CHISINAU - A would-be kingmaker in elections in Moldova, millionaire dark horse candidate Renato Usatii, said on Friday he had fled to Russia fearing arrest after his party was excluded from the vote in a move likely to embolden pro-European rivals.
BERLIN - The number of Germans supporting European Union economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis has risen in the last month and a large majority supports Chancellor Angela Merkel's toughening stance, a poll on Friday found.
KIEV - Ukraine's gas reserves have fallen 14 percent since the start of the heating season in late October, as deepening frosts forced the country to draw down its already depleted stocks, data from Ukrtransgaz showed on Friday.
PODGORICA - Russia has protested to Montenegro over anti-Russian billboards that popped up this month in the small Adriatic republic bearing the NATO logo and rejecting the "Russian boot".
MOSCOW - A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.
BRUSSELS - NATO's planned new fast-reaction force, centerpiece of its response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, is proving harder to set up than expected because of shortages of vital equipment and arguments over funding, diplomats say.
KIEV - Ukraine's parliament approved Arseny Yatseniuk for a new term as prime minister on Thursday in a ceremony that countered reports of high-level disunity in a message to Russia over its backing of separatists in the country's east.
MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk by telephone, the Russian government's press service said on Thursday.
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral relations and the situation in southeast Ukraine with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the telephone on Wednesday evening, the Kremlin said on Thursday.
KIEV - The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday elected former deputy prime minister Volodymyr Groysman to the powerful post of speaker.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military and its allies hit Islamic State forces with 15 air strikes in Iraq and Syria during a three-day period, the U.S. Central Command said on Friday.