Russia says U.S. accusations over nuclear treaty 'unfounded'
Russia on Wednesday dismissed Washington's accusations that it has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty as "unfounded", and said it had its own complaints against the United States over the treaty. This includes... production of armed drones by the Americans, which...fall into the category of ground-based cruise missiles as defined by the Treaty," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry was reacting to Washington's allegations that Moscow had violated the 1988 accord. The exchange of the accusations took place amid the deepest East-West rift since the end of the Cold War over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis and the EU and United States economic sanctions against Moscow.
G7 leaders warn of further costs to Russia over Ukraine
G7 leaders issued a joint statement on Wednesday warning Russia that it will face added economic sanctions if Moscow does not change the course of its Ukraine policy. The statement from the leaders of the G7 countries, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain, was a show of solidarity among allies. They expressed grave about Russian actions that have undermined "Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence." "Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation," the statement said, a day after Europe and the United States imposed a fresh found of sanctions. "If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions." The G7 leaders called on all sides to establish a ceasefire at the crash site of the Malaysian jet that was shot down on July 17 in eastern Ukraine.
EU names 8 Russians, three firms subject to asset freeze
By Justyna Pawlak and Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission published the names of eight Russians, including some of President Vladimir Putin's associates, and three companies which will have their assets frozen as part of sanctions against Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine. The people on the list include Arkady Rotenberg who is Putin's long-time judo partner, and already on a U.S. sanctions list since March. Yury Kovalchuk and Nikolai Shamalov - the two largest shareholders in Bank Rossiya, a St. Petersburg company that expanded rapidly after Putin moved to Moscow and became president in 2000 - were also blacklisted. The companies named include Russian National Commercial Bank, which was the first Russian bank into Crimea after the region's annexation by Russia earlier this year.
'Complacent' NATO unprepared for Russian threat: British lawmakers
By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - NATO is not prepared for the threat of a Russian attack on one of its members, British lawmakers said on Thursday, calling for more equipment and troops to be positioned in the Baltic States, which, they said, were particularly vulnerable. Parliament's Defense Select Committee said events in Crimea and eastern Ukraine had revealed "alarming deficiencies" in NATO's preparedness and should be a "wake-up call". The military alliance has stepped up exercises in eastern Europe since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in March. ...
Argentina faces default as 'vulture fund' talks fail
Last-ditch talks between Argentina and the US hedge funds it has branded "vultures" failed to reach agreement, effectively pushing the country into default. Ratings agency Standard and Poor's had already placed Argentina in "selective default" when Economy Minister Axel Kicillof emerged from the New York talks to confirm that no deal had been reached. "Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," said Daniel Pollack, the lawyer appointed by a US court to oversee the talks. Kicillof slammed S&P's downgrade, arguing that Argentina could not be regarded as being in default since the money for the repayment was in a US bank account ready to be paid but frozen by court order.