friday.
A contract for the planes is expected to be signed around
the middle of next year, an official with the European Defence
Agency (EDA), the European Union’s defence arm, told reporters,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
MONS, Belgium (Reuters) – NATO unveiled satellite photographs on Thursday it said showed Russian deployments of some 40,000 troops near the Ukrainian frontier, along with long lines of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft ready for action.
“This is a force that is very capable, at high readiness, and, as we have illustrated through the imagery, is close to routes and lines of communication,” British Brigadier Gary Deakin said at a briefing at NATO military headquarters at Mons in southern Belgium.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain, Sweden and Poland are pushing the European Union to send judicial and police advisers to Ukraine to help stabilize the country, according to a document seen by Reuters, a proposal likely to irritate Russia.
An EU mission would seek to rebuild Ukraine’s police and legal system in the short-term to help combat sporadic violence in the country of 46 million people and lay the groundwork for implementing a proposed free-trade deal with the European Union.
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia told the West on Wednesday that four-way talks between representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the United States and European Union must focus on fostering dialogue among Ukrainians and not on bilateral relations among the participants.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered the message in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the Foreign Ministry said. It said Lavrov and Kerry urged all sides to refrain from violence in eastern and southern Ukraine.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO will triple its usual number of fighter jets patrolling over the Baltics next month to beef up its eastern European defenses due to tension with Russia over Ukraine, a NATO military official said on Tuesday.
Four NATO fighters are usually based in the Baltics but the United States, which currently has responsibility for patrolling the skies there, increased that to 10 F-15s to reassure those states following Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine, locked in confrontation with Russia, is counting on the United States and other NATO members to supply equipment ranging from uniforms to aircraft fuel but is not asking for weapons, its ambassador to NATO said on Tuesday.
NATO officials say Russia has amassed around 40,000 troops near Ukraine’s border and unrest in eastern Ukraine has led to fears that Russian forces could intervene there as they did in Crimea.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia has massed all the forces it needs on Ukraine’s border if it were to decide to carry out an “incursion” into the country, and it could achieve its objective in three to five days, NATO’s top military commander said on Wednesday.
Calling the situation “incredibly concerning”, NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said NATO had spotted signs of movement by a very small part of the Russian force overnight but had no indication that this was part of a withdrawal to barracks.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s decision to suspend cooperation with Russia will affect their cooperation in countering the flow of Afghan opium and keeping Afghan military helicopters flying, a NATO official said on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday that the alliance was suspending military and civilian cooperation with Moscow after its forces occupied Ukraine’s Crimea region.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia has massed all the forces it needs on Ukraine’s border if it were to decide to carry out an “incursion” into the country and it could achieve its objective in three to five days, NATO’s top military commander said on Wednesday.
Calling the situation “incredibly concerning”, NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said NATO had spotted signs of movement by a very small part of the Russian force overnight but had no indication that it was returning to barracks.