MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday NATO was turning Ukraine into a “frontline of confrontation” and threatened to sever remaining ties with the Atlantic military alliance if Ukraine’s hopes of joining it were realized.
The Kiev parliament’s renunciation of Ukraine’s neutral status on Tuesday in pursuit of NATO membership has outraged Moscow and deepened the worst confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The glittering Jaguars and Land Rovers parked on the showroom tiles at Rolf car dealership in Moscow looked like a steal, still priced in last week’s rubles. But by Wednesday you were probably too late.
Russians have been racing to buy cars, electronic goods and designer clothes with their swiftly devaluing rubles. But some international firms have suspended supplies of luxury items, at least until the currency stabilizes.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The offices of one of Russia’s most active human rights groups in the troubled North Caucasus region of Chechnya was torched and its members were held by armed men in camouflage on Sunday, a top human rights activist said.
The Joint Mobile Group has come under fire from Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strong-arm leader Ramzan Kadyrov after the group’s head criticised methods of punishment used against those suspected of being part of the region’s Islamist insurgency.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Tuesday it was concerned by the behavior of German leaders and warned that Europe would suffer if Berlin stopped playing a constructive role in relations between Moscow and the West.
Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has taken the lead in trying to convince President Vladimir Putin to engage with the West during the crisis in Ukraine but her criticism of Moscow has sharpened in the last few weeks.
MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Russia warned the United States on Thursday against supplying arms to Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, hours before U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden was due to arrive in Kiev.
Ukraine accused President Vladimir Putin of treating its territory like a “playing field”, trying to unleash a full-scale war that would pose a broader threat to NATO countries.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Wednesday for deeper ties with North Korea to improve regional security, a day after holding talks with a personal envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Senior North Korean officials visit Moscow infrequently but the isolated country is trying to counter a U.N. resolution urging Pyongyang’s referral to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday several of its diplomats had been expelled from Poland and that a number of Polish diplomats had left Russia after Moscow took “adequate” measures in return.
Ties between Russia and European Union member states have been strained by the crisis in Ukraine and by EU sanctions imposed after Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. Poland, for decades under communist rule and dominated by Moscow, has been one of Moscow’s most outspoken critics.
MOSCOW/PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday that France would not be dictated to after an unidentified Russian official was quoted as giving Paris two weeks to deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers or face possible compensation claims.
France has for months resisted pressure from Washington and other allies to scrap the 1.2 billion euro ($1.58 billion) contract and in September said it would only hand over the first carrier, the Vladivostok, if there was a lasting ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine.
DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – International monitors deployed along the Russian border in eastern Ukraine say their drones were shot at and jammed days before new columns of unmarked soldiers and weapons, said by the West to be Russian, were seen in the rebel-held territory this week.
The reports by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is seen as a neutral party in the conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people, come as Kiev and Moscow trade accusations of violating a fragile ceasefire.
MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Moscow and Kiev accused each other on Thursday of violating a ceasefire and the United States warned Russia the West might punish it further for its “military escalation” of the Ukraine crisis.
Ukraine accused Russia of sending soldiers and weapons to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine launch a new offensive in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people. Russia warned Kiev that any resumption of hostilities against the separatists would be catastrophic for Ukraine.