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Merkel criticises Putin for broken promise on Ukraine

24.10.14 @ 03:59

Most EU leaders on Thursday (23 October) criticised Russia’s non-compliance with peace accords on Ukraine, but Italy urged re-engagement with Moscow. German chancellor Angela Merkel told press after the summit in ...

Putin's pipeline drives wedge between EU and Balkan hopefuls

24.10.14 @ 00:37

Macedonia has become the latest Western Balkan country to receive a stark warning on the implications of building Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline for its EU future. Janez Kopac, the head of the European Energy ...

Irish senators build EU momentum on Palestine recognition

23.10.14 @ 09:28

Irish senators have adopted a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition, as the EU prepares to set out new red lines on Israel relations. The motion, tabled by Averil Power from the opposition Fianna Fail party, ...

Former Polish FM causes furore over Russia interview

22.10.14 @ 09:30

He came close to being the EU’s new foreign policy chief, but Radek Sikorski’s political future is in doubt over his handling of a press interview. The Polish parliament speaker and former FM said in US magazine ...

Still no Russia gas deal as Europe heads into winter

22.10.14 @ 08:37

With temperatures already near freezing in eastern Europe, Ukraine will hold elections on Sunday (26 October) amid uncertainty on Russian gas supplies. The situation arises after EU, Russian, and Ukrainian negotiators ...

EU to uphold Russia sanctions

21.10.14 @ 09:29

EU states decided to uphold sanctions on Russia and to better co-ordinate their response to the Ebola crisis at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday (20 October). Polish FM Grzegorz Schetyna told press ...

Far-right Polish MEP saves Farage group

20.10.14 @ 19:42

Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic group in the European Parliament has been saved by a Pole with unusual views on women. The so-called EFDD group said on Monday (20 October) that Robert Iwaszkiewicz, from Poland’s far-right ...

Barroso draws EU red lines in UK speech

20.10.14 @ 09:28

Britain risks “alienating” friends in Europe by loose talk of migration curbs, the outgoing European Commission chief is to warn. “It is an illusion to believe that space for dialogue can be created if the tone and ...

Putin makes nice on Ukraine at EU-Russia mini-summit

17.10.14 @ 19:55

Russian leader Vladimir Putin told EU leaders he wants pro-Russia rebels to make peace with Ukraine at a meeting in Milan on Friday (17 October). Coming out of the talks, British PM David Cameron noted: “Putin said very ...

EU states to step up Ebola screening in west Africa

17.10.14 @ 09:30

EU countries have agreed to step up Ebola screening at airports in west Africa but not in Europe, despite a British appeal. “All the ministers who spoke want to increase screening at point-of-exit in the [affected] ...

Russian gas less mighty than it looks, EU says

16.10.14 @ 21:55

A Russian gas cut-off would have a “substantial impact” on eastern Europe, but even the most vulnerable countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, and Finland - could get through the winter. The European Commission “stress test”, ...

Putin says Western sanctions threaten nuclear 'stability'

16.10.14 @ 09:29

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said the Ukraine crisis threatens nuclear “strategic stability” and global “economic health”. “We hope our partners will realise the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and ...

Albania-Serbia football violence catches EU attention

16.10.14 @ 07:56

Violence at an Albania-Serbia football game has mushroomed in importance, with PMs, presidents, and EU diplomats getting involved. Albanian players and Serb fans fought on the pitch in Belgrade on Tuesday (14 October) ...

Serbia refuses to join EU sanctions on eve of Putin parade

15.10.14 @ 09:26

Serbia has promised not to impose EU-model sanctions on Russia and to go ahead with South Stream on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belgrade. Its PM, Aleksandar Vucic, said in Russia's Tass news agency on Wednesday ...

British MPs vote to recognise Palestine in symbolic move

14.10.14 @ 09:24

British MPs have said the UK should recognise Palestine in a non-binding resolution which highlights EU frustration with Israel. The motion - “the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state ...

EU considers military response in Africa on Ebola crisis

10.10.14 @ 09:30

EU institutions are analysing potential evacuation of EU citizens from Ebola-hit African states and military operations to restore security in the outbreak zone. The EU foreign service, in an internal paper discussed by ...

FocusEstonia same-sex law breaks taboo in former Soviet states

09.10.14 @ 17:14

Estonia on Thursday (9 October) became the first former Soviet republic to grant equal rights to same-sex couples. MPs in the Riigikogu passed the bill by a narrow majority of 40 against 38 with 10 abstentions. The ...

Future EU countries could face new migration curbs

09.10.14 @ 09:26

The European Commission has said future EU members could face extra controls on movement of workers in a concession to the UK. It noted in an enlargement strategy paper, published on Wednesday (8 October), that past ...

South Stream could stop Serbia joining EU, energy chief says

08.10.14 @ 18:35

Serbia has defied EU calls to change the terms of its gas pipeline deal with Russia, but the European Energy Community (EEC) says it “cannot” join the EU unless it does so. The European Commission in its annual ...

EU enlargement heading into chilly period

08.10.14 @ 15:59

The European Commission is not recommending any fresh steps on Western Balkan enlargement in the next 12 months, but wants to open two new “chapters” in Turkey talks. Its annual packet of reports on EU-hopeful countries ...

Mogherini more hawkish on Russia in EP hearing

07.10.14 @ 09:29

The EU’s next foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was more hawkish on Russia in a European Parliament hearing which satisfied most MEPs. The Italian foreign minister has a Kremlin-friendly reputation after meeting ...

EU puts pressure on Serbia to stop South Stream gas pipeline

07.10.14 @ 09:18

The European Commission is to tell Serbia its accession prospects will suffer if it builds South Stream, a Russian gas pipeline. It says in its annual enlargement report, out on Wednesday (8 October), that “the ...

FocusRusskiy Mir in the EU?

07.10.14 @ 07:36

Welcome to Latgale in south-east Latvia: If there is any EU region which looks like a soft target for Russian-manufactured separatism, this is it. The street names may be in Latvian, but most people - more than 70 ...

Pro-Western government wins Latvia elections

06.10.14 @ 09:28

Latvia’s main Russia-friendly party scored worse than in previous elections and is likely to stay out of government. The left-wing party, Saskanas Centrs, led by Riga mayor Nils Usakovs, got 23 percent of votes on ...

Sweden breaks EU ranks to recognise Palestine

03.10.14 @ 18:49

The new left-wing government in Sweden has promised to recognise Palestine, amid EU criticism of Israel’s latest settlement expansion. The Swedish PM, Stefan Lofven, made the pledge at his inauguration speech in ...

US diplomat lashes out at Hungary's Orban

03.10.14 @ 09:27

Victoria Nuland, the US' top diplomat on Europe, has indirectly criticised Hungarian leader Viktor Orban for the “cancer” of “democratic backsliding”. Speaking at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a think tank in ...

Polish EU commissioner: 'I'm lobbyist-proof'

02.10.14 @ 18:27

Poland’s next commissioner has defended EU plans to be more business-friendly on healthcare. Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is to take over the single market portfolio, will, in a restructuring, also take charge of healthcare ...

Gas war escalates as Russia halves Slovakia supplies

02.10.14 @ 09:30

Russia has cut gas deliveries to Slovakia by half in a bad sign for EU efforts to broker a deal on Ukraine. Prime minister Robert Fico told press after a cabinet meeting in Bratislava on Wednesday (1 October) that the ...

'Frozen conflict' looming in east Ukraine, EU diplomats say

01.10.14 @ 09:49

EU countries have decided to uphold Russia sanctions for now, despite a “weakening appetite” for the measures. The EU foreign service on Tuesday (30 September) said that “while encouraging developments have been ...

New Austrian commissioner backs EU sanctions on Russia

30.09.14 @ 20:12

The EU’s next neighbourhood commissioner was tougher than expected on Russia at his EU parliament hearing on Tuesday (30 September). Johannes Hahn said the bloc should maintain sanctions and that Moscow has no right to ...

AnalysisCould Putin's troops 'be in Warsaw in two days'?

30.09.14 @ 11:18

“If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw, and Bucharest”, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said, according to a report in Germany’s Suddeutsche ...

Ukraine wary of EU's Russia gas deal

29.09.14 @ 18:12

The EU is keen for Ukraine to accept a winter deal on Russian gas, but Ukraine is wary of the terms and of broader EU-Russia energy ties. The deal - put forward by the European Commission in talks in Berlin last Friday ...

Spain to block referendum, after Catalonia signs decree

29.09.14 @ 08:51

Catalans have switched on a giant clock in Barcelona to count the days and hours to a referendum on secession on 9 November after local leader Artur Mas signed the project into law on Saturday (27 September). But Madrid ...

