News / Europe

    NATO Concerned Over E. Ukraine Cease-fire Violations

    A Ukrainian military convoy moves on the road near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk, Oct. 5, 2014.
    A Ukrainian military convoy moves on the road near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk, Oct. 5, 2014.
    VOA News

    The new head of NATO said the Western military alliance is concerned about the large number of violations of the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, which he indirectly blamed on pro-Russian separatists.

    Speaking in Poland Monday on his first foreign trip as NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg said he wanted "to commend the government in Ukraine for doing a lot, to both (respect) the cease-fire and also to contribute to a political solution" to it conflict with the separatists.

    The former Norwegian prime minister said it is important Russia uses "all of its influence" to ensure the separatists also respect the cease-fire.

    Last week saw heavy fighting between government and separatist forces in Donetsk, particularly around the city's airport, which the rebels have been trying to recapture. Each side blamed the other for shelling that killed and wounded civilians in various parts of the city.

    At least one person was killed in Donetsk on Monday when a residential area was shelled.

    Border concerns

    Meanwhile, in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

    Poroshenko stressed the need to tighten control of his country's border with Russia. Nuland praised him for his efforts to reach the cease-fire.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday accused Russia of failing to observe the truce agreement and memorandum on implementing the cease-fire signed last month.

    Yatsenyuk charged that Russia continues to support the separatists, adding that both Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are killed daily by Russian-controlled "terrorists."

    He also said Ukraine has received two drones to help monitor the cease-fire.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, told journalists in Moscow that it is "absolutely hopeless" to blame what is happening in eastern Ukraine on the separatists while supporting all of the Ukrainian government's "zigzags."

    Reassuring Poland

    In Poland, Stoltenberg, who met Monday with President Bronislaw Komorowski and other top Polish officials, sought to reassure Poland and other member states bordering Russia who are nervous about Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine earlier this year and support for the pro-Russian separatists.

    NATO, he said, will "maintain a continuous presence and activity in the eastern part of our alliance."

    The alliance plans to create a rapid-reaction force for eastern Europe consisting of several thousand combat troops.

    At the same time, Stoltenberg told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza that "there is no contradiction between a strong NATO and building constructive relations with Russia," the Reuters news agency reported Monday.

    German-French proposal

    Also on Monday, Germany and France said they will present a new proposal shortly under which their soldiers could participate in the monitoring of the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, a German foreign ministry spokesman said.

    The spokesman, Martin Schaefer, said the plan would be presented in the “next hours or days” but added, “One thing is clear. Before German and French soldiers or others are sent to participate in the civil monitoring mission of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) in Ukraine there are some political and legal questions that must be resolved.”

    Schaefer said one of these questions was the role of the Bundestag lower house of parliament in approving such a mission.

    Some material for this report came from Reuters.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    October 06, 2014 9:42 PM
    The best possible thing that could happen is a Nato Force to go in FACE TO FACE with Putin Cronys. This would difuse the situation and make Vladamir suck his lip and be a little more concerned about his own doings.

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    October 06, 2014 12:59 PM
    Just before some days, I'd written over here for our VOA as a neutral strip zone should come up starting from the Russo-Ukraine common border into the Ukraine territory; and, that would be patroled by the UN peace- keepers with adequate survellance systems......... The official proposal by France and Germany to send their defense personnel with drones are welcome. While such neutral area to remain wihin the Ukraine territory, Russia does not have anything else to say. Any attempts to violate the Minsk cease-fire can be well monitored if this step can be taken. There's no slightest doubt over it. The Russian reaction should be taken notice if France and Germany do send their defense personnel and surveillance hardwares for this civil monitoring purpose.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    October 06, 2014 12:58 PM
    TRUST or lack of trust is what holds up the monitoring of the Ukraine ceasefire, [as the Wise Man sees it], how will the separatists know if the NATO drones aren't spying on them, and relaying troop and weapon positions to the Ukraine government, without sharing the same information with them on the Ukrainian positions?..... [Boots on the ground, are the only way to insure an honest ceasefire]..... not drones !!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora