#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15 Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.
‘ Troops Depart for Rapid Trident 2014 ‘
The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.
It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.
It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.
‘ Operation Maple Arch ‘
Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.
‘ Partnership for Peace Programme ‘
Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.
#AceNewsServices – EUROPEAN ELECTIONS – May 22 – The first voting booths opened in the UK and the Netherlands this morning. In the next four days 400 million Europeans will have the right to choose who will be in charge in Europe. Go and vote, and then follow all the results on our official webpage where they will be published as soon as they are available. For all the reactions and live coverage, turn to our special Elections Night Tumblr account with infographics, videos, pictures, quotes and links.
The eighth European elections are under way, with 28 member states voting from 22 until 25 May. Today the polls are open in the UK and the Netherlands, on Friday in Ireland and the Czech Republic, on Saturday in Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and also in the Czech Republic, while in the rest of the EU it is on Sunday 25 May.
The best way to follow everything that is happening, including official reactions and buzzing topics on social media, is our special Tumblr page where we will keep you up to date throughout the elections. Our Tumblr page is in English, but it will cover news from all member states and provide links to original information sources in the language of the country.
Results will be published on our webpage as soon as they are available. They will be provided in open data form, allowing media, bloggers and all users to automatically retrieve the raw data and publish it directly on their on-line platforms within seconds. For more information, click here.
Elections are trending on social media as well with the official hashtag #EP2014 being used in nearly 155,000 tweets during the last three days. To help you navigate Twitter, Parliament has developed a special tool that helps with discovering and following elections on Twitter.
The Twitter Dashboard counts tweets, monitors the candidates for the European Commission presidency, top influencers and trending topics and key words.
Ace Related News:
- Election News Hub – 22/05/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/bn4grlo
#AceWorldNews – RIGA – May 19 – Latvian human rights organization Non-Citizens Congress is going to challenge amendments criminalizing “public denial of the Soviet Union’s and Nazi Germany’s aggression against Latvia” in the Constitutional Court.
The organization would go to court if President Andris Berzins approves the amendments introducing criminal penalty for justification of the mentioned aggression, said the organization spokeswoman Jelena Bacinska.
“These amendments ban opinions about historic facts differing from the official line and neglect the freedom of speech, which contravenes democratic values of modern Europe. Neither do these amendments promote cohesion of the Latvian society,” she said.
The amendments adopted last week propose imprisonment up to five years as well as compulsory works and fines.
#AceWorldNews – LONDON – April 28 – Britain is dispatching four Typhoon fighter jets to patrol the airspace of Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, British media said Monday.
They will perform their patrolling mission alongside with six fighter jets of the Polish Air Force and will serve as a replacement for six F15 jets of the US Air Force.
British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the Typhoons would support Poland’s contribution to the operation destined to calm down the apprehensions of easternmost member-states of the North-Atlantic pact.
In February 2012, NATO Council extended the patrolling of the airspace over former Soviet Baltic republics by combat aircraft of the North-Atlantic pact through to 2018. Air Forces of different NATO nations take part in the operation on the basis of rotation.
The effort also involves more than 50 members of ground personnel.
#AceWorldNews – BERLIN – April 16 – Germany will send up to 6 Euro-fighter jets to patrol airspace over Baltic countries, as part of a campaign to set up security of NATO’s easternmost member-states in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine, a spokesman for the German Defence Ministry said Wednesday.
In addition to this, an auxiliary seacraft of the Elba family with 45 servicemen aboard will be cruising in the Baltic Sea as of the end of May.
The Eurofighters will get down to patrolling missions in three former Soviet Baltic republics – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – as of September, the Defence Ministry said.
#AceWorldNews – RIGA – April 15 – Latvia has suspended broadcasting Russia’s Rossiya RTR television channel for three months, the BBC said.
An “administration process” was reportedly launched against the First Baltic Channel, and Rossiya 24 TV channel was labelled as “creating problems” over their coverage of the events in Ukraine. Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian public broadcasters are considering a plan to set up a new Russian-language TV channel.
Chairman of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov had said the ban on Russian TV channels in Latvia and Lithuania would violate the rights of television audience.
