Ukraine’s president urged security services to resume an offensive to uproot militants in the east as an agreement with Russia to ease tensions neared collapse after a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Kiev.
Russia, the world’s biggest natural gas exporter, increased pressure on Ukraine over its $2.2 billion fuel debt as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden voiced support for the smaller country to gain energy independence.
The specter of Crimea hangs over Iran’s nuclear talks resuming today, as world powers locked in a confrontation over Russia’s move to annex the region find themselves on the same side during negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
“After four days of lengthy and detailed talks, reflecting the complexity of the technical issues discussed, it became clear that further work is needed,” Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, says in e-mailed statement. * Iran, world powers held technical talks from Dec. 9-12 in Vienna to discuss implementation details of a nuclear agreement reached last month: Mann * “There will now be consultations in capitals, in the expectation that technical talks will continue soon”: Mann * Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi criticized today U.S. targeting of companies, individuals for evading sanctions against Iran, saying measure are in contravention of nuclear deal’s ``spirit’’: Islamic Republic News Agency * NOTE: U.S. Treasury Department said Dec. 12 it was freezing assets, banning transactions of entities attempting to evade sanctions: NSN MXPJ856KLVR9 <GO>
Health insurers participating in the Medicare Advantage program for elderly Americans, including Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., face a base payment cut of about 3.55 percent next year, the U.S. government said.
Five years into the U.S. economic expansion, inflation shows little sign of picking up as prices rise more slowly for goods and services from automobiles to medical care, complicating the Federal Reserve’s drive to guide the economy away from the precipice of deflation.
Whether Iran should scale back its missile program and dismantle a mountainside enrichment facility are among issues complicating the task for the Islamic Republic and world powers trying to build on a temporary nuclear accord.