Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi (2nd L) and his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajcak (C) attend a international security conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, May 14, 2014. (Xinhua/Erik Adamson)
BRATISLAVA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- More than 800 dignitaries from 65 countries among them prime ministers of the Visegrad Group countries (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary) and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, are attending the three-day Globsec 2014 international security conference, which opened in Bratislava on Wednesday.
Other notable guests include Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and former supreme commander of the allied forces in Afghanistan John Allen.
The president of the Slovak Atlantic Commission Rastislav Kacer said the main topic of the conference would be the situation in Ukraine. However, he confirmed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and boxing champion and Kiev mayor candidate Vitali Klitschko would not attend the conference.
"Though they were confirmed to attend, developments in recent days in Ukraine have detained them and they are not coming," Kacer said, adding a deputy foreign affairs minister and Klitscko's advisor would come instead.
Ukraine will also be represented at the conference by Oleh Rybachuk, former advisor to ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and ex-president Viktor Yushchenko.
"The situation in Ukraine raises questions such as European security, common foreign policy, energy security and cyber-security," Kacer said.
He added the upcoming European Parliament elections would also provoke a broader debate on the future of Europe.
Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak officially opened the event on Wednesday. The public will also be able to take part in the conference at an event called Globsec City Talks organised in the Old Market building in the city centre.
"We've invited the most interesting speakers from the conference to the Globsec City Talks," said Robert Vass, executive vice-president of the Central European Strategy Council, organiser of the conference.
STRASBOURG, May 13 (Xinhua) -- An appeal to all sides in Ukraine to put an immediate end to violence and intimidation was made Tuesday by Anne Brasseur, president of PACE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE).
Speaking on behalf of the Assembly's Presidential Committee following a meeting in Luxembourg, Brasseur said: "Violence cannot and will not bring a solution - it must immediately stop and all sides must ensure that human rights are effectively respected on the whole territory of Ukraine." Full story
MOSCOW, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has informed its Ukrainian counterpart that supplies of natural gas will be conducted under prepay option starting June, the company said Tuesday.
"(Ukraine's) outstanding debt has reached 3.505 billion U.S. dollars," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters. Full story