#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – April 07 – (Interfax) – The three-month suspension by Lithuania and Latvia of broadcasts to their territory from Russian television channel RTR-Planeta is “indisputably a political decision that is beyond the common sense of journalism,” said the head of international relations at Russian state television and radio company VGTRK, Pyotr Fyodorov.
Fyodorov told the Vesti.ru website that the decision is questionable from a legal point of view because RTR-Planeta holds a European Union license for broadcasting in the Baltic countries.
“Here is an attempt, accusing Russia of one-sided coverage of events, to do the same by only leaving access to information from Ukrainian media or from the media of those Baltic states, whose sympathies are obvious to us,” he said.
#AceBreakingNews – RIGA – April 05 – The NATO Parliamentary Assembly made the decision to terminate cooperation with Russia.
The decision was adopted at the organisation’s meeting in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday, April 5.
#AceWorldNews – DENMARK – March 27 – Denmark is to send six F16 fighter jets to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to help patrol their airspace, Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said.
Patrols will begin on May 1, Reuters reported.
The jets will be part of an expanded NATO air policing mission following the events in Ukraine.
#AceWorldNews – The United States military are planning large scale war games in Poland, which would involve troops from several eastern European states, the American ambassador to the country, Stephen Mull, said.
Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) will be participating in drills, together with the Americans, Mull told Radio ZET.
Lask airbase in central Poland has been selected as the venue for the military exercise, the ambassador said, refraining from saying when it was scheduled for.
Mull’s announcement comes just three days after US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the Polish capital of Warsaw.
Biden’s trip was aimed at reassuring that America remains a “steadfast ally” to Poland and the Baltic States after they expressed anxiety over the events in the Crimea, which signed a treaty of accession to the Russian Federation on Tuesday.
RT – WP – AP – AFP – Reuters
#AceWorldNews – Riga – March 20. – Latvia has suspended military cooperation with Russia due to the situation in Ukraine.
“The Latvian Defence Ministry and National Armed Forces have suspended further military cooperation with Russia,” the Defence Ministry’s press service reported on Thursday.
“Due to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and global public’s call for the peaceful settlement of the conflict Latvia considers cooperation with the Russian army unacceptable,” Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis said.
Latvia and Russia maintains a constructive defence dialogue.
“The tense situation in the world and Russia’s actions make us to take such step,” the Latvian minister said.
Russian News Sources
#AceWorldNews Latvia’s environment minister will be fired over plans to participate in annual commemorations of Latvian soldiers who fought in Nazi units during World War II, AP reported, citing a government spokesman. Einars Cilinskis, of the right-wing National Alliance, said Friday that he would attend Sunday’s events in Riga.
The politician has ignored warnings from Prime Minister Lamidota Straujuma, who had called on cabinet ministers to stay away from the March 16 events.
They are expected to prompt counter-protests from members of Latvia’s Russian-speaking minority.
#AceWorldNews Possible European Union sanctions against Russia will have an adverse effect on the Latvian economy, Latvian Minister of Economic Affairs Vyacheslav Dombrovsky told national television on Thursday.
“Three sectors will suffer a noticeable impact. Agriculture and foods will be first,” said the minister. “Russia is our second-largest partner by exports. Foods and produce account for 43% of Latvian exports to Russia.”
Energy was also vulnerable as Latvia depended entirely on Russian gas supplies, Dombrovsky said, adding that 70% of all transit movement was connected with Russia, Dombrovsky said
“I do not think I am exaggerating in saying that among all EU countries, Latvia has the largest niche of its economy taken by relations with Russia,” said the minister.
“If the sanctions are imposed, we shall be most affected by their consequences among EU countries,” Dombrovsky concluded.
#AceWorldNews says that the Pentagon said on Wednesday that US fighter jets would join NATO patrols on missions in the Baltic countries, which include Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
On Sunday the Tass news agency reported that the guided missile frigate USS Taylor, which had been assigned to the Black Sea for the Sochi Winter Olympics, was still in the Turkish port of Samsun for repairs, after running aground on February 12.
Two Russian navy ships also entered the Black Sea through the Bosphorus on Tuesday, as well as a Ukrainian navy vessel which was heading for Odessa and not the Crimea.