News / Europe

Russia Accuses NATO of ‘Provocative’ Actions

Russia Accuses NATO of 'Provocative' Actionsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 29, 2014 8:37 PM
Russia accuses the United States and NATO of what it called 'provocative' statements as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds alongside a NATO military build-up in eastern Europe. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

VIDEO: Russia accuses the United States and NATO of what it called 'provocative' statements as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds alongside a NATO military build-up in eastern Europe.

Henry Ridgwell
Russia has accused the United States and NATO of what it called "provocative" statements as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds alongside a NATO military build-up in eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts are continuing to seek the release of seven observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, who are being held by pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine. 

Transport planes brought about 130 U.S. Army paratroopers to Estonia on Monday, part of a NATO show of force in eastern Europe.  Several NATO members have sent warplanes and ships to the region.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday the military build-up was accompanied by "provocative" statements about the need to "contain" Russia.

NATO commander in Europe, General Adrian Bradshaw, insists the deployment is appropriate.

"Our judgment is that the actions that we have taken at the moment are proportional and appropriate to the changed security dynamic that we face.  It gives a very clear indication on NATO commitment to the region,” he said.

Russia is also building up its forces in the region.  Two naval vessels have returned to join Moscow’s Black Sea fleet based in Crimea, the region Russia annexed from Ukraine last month.

The highest tensions since the Cold War have prompted accusations of covert military intervention in Ukraine from both Russia and the West.
 
Seven observers from the OSCE were seized by pro-Russian gunmen last week in the flashpoint city of Slovyansk, accused of being NATO spies.  Five Ukrainian soldiers were also taken hostage.

The observers were paraded in front of television cameras Sunday.  The leader of the mission, German Army Colonel Axel Schneider, said they were in Ukraine strictly in line with their OSCE mandate.

“I clearly state the Vienna document[ed] diplomats come to the nation without arms, without ammunition.  We are not fighters.  We are diplomats in uniform,” he said.

The militants want to exchange the OSCE captives for pro-Russian activists held by the Ukrainian government.  Among the hostages are three German soldiers and one interpreter.

Berlin’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited their home barracks Monday.

She told reporters this was the first time that inspectors were apprehended during such a verification mission of the OSCE.  She added “that’s why it is all the more important to make clear that we will not be bullied and this will not jeopardize further missions.  Quite the contrary."

The Vienna-based OSCE was created during the Cold War as a forum between East and West.  Observer missions often include army personnel, but their role is strictly diplomatic, said Andrew Foxall of the Henry Jackson Society, a Britain-based policy analyst organization.

“To evaluate events on the ground, to monitor how the situation is developing, and then to make suggestions and policies for how the situation might then develop,” he said.

The OSCE’s 57 members include Russia.  Western countries say it is up to Moscow to put more pressure on the pro-Russian gunmen to release all the hostages.

In a statement Tuesday, the OSCE said it was pressing ahead with plans to recruit hundreds of more monitors for a civilian mission in Ukraine, despite the detention of the seven military observers from a separate team captured by pro-Moscow rebels.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid