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  • *Including IMF, aid could total $60 bln for Ukraine. *Ukraine unable to spend donor money quickly enough. BRUSSELS/ WASHINGTON, Feb 26- Western powers are preparing what they say may be their most potent weapon against Moscow's interference in Ukraine- a multi billion dollar aid package to rebuild a near-bankrupt state and realise the European dream cherished by...

  • BERLIN, Feb 26- Germany is considering buying more tanks in the light of the Ukraine crisis and Europe's deteriorating relations with Russia, after years of drastic cuts left the military operating with just 75 percent of the heavy equipment it needs. "NATO has set new goals on flexibility and rapid reaction time. Lawmakers on both sides of Germany's right-left...

  • BFFs? Why Russia and Cyprus are getting cozy again Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 7:58 AM ET
    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades

    Russia is getting close to Cyprus once again, despite their relationship being sorely tested when the island's banking system collapsed in 2013.

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 26- The European Union said on Thursday it was escalating a dispute with Russia at the World Trade Organization over what it said were excessive import duties on paper products, refrigerators and palm oil. The challenge is the latest in a series of WTO disputes with Russia, the EU's third-biggest trading partner, since Moscow joined the body in 2012,...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 26- Kremlin-controlled Gazprom said on Thursday it would exempt gas supplies to rebel-held regions from its main contract with Ukrainian Naftogaz, days before Kiev uses up gas volumes it has already paid for. The dispute flared up last week when Gazprom said it started direct gas supplies to the regions of eastern Ukraine held by pro- Moscow rebels.

  • Russia could cut off gas to Ukraine by 'end of week' Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 6:15 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Russia could cut off supplies to neighboring Ukraine by the end of the week if it does not get further payments from the country, state-owned gas company Gazprom said Thursday. Spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said in televised remarks that "if no new funds are received from Kiev, then naturally we cannot continue delivering gas to Ukraine."

  • Ukraine currency in limbo after central bank u-turn Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 3:56 AM ET

    Ukraine came under greater economic pressure after unexpectedly banning most currency trading and then abruptly reversing course.

  • Difficult to reform and fight war: Ukraine MP  Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 3:40 AM ET

    Ukrainian MP, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, says the country cannot make necessary reforms at the same time as fighting a war against Russia.

  • MOSCOW, Feb 26- Russia's banking system may see its bad loans rise to 17-23 percent of its loan portfolio in 2015 from around 8 percent last year, Standard& Poor's said on Thursday, underlining the impact of an economic crisis on the sector. Banks have suffered spike in bad loans and lower profits because of the crisis, deepened by Western sanctions over Moscow's...

  • *Ukraine says it is too early to follow suit. *Ukraine reverses currency trading halt. KIEV/ MAKIYVKA, Ukraine, Feb 25- Ukraine came under greater economic pressure after unexpectedly banning most currency trading and then abruptly reversing course, wreaking havoc on the hryvnia, just as a truce in the east took hold on Wednesday with no combat fatalities reported.

  • LONDON/ MOSCOW, Feb 25- Gas giant Gazprom's oil arm is shifting its trading operations from Austria back to Russia, it said on Wednesday, with industry sources saying the firm wanted to protect huge revenues from potential seizure as Moscow's relations with the West worsen. A decision by Gazprom Neft to relocate trading from Vienna to St Petersburg, Russia's...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 25- The Kremlin was presented with a plan to annex the Crimea peninsula and eastern Ukraine before the overthrow of the country's Moscow- leaning president last year, an independent newspaper reported on Wednesday. Russia has denied it had a plan to annex Crimea before President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev on Feb. 21 last year and says it acted in...

  • *Ukraine says it too early to follow suit. KIEV/ MAKIYVKA, Ukraine, Feb 25- Ukraine came under increasing economic pressure from a collapsing currency and a threat to its gas supplies from the Kremlin on Wednesday, just as a long-awaited ceasefire took hold in the east. In rebel-held eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists were withdrawing heavy guns from the...

  • Putin threatens Ukraine with gas cutoff Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 11:14 AM ET

    MOSCOW— President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will cut gas supplies to Ukraine if it fails to pay in advance for future deliveries. Putin said that Ukraine's latest payment would be good only for another three to four days, warning that Russia will have to turn off the tap if Ukraine doesn't remit payment quickly. Last week, Russia accused Ukraine...

  • *Ukraine says Gazprom delivers less than already paid. NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, Feb 25- President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Russia would halt gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not receive advance payment, raising the possibility of onward deliveries to Europe being disrupted for the fourth time in a decade. Kiev and Moscow have argued over gas...

  • Since the establishment in 1951 of the Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the European Union, advocates of transnational unity have demanded closer cooperation on energy. The European Commission, the EU executive, says the clash with Russia over its seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region means there is the strongest case yet to pool resources across the EU,...

  • *Ukraine says it too early to follow suit. KIEV/ MAKIYVKA, Ukraine, Feb 25- A long-awaited truce took hold at last in east Ukraine on Wednesday, with the army reporting no combat fatalities for the first time in weeks, but the news did nothing to halt a currency collapse that forced the central bank to ban most trading. In rebel-held eastern Ukraine, rebels were...

  • MOSCOW— The chairman of the Russian Security Council says Western sanctions are threatening the country's oil and gas industry. The United States, the European Union and other countries last year imposed sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukrainian conflict. Nikolai Patrushev, who is believed to be one of President Vladimir Putin's most...

  • *Ukraine says Gazprom delivers less than already paid. MOSCOW, Feb 25- Russia does not expect a payment dispute with Kiev to lead to a break in gas supplies to Europe and expects Ukraine to make its next gas payment soon, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. Kiev and Moscow have argued over gas supplies and pricing for the past year as Ukrainian forces...

  • LONDON, Feb 25- Emerging currencies strengthened versus the dollar on Wednesday and shares rose to 12- week highs, lifted by forecast-beating Chinese factory data and the Federal Reserve signaling it was in no rush to hike interest rates. Activity in China's factory sector edged up to a four-month high in February, while comments from Fed chair Janet Yellen...