ATHENS (Reuters) – Britain urged its European Union partners on Friday to press ahead with preparing tough economic sanctions against Russia, saying large numbers of Russian forces remained on Ukraine’s eastern border and there had been only a “token” withdrawal.
“We haven’t seen real de-escalation by Russia and therefore Europe must not relax in preparing a third tier of sanctions and making sure we continue to have a strong and united response,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Athens.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Ukraine, March 24 (Reuters) – - U.S.
President Barack Obama began crisis talks with his European
allies on Monday after Ukraine announced the evacuation of its
troops from Crimea, effectively yielding the region to Russian
forces which stormed one of Kiev’s last bases there.
Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than
European leaders over its seizure of the Black Sea peninsula,
will seek support for his firm line at a meeting with other
leaders of the G7 – a group of industrialised nations that
excludes Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Leaders of the G7 nations are to hold talks on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in The Hague on Monday to consider their response to Russia annexing Crimea, amid doubts that sanctions can constrain President Vladimir Putin.
Since the emergency 1-hour meeting was announced last Tuesday, Putin has signed laws completing Russia’s annexation of the peninsula on the Black Sea and his troops seized a Ukrainian airbase there.
BRUSSELS, March 21 (Reuters) – The European Union and
Ukraine signed a landmark political cooperation accord on
Friday, committing to the same deal former president Viktor
Yanukovich rejected last November, a decision that led to his
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, EU presidents
Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, and the leaders of
the bloc’s 28 nations signed the core chapters of the
Association Agreement during an EU summit in Brussels.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to destabilize Ukraine’s presidential election in May and has been preparing for possible military action in eastern Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said.
In an interview with Reuters, Yatseniuk, 39, said Putin wants to extend his hold on Ukraine outside the Crimea peninsula, which he took over earlier this month, into other areas where the majority of the country’s Russian speakers live.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday defended her talks with human rights activists during a recent visit to Iran, saying meeting dissidents is a central part of her official travels.
Speaking on the sidelines of talks in Vienna between Iran and six world powers on Tehran’s contested nuclear program, coordinated by Ashton, her spokesman said meetings with civil society representatives abroad were “quite normal”.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers sought on Tuesday to make headway toward resolving their decade-old nuclear dispute, with Western officials expressing hope talks would not be further complicated by the Ukraine crisis.
So far, diplomats said, there is little sign that the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War would undermine the quest for a deal over Iran’s atomic activity and avert the threat of a Middle East war.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union took a cautious approach to imposing sanctions against Moscow on Monday, targeting 21 people in Russia and Crimea while leaving open the possibility of adding harsher economic measures when EU leaders meet later this week.
Those targeted include politicians responsible for calling for and organizing Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, when 97 percent of voters decided the region should secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The EU says the referendum was illegal and does not recognize the result.
BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) – The European Union is taking
extra care in drawing up sanctions against Russia over Crimea to
avoid legal loopholes that could allow targeted officials to
challenge them in court, as happened with measures against
Iran’s nuclear programme.
If, as expected, EU foreign ministers approve a list on
Monday of people, firms or institutions they blame for harming
the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the bloc may still have to
defend the measures in court, legal experts and diplomats say.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO announced a full review of its cooperation with Russia on Wednesday to try to pressure Moscow into backing down on Ukraine and said it would suspend planning for a joint mission linked to Syrian chemical weapons.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said alliance officials would no longer hold lower-level meetings with their Russian counterparts, while stepping up engagement with the civilian and military leadership of Ukraine, not a NATO member.