Thursday

17th Oct 2019

Russia mocks ex-Nato chief's new Kiev job

  • Fogh Rasmussen (second from right) was outspoken critic of Russia in his time as Nato chief (Photo: nato.int)

Russian politicians have mocked Ukraine’s decision to appoint a former Nato chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as an aide to president Petro Poroshenko.

Sergei Zhigarev, a Russian MP who is deputy head of the Duma’s defence committee, told Russian media it showed Poroshenko “does not trust his own citizens”. Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee, called it “buffoonery” that is designed “to keep Ukraine in the centre of attention with its Western partners”. Leonid Kalashnikov, who is Kosachev’s deputy, called it a “hostile gesture” toward Russia.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Fogh Rasmussen's appointment was announced over the weekend. The former Danish PM, who was Nato secretary general from 2009 to 2014, and who now works in the PR sector, said on Facebook on Saturday (28 May) that he would “promote security and reforms in Ukraine and strengthen the Ukraine-EU bond.” He said the situation in east Ukraine was “alarming”, but he also urged Kiev to do more to “fight against corruption”.

The ex-Nato chief is the latest in a series of foreigners appointed to senior posts in Ukraine including in the finance ministry, economy ministry, EU affairs ministry, the prosecution service and local government. The governor of Ukraine's Odessa region and former Georgian PM Mikheil Saakashvilli is also disliked by the Kremlin.

The Russian MPs’ tough talk comes after a visit by Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Greece last Friday and Saturday. Putin said while in Athens that Romanian people should get used to being “in the cross-hairs” after they agreed to host a US anti-missile base and that there would be “no discussions” on restoring Crimea to Ukraine. “As far as Crimea is concerned, we consider this question is closed forever”, he said.

The Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras, criticised EU sanctions. “We have repeatedly said that the vicious circle of militarisation, of Cold War rhetoric and of sanctions is not productive. The solution is dialogue”, he said, as EU leaders prepare to extend the duration of the Russia measures before they expire in July.

EU countries to halt arms sales to Turkey

EU states have agreed to stop arms sales to Turkey over its invasion of Syria, marking a nadir in relations with their Nato ally. In response, Ankara mocked the decision as a "joke".

EU powerless in new Syrian mayhem

EU foreign ministers are meeting to find a common position on the Turkish invasion in Syria. However, events are evolving quickly, as Kurdish forces asked the Syrian army to protect them.

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us