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New EU appointees speak out against Russia

Today @ 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 ...

EU countries give France green light to arm Iraqi Kurds

13.08.14 @ 09:27

EU countries have moved a step closer to sending arms to Iraqi Kurds to help them fight the Islamic State (IS). Ambassadors at a meeting of the bloc’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels on Tuesday (12 August) ...

Uncertainty surrounds Russian 'aid' convoy to Ukraine

12.08.14 @ 09:25

The Red Cross says it has no agreement to govern what will happen when Russian “aid” trucks arrive at Ukraine’s border. Andre Loersch, the Kiev-based spokesman for the Geneva-based relief body, told EUobserver on ...

France and Italy call for snap EU meeting on Iraq

11.08.14 @ 18:28

France and Italy have urged the EU foreign service to call an emergency meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Iraq. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius made the appeal to EU foreign affairs chief ...

EU and US warn Russia against 'humanitarian' invasion of Ukraine

11.08.14 @ 09:29

EU and US leaders have warned Russia that more sanctions will follow if it “invades” Ukraine in the name of “humanitarian” aid. US president Barack Obama issued the threat on Saturday (9 August) following phone calls ...

EU blacklist sheds light on Putin's rag-tag Ukraine army

26.07.14 @ 19:21

The latest EU blacklist on Russia sheds light on the command structures and composition of Vladimir Putin’s east Ukraine forces. The list, published on Friday (25 July), imposes a travel ban and asset freeze on 15 ...

AnalysisEU sanctions on Russia hurt more than it seems

25.07.14 @ 18:59

“Sometimes a stick in the air is better than a stick on the head”. Words of wisdom from Avi Dichter, a former chief of Israel’s internal intelligence service, the Shin Bet, who knows a thing or two about psychological ...

EU defends Israel's Gaza incursion

22.07.14 @ 20:14

EU countries have defended Israel’s use of force in Gaza, but blamed it for harming peace prospects in the longer term. Foreign ministers in a joint statement on Tuesday (22 July) said they are “appalled by the human ...

Air disaster puts spotlight on French warship for Russia

18.07.14 @ 19:30

France risks “international ridicule” if it delivers a warship to Russia despite the Malaysia Airlines disaster, but its intentions remain unchanged in the immediate aftermath. The ship, a “Mistral” assault vessel which ...

UN to hold meeting on Ukraine crash, as Europe counts casualties

18.07.14 @ 09:22

The UK has tabled a UN resolution calling for an international enquiry into the Malaysian Airlines crash, as European countries count their casualties. The British proposal is to be discussed at a special meeting of the ...

EU calls for 'international investigation' into Ukraine air crash

17.07.14 @ 21:11

An airliner carrying 295 people has crashed in a conflict zone in east Ukraine, with all on board presumed dead. The Malaysian Airlines flight, from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, disappeared from radar screens at ...

EU threatens Russian oligarchs, as US hits banks and oil firms

17.07.14 @ 00:46

EU leaders have threatened to go after Russian companies and oligarchs deemed to be helping the Kremlin wage its covert war on Ukraine. They agreed at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday (16 July) to blacklist “entities, ...

Germany backs more EU sanctions on Russia

16.07.14 @ 21:03

German and British leaders have voiced support for tougher EU sanctions on Russia. Chancellor Angela Merkel told press at the start of an EU summit in Brussels on Wednesday (16 July) that Russia did not fulfill the four ...

EU leaders may expand Russia sanctions

16.07.14 @ 09:12

The EU has provisionally agreed to start listing Russian companies over the Ukraine crisis ahead of Wednesday’s (16 July) summit. Member states’ ambassadors at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday clinched a deal to alter ...

US and Ukraine urge tougher EU sanctions on Russia

15.07.14 @ 09:17

The US and Ukraine are pushing EU leaders to impose economic sanctions on Russia at Wednesday’s (16 July) summit. The US state department on Monday published a “fact sheet” which accuses Russia of sending heavy weapons ...

EU blacklists Ukraine rebels, as fighting escalates

13.07.14 @ 16:30

The EU on Saturday (12 July) named 11 rebel leaders in east Ukraine who are to face a visa ban and asset freeze. Four of them are top people in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). They include: ...

