WIESBADEN Germany (Reuters) – Congress should look hard at whether to continue automatic budget cuts that weaken the U.S. military at a time when security around the world is deteriorating, a top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
The rapid advance of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region has fueled calls by current and former military chiefs and the U.S. defense industry for a rethink of the hundreds of billions of dollars in automatic cuts, known as “sequestration”.
WIESBADEN Germany (Reuters) – Air strikes alone will not be enough to destroy Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, and Baghdad will need training to rebuild ground forces capable of “going after them and rooting them out,” the U.S. Army Chief of Staff said on Wednesday.
Three years after U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq, President Barack Obama has ordered air strikes to halt Islamic State fighters who made rapid advances earlier this year as Iraqi forces melted away.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Military intervention against Islamic State militants could be justified on the grounds of self-defense or preventing a campaign “pretty close to genocide”, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
Rasmussen said the threat posed by Islamic State “requires a military response to degrade and defeat this terrorist organization” but he said NATO as an organization would not be undertaking military strikes against the group.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and Ukraine agreed on Friday to delay the implementation of their free-trade pact until the end of next year in a concession to Russia, which had complained its industry would be hurt by the deal.
Russia and the West are bitterly at odds over Ukraine, and the European Union and United States both imposed new sanctions against Moscow on Friday over what they say is its military backing for separatist rebels in the east of the country. Russia, which denies involvement, said it would consider retaliating.
BRUSSELS, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The European Union tightened
sanctions on Russia on Friday over its role in the Ukrainian
conflict, restricting access to financing for top Russian banks,
defence and energy firms and freezing the assets of senior
politicians and rebel leaders.
The United States was set to follow suit with its own
tougher sanctions later on Friday, heaping pressure on Russian
President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea
region and sent troops to back pro-Russian separatists in
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union put into effect on Friday a new round of sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine, including restrictions on financing for some Russian state-owned companies and asset freezes on leading Russian politicians.
The EU and the United States have been stepping up pressure on Moscow after its annexation of Crimea in March and what the West sees as an effort since then to further destabilize Ukraine by backing pro-Russian separatists in the east with troops and arms.
BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – European Union governments agreed on Thursday to begin their new sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis on Friday but could lift them next month if Moscow abides by a fragile truce, while the United States prepared its own fresh sanctions.
The steps are the latest by the United States and the EU following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and what the West sees as an effort since then to further destabilize Ukraine by backing pro-Russian separatists with troops and arms.
BRUSSELS/LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – European Union
governments agreed on Thursday that new economic sanctions on
Russia will take effect on Friday but held out the prospect of
cancelling some or all of them next month if they believe a
peace plan is working.
EU ambassadors agreed in principle to the new sanctions last
Friday but implementation was held up by a dispute over whether
they should take effect now or whether the EU should give more
time for a ceasefire in Ukraine to take hold.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A majority of Europeans think Ukraine should be offered membership of the European Union but they are divided about whether it should be admitted to NATO, according to a major public opinion survey published on Wednesday.
Ukraine, fighting a war against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, is at the center of the most serious East-West confrontation since the Cold War.
MILAN (Reuters) – The European Union must keep up pressure on Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian war because sanctions are having an effect, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on Tuesday.
EU ambassadors delayed implementation of a new package of sanctions on Russia on Monday to allow time to see if a ceasefire in Ukraine will hold.