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Europe Briefs

Europe Stories


Jul 21 2014 Obama Urges Russia To Allow Airliner Investigation

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Russia to allow international investigators immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the site in Ukraine where a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down last week.
Obama said Monday the pro-Russian separatists who control the part of eastern Ukraine where the plane went down are preventing international investigators […]


Jul 17 2014 Malaysian Airliner Downed By Missile In Ukraine

WASHINGTON - Russian media reports say a Malaysian airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines reported on Twitter that it lost contact of a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace Thursday. The plane was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.
A Ukrainian interior ministry official, Anton […]


Jul 17 2014 Obama Imposes Strict Sanctions Against Russia

WASHINGTON - President Obama says the United States is hitting key Russian sectors with new sanctions for its role in the Ukraine conflict.  The U.S. leader accuses Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and failing to take steps to end the crisis.
Obama says he and European leaders have repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop […]


Jul 13 2014 Germany Demands US Spy Leave Country

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the breakdown in trust between her country and the United States over spying shows the two have “fundamentally different conceptions” about the work of intelligence agencies.
Chancellor Merkel told public broadcaster ZDF television Saturday she hoped the U.S. would change its spying behavior, adding that “we are not living […]


Jul 3 2014 US Eases Concerns In Baltic States

AMARI - At a new NATO-standard airbase in Estonia, four F-16s train over the Baltic Sea, sometimes coming within 100 meters of Russian war jets that tail them.
The new $100 million base flies flags of the countries of NATO pilots who have trained here recently: Poland, Estonia, Britain, Denmark and the United States.
The training helps […]


Jul 2 2014 Russian Sanctions Bring Growth To Standstill

ST PETERSBURG - Sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine have brought growth to a standstill, had a “chilling effect” on investment and could force Moscow into economic isolation, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
The international lender’s report chimed with words from Russia’s central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina, who told a banking conference that growth […]


Jun 16 2014 Russia Fails To Provide Fuel To Ukraine Citizens

MOSCOW - Russian energy giant Gazprom says it is cutting gas supplies to Ukraine following Kyiv’s failure to meet a Monday deadline to pay nearly $2 billion of its outstanding debt.
Gazprom says Ukraine must now pre-pay for any natural gas after missing the deadline.
Also Monday, Gazprom filed a lawsuit in a Stockholm arbitration court to […]


Jun 7 2014 NATO Reconsidering Relations With Russia

WASHINGTON - NATO’s military commander says the alliance must reconsider its force positioning and readiness because of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove says that for more than a decade the United States and its allies have viewed Russia as a partner.
“And NATO has taken decisions in force structure, force […]


Jun 1 2014 Russia Bans Smoking In Bars, Restaurants

MOSCOW - Russia risks igniting the ire of its 44 million smokers when it extends bans on cigarettes to restaurants and bars on Sunday as part of a battle to break the habit in one of heaviest-smoking countries in the world.
The ban is the latest measure under President Vladimir Putin to promote healthy lifestyles - […]


May 21 2014 Russia, China Sign Major Gas Deal

WASHINGTON - China and Russia signed a long-awaited, 30-year agreement for natural gas worth an estimated $400 billion on Wednesday, securing the world’s top energy user a major new source of the clean-burning fuel, Chinese state media and the AP reported.
The deal would see Russia supply 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to China […]


May 16 2014 Russia Threatens To Close US GPS Monitoring Stations

MOSCOW - Differences between the West and Russia over the situation in Eastern Ukraine are beginning to affect scientific cooperation between Washington and Moscow. Russia is threatening to close U.S. satellite navigation monitoring stations in Russia.
The threat to close stations that monitor signals from the U.S. satellite-based Global Positioning System followed other warnings about ending […]


May 9 2014 Russia Demands Ukraine Pre-Pay For Natural Gas

MOSCOW - Russia has ordered energy-dependent Ukraine to pay in advance for all future natural gas deliveries, as Kyiv’s cash-poor government struggles to maintain economic and political stability.
The Russian Energy Ministry says Ukraine missed a Wednesday deadline to pay down its $3.5 billion energy debt, and said all gas sent from June 1 will require […]


