BRUSSELS, Aug 15 (Reuters) – European Union foreign
ministers voiced concern on Friday at reports that Russian
military vehicles had crossed into Ukraine overnight, but behind
the tough talk there were signs that EU unity over sanctions
against Moscow was fraying.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was alarmed
by reports in British papers that at least 23 Russian military
vehicles had crossed the border, and warned Moscow of serious
consequences if it did not withdraw any forces it had there.
BRUSSELS/KAMENSK-SHAKHTINSKY Russia (Reuters) – NATO accused the Kremlin on Friday of escalating the conflict in Ukraine, following reports that a small column of Russian armored vehicles had crossed overnight into an area of Ukraine where pro-Moscow rebels are battling government forces.
The Russian government denied its troops had entered Ukraine, but the media reports risked further inflaming tensions between Moscow and the West, which have already imposed costly economic restrictions on each other.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union hopes to build a “support group” with Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, to help Iraq stave off the threat from Islamic State fighters, a senior EU official said on Thursday.
EU foreign ministers, who will hold emergency talks on the Iraq crisis in Brussels on Friday, will discuss how “with all the … countries in the region we could form some sort of supporting group toward Iraq,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
BRUSSELS, Aug 13 (Reuters) – The European Union is looking
into how it could tighten sanctions to stop Islamic State
militants from selling oil from fields they have overrun in
Syria, a European diplomat said on Wednesday.
The issue could come up at an emergency meeting of EU
foreign ministers called for Friday to discuss the humanitarian
and security crisis in Iraq, where Islamic State fighters have
made startling gains.
BRUSSELS, Aug 12 (Reuters) – The European Union failed on
Tuesday to agree on a joint position on supplying weapons to
Iraqi Kurds battling Islamic State militants, but said
individual members could send arms in coordination with Baghdad.
Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the
international community on Sunday to provide the Kurds with
weapons to help them fight the militants, whose dramatic push
through the north has startled world powers.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russian aid to eastern Ukraine must be vetted and distributed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to make sure it is not used for political ends, the European Union’s humanitarian aid chief said on Tuesday.
A Russian convoy carrying food, water and other aid set off on Tuesday for eastern Ukraine, but Kiev said it would not allow the vehicles to cross onto its territory.
BRUSSELS/DONETSK (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion.
With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said there was a “high probability” that Moscow could intervene militarily in the country’s east, where Kiev’s forces are closing in on pro-Russian separatists.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO will soon be forced to take a decision on a total pullout from Afghanistan unless a deadlock over the country’s election ends and a new president signs an agreement allowing foreign forces to stay, the head of the alliance said on Monday.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters the Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Wales would be very close to a deadline for taking that decision.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday he saw a “high probability” that Russia could intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine and that NATO detected no sign that Moscow was pulling back thousands of troops from close to the Ukrainian border.
Asked in a Reuters interview how he rated the chances of a Russian military intervention, Rasmussen said: “There is a high probability.”
BRUSSELS/DONETSK (Reuters) – NATO said on Monday there was a “high probability” that Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine, where the government said its troops have been closing in on Donetsk, the main city held by pro-Russian rebels.
Kiev said it was in the “final stages” of recapturing Donetsk, by far the biggest city under the control of the pro-Russian rebels. The battle for the city could be a decisive turning point in a conflict which has caused the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.