News / Europe

Ukraine’s Poroshenko Gets Show of Support from NATO Leaders

French President Francois Hollande (L), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) are seen at a meeting discussing Ukraine on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales, Sept. 4, 2014.
French President Francois Hollande (L), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) are seen at a meeting discussing Ukraine on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales, Sept. 4, 2014.
VOA News

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, received a show of support from Western leaders at a NATO summit on Thursday as a Kremlin peace offer failed to halt fighting the country’s east where pro-Russia rebels have been gaining the upper hand against Ukrainian troops.

The West has backed Kyiv with words and imposed economic sanctions against Moscow, but offered Ukraine only non-lethal military support after Russia annexed Crimea in March, and rebels, widely believed to be supported and supplied by Moscow, have risen up against Kyiv in the country’s east.

Poroshenko, even though Ukraine is not a NATO member, has been invited to the alliance’s summit in Wales, where he has already met with U.S. President Barack Obama, summit host and British prime minister David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Francois Hollande and Italy's Matteo Renzi.

“To the east, Russia has ripped up the rule book with its illegal, self-declared annexation of Crimea and its troops on Ukrainian soil threatening and undermining a sovereign nation state,” Obama and Cameron wrote in a joint newspaper editorial.

Participants of the meeting with Poroshenko agreed that Russia should face increased sanctions.

“The leaders reiterated their condemnation of Russia's continued flagrant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and agreed on the need for Russia to face increased costs for its actions,” a White House statement said.

Russia denies its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, despite satellite imagery the West points to as proof of Russian troop and hardware movements in the country’s east.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday offered a seven-point peace plan for Ukraine but it was dismissed by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who instead called on Moscow to use “genuine efforts” to help settle the conflict.

Putin's peace offer would leave pro-Russia separatists in control of Ukraine’s two eastern regions that have been ravaged by months of fighting. It would also require Ukraine to maintain its non-aligned status.

‘Party of war’

Meanwhile, Russia has accused the United States on Thursday of backing what it called the “party of war” in Kyiv and said it was counting on a response from the leadership in Ukraine and rebels in its east to a Kremlin cease-fire plan.

"The surge in anti-Russian rhetoric that we have seen exactly when there is a very active effort to seek a political solution shows that the party of war in Kyiv has active external support, in this case from the United States,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference after talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart.

In contrast, he said, Russia was “doing and will do” everything in its power to secure peace in eastern Ukraine.

Lavrov was apparently referring to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks about NATO keeping the door open for new members.

Putin’s peace plan is to be discussed at talks in Friday in Minsk, Belarus, between representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian governments, pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine’s east and officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has criticized Putin's plan saying it was a veiled effort “to destroy Ukraine and restore the Soviet Union.”

The European Union might hit Russia with a new round of sanctions this week over its role in the Ukraine conflict. Moscow has retaliated with its own punitive measures banning imports of some Western products.

Cease-fire, peace plan still possible

Meanwhile, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he is ready to order a halt to five months of fighting near the Russian border, if a bilateral cease-fire deal is signed Friday with pro-Russian separatists.

He said he expects a deal signing Friday in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, that could lead to the "gradual introduction" of a peace plan.

Separatists earlier said they also are ready to sign a truce, if a deal is signed.

Despite the Ukraine leader's guarded optimism, there were reports late Thursday of explosions on the outskirts of the Ukrainian border city of Mariupol. 

Details were sketchy, but Reuters news agency quoted a Ukrainian military source as saying government troops guarding the city were bracing for a potential attack.

McCain in Kyiv

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain blasted Russia for its actions in Ukraine and called on the world to support Kyiv's new Western-oriented government.

“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin can invade a sovereign country for no other reason than greed, belligerence and imperial ambition, what is to stop others from doing so?” asked McCain, speaking in the Ukrainian capital late Thursday after meetings with Ukrainian officials.

“If that principle does not apply in Ukraine, why then should it apply anywhere else,” asked the Republican lawmaker during what he said was his fourth trip to Kyiv since the beginning of massive anti-government protests last November which toppled a pro-Moscow government in the country.

“Our principles will count for little if they are not backed by our power and resolve,” added he.

Stressing that Ukrainian leaders are not asking for foreign military involvement, McCain said they are deserving of outside support because “the fundamental principles of the European and global order are at stake here.”

He said if the international community does not stand behind Ukraine in this hour of need, then “the darkness in our world will only grow.”

“Vladimir Putin wants to restore the old Russian empire. He cannot stand a free, democratic, prosperous Ukraine, because sooner or later the people of Russia would want to have that kind of lifestyle as well,” said McCain.

NATO points to strong Russian presence

Despite Russia’s claims to the contrary, rebel forces in eastern Ukraine have reportedly been receiving increased support from Moscow.

“We are still seeing several thousand Russian combat troops on the ground inside Ukraine, equipped with hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, so [there is] no substantial change in the disposition of Russian forces inside Ukraine,” a NATO officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on the sidelines of alliance’s summit in Wales.

Previously, NATO was putting the number of Russian troops in Ukraine at “well over 1,000.”

On the issue of lethal military assistance to Ukraine to help it counter what is seen as Russian aggression, NATO chief Rasmussen said at the summit that it was up to individual alliance members to decide whether to supply arms to Kyiv.

Mothers of Russian soldiers launch website

Mothers of Russian soldiers, claiming to have lost their sons to the conflict in Ukraine, have launched a website hoping to draw attention to their plight.

A screen shot of mamasoldata.orgA screen shot of mamasoldata.org
x
A screen shot of mamasoldata.org
A screen shot of mamasoldata.org


In defiance of Kremlin denials of direct Russian military involvement in Ukraine, mamasoldata.org (soldier’s mother) features photographs and avatars of more than 100 servicemen the mothers say have been killed in Ukraine or gone missing.

The website identifies ‘Soldier’s Mother’ as a "civic organization, created against the backdrop of recent events that have shaken our country… as our soldier sons are being sent to die in a neighboring nation.”

“The time has come for soldiers’ mothers to come together to create a united front in defense of our children, and in defense of peace in our country,” the website adds.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: QUOC TUAN from: Vietnam
September 05, 2014 6:42 AM
To Pedro from: USA

Putin only tries to protect russian speaking people from being massacred by Kiev. So he is much better than Obama who encouraging extremists to overthrow Assad and then by the way cutting heads of innocent americans. So Putin is not a threat to World Peace because he has no interest in lands which have no russians. Russians are unlike Americans who waged wars all over the Globe against so many nations: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, Korea, Grenada, Lybia, Syria...Your country has most enemies than any other. We will NOT believe in you and your Obama!

by: QUOC TUAN from: Vietnam
September 05, 2014 4:58 AM
Hey Ukraine, Please stop fighting each other because of your different views. You must not be puppets of the West as well as Russia. You must be united or your nation will break apart. Pls lean lesons from Vietnam. No outsider is really better than your brothers. You will see.

by: Igor from: Russia
September 04, 2014 11:15 PM
To Myrko from: Canada
If Canada continues to perform as US's dog, you will be burnt with russian nuclear weapons in the very near future.

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
September 04, 2014 11:07 PM
Russia talks turf on using Nuclear weapons ,do they think Putin does not know the consequence of it being used on his own people ?knowing Moscow is not so far to reach from her neighboring countries? Putin indeed has noting to offer his people and the world but war ,he needs to have it and we see what Russia will be in future among nations.

by: Dave from: US
September 04, 2014 8:16 PM
What is the point to "show" when real action (meaning, providing equipment, training, financing, etc) is required? Putin has made the West look impotent. Unfortunately, the incredible lack of leadership over the last several months has confirmed it.

by: hans from: berlin
September 04, 2014 6:12 PM
why is everyone starting to talk about land-locked Ukraine on the net these days and even some news stations. what does this mean
In Response

by: Padro from: USA
September 04, 2014 9:53 PM
It means Russia has ambition to keep taking land until it gets to Moldova. And once there it would take that too. And since Russia would be on a huge war rush it would not stop until it reached France because France is the only current world power that could stand up to Russia along that line unilaterally. Italy is not strong enough.

by: jimmy
September 04, 2014 6:10 PM
Conflict management rather than conflict resolution is best suited for interests of the big nations and unions against the little ones. Its been like that since forever and since 1900 and 1945, 1945, especially today and hopefully it will NOT be the world we leave to our children of the future.

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
September 04, 2014 11:58 AM
What the Ukraine chief Poroshenko gets in terms of supports in the NATO summit, that're not going to solve his country's crisis outright. Imposing punitive economic sanctions upon Moscow and supplying non-lethal defense hardwares to the Ukraine govt. side won't do anything in decimating the Ukranian crisis instantly. It seems the EU and NATO want to

by: Igor from: Russia
September 04, 2014 11:11 AM
Kiev must bear in mind that no Nato's weapon can save it from being punished if it continue to wage war against its own people including our fellows in the East. If Nato intervenes in we will serve that bkoc with nuclear weapons.
In Response

by: Pedro from: USA
September 04, 2014 10:00 PM
Igor- The Ukrainian's are not fighting their own people, they are fighting Russia and everyone in the world knows it. Putin even just said he could take Kiev in 2 weeks if he wanted too. In doing so he showed what his poker hand is. And it is to conquer all of Ukraine. he is slicing it up piece by piece now. And if he is allowed to keep going eventually nuclear war heads are going to start flying around the globe, and we all die. Igor do you want to live in THAT world?
In Response

by: Bobw58 from: USA
September 04, 2014 8:00 PM
NATO also has nuclear weapons, so don't forget that!!!
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
September 04, 2014 4:48 PM
Hey Igor... Some famous person said it;.. "Every time the US touches anything, it always turns out to be another Libya or Iraq"... the world will have to wait for the transformation of Ukraine?... to see if that famous person was right?.... (the US is changing the world, one country at a time?)
In Response

by: Myrko from: Canada
September 04, 2014 3:12 PM
The Russian Federation has invaded Ukraine and now presumes to dictate peace terms for a conflict that they created. May the Russian people burn in Hell!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs