Russian president Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/AFP/Getty Images

US President Barack Obama spoke with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Thursday in their first direct contact in four months as the United States (...)

Russian President Vladimir Putin with US Secretary of State John Kerry:  on his first trip to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began. Photograph: Reuters/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

US Secretary of State John Kerry has met Russian president Vladimir Putin in a bid to ease badly strained relations over the conflicts in Ukraine and (...)

US secretary of state John Kerry with  his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif,  during a new round of nuclear negotiations in Montreux, Switzerland,  yesterday. Photograph: Evan Vucci/Reuters

They have spent long hours alone together. They exchange private emails. Their walk along the Rhone river in Geneva in January so unnerved hardline la(...)

 Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko, German chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Joe Biden prior to a Friday meeting of  the Munich Security Conference. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/AP

German chancellor Angela Merkel will press US president Barack Obama today to postpone a decision on sending defensive arms to Ukraine pending a fresh(...)

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko holds up Russian passports as proof that Russian troops are present in the conflict at talks in Munich at the weekend. Photograph: Tobias Hase

It was -3 degrees in Munich over the weekend and, inside the 51st Security Conference, there was an unmistakable cold war chill. For three days the Ba(...)

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko meets US vice president Joe Biden (right) in Munich on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

Washington and Moscow went head-to-head in Munich on Saturday, accusing each other of undermining global security and Ukrainian sovereignty. While US (...)

Members of Iraqi Shiite militia al-Abbas brigades, who are fighting with Iraqi forces against Islamic state group, at Kitba village near Tikrit in northern Iraq. Photograph: Ali Mohammed/EPA

Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi has capitulated to US pressure by agreeing to arm Sunni tribesmen fighting against Islamic State (IS), in spit(...)

A Ukrainian serviceman guards a checkpoint outside Donetsk. The European Union said today it would consider any unilateral military actions by Russia in Ukraine as “a blatant violation of international law”. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

NATO and Ukraine said that a column of military vehicles crossed into Ukraine from Russia last night and that most of them had been destroyed by Ukrai(...)

Yukos, set up by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was seized by the Russian authorities in 2003, which alleged that the oil and gas company had been involved in a criminal enterprise to evade billions in taxes.

Russia is faced with the threat that billions in assets held internationally could be seized to pay a $50 billion compensation award to punish it for (...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin said Russia will respect the outcome of Ukraine’s presidential election, butstopped short of declaring the upcoming poll as legitimate, saying merely that Moscow hopes for an end of the crisis in Ukraine. Photograph: Mikhail Kilmentyev/EPA/Kremlin Pool

Vladimir Putin says Russia will recognise the outcome of Ukraine’s presidential vote.The Russian president said Moscow will “respect the choice of the(...)