News / Europe

Ukraine to Hold Military Exercises with European, NATO Allies

Russian servicemen stand in front of a military truck on a freight carriage near the Crimean city of Simferopol April 1, 2014. NATO says it will explore all options to boost the alliance's defenses after seeing no signs of a Russian troop withdrawal.
Russian servicemen stand in front of a military truck on a freight carriage near the Crimean city of Simferopol April 1, 2014. NATO says it will explore all options to boost the alliance's defenses after seeing no signs of a Russian troop withdrawal.
Daniel Schearf
— Ukraine will host joint military exercises with European and NATO countries while NATO has decided to suspend "all practical civilian and military cooperation" with Russia because of Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

NATO and Ukraine also agreed to intensify cooperation and promote defense reforms, according to a NATO statement released Tuesday in Brussels, where the NATO foreign ministers are meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine. 

Joint military exercises

In Ukraine, lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday 235 to 0 to hold the exercies despite ongoing military tensions with Russia.
 
The overwhelming support follows Russia's March annexation of Crimea and reports of its heavy military build-up along Ukraine's border.
 
Lt. Gen. General Mihaylo Koval, Ukraine's Acting Minister of Defense, said permission was granted for units of foreign countries to take part in eight training exercises, with half of the military personnel for the drills being Ukrainian while the other half is foreign.

"The main theme of the training is preparation for international peace keeping operations," Koval said. "They will also work on humanitarian security and search and rescue operations on land and water as well as national defense."
 
The joint exercises are expected to take place in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa and could bring EU and NATO forces close to Russia's military in Crimea.
 
Moscow views the NATO alliance as an attempt to surround and isolate Russia. NATO's 28 member-states include former allies of the Soviet Union who agree to collective defense if one of them is attacked.
 
Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) but has hosted similar drills in the past. Since Russia's aggressive moves on the Black Sea peninsula, Kyiv is considering upgrading its relations with the alliance but has no plans to join it.
 
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussensaid Russian forces are still massed along Ukraine's border. Reports Monday indicated Moscow had ordered the start of a gradual withdrawal of tens of thousands of soldiers.
 
But Moscow confirmed only one battalion, a few hundred, was pulled back and claims only a small presence of troops are there doing normal drills.

Disarming nationalists, right wing groups
 
Ukrainian lawmakers also voted Tuesday for a bill to disarm all groups with unlicensed weapons.
 
"The Ukrainian people demand order," Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, told parliament. "Those who have weapons can only belong to the armed forces of Ukraine, the national guard and the security service of Ukraine or other military groups."
 
The declaration followed a shooting incident Monday night in central Kyiv by a member of the Ukrainian nationalist Right Sector group.
 
The man opened fire after a dispute in a restaurant, wounding three people, one of whom remains in serious condition.
 
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
x
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
The Right Sector and other ultra-nationalists, were on the front lines of anti-government protests that turned violent in February clashes with riot police.
 
The fighting ended in over 100 deaths, including from snipers, and led Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych to flee to Russia.
 
Moscow has cited nationalist groups like the Right Sector in claiming nazis and fascists control Kyiv's streets and the government. The Kremin used an alleged threat against ethnic Russians as justification for seizing Crimea.
 
The Right Sector turned the man over to police who surrounded their nearby hotel headquarters and forced them to move Tuesday to a National Guard unit outside the city.
 
Ukraine's Interior Minister says they found weapons inside the hotel, including homemade explosives, which were confiscated.
 
  • People stand outside a closed McDonalds restaurant. The fast food restaurant chain announced this week that it is shuttering its three outlets in the Crimean peninsula over unspecified operations issues, Simferopol, Crimea, April 4, 2004.
  • People gather outside a currency exchange office in the Crimean city of Simferopol, April 4, 2014.
  • People stand in line as they wait to enter a branch of the Sberbank of Russia bank in the Crimean city of Simferopol, April 4, 2014.
  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said during an interview with Reuters that the Kyiv government will stick to unpopular austerity measures "as the price of independence" as Russia steps up pressure on Ukraine to destabilize, Kyiv, April 3, 2014.
  • Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov visits a military exhibition near the settlement of Desna in Chernigov region, Ukraine, April 2, 2014.
  • Ukrainian soldiers watch as an army medic helicopter flies above during a military exhibition near the settlement of Desna in Chernigov region, April 2, 2014.
  • People pass by barricades near the Dnipro Hotel in Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Self-defense activists pass by the Dnipro Hotel in Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Commuters walk along railway lines next to Ukrainian tanks ready to depart from Crimea near Simferopol, March 31, 2014.
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits Crimea to consider priorities for its economic development, Simferopol, March 31, 2014.
  • Ukrainians, in accordance with Orthodox Church tradition of marking the 40th day since death, remember those who lost their lives during pro-Europe protests in Kyiv, March 30, 2014. 

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: clinton werner from: Tokyo
April 05, 2014 9:50 PM
Hi Everyone , We Have To Greatly Admire The Ukrainian People In The Maidan For Their Magnificent Heroism In Standing Up For Their Rights & Ousting The Former PM & Standing Up To Russia!
They Did This With Great Sacrifice & Perseverence! The EU &
NATO Should Act On This As Swiftly As Possible!
The West Has Become Too Complacent & Cynical In Recent Years! Because The Ukrainian People Stood Up For Their Rights , They Unmasked What Putin & The Russian Govt. Were Reallly Up To In Their Designs On Europe & Asia!
We Must Support The Ukrainian Govt. To Find out What Really Happened During These Sniper Attacks That Greviously
Murdered at least 100 People. We Must Bring Them to Justice!
May Libery & Justice Prevail !!!


by: Anonymous
April 01, 2014 11:15 PM
Excellent news. Ukraine is not alone, and what Putin did was illegal and he should be punished to all extents of the law. Thinking he can do what he wants to other peoples countries. The west should hold a referrendum in Chechnya and watch Putins face.


by: Tugein bryan karatwa from: Mbarara uganda
April 01, 2014 3:30 PM
I think Russia shd show some Respect to other countries because Power is nothing without Control.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid