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EU countries to boost defence budgets in light of Ukraine

Today @ 09:29

Military chiefs have said the Ukraine crisis is a “wake-up call” for EU countries’ defence spending, as the US backed Ukraine’s use of force in eastern regions. Speaking to press after a regular meeting of EU defence ...

EU to expand Russia blacklist

15.04.14 @ 09:30

EU countries are to expand their Russia and Ukraine blacklists and to send a small team of security experts to Kiev. The decision, by foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday (14 April), came after pro-Russian ...

Three EU countries back Ukraine's use of force

14.04.14 @ 09:26

Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden have explicitly backed Ukraine’s right to use force against pro-Russian separatists. Lithuania’s UN envoy, Raimonda Murmokaite, and her Luxembourg counterpart, Olivier Maes, made the ...

Putin threatens to cut gas to Ukraine, EU countries

10.04.14 @ 17:46

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine unless it starts repaying a huge debt and unless the EU agrees to joint talks on its economic future. He said in a letter sent to 18 ...

UK, Poland and Sweden propose EU police mission for Ukraine

10.04.14 @ 09:22

The UK, Poland, and Sweden have proposed sending an EU police mission to Ukraine to build up its law enforcement bodies in the wake of February’s revolution. “Re-establishing confidence in the rule of law in Ukraine ...

US and EU prepare to strike Russian banks, energy firms

09.04.14 @ 09:29

The US and EU are preparing to strike at Russian banks, energy and minerals firms if Russia invades mainland Ukraine. Speaking to US senators in Washington on Tuesday (8 April) secretary of state John Kerry used blunt ...

Two more Ukrainians try to get off EU blacklist

08.04.14 @ 20:04

Two more Ukrainians under an EU asset freeze - the former president’s son, Oleksandr Yanukovych, and businessman Serhiy Kurchenko - have filed objections with the EU Council in Brussels. Diplomatic contacts said the ...

EU court scraps data surveillance law

08.04.14 @ 11:31

The EU court in Luxembourg has struck down a law on internet and phone surveillance, saying its loose wording opens the door to untoward snooping on private lives. It said in its verdict on Tuesday (8 April) the “data ...

EU and US agree Ukraine talks with Russia

08.04.14 @ 09:29

The EU, Russia, Ukraine and the US are to hold joint talks in the next 10 days, amid fresh EU division on how to handle the crisis. US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told press in Washington on Monday (7 April) ...

Donetsk seizure raises concern of Ukraine escalation

07.04.14 @ 09:29

A Crimea-type operation in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday (6 April) has raised concerns Russia is about to escalate the crisis. Some 200 masked men from a group calling itself the “Rossiyskiy Sektor” used stun ...

Protest in EU capital prompts security scare at US embassy

04.04.14 @ 18:33

Stone-throwing protesters prompted a “lock-down” at the US embassy to the EU in Brussels on Friday (4 April), as the US ambassador briefed press on the merits of free trade. The rally saw between 25,000 and 50,000 ...

Ukraine's ex-PM trying to get his EU money back

03.04.14 @ 19:46

Diplomats have revealed that the former Ukrainian regime members trying to get off an EU visa ban and asset freeze are ex-PM Mykola Azarov and his son Oleksii. Three diplomatic sources told this website on Thursday (3 ...

Pussy Riot call for extra EU sanctions on Putin

02.04.14 @ 11:48

Two activists from the Pussy Riot punk group have urged EU politicians to heap sanctions on Russia’s elite to accelerate Vladimir Putin’s fall from power. Twenty-five-year old Masha Alyokhina and 24-year-old Nadya ...

Nato to keep expanding, suspends Russia ties

01.04.14 @ 19:52

Nato states have said the alliance will keep on expanding despite Russia’s protests, while freezing most co-operation with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. “We reaffirm that, in accordance with our policy, the alliance’s ...

Draft EU blacklist names Putin's dog

01.04.14 @ 09:21

A draft EU blacklist to be implemented in case of further escalation in Ukraine contains Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s pet labrador. The text – seen by EUobserver – designates the 14-year old animal, Koni, also known ...

Germany ready to reinforce Nato-Russia borders

31.03.14 @ 09:27

Germany has said its air force is ready to increase security on Nato’s border with Russia, despite Moscow’s promise not to escalate the crisis in Ukraine. A German defence ministry spokeswoman told the Reuters news ...

AgendaChinese President in first-ever EU visit this WEEK

30.03.14 @ 11:32

Hot on the heels of Barack Obama’s visit to the EU capital, Chinese President Xi Jinping will spend three days in Belgium this week. He will meet top EU officials in Brussels on Monday (7 April) to discuss prospects for ...

Gas Princess and Chocolate King to battle for Ukraine

28.03.14 @ 09:27

Former Ukraine PM Yulia Tymoshenko has said she will run for president, but her star is on the wane, while oligarch Petro Poroshenko is rising. “We need genuine reforms, not imitations . . . I will serve, I will be a ...

EU neighbours: instability, corruption, authoritarianism

27.03.14 @ 18:11

Most countries round the EU’s southern and eastern rim are seeing an increase of instability, authoritarianism, and corruption, according to European Commission reports published on Thursday (27 March). The commissioner ...

EU and US pledge solidarity in face of Russia

26.03.14 @ 18:01

Barack Obama and top EU officials have described America and Europe as a fortress of justice against Russia, but indicated that Ukraine is on the other side of the wall. The US leader in his first visit to the EU ...

Ukraine crisis expected to dominate EU-US summit

26.03.14 @ 09:28

US leader Barack Obama has come to the EU capital for the first time since he took office in 2009. The good-will visit revolves around four events: a morning ceremony at a US military cemetery on the outskirts of ...

Brazil, China, India rally round Russia after G7 snub

25.03.14 @ 09:29

The G7 club of wealthy nations has cancelled a summit with Russia over its annexation of Crimea, but emerging economies have protested against its exclusion from a G20 meeting. The G7 leaders – from Britain, Canada, ...

Gaza on edge of instability, EU diplomats warn

24.03.14 @ 09:22

The Ukraine crisis does not mean that problems in the EU’s southern neighbourhood have gone away, with diplomats warning that Gaza is on the edge of instability. The miserable living conditions in the strip risk seeing ...

EU and Ukraine sign 2% of association treaty

21.03.14 @ 16:46

EU and Ukrainian leaders have described as “historic” the signature of what amounts to 2 percent of an association and free trade treaty. The 28 EU Prime Ministers and Presidents, Ukraine’s interim PM, and top EU ...

Turkey's Twitter ban prompts instant EU criticism

21.03.14 @ 09:20

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attracted fresh criticism in EU circles after banning Twitter. The EU commissioner on digital affairs, Neelie Kroes, tweeted on Thursday (20 March) that the move “is ...

US blacklists Putin's bankers, as EU leaders meet

20.03.14 @ 19:09

The US has blacklisted Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s financial associates and personal confidantes, as EU leaders consider similar measures. The new US list of 20 people and one bank comes after Russia annexed Crimea ...

Nato chief: Crimea invasion could be just the beginning

20.03.14 @ 09:14

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has warned Crimea could be the beginning of a wider military campaign, amid Russia's veiled threats against EU and Nato member Estonia. He told the Brookings Institution, a think tank in ...

Putin redraws map of Europe

18.03.14 @ 18:33

Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (18 March) signed a treaty annexing the Ukrainian region of Crimea, shortly before the Russia-Ukraine confrontation claimed its first casualty. He justified the step in a long ...

Ukraine pariahs hire lobby firm in EU capital

18.03.14 @ 09:51

At least two people on the EU’s Ukraine blacklist have recruited a lobby firm in Brussels to get them off the hook. The German company, Alber & Geiger, calls itself a “lobbying law firm” and has offices in Berlin and ...

EU and US impose first round of Russia blacklists

17.03.14 @ 18:28

The EU and US have blacklisted a handful of Russian officials and MPs over the partition of Ukraine, while threatening to go further if need be. The US visa ban and asset freeze names 11 people. Two of them - Sergey ...

Crimea: EU poised to respond with 'limited’ Russia sanctions

17.03.14 @ 09:24

EU ambassadors late on Sunday (16 March) agreed to impose a “limited” set of visa bans and asset freezes on Russia in reaction to the referendum in Crimea. A diplomatic source said the late night meeting in Brussels “ ...

InterviewNobel winner: Iran should stop public executions if it wants better EU ties

16.03.14 @ 14:52

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian former judge who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 but who lives in the UK, believes that if she returned to Tehran “Iranian people would welcome me, but the intelligence services would come to ...

EU undecided on Russia sanctions ahead of Crimea vote

14.03.14 @ 20:15

Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU has appealed for European unity ahead of Sunday’s (16 March) “referendum” in Crimea. Kostyantin Yeliseyev told EUobserver on Friday that all 28 EU countries must put pressure on Moscow to ...

EU diplomats start putting names on Russia blacklist

13.03.14 @ 14:36

EU countries have started talks on who to blacklist for Russia’s invasion of Crimea, but few think it will make Russian leader Vladimir Putin retreat. The EU on Wednesday (12 March) agreed to impose visa bans and asset ...

Boy's death spurs anti-Erdogan feeling in EU parliament

12.03.14 @ 09:28

EU support for going further in Turkey accession talks is ebbing away over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly brutal ways of keeping down dissent. MEPs and EU officials at a debate in Strasbourg on ...

First part of EU-Ukraine treaty to enter into life in June

11.03.14 @ 18:33

The European Commission has offered to drop import duties for most Ukrainian goods in a move to enter into life in June and to save Ukrainian businesses €500 million a year. Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso noted on ...

Khodorkovsky: Putin fears Ukraine 'revolution'

11.03.14 @ 09:26

Russian oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said the Kremlin fears the Ukrainian revolution, but warned Ukraine not to expect too much help from the West. The 50-year-old businessman, who currently lives ...

Poland urges Germany to buy less Russian gas

10.03.14 @ 18:09

Polish leader Donald Tusk has said Germany should reduce its gas dependence on Russia for the sake of EU foreign policy. Speaking to press on Monday (10 March) at a military base in Siemirowice, on Poland’s Baltic Sea ...

Ashton looks to closer EU ties on Iran visit

10.03.14 @ 09:29

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has offered to work more closely with Iran on human rights and drugs trafficking on her first visit to the country. She told press in Tehran at the weekend that better EU-Iran ...

EU leaders freeze Russia visa talks, threaten trade sanctions

06.03.14 @ 20:15

EU leaders have suspended talks on visa-free travel with Russia and threatened asset freezes and economic sanctions if the situation in Ukraine gets worse. The immediate cost of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea - ...

Ukraine PM, EU leaders taking soft line on Crimea

06.03.14 @ 16:20

Ukraine’s interim leader has urged the UK and US to protect its territorial integrity, but indicated the Ukrainian army will not act unless Russian forces move beyond Crimea. Speaking to press in Brussels at an ...

Crimea 'votes' to join Russia as EU leaders meet

06.03.14 @ 12:55

MPs in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea region said it should become part of Russia as EU leaders arrived for an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday (6 March). The decree by the devolved parliament said the ...

EU not expected to impose tough sanctions on Russia

06.03.14 @ 09:40

EU countries are not expected to impose tough sanctions on Russia when leaders meet for an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday (6 March). The event comes after EU foreign ministers said on Monday the Union will “ ...

Barroso proposes €11bn to 'stabilise' Ukraine

05.03.14 @ 13:40

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso has proposed almost €11 billion in new money to help stabilise post-revolutionary Ukraine. With EU leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday (6 March) to discuss ...

Nato reassures Poland, Baltic states on Russia threat

04.03.14 @ 19:09

Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has shown sympathy for Polish and Baltic states’ fears of Russia’s aggressive posture in Ukraine and beyond. “These developments [Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula] ...

UK leak indicates limits of EU action on Ukraine

04.03.14 @ 09:29

A leaked British document indicates that Europe is less likely than the US to react forcefully to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The leak took place in London on Monday (3 March), when a freelance photographer, Steve Back ...

Ukraine crisis: EU threatens asset freeze on Russian officials

03.03.14 @ 20:27

EU foreign ministers have threatened asset freezes against Kremlin officials unless Russia pulls back in Ukraine, but left the final decision up to EU leaders on Thursday (6 March). The statement by ministers on Monday ...

EU to urge Russia to withdraw troops, drafts potential sanctions

03.03.14 @ 16:21

EU countries plan to urge Russia to pull back its troops from Ukraine and to threaten sanctions if it does not comply. According to a draft statement being debated at a snap EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on ...

Ukraine’s EU embassy details ‘Abkhazia scenario’

01.03.14 @ 12:56

Ukraine’s embassy to the EU has detailed Russian military movements in Crimea, saying operations to seize control began one week ago. The Ukrainian embassy, in a two-page note circulated to EU diplomats on Friday (28 ...

InterviewUkraine's EU ambassador watched revolution on internet

28.02.14 @ 09:43

Ukraine’s EU envoy, Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, watched the revolution on the internet with his staff at their embassy in Brussels last weekend. He told EUobserver on Thursday (26 February) that their main source of news was ...