World News

NATO Suspends Cooperation with Russia

NATO foreign ministers say they are suspending civilian and military cooperation with Russia because of the conflict over Ukraine.

In a joint statement following a meeting about Ukraine in Brussels, the ministers said NATO's political dialogue with Russia can continue as necessary. They said they do not recognize Russia's attempt to annex Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, calling it "illegal and illegitimate." They urged Russia to take "immediate" steps to return to compliance with international law.

The foreign ministers also they are committed to intensifying cooperation with Ukraine to strengthen its ability to provide for its own security.



Earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters he cannot confirm that Russia is withdrawing its troops from the Ukraine border.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and her office said after the call that Putin had told her Russian troops are withdrawing. Ms. Merkel later told reporters that any such withdrawal would "certainly" not be the final step in smoothing out relations between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia said it pulled back hundreds of troops from its border with Ukraine on Monday, but reports say tens of thousands still remain.

Tuesday and Wednesday's gathering in Brussels is the first senior-level NATO gathering since the crisis in Ukraine began last month.

NATO has increased air patrols over the Baltics and the United States is planning more intense military exercises with Poland.

Diplomats say the ministers could decide to step up NATO military exercises or possibly set up permanent bases in Eastern Europe, closer to the Russian border.

Also Tuesday, Ukraine's parliament voted to disarm illegal armed groups after a shooting incident in Kyiv involving police and a far-rights nationalist organization.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the Russian forces are creating a "climate of fear" inside Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is denouncing Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev's visit to Crimea, calling it a "crude violation" of diplomatic protocol.

Mr. Medvedev is leading a delegation of Cabinet ministers to look at ways to boost Crimea's struggling economy. He is proposing raises for state workers in Crimea and investment in infrastructure and transportation.

Mr. Medvedev toured a hospital in Crimea's largest city, Simferopol, Monday.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs