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

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora