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Sep 21, 2015

NATO says Russia must withdraw heavy weapons from Ukraine

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday an ebb in violence in eastern Ukraine was not enough to bring peace and demanded Russia withdraw heavy weapons the alliance accuses it of providing in support of separatists.

Ukrainian diplomats said Stoltenberg’s two-day visit, his first to Ukraine as NATO Secretary-General, held strong symbolic importance for the country in its drive for Western integration in the face of a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern territories.

Sep 20, 2015

In first Ukraine trip, NATO chief tries balancing act on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – With a troubled peace plan for the Ukrainian conflict nearing its deadline, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will attempt a balancing act to reassure Kiev of the West’s support without antagonizing Moscow when he visits Ukraine on Monday.

Ukrainian diplomats say Stoltenberg’s visit, his first there, is symbolic in their quest for Western integration as Russia backs a rebellion in eastern Ukraine 18 months after it seized Crimea.

Sep 17, 2015

Exclusive: European Union moves to suspend sanctions on Belarus

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is likely to lift some sanctions on Belarus, including its travel ban on President Alexander Lukashenko, after he freed a group of political prisoners last month, diplomatic sources say.

An arms embargo against the former Soviet republic would remain. But in an overture to the man the West calls Europe’s “last dictator”, diplomats are looking at suspending visa bans and asset freezes on most of around 200 people under sanctions for rights abuses, some since disputed elections in 2004.

Sep 17, 2015

European Union moves to suspend sanctions on Belarus

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The European Union is likely
to lift some sanctions on Belarus, including its travel ban on
President Alexander Lukashenko, after he freed a group of
political prisoners last month, diplomatic sources say.

An arms embargo against the former Soviet republic would
remain. But in an overture to the man the West calls Europe’s
“last dictator”, diplomats are looking at suspending visa bans
and asset freezes on most of around 200 people under sanctions
for rights abuses, some since disputed elections in 2004.

Sep 16, 2015

EU makes pitch for arbitration court to unblock U.S. trade talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s trade chief
outlined a plan on Wednesday for a new European court system to
settle trade disputes, aiming to unblock negotiations with the
United States and achieve the world’s biggest free-trade
agreement.

Fears that U.S. multinationals could use private arbitration
rules in the proposed trade pact to challenge European food and
environmental laws have overshadowed a transatlantic project
meant to ease business and compete with China’s economic might.

Sep 15, 2015

Ukraine wants Western weaponry if Minsk deal fails: official

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine will renew its calls for lethal defensive weaponry from its Western allies if the Minsk peace deal fails, the country’s top official to NATO said on Tuesday, urging help to reestablish control over its eastern border with Russia.

Providing lethal weapons to the Ukrainian army is one of the most sensitive issues for Western governments, Russia having warned this would mark a serious escalation of the conflict and pose a threat to its security.

Sep 14, 2015

Migrants camp in Brussels park as EU debates their crisis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s migration crisis has arrived in a muddy Brussels park, with hundreds of asylum-seekers camping not far from the EU’s headquarters where officials argued on Monday over what to do about it.

As interior ministers from the European Union members states held their emergency meeting, volunteers at the camp across on the road from the city’s main immigration office said its population had grown to around 1,000 over the weekend.

Sep 9, 2015

NATO’s new force could have wider crisis role: French commander

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s new rapid reaction force must be able to respond to crises on the alliance’s southern flank, a top military commander said on Wednesday, in a caution to eastern European nations who see it only as a tool against any Russian threat.

As Europe’s migration crisis renews pressure on governments to act in Syria and Libya, NATO nations are divided over whether its new spearhead force – which could deploy several thousand troops in as little as two days – should be for defending the alliance or if it could do more in the Middle East.

Sep 7, 2015

NATO plans Ukraine visit as Russia threatens trade embargo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine sought political support from NATO on Monday as talks with Russia in Brussels failed to bridge differences over a trade deal at the heart of east-west tensions and Kiev said Moscow was threatening a trade embargo against it.

In a day of meetings with EU and NATO officials, Ukraine’s foreign minister said the secretary general of the U.S-led NATO alliance would make his first visit to Ukraine this month, dismissing concerns it could worsen tensions with Moscow.

Sep 7, 2015

NATO chief to make first visit to Ukraine amid strains with Moscow

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s secretary general will make his first visit to Ukraine this month, Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Monday, dismissing the idea that this would provoke Moscow, which is backing the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

After a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Pavlo Klimkin said the visit, which he called symbolic as his ex-Soviet nation seeks to integrate with the West, would upgrade NATO’s representation in Ukraine and broaden technical cooperation.

    • About Robin

      "Robin Emmott is Reuters diplomatic correspondent in Brussels, covering the European Union’s foreign and security affairs and NATO. After spells in Amsterdam at Het Financeele Dagblad and in Mexico City with the Financial Times, Robin spent a decade covering Latin America for Reuters. Since 2011, he has been in Brussels writing on trade, foreign affairs and economics."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
      Languages:
      Spanish, French
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