EU says No to Russia on rewriting Ukraine pact

26.09.14 @ 16:26

EU countries are planning to tell Russia it has no say on changing the Ukraine trade treaty despite its demands to rewrite the text. The joint declaration, by the EU Council and European Commission, is to say the trade ...

Russia threatens EU states with gas cut-offs

26.09.14 @ 09:40

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak has warned that EU states which re-export gas to Ukraine will face cut-offs, with Hungary already stopping its reverse flow. Novak spoke in German daily Handelsblatt on Friday (26 ...

European powers focus on Islamic State at UN assembly

25.09.14 @ 09:28

The fight against Islamic State (IS) took centre stage from the Ukraine war when European powers spoke at the UN general assembly in New York on Thursday (25 September). British PM David Cameron mentioned the word “ ...

Catalonia to press ahead with referendum after Scottish No

19.09.14 @ 16:06

Catalan leader Artur Mas has said the Scottish referendum has reinforced his plan to hold a similar vote at home. Speaking in Barcelona on Friday (19 September), he noted that the devolved Catalan parliament is likely ...

Ukraine says Europe at risk of 'terrible war'

19.09.14 @ 09:30

Ukraine leader Petro Poroshenko has warned the US that Europe is at risk of a “terrible and unimaginable … war” despite his two-week ceasefire with Russia. But his speech, to US congress members and senators in ...

Finnish PM faces backlash over Russia nuclear plant

18.09.14 @ 09:28

Finland’s new PM, Alexander Stubb, is facing a coalition split over plans for Russian firm Rosatom to build a nuclear reactor. A contact in the Green League, a junior coalition party, on Thursday (18 September) ...

Most Malta boat victims were Gaza refugees

17.09.14 @ 09:26

Palestinian people fleeing Israel’s occupation of Gaza were most of the victims in the Malta boat incident last week, when hundreds were left to drown by human traffickers. The information comes from survivors ...

Ukraine gives rebels 'special status', ratifies EU treaty

16.09.14 @ 15:22

Ukraine has granted semi-autonomy and amnesty to pro-Russia rebels, the same day as ratifying a strategic EU treaty. Its parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed the rebel laws in a closed session on Tuesday (16 September ...

EU struggling to cope with Russia food ban

16.09.14 @ 13:26

The EU is preparing to unveil new aid for EU fruit producers hit by the Russia food ban. Agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos promised extra assistance in the coming days for suppliers of citrus fruit, apples, and ...

Nato describes Russia and Islamic State as main threats

15.09.14 @ 16:02

Nato has described Russia and Islamic State (IS) as the main threats to Western security, but says it can still talk to Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine. Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen likened Russia ...

Nato states begin exercise in west Ukraine, weapons deliveries

15.09.14 @ 09:27

Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some of them have also begun delivering weapons. The US-led exercise - “Rapid Trident” - began on Monday (15 September) in ...

EU and Ukraine suspend trade pact

12.09.14 @ 20:03

Ukraine and the EU are to delay the entry into life of a strategic trade treaty for more than one year due to Russian concerns. The free trade pact was originally to enter into force on 1 November. But following ...

EU names 24 new people, 14 firms in Russia sanctions

12.09.14 @ 09:29

EU countries have added Russia’s top oil firms, an oligarch, and a leading nationalist MP to their blacklist. The names were published in the bloc’s Official Journal on Friday (12 September) in reaction to Russia’s ...

Russia reduces gas supplies, as EU imposes sanctions

11.09.14 @ 18:55

Poland and Slovakia have said gas supplies from Russia are down, as the EU prepares to impose new sanctions. A Polish diplomat told EUobserver on Thursday (11 September) that volumes fell by 20 percent on Monday and ...

EU commission creates new foreign policy cell

11.09.14 @ 09:18

The EU foreign relations chief is to move her office back to the European Commission to steer a cell of top officials on external policy. The new commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, set out the plan in a “mission ...

OpinionWho won the Russia-Ukraine war?

11.09.14 @ 08:39

The Ukraine ceasefire might collapse any day. But if it sticks and the war ends here, it poses the question: who won? In military terms, the answer looks clear: Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In March, the Russian army ...

Most Europeans want Ukraine to join the EU

10.09.14 @ 20:38

Most Europeans say Ukraine should be invited to join the EU and want tougher sanctions on Russia. The narrow majority (52 percent) in favour of Ukraine’s EU accession emerged in a survey by the US think tank, the German ...