Christian's Feed
Aug 29, 2014

On Russian troops in Ukraine, honesty is not everyone’s best policy

MOSCOW, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The Ukraine conflict has evoked
many memories of the Cold War, including a footloose attitude to
the truth. But even as Russia’s denials of involvement stretch
credibility to breaking point, for some they remain a convenient
fiction.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is chief among them;
denying a Russian role will keep his domestic audience in
ignorance of a war they don’t want – especially useful if the
battle goes badly.

Aug 26, 2014

Exclusive: In Ukraine, an armored column appears out of nowhere

MOSCOW/ NOVOAZOVSK Ukraine (Reuters) – On Monday, a resident of Novoazovsk in south-eastern Ukraine said she saw a column of armored vehicles approach the town and start shooting.

“It all started at 8:00 this morning, tanks appeared, no fewer than seven of them,” the woman, who gave her name only as Lyudmila, told Reuters by telephone. “Right now I can hear rumbling, explosions … the residents are hiding.”

Aug 13, 2014

NATO nears agreement on beefing up presence in eastern Europe: Poland

WARSAW (Reuters) – NATO member states are close to reaching consensus over steps to beef up the alliance’s military presence in eastern Europe in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Wednesday in an interview.

Sikorski told Reuters he believed the Kremlin could still invade eastern Ukraine, though he said the possibility of Russian troops entering under cover of a humanitarian aid convoy now heading towards the Ukrainian border had receded somewhat in the past few days.

Jul 24, 2014

European court says CIA ran secret jail in a Polish forest

WARSAW (Reuters) – The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, piling pressure on Poland, one of Washington’s closest allies, to break its long silence about the global program for detaining al Qaeda suspects.

The court said it had been established that the CIA used a facility in a northern Polish forest, code named “Quartz”, as a hub in its network for interrogating suspected al Qaeda operatives rounded up after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Jul 24, 2014

European court rules against Poland over secret CIA jail

WARSAW (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that the CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, a judgement that adds to pressure on the United States and its allies to reveal the truth about the global programme for detaining al Qaeda suspects.

The United States has acknowledged the existence of its “extraordinary rendition” scheme in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks but has never revealed which of its allies hosted the secret detention facilities.

Jun 23, 2014

Polish minister says Cameron incompetent or reckless on EU: magazine

WARSAW/LONDON (Reuters) – Poland’s foreign minister said that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s policy on Europe was either reckless or incompetent, according to a secretly recorded conversation published by a Polish magazine on Monday.

The Wprost magazine published what it said were excerpts of a conversation between Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and former finance minister Jacek Rostowski. It said they were secretly recorded at a restaurant in Warsaw.

Jun 23, 2014

Poland hunts for restaurant eavesdroppers who snooped on elite

WARSAW, June 23 (Reuters) – Poland’s prime minister on
Monday said the secret recording of officials discussing affairs
of state over restaurant meals was a plot to cripple the Polish
state at a time when it is rallying European opposition to
Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

But former security officers say the origin of the affair is
probably more prosaic: someone saw an opportunity for commercial
gain from recording the conversations, and exploited the fact
that Poland’s elite are lax about security when they go out for
a meal.

Jun 23, 2014

Neighbor Poland is an enticing model for Ukraine

WARSAW (Reuters) – World leaders marking 25 years since Poland began its transformation into a free-market democracy had a message this month for neighboring Ukraine: you too could follow the same path to prosperity.

Fundamentals of the two economies suggest Ukraine can aspire to match the progress Poland has made since communism fell. But first it must get to grips with its high energy consumption, and the corruption and poor governance that puts off many investors – precisely the main reasons why Ukraine remains so poor.

Jun 20, 2014

Poland acknowledges raid on magazine was heavy-handed

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s government acknowledged on Thursday law enforcement officers had gone too far when they raided the offices of a magazine and tried to seize leaked tapes that have embarrassed senior officials.

The night-time raid on the magazine’s offices, during which officers tried to wrestle a laptop containing the recordings out of the arms of the editor-in-chief, provoked a storm of outrage over respect for press freedom.

Jun 18, 2014

Poland’s squeaky clean image post-communism threatened by secret tape

WARSAW (Reuters) – The furor over a secretly recorded conversation between two senior Polish officials has so far focused on comments that call into question the independence of the central bank.

But businessman Zbigniew Jakubas says he is more upset about another part of the tape: a section in which, according to a transcript, Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and central bank governor Marek Belka discuss how they can pressure Jakubas’s company to charge less for the coins it was proposing to mint under a state contract.