BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A U.S. soldier who deserted because he thought the Iraq war was illegal could have grounds for seeking asylum in Germany but only if he can show he would have been involved in war crimes, Europe’s highest court said on Thursday.
The European Court of Justice added that even if Andre Shepherd could prove war crimes were very likely to have been committed, he would still have to show he had no alternative to desertion, such as becoming a conscientious objector.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s hosting of Ukraine peace talks may have a side effect at home – helping thaw relations between the European Union and a man the West calls “Europe’s last dictator”.
A meeting in Minsk on Friday with the foreign minister of neighbouring Latvia, travelling in his capacity as chair of the EU ministerial council, will mark another step in what diplomats say is an accelerating process that could see some easing of sanctions on Lukashenko and even an invitation to a May summit.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers piled pressure on Greece on Tuesday to remain in an international financial rescue program as the euro weakened on fears of disruption when Athens’ credit lines expire in 10 days time.
But as he returned to meetings on other, routine, matters with his EU counterparts in Brussels after the collapse of talks on Monday night, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis dismissed their argument that his only option is to come back to them and ask to extend a bailout rejected by Greek voters.
BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – European Union leaders are set
to call on Thursday for stricter checks on travellers entering
the passport-free Schengen area and increased
information-sharing as part of a revamped counter-terrorism
strategy following the Paris attacks.
Spain had suggested that the agreement governing the
26-nation Schengen zone might have to be amended to permit more
border checks on people suspected of terrorist links after 17
people were killed in a wave of violence in France last month
that began with an attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
BRUSSELS, Feb 9 (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers
threatened sanctions on Monday against “spoilers” who obstruct
efforts by the United Nations to halt fighting in Libya.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed revolt ousted
Muammar Gaddafi nearly four years ago, with rival governments
allied to armed groups fighting for legitimacy in a conflict
that threatens to split apart the oil-producing nation.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union delayed putting more Ukrainian separatists and Russians on its sanctions list on Monday to give a Franco-German peace plan for Ukraine time to work.
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany will meet in Minsk, Belarus, on Wednesday to try to broker a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers lined up behind a Franco-German effort to end the Ukraine war on Monday but some said the EU must maintain sanctions on Russia until the situation in eastern Ukraine improved.
The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France have agreed to meet in Belarus on Wednesday to try to broker a peace deal for Ukraine amid escalating violence there.
MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States risks provoking a more direct intervention by Russia in the separatist conflict in Ukraine if it sends weapons to Kiev, the head of the OSCE security watchdog said on Sunday.
The United States has said it is considering helping Ukraine defend itself in the face of increasingly confident pro-Russian separatists, whom the West believes have been armed by Moscow.
MUNICH (Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Sunday she did not expect any transatlantic rift with Washington over Ukraine if the United States went ahead with proposals to supply arms to Kiev.
With pro-Russian separatists making gains in eastern Ukraine, discussions are under way in Washington about whether the United States should send weapons to the Ukrainian army.
MUNICH (Reuters) – Britain’s defence minister voiced concern on Friday that Russia may have “lowered the threshold” for using nuclear weapons and said Britain must update its own deterrent in response to Russian modernisation of its nuclear forces.
Russia’s nuclear strategy in a hypothetical future war is coming under greater scrutiny among NATO members as tensions between the Western alliance and Moscow hit their highest level since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict.