News / Europe

    Clinton Two-Day Moscow Visit to Include Mideast Talks

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Moscow working toward a new strategic arms agreement with Russia.  The secretary's two-day agenda includes a multilateral meeting Friday with Russian, European Union and United Nations officials to discuss Middle East peace efforts.

    Secretary Clinton will be meeting her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, Thursday and President Dmitri Medvedev on Friday.  The bilateral meetings are focusing on a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired in December.  President Barack Obama and Mr. Medvedev pledged last year to cut the number of American and Russian nuclear warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675.   However, renegotiating a new treaty has proven more difficult than expected.  The head of the New Eurasia Foundation research group in Moscow, Andrei Kortunov, explains.

    "There are issues related to verification, for example, maybe there are disagreements over specific numbers, and definitely, there is a logic which is related to American ABM [missile defense] systems," he said.

    Those systems are part of an American plan to build a long-range missile defense system in Europe.  The issue is back on the table following an announcement that Romania would host elements of a new system, after the Obama Administration scrapped a similar plan for Poland.  The United States says a missile shield is needed to protect Europe against a possible attack by Iran.  The Kremlin fears it would be used to threaten Russia.

    Clinton holds talks Friday with the so-called Quartet group of peacemakers.  Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the European Union by Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the United States by Secretary Clinton.  The Quartet's Special Representative, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, will also attend. Their formal talks will be preceded by a dinner Thursday evening.

    The Quartet is mediating an Israeli-Palestinian peace effort.  That effort has been stalled, most recently, because of an Israeli plan to build 1,600 housing units for Jews in mostly Arab East Jerusalem.  Clinton has called the Israeli plan insulting and scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the issue in an angry telephone conversation, last Friday.  The Israeli leader later praised President Obama's commitment to Israel's security.  

    Analyst Yevgeniy Satanovsky, president of Moscow's Middle East-Israeli Institute, is skeptical that the Quartet will accomplish anything more than what he says are "talks about talks."  He says the reason is that Israel has invested too much in settlements to back off.

    Satanovsky says there are Israelis who have spend decades and billions of dollars on settlements, and generations of politicians and analysts built their careers around the issue.  He says such people will not accept that their efforts came to a dead-end and that they were mistaken.

    Iran's nuclear program is also expected to be reviewed by Clinton and Lavrov. Before heading for Russia, U.S. Undersecretary of State and former Ambassador to Russia William Burns said " it's time to demonstrate that there are consequences" to Tehran's continued defiance of international concerns about its nuclear program.  Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said his country is ready to consider new sanctions against Iran, if persuasion fails to stop it from enriching uranium.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora