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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 ...

EU sanctions on Russia in limbo

09.09.14 @ 09:27

EU countries have adopted a new round of sanctions against Russia, but cannot agree when or whether to implement them. A statement by EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy on Monday (8 September) said the measures are due ...

Russia's abduction of Estonian officer 'very disturbing'

08.09.14 @ 09:29

Russia’s abduction of an Estonian officer poses questions on Nato’s Article V, the Baltic state’s former intelligence chief has said. The incident, which took place on Friday (5 September), escalated over the weekend. ...

Six EU countries join group to 'destroy' Islamic State

07.09.14 @ 12:41

Six EU countries have joined a US-led coalition to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State [IS] in Iraq and Syria. The “Core Group” came together at the Nato summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday (5-6 September). On ...

EU to adopt Russia sanctions despite ceasefire

05.09.14 @ 20:18

EU countries are to adopt new sanctions on Russia despite the Ukraine ceasefire, but might revoke them if things go well. German chancellor Angela Merkel said at a Nato summit in Wales on Friday (5 September) that the ...

Nato expansion unlikely before late 2015

05.09.14 @ 16:36

Nato leaders have indicated the alliance will not take in any aspirant states until late next year. Its secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said at the Nato summit in Wales on Friday (5 September): “We will assess ...

No new Nato bases in eastern Europe

04.09.14 @ 22:54

Poland has confirmed there will be no new Nato bases in eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression. The alliance is creating a new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, or “spearhead” force, of some 4,000 troops ...

France halts Russia warship deal, as Nato leaders meet

04.09.14 @ 07:45

France has frozen its delivery of a warship to Russia, as Nato leaders meet in the UK for a summit to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war. The office of President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday (3 September) “the ...

EU poised to 'take measures' against Israeli food

03.09.14 @ 09:24

The EU is poised to take “appropriate measures” against Israeli settler food exports after Israel failed to respond to its complaints on safety certificates. The European Commission, on 28 July, wrote to Israeli ...

Mogherini backs Western Balkan enlargement

02.09.14 @ 20:29

Italian foreign minister and incoming EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini has called for progress on Western Balkan enlargement, while saying Russia is no longer an EU “strategic partner”. Mogherini spoke to ...

New EU appointees speak out against Russia

02.09.14 @ 09:24

Two of the EU’s new top officials - Donald Tusk and Federica Mogherini - have spoken out against Russia’s “war” on Ukraine. Tusk, the Polish PM, who is to take over as EU Council head in December, said at a WWII ...

Who is Tusk and what does he mean for the EU?

01.09.14 @ 18:44

Quiet, pragmatic, tenacious - some compare Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister and newly-chosen EU Council chief, to German chancellor Angela Merkel. But unlike her, he has “given up” on Moscow, with Russia relations ...

EU leaders give Putin one-week deadline

31.08.14 @ 02:25

EU leaders have given Russian president Vladimir Putin one week to stop attacking Ukraine or face more sanctions. The latest ultimatum came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko personally told the 28 presidents ...

Poroshenko: EU likely to hold off on Russia sanctions

30.08.14 @ 14:41

EU leaders are likely to hold off on extra Russia sanctions until at least next week, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has indicated. The Ukrainian leader spoke on Saturday (30 August) in Brussels after sounding ...

Russia's 'invasion' of Ukraine alienates EU friends

29.08.14 @ 09:30

Germany, France, and Italy have indicated they are willing to impose extra sanctions on Russia due to its overt “invasion” of Ukraine. Speaking to press in Berlin on Thursday (28 August), German chancellor Angela Merkel ...

Ukraine says Russian invasion has begun

28.08.14 @ 14:21

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has said Russian forces have invaded his country, with Kiev calling for an emergency EU and UN meeting. Ditching a planned trip to Turkey on Thursday (26 August), Poroshenko in a TV ...

Germany and US voice concern on Russian troops in Ukraine

28.08.14 @ 09:16

Germany and the US have lent weight to Ukraine’s claim that Russian troops are directly involved in opening up a new front in the conflict. The fresh Western concern comes after Andriy Lysenko, a Ukrainian army ...

Nato chief unveils new plan for eastern Europe

27.08.14 @ 09:30

A summit in Minsk on Tuesday (26 August) failed to produce a breakthrough on the Ukraine conflict, while Nato announced a bold new plan for eastern Europe. The event saw the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, ...

Russians, Chinese keen to buy EU passports from Malta

26.08.14 @ 08:30

Russians, Chinese, and people from the Middle East have shown the most interest in Malta's sale of EU passports so far. A spokeswoman for Henley & Partners, the British firm handling the controversial passport scheme, ...

Libya violence puts EU border mission in doubt

25.08.14 @ 09:29

The EU’s flagship border mission for Libya remains parked in Tunisia, as deteriorating security conditions put migrants at greater risk. The operation - Eubam Libya - was launched in May last year to build up the post- ...

Lithuanian FM: Ukraine will not attack Russian convoy

22.08.14 @ 19:56

Lithuania’s foreign minister has said Ukraine will not attack Russia’s “aid” convoy, despite its “illegal” and “provocative” nature. Linas Linkevicius spoke to EUobserver by phone from Kiev on Friday (22 August) after ...

Report: EU countries set out new vision for Gaza

22.08.14 @ 09:24

France, Germany, and the UK have circulated a draft UN resolution on the Gaza conflict designed to end the rule of Hamas in return for Israel lifting its seven-year blockade of the Strip. The text, entitled “Elements”, ...

Russia relaxes EU food ban, counts costs

21.08.14 @ 09:27

Russia has said its ban on EU food imports will cost it “hundreds of billions of rubles” in subsidies. Its agriculture minister, Nikolai Fyodorov, told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster on Wednesday (20 August) the government ...

Tobacco lobbying warped EU law, British scientists 'prove'

20.08.14 @ 07:37

Industry lobbying saw EU institutions water down a landmark tobacco law between 2009 and 2014, a new study by British scientists has found. The survey, published in Tobacco Control, an offshoot of the British Medical ...

Merkel sets limits to Nato solidarity with Baltic states

19.08.14 @ 09:21

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said Nato will defend Baltic states if need be, but will not build permanent military bases in the region. She spoke on Monday (18 August) on a visit to Riga in which she also laid a ...

EU sets aside €125mn to stabilise food prices

18.08.14 @ 17:29

The European Commission has set aside €125 million more for food exporters hurt by the Russia ban. It said in Brussels on Monday (18 August) the money will be available until the end of November for producers of ...

Nato chief warns Russia against 'green men' tactics

18.08.14 @ 09:26

Philip Breedlove, Nato’s top military commander, has said that if Russia does what it did in Crimea to a Nato state, it would be considered an act of war against the alliance. Referring to Russia’s actions in Crimea in ...

EU countries keeping wary eye on Ebola threat

15.08.14 @ 09:21

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa could see infected people enter the EU before the virus is detected, but EU and UN experts have repeated that the risk of it spreading in Europe is “very low”. The outbreak - in Guinea, ...

Tomatoes in line for EU aid on Russia food ban

14.08.14 @ 19:12

EU producers of cauliflowers, cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes are likely to be next in line for European Commission help in response to the Russia food ban. A commission spokesman, Roger Waite, told ...

Scientists say EU data bill to harm research

14.08.14 @ 09:26

Several of Europe’s leading scientific institutes have warned that new EU data laws will hamper research in areas such as smoking-related diseases or child nutrition. They said in a joint letter to EU institutions this ...