BUDAPEST, Nov 18 (Reuters) – When Russia’s national soccer
team took to the pitch for a friendly match against Hungary on
Tuesday night, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban watched
intently from the VIP section of Budapest’s new stadium.
Hungarian officials say he was there because he loves
soccer. But at a time when most European Union leaders are at
pains not to associate with Russia over its intervention in
Ukraine, Orban’s presence at the stadium stands out.
Poland, the country on whose soil Nazi Germany carried out the darkest acts of the Holocaust, is starting to re-connect with its other role in Jewish history, as a home for 1,000 years to one of the world’s biggest Jewish communities.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Russian proposals on protecting Internet users against threats from the West could be a Kremlin ploy to crack down on critical voices inside Russia, a representative of Europe’s main rights and democracy watchdog said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the Internet as a “CIA special project,” and Russia media last week quoted officials as saying they were looking at technical ways to shield the Russian web, if the need arises, from threats to national security.
WARSAW, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Poland’s prime minister
designate, Ewa Kopacz, brought party rival Grzegorz Schetyna
into her new government as foreign minister on Friday to try to
neutralise a potential challenge to her authority.
Outgoing foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, one of Poland’s
most high-profile politicians on the international stage, is to
be given the job of speaker of parliament, on paper the second
most senior role in the state after the president.
WARSAW, Sept 10 (Reuters) – A rival of outgoing Polish Prime
Minister Donald Tusk has said he will seek the leadership of
Tusk’s party, the first sign of cracks appearing in the ruling
coalition now that Tusk is leaving for a senior job in Brussels.
Grzegorz Schetyna was sidelined by Tusk after making
previous challenges for leadership of the Civic Platform party.
He said with Tusk now leaving the scene it was time for him to
try again to win election as party leader.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.