MOSCOW (Reuters) – A senior Russian diplomat expressed optimism on Wednesday that a deal could be reached this month between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran’s nuclear program despite “deep gaps” on some issues.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia, which agreed on Tuesday to build up to eight new nuclear reactor units in Iran, was doing all it could to help secure the agreement which would provide assurances to the West that Tehran’s program was not intended to build weapons.
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Kiev said on Wednesday it would halt payment of state funds in areas controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, as both sides hardened positions in what is rapidly becoming a “frozen conflict”: a long-term stalemate that the West believes is Russia’s aim.
A day after the rebels held inauguration ceremonies for their leaders, the separatists and the central government each accused each other of violating a September peace deal and signaled they would withdraw support for some of its terms.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine staged swearing in ceremonies for their leaders on Tuesday after votes dismissed as a farce by Kiev, which says they violated terms of a peace plan to end a war that has killed more than 4,000 people.
NATO’s highest ranking officer, a U.S. general, said conditions were now in place to create a “frozen conflict”, a term the West uses to describe rebel regions carved out of other ex-Soviet states that Moscow protects with its troops.
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of his security chiefs for Tuesday to discuss new ways of dealing with the separatist challenge in the east after rebel elections that were denounced by Kiev and the West.
The rogue votes, which Kiev says Russia encouraged, could create a new “frozen conflict” in post-Soviet Europe and further threaten the territorial unity of Ukraine, which lost control of its Crimean peninsula in March when it was annexed by Russia.
DONETSK, Ukraine, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists
in Ukraine named a leader of their breakaway republic on Monday
after a weekend election which was denounced by Kiev and the
West and further deepened a standoff with Russia over the future
of the former Soviet state.
Organisers of the vote said that Alexander Zakharchenko, a
38-year-old former mining electrician, had easily won election
as head of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, an entity proclaimed
by armed rebels in the days after they seized key buildings in
cities of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east last April.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian rebels voted to set up a separatist leadership in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, aiming to take the war-torn region closer to Russia and defying Kiev and the West, as shelling continued across the territory.
The United States and European Union have denounced the vote as illegitimate, which is sure to stoke tensions further between the West and Russia.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists will vote to set up a breakaway regional leadership in eastern Ukraine on Sunday aiming to take their war-torn region closer to Russia and defying Kiev and the West as the big guns still boom across the territory.
The United States and European Union have denounced as illegitimate the vote which is sure too to stoke tensions further between the West and Russia.
DONETSK, Ukraine, Oct 30 (Reuters) – On a campaign trip, the
leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic lit
candles at a Russian Orthodox Church and kissed icons of Jesus
and the Virgin Mary before dashing off to meet about 100 voters
in a local factory.
There, the barrel-chested 38-year-old former mine
electrician Alexander Zakharchenko assured voters that he wanted
pensions to be “higher than in Poland”. The elderly should have
enough money to “travel to Australia at least once a year to
shoot a dozen kangaroos on Safari”, he said.
VOLNOVAKHA Ukraine (Reuters) – Voters in eastern Ukraine had one thing on their mind as they voted in Sunday’s parliamentary election: an end to months of conflict between pro-Russian separatists and government forces.
“Peace is the only thing people want here,” said a 57-year-old woman, who gave her name only as Yelena, after voting in Volnovakha, in territory held by Kiev’s troops about 50 km (30 miles) south of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
NOVOTROITSKE Ukraine (Reuters) – Standing at the village polling station where she will oversee Ukraine’s parliamentary election on Sunday, Irina Sobko points across a field of wilted sunflowers to a town controlled by Russian-backed rebels where she says there won’t be any voting.
“We’re Ukraine’s last polling station, the front line, so to speak,” said Sobko, 53, who is on the election committee at one of three polling stations in the pro-Kiev village of Novotroitske in eastern Ukraine.