May 2 2014 Romania Seeks To Boost US Military Presence

BUCHAREST - Romania has called for the United States and NATO to boost their military presence in the Balkan country to promote stability in the Black Sea region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean stressed the importance of an enhanced, long-term U.S. presence in the Black Sea region “to deter any other destabilizing […]


Apr 25 2014 Kerry Threatens Additional Sanctions Against Russia

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia is “stoking instability” in Ukraine, and the Obama administration will impose additional sanctions against Moscow if it does not keep promises made last week to help de-escalate the crisis.
Kerry says the world has rightly judged that authorities in Kyiv are working in good faith to de-escalate […]


Apr 21 2014 Joe Biden Visits Ukraine

WASHINGTON - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on his way to Ukraine for talks with the acting president and prime minister as the situation in east remains violent despite a deal aimed at easing the crisis.
White House officials say Biden will discuss the international community’s efforts to help Ukraine move forward on constitutional reform, […]


Apr 14 2014 US Condemns Russia For Provocative Behavior

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says a Russian SU-24 fighter aircraft made 12 low-altitude, close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea over the weekend.
U.S. defense officials say the Russian jet had no missiles and did not respond to attempts to communicate during the passes which lasted 90 minutes.
A U.S. military official said […]


Apr 8 2014 US Warns Russia Against Instigating Unrest

WASHINGTON - The United States has warned Russia against stirring separatist sentiment in eastern Ukraine, following unrest in several cities in recent days. U.S. officials said there are clear signs that pro-Russian demonstrations were orchestrated from outside. Meanwhile, recent events in Ukraine have emboldened Russian-speaking separatists in Moldova to renew their calls for independence, with […]


Apr 2 2014 NATO Suspends All Cooperation With Russia

BRUSSELS - NATO will suspend “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia because of Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
In a joint statement following a meeting about Ukraine in Brussels, NATO foreign ministers said that the alliance’s political dialogue with Russia can continue as necessary. They said they do not recognize Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s […]


Mar 22 2014 US Sanctions Impact Russian Economy

MOSCOW - The effect of U.S. and European economic sanctions aimed at Russia’s business and political elites is beginning to ripple through the country’s economy.
Two American credit companies, Visa and MasterCard, blocked transactions with their cards Friday at several Moscow banks. The institutions said they were complying with U.S. law after U.S. President Barack Obama […]


Mar 22 2014 Poland Speeds Up Missile Defense System

WARSAW - Poland has decided to speed up its tender for a missile defense system, the Defense Ministry said, in a sign of Warsaw’s disquiet over the tension between neighboring Ukraine and Russia.
“By the end of this year we want to already have chosen an offer. That is the acceleration by several months, compared to […]


Mar 17 2014 Crimea Declares Independence From Ukraine

WASHINGTON - Crimea’s regional assembly has declared independence from Ukraine and applied to become part of Russia, a day after a referendum in Crimea overwhelmingly supported joining the Russian Federation.
A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday to discuss additional procedures required to become part of the Federation.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s parliament endorsed […]


Mar 9 2014 Russia Boosts Military Ties With Kyrgyzstan

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan is packing up for closure after more than 12 years of flying troops and cargo in and out of Afghanistan, as Moscow boosts its military clout in the strategic region. Against the backdrop of the Russian actions in Ukraine, experts say Russia’s increasing economic and military […]


Mar 7 2014 Obama Imposes Sanctions Against Russia

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday took a strong stand against a planned referendum on the future of Ukraine’s Crimea region.  Obama imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on those the U.S. accuses of undermining democracy in Ukraine, even as thousands of Russian troops remained inside Crimea.
Congressional leaders are pledging support for those sanctions, […]


Mar 4 2014 Putin Proclaims Use Of Force In Ukraine Acceptable

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is prepared to use all options to protect Russians in Ukraine, but that he hopes it will not have to use force.
Putin’s comments Tuesday come amid a growing crisis over Russia’s military presence in the Ukrainian region of Crimea. The United States and its European allies […]


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