EU sees likelihood of Israeli ground attack on Gaza

11.07.14 @ 18:32

EU diplomats believe Israel will launch a ground invasion of Gaza if a Hamas rocket causes serious Israeli casualties. The concerns come amid rapid escalation in fighting over the past four days. Hamas, the Palestinian ...

Russia seeks new veto on EU-Ukraine pact

10.07.14 @ 19:12

Russia is hoping to use new talks on the EU-Ukraine trade treaty to alter the pact and to get a say on when it is implemented. Its economic development minister, Alexei Ulukayev, is to hold the first round of the three- ...

Russia's image nosedives, as EU adds 11 names to blacklist

10.07.14 @ 09:29

A new survey shows that Russia’s image has taken a battering over the Ukraine crisis, as the EU added another 11 names to its blacklist. The survey, published by US pollsters Pew Research Center on Wednesday (9 July), ...

EU 'deplores' Israeli killing of civilians

09.07.14 @ 09:29

EU countries have urged Palestinian militants to stop firing at Israel, while “deploring” Israel’s killing of civilians. They said in a statement on Tuesday (8 July) the EU “strongly condemns the indiscriminate fire ...

EU considers mini-sanctions on Russia

08.07.14 @ 20:34

The EU is considering whether to add some low-level names to the Russia blacklist, as France and Germany lead efforts on Ukraine peace talks. Member states’ ambassadors in Brussels on Monday (7 July) tasked the EU ...

Ukrainians seek EU asylum as conflict goes on

07.07.14 @ 20:40

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has prompted more than 2,000 Ukrainians to apply for asylum in the EU. The usual rate, of 100 a month, did not change during the internal unrest leading to the overthrow of former leader ...

InvestigationSeveral EU states impose arms ban on Russia

07.07.14 @ 09:30

Most of the EU’s top arms exporters have imposed a quiet ban on sales to Russia, but Ukraine’s military embargo could have a bigger impact on the crisis. EU countries are still in talks on whether to impose a collective ...

EU states promote settler boycott amid Israel crisis

04.07.14 @ 09:27

Twelve EU countries have warned investors not to do business with Israeli settler entities, amid a security crisis in Israel and Palestine. The group includes: Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Denmark; Finland; Greece; ...

Russia retaliates against Moldova's EU treaty

03.07.14 @ 09:28

Russia has banned imports of processed beef, horse meat, lamb, and pork from Europe’s poorest country - Moldova - the same day it ratified an EU trade treaty. The Russian veterinary authority, Rosselkhoznadzor, on ...

Putin accuses US of 'blackmail' on French bank fine

02.07.14 @ 09:21

Russia has accused the US of using bank fines to “blackmail” France on arms sales, amid Western division on Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin made the claim in a speech to Russian ambassadors in Moscow on Tuesday (1 ...

EU countries delay Russia sanctions despite ultimatum

01.07.14 @ 18:13

EU countries have opted not to impose extra sanctions on Russia despite the expiry of an ultimatum, citing “positive developments”. Their ambassadors, meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (1 July), put off the decision until ...

Countries want joint EU consulates, survey says

30.06.14 @ 18:20

Several member states want the EU’s overseas embassies to provide joint consular services, an EU “audit” has found. “All the member states, especially the smaller and medium-sized ones who do not have traditional ...

EU diplomats unsure of next step on Ukraine

30.06.14 @ 09:26

EU leaders last Friday (27 June) gave Russia a new ultimatum on sanctions, but opinion differs on when the ultimatum is due and what the reaction will be. The leaders said they will take "further steps" unless Russia ...

EU issues Russia sanctions ultimatum

27.06.14 @ 18:05

EU countries have given Russia and pro-Russia forces in Ukraine until Monday (30 June) to meet four conditions or face extra sanctions. They said at a summit in Brussels on Friday the rebels must: give full access to ...

Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine cement EU ties

27.06.14 @ 16:09

Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine have said their signature of EU free trade treaties is a first step to accession. Leaders of the former Soviet republics and