News / Europe

US to Boost Black Sea Presence Over Crimea

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addresses a joint media briefing with Romania's Defense Minister Mircea Dusa (not pictured) in the Black Sea port of Constanta June 5, 2014.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addresses a joint media briefing with Romania's Defense Minister Mircea Dusa (not pictured) in the Black Sea port of Constanta June 5, 2014.
Reuters
The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday.
 
Hagel is the latest high-ranking American official to visit Europe since Russia's annexation of Crimea, as Washington looks to reassure allies jittery about Moscow's intentions in its former Cold War backyard.
 
The tour coincides with a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland this week, when he promised to increase military support for eastern European NATO members, including a $1 billion fund to support and train the armed forces of NATO states.
 
Formerly a secretive Communist state, Romania is now a member both of NATO and the European Union. Bucharest has been among the staunchest supporters of Western sanctions against Russia, has hosted joint military exercises with U.S. forces on its soil and participated in navy drills in the Black Sea.
 
Hagel was on a visit to the Romanian port Constanta, which recently hosted U.S. ships carrying out the navy exercises and where the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf is currently berthed.
 
The $1 billion fund will allow for a “stronger presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea,” Hagel said, adding that the presence of the Vella Gulf was an expression of Washington's commitment to regional security.
 
“We will sustain that tempo going forward,” Hagel told reporters, referring to the rotating presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea since the Crimea crisis erupted.
 
Bucharest has openly called for an increased U.S. military presence in the Black Sea, and is particularly concerned about Russian intentions in its tiny neighbor Moldova, which used to be part of Romania and contains a Russian-speaking minority.
 
Since the standoff over Ukraine erupted, Romania has also pledged to raise its defense spending. That announcement drew praise from Washington, which has urged other NATO members to follow suit and review how their militaries are trained.
 
President Obama also used the visit to Poland to throw his weight behind the new president of Ukraine, amid an intensifying crackdown by Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian rebels.
 
The G7 group of industrialized nations has threatened to impose tougher sanctions on Russia if it does not help restore peace in eastern Ukraine.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid