#AceWorldNews – NATO – May 07 – NATO’s top military commander says the alliance must consider permanently stationing troops in parts of Eastern Europe as a result of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said on May 6 that the issue will be discussed by NATO commanders, defense ministers, and foreign ministers in the run-up to a summit in Wales in early September.
NATO’s short-term agreements to rotate land, sea, and air forces in places like the Baltics, Romania, and Poland are expiring at the end of 2014.
The alliance has deployed additional forces in the Baltics and Poland in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula and the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops on Russia’s border with Ukraine.
NATO officials have said recently that Russia can no longer be viewed as a potential partner but rather must be seen as an adversary.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP and Radio Free Europe
#AceNewsServices – NATO – April 08 – PRESS-RELEASE – The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen attended the NATO Transformation Seminar in Paris and thanked Defence Minister Le Drian and the French hosts for France’s contribution to the Alliance’s collective security. “From Central Africa to Eastern Europe, French forces are helping make our world safer – whether under the banner of NATO, the European Union, or of France”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference. “France has kept defence spending close to our agreed target of 2% of economic output.
France has also shown a great commitment to invest in the capabilities we need, both in NATO and the European Union. This is a valuable example of European Allies choosing to invest the right resources in the right capabilities.
In his address to the Seminar organized by Allied Command Transformation, the Secretary General said that events in Eastern Ukraine are of great concern and urged Russia to step back.
“Any further move into Eastern Ukraine would represent a serious escalation, rather than the de-escalation that we all seek. We call on Russia to pull back the tens of thousands of troops it has massed on Ukraine’s borders, engage in a genuine dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities, and respect its international commitments “, he said.
The Secretary General said that the crisis raises serious questions for Euro-Atlantic security and now is the time for the right answers for key issues for the Wales Summit in September.
“We must prepare a readiness action plan. We must reinvest in our defence. And we must reinforce the transatlantic bond”, the Secretary General said.
The Secretary General highlighted that Allies must stand ready at all times to deal with the unexpected.
Read More: NATO Press-Release – Speech: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_108913.htm
Download or listen to the Audio: Nato Live 20140408_140408a-en.mp3
According to Press TV the parliamentary session was suspended until Wednesday after Ukrainian lawmakers failed to strike a deal on Tuesday on the proposed reforms that curb the powers of the country’sPresidentViktor Yanukovych.
The parliamentarians will meet in a bid to resolve the current crisis although the members of the ruling party and the opposition remain as divided as ever.
The western-backed opposition is pressing for a return to the 2004 constitution, which does not let the president appoint the prime minister and the entire government as well as regional governors.
The opposition also wants unconditional amnesty for those detained in anti-government protests across the former Soviet Republic.
The Ukrainian government has already granted his opponents a series of concessions, including an amnesty for jailed demonstrators, except for those who were suspected of committing major crimes.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the entire cabinet have resigned and a series of laws restricting the protests has been abolished.
Authorities believe the president could call early elections if no other way is found to end the turmoil.
Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests since Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on November 29, 2013 in favor of closer ties with Russia.
Kiev and Moscow reached a strategic economic and trade deal last December, which provides Ukraine with significant discounts on imported Russian gas and billions of dollars in credit.