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Putin 'destabilizing' Ukraine, Kerry says WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of destabilizing Ukraine through "land grabs," warning Moscow and the rebels had failed to meet the terms of a tattered ceasefire.Putin had put in place policies which "violate all the international norms with respect to territory and behavior," Kerry told lawmakers."In Luhansk, and Donetsk, and now in Debaltseve, he has empowered, encouraged, and facilitated directly land grabs in order to try to destabilize Ukraine itself."For a long time "the respect for international boundaries, and lines, and not taking territory by force, and subterfuge has been the standard for which nations have been trying to fight," Kerry told the House foreign affairs committee on Wednesday.Top US officials have lashed Putin and his ministers in recent days as the fighting has continued in Ukraine, with Kerry on Tuesday directly accusing Russian leaders of lying "to my face" over ...

Crimea backs Russia's tough love, one year on SIMFEROPOL: One year after Crimea's annexation by Moscow from Ukraine, the Black Sea peninsula is struggling with runaway inflation and isolation from the world, but locals still root for Russian President Vladimir Putin.Though euphoric support has given way to simmering frustration over corruption and exorbitant prices, most locals believe that the Russian takeover of Crimea last February was for the best, branding any dissenting voices as traitors."I'm very happy that we've joined Russia, it was ...
Crimean Tatars living in fear in homeland ruled by Russia BAKHCHYSARAY: The day after her husband was arrested, Elvira Ablyalimova woke up to find her home in Crimea surrounded by snipers while a squad of men combed through her belongings for 10 hours, letting nobody in or out.Russia's takeover of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine a year ago was hailed by many ethnic-Russian locals, but for Ablyalimova and others from the indigenous Crimean Tatar minority, the new rulers have brought little but fear.Ablyalimova's husband Akhtem ...
Merkel welcomes Greek 'starting point', says 'much work ahead'    BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday welcomed as a "starting point" reform pledges made by Greece in return for a four-month extension to its bailout programme."This is good news considering what was being said only weeks ago," Merkel said, adding however that "much work lies ahead" in talks between Athens and its international creditors.Greece's new left-wing government on Tuesday secured the four-month extension -- pending approval by the Greek and German parliaments -- after ...
Irish unemployment falls in election boost to government DUBLIN: Ireland's unemployment rate fell sharply, its bond yields hit all-time lows and a fast recovering property market showed the first signs of cooling, data showed on Wednesday, in a boost to the government ahead of elections next year. The governing parties have pinned their hopes of re-election on voters starting to feel the benefits of an economy that likely grew by around 5 percent last year and on frustration easing over what many see ...
Poland plans to send military instructors to Ukraine WARSAW: Poland intends to send military instructors to train Ukrainian soldiers, with the final decision expected next month, an advisor to the Polish defence minister said. "The defence ministry intends to send Polish instructors to support the training of Ukrainian non-commissioned officers," Boguslaw Pacek told Reuters.He said the number of instructors sent will be finalised in March, but will be in the range of around a dozen to several dozens. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Russia confirms will use International Space Station till 2024 MOSCOW: Russia will continue using the International Space Station along with NASA until 2024, its space agency said, after Moscow had threatened to stop financing it in 2020. Roscosmos has finalised a plan for its activities up to 2030 which "provides for the use of the ISS until 2024," the space agency said in a statement late Tuesday.It also announced plans to begin manned missions to the Moon by 2030. Russia's space programme is one ...


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WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
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