BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO defense ministers will consider on Tuesday what longer term steps the alliance needs to take to bolster its eastern defenses and improve its ability to respond to the unorthodox tactics used by Russia in Ukraine.
In the three months since the Ukraine crisis erupted, the U.S.-dominated alliance has sent fighter planes and ships and stepped up military exercises to reassure eastern European allies alarmed by Russia’s actions, while making clear it has no intention of intervening militarily in Ukraine.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to reduce U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan means a NATO plan to train Afghan security forces throughout the country is guaranteed to last only until the end of next year, the U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Monday.
Obama last week outlined a plan to withdraw all but 9,800 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and to pull out the rest by the end of 2016, ending a more than decade-old combat role triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
BRUSSELS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s envoy to NATO on Monday accused the Western alliance of encouraging the use of force by the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine and of hampering efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, Russian news agency RIA reported.
RIA quoted Alexander Grushko, who met ambassadors of NATO member states in Brussels, as saying “unprecedented” activity by the alliance near Russia’s borders was adding to tension and could undermine existing security arrangements.
PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A 29-year-old Frenchman believed to have returned recently from fighting with Islamist militant rebels in Syria has been arrested for the killing of three people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum last month, prosecutors said on Sunday.
Mehdi Nemmouche was detained on Friday after a random check at a bus terminal in the French city of Marseille showed he was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle, another gun and ammunition similar to those used in the shooting last weekend, French and Belgian prosecutors said.
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS, May 22 (Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday
it was moving troops and military equipment from border regions
near Ukraine, but NATO said a large “coercive force” remained in
Russia has previously failed to keep promises to move troops
back from the frontier with eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian
separatists have declared independence.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s ambassador to the European Union said on Wednesday that Russia should face EU financial sanctions and lose the right to host the 2018 soccer World Cup because of its annexation of the Crimea region.
Asset freezes and visa bans adopted by the EU so far in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine did not go far enough, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev told Reuters in an interview.
GAIZIUNAI Lithuania/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Artillery and tank fire reverberate around a Baltic airstrip where U.S. paratroopers are fighting alongside Lithuanian soldiers. The battle is just an exercise and it only involves 150 U.S. soldiers – but the symbolism is clear.
With eastern European states nervous about Russia after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and massed 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, the United States and NATO allies want to show Moscow that former Soviet republics on the Baltic are under the alliance’s security umbrella.
GAIZIUNAI, Lithuania/BRUSSELS, May 18 (Reuters) – Artillery
and tank fire reverberate around a Baltic airstrip where U.S.
paratroopers are fighting alongside Lithuanian soldiers. The
battle is just an exercise and it only involves 150 U.S.
soldiers – but the symbolism is clear.
With eastern European states nervous about Russia after it
annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and massed 40,000 troops on
Ukraine’s borders, the United States and NATO allies want to
show Moscow that former Soviet republics on the Baltic are under
the alliance’s security umbrella.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union imposed sanctions on Monday on a top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the commander of Russian paratroopers as well as two confiscated Crimean energy companies, raising pressure on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
Putin’s first deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, and Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of Russian airborne troops that took part in Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March, were among 13 people added to the EU’s sanctions list.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union was set to take a cautious step towards extending sanctions against Russia on Monday, targeting companies, as well as people, linked to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Ministers meeting in Brussels also discussed what would trigger more hard-hitting economic sanctions on the Russian economy with big EU powers Germany, France and Britain all threatening tougher action against Moscow if it undermined the May 25 Ukrainian presidential election.