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.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program can be resolved by a Nov. 24 deadline.
“I am quite optimistic after discussions with Lady Ashton that we can in fact resolve this issue in time,” Zarif said after what he described as “good” talks with Ashton.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO leaders will respond to the Ukraine crisis by agreeing this week to create a “spearhead” rapid reaction force, potentially including several thousand troops, that could be sent to a hotspot in as little as two days, officials said on Monday.
The 28-nation alliance already has a rapid reaction force but U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders meeting for a NATO summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday are expected to create a new force that would be able to respond more quickly to a crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday that Ukraine’s political leaders expect a new parliament to abandon the country’s non-aligned status after an election next month in a possible prelude to an application to join NATO.
Ukraine said on Friday it would seek the protection of NATO membership after what Kiev and its Western allies say is the open participation of the Russian military in the war in Ukraine’s eastern provinces.