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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid