NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO leaders emerged from a summit in Wales with a plan to protect eastern members from a resurgent Russia, a pledge to reverse the decline in their defense spending, and an embryonic Western coalition to combat Islamic militants in Iraq.
Yet despite ringing declarations of resolve, the U.S.-led alliance cannot fix the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, and the West is still a long way from having a strategy to defeat Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria.
NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO approved wide-ranging plans on Friday to boost its defenses in eastern Europe, aiming to reassure allies nervous about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine that the U.S.-led alliance will shield them from any attack.
The plan, adopted at a summit in Wales, includes creating a “spearhead” rapid reaction force and pre-positioning supplies and equipment in east European countries so they can be reinforced within days in a crisis.
NEWPORT Wales/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the main pro-Russian rebel leader said they would both order ceasefires on Friday, provided that an agreement is signed on a new peace plan to end the five-month war in Ukraine’s east.
The breakthrough came after a week in which the pro-Moscow separatists scored major victories with what NATO says is the open support of thousands of Russian troops.
NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO demanded on Thursday that Moscow withdraw its troops from Ukraine as U.S. President Barack Obama and his Western allies vowed to support Kiev and buttress their own defenses against Russia in the biggest strategic shift since the Cold War.
NATO leaders made clear at a summit in Wales that their military alliance would not use force to defend Ukraine, which is not a member, but planned tougher economic sanctions to try to change Russian behavior in the former Soviet republic.
NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO’s top official bluntly accused Moscow on Thursday of attacking Ukraine as allied leaders began a summit set to support Kiev and buttress defenses against a Russia they now see as an adversary for the first time since the Cold War.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his 27 allies, meeting at a golf resort in Wales, also discussed how to tackle Islamic State militants who have captured swathes of Iraq and Syria, posing a new threat on the alliance’s southeastern flank, and how to stabilize Afghanistan when NATO forces leave at year’s end.
NEWPORT Wales/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president heard words of support from Western leaders at a NATO summit on Thursday, but a Kremlin peace offer failed to halt fighting in the east where dramatic advances by pro-Russian rebels have tipped the balance of power against Kiev.
The West believes a rebel advance since last week is the result of an assault by heavily armed Russian troops sent across the border, and has been scrambling to find a response to the biggest confrontation with Moscow since the Berlin Wall fell.
NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO’s top official accused Moscow outright on Thursday of attacking Ukraine as allied leaders gathered for a summit to buttress support for Kiev and bolster defenses against a Russia they now see as hostile for the first time since the Cold War.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his 27 allies meeting at a golf resort in Wales will also discuss how to tackle the Islamic State straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, which has emerged as a new threat on the alliance’s southern flank, and how to stabilize Afghanistan when NATO forces leave at year’s end.
NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – NATO will bolster its eastern defenses and buttress support for Kiev at a summit starting on Thursday, prompted by the Ukraine crisis to enact the most radical shift in its strategy towards Russia since the end of the Cold War.
U.S. President Barack Obama and other NATO leaders meeting at the Celtic Manor resort in south Wales will also discuss how to tackle Islamic State which has emerged as a new threat on the alliance’s southern flank.
BRUSSELS/KABUL (Reuters) – NATO will declare “mission accomplished” this week as it winds down more than a decade of operations in Afghanistan but departing combat troops look likely to leave behind political turmoil and an emboldened insurgency.
The embattled country is also suffering a sharp economic slowdown.
NATO had hoped its summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday would herald a smooth handover of security at the end of this year from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghan forces. It then plans to cut back its role to a smaller mission to train and advise Afghan troops.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Afghanistan is expected to send its defense minister to a NATO summit in Wales this week, NATO officials said on Monday, after a political crisis dashed hopes that a newly-elected president could make his debut on the international stage there.
Who, if anyone, would represent Afghanistan at a summit that will discuss the country’s future had become a guessing game following the country’s disputed presidential election.