EU “Sounds Alarm” Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else. Continue reading

Ukraine port of Mariupol braces for war

Mariupol:  Ukraine’s eastern port of Mariupol is bracing for an attack.

Army vehicles rumble down streets, windows are fortified to shield against shell damage and signs pasted to apartment blocks point people to their nearest bomb shelter. Locals fear pro-Russian separatists will unleash an assault on their city now that President Vladimir Putin has finished hosting world leaders to mark the Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany.

“Everyone’s talking about it,” said Iryna Hrynko, 40, a designer who arrived last year after fleeing the rebels’ Donetsk stronghold. “Friends back home even tell me about an attack”. Continue reading

Poroshenko warns of deteriorating security

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko has warned of that the increased threat of large-scale hostilities by Russian terrorist groups requires additional measures to ensure defense.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said that NATO membership must be incorporated into the country’s national security plan.

“Our security strategy must ensure the opportunity of NATO membership in the future. We must finally return this important component to the given document,” the head of state said Wednesday at a meeting of The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which is holding discussions regarding the draft National Security Strategy and additional measures on ensuring the defense capacity of the state. Continue reading

U.S. Commander: Russian Support to Ukrainian Separatists Has ‘Doubled’

Kremlin ignoring terms of ceasefire agreement

The top U.S. Army commander in Europe says Russia has substantially increased its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine since a ceasefire agreement was reached last September, the Hill reports. Continue reading