LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union urged Russia on Monday to back President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan for Ukraine but its threat of tougher sanctions if Moscow failed to do so appeared to only have partial support.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg held out the 15-point plan put forward by the new Ukrainian president as an opportunity to defuse the crisis that has led to hundreds of deaths and caused a confrontation between Russia and the West.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Russia on Monday that the EU was ready to impose tougher sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine if it is not satisfied with Moscow’s response to Kiev’s peace plan.
Speaking before a meeting in Luxembourg of European Union foreign ministers, Hague said leaders of the bloc’s 28 states would weigh Russian actions at a summit in Brussels on Friday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO countries, wary of antagonizing Russia, are unlikely to grant former Soviet republic Georgia a formal step towards membership of the alliance at a summit in September, NATO diplomats say.
With NATO-Russia tensions running high after Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, the question of whether to invite Georgia to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP), putting the country closer to its goal of NATO membership, has spawned conflicting views in the alliance.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The hardline Islamist group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq is probably training and directing foreign fighters to carry out attacks in Europe and elsewhere, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator said on Thursday.
Gilles de Kerchove also said it was likely that there would be more attacks in Europe like the shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last month that killed four people.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will delay signing an agreement on closer economic and political ties with Thailand and demands a swift return to democracy following the country’s military coup, according to a draft document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
Thailand’s army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, seized power in May, vowing to restore order and push through reforms following six months of political turmoil.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Hard-won security gains in Somalia could be undermined unless the rest of the world steps up support to improve Somalis’ lives, the United Nations’ special representative for the country said on Wednesday.
In the struggle against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, the Somali army and African Union forces have seized control of 10 or 11 towns from the Islamists in the last few months, Nicholas Kay told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Brussels for talks with European Union officials.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it had opened three in-depth investigations into tax decisions affecting Apple, Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively.
The probes focus on whether decisions by authorities in the three European Union member states about corporate tax to be paid by the three companies comply with state aid rules.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s chief said on Tuesday he hoped European allies would commit to raising defense spending at an alliance summit in September in response to U.S. demands that Europe do more to protect itself in the face of a resurgent Russia.
The United States, which dominates the Western military bloc, has used the Ukraine crisis to raise pressure on its European allies to reverse a slide in defense spending since the 2008 financial crisis.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A NATO-led training mission in Afghanistan next year is likely to total about 12,000 soldiers, including about 8,000 Americans, while some 1,800 Americans will conduct counter-terrorism missions, a senior U.S. military official said on Wednesday.
The United States would also be keen to see participation in the counter-terrorism effort by nations with well-trained special forces, such as Britain or Australia, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s top military commander accused Russia on Wednesday of destabilizing eastern Ukraine through the use of Russian-backed forces and demanded that it stop interfering.
While a majority of the troops Russia had close to the Ukrainian border – previously estimated by NATO at 40,000 – had withdrawn or were in the process of withdrawing, some appeared intent on staying, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander Europe, said.