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

Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

IS Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' 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.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs