Ukraine truce hangs in balance after 'difficult' talks

Dec 26, 2014

Ukraine truce hangs in balance after 'difficult' talks

by Dmitry Zaks

The latest push for peace in Ukraine appeared moribund on Thursday after initial talks failed to agree when the warring sides should meet again to try ending their eight-month conflict. Negotiations mediated by European and Russian envoys in the Belarussian capital Minsk broke up ...

Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers

Dec 26, 2014

Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers

Russian President Vladimir Putin has scrapped New Year’s holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis. Putin told a televised government session on Thursday that Cabinet ministers “cannot afford” to go on holiday. Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to ...

Dec 25, 2014

Crimea hit by outages amid Ukraine power crisis

Crimea on Wednesday suffered massive blackouts after Ukraine unexpectedly stopped supplies, sparking traffic jams, hospital closures and panic across the peninsula. Train stations, businesses and the airport had to close down, traffic lights went dark causing huge snarls in the main city of Simferopol, ...

Ukraine takes historic step toward NATO

Dec 24, 2014

Ukraine takes historic step toward NATO

Ukraine on Tuesday took a historic step toward NATO in a parliamentary vote that stoked Russia’s anger ahead of talks this week on ending the former Soviet state’s separatist war. Lawmakers in the government-controlled chamber overwhelmingly adopted a bill dropping Ukraine’s nonaligned status, a ...

Dec 23, 2014

Crisis-hit Russia's main allies moving closer to Ukraine

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev followed his Belarusian counterpart to Ukraine on Monday as Moscow’s old allies reassessed their reliance on Russia in the heat of its financial malaise. Both visits were ostensibly made to kickstart stalled peace talks between Kiev and the two Russian-speaking ...

Dec 23, 2014

Russia in grips of 'full-fledged economic crisis,' ex-minister says

Russia’s government has pushed the country into an economic crisis by not tackling its financial problems fast enough, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday, as evidence mounted of trouble spreading through the economy. The central bank bailed out its first victim of ...

Dec 23, 2014

Leaders agree on Ukrainian peace talks this week

Leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany on Monday reached an agreement to call another round of Ukraine peace talks this week, the latest attempt to negotiate a settlement to the conflict that has badly strained the ties between Russia and the West. Ukrainian ...

Belarus strongman looks to revive Ukraine peace talks

Dec 22, 2014

Belarus strongman looks to revive Ukraine peace talks

The authoritarian leader of Belarus flew into Kiev on Sunday hoping to revive stalled Ukrainian peace talks he has been hosting to calm Europe’s volatile eastern edge. But a high-ranking Ukrainian official said Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko was just as keen to use the ...

Putin praises Russian military, says modernization to continue

Dec 20, 2014

Putin praises Russian military, says modernization to continue

Boasting about the Russian military’s capability, President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to continue an ambitious weapons modernization program with a particular emphasis on nuclear strategic forces. The move came amid Russia’s escalating standoff with the West. Speaking at a meeting with Russia’s top military ...

Russian military has close calls with civilian jetliners

Dec 19, 2014

Russian military has close calls with civilian jetliners

Recent close shaves between Russian military planes and civilian aircraft highlight the dangers of the cat-and-mouse game being played out between Moscow and the West in European skies amid the crisis in Ukraine, analysts say. In the latest incident, Sweden said Dec. 12 that ...

Dec 19, 2014

Assertive Russia leads to military rethink in Sweden

With an assertive Russia next door, Sweden has started to beef up its military after a decade of downsizing, but a credible deterrent may take years to achieve, analysts warn. In one of the most dramatic steps since the end of the Cold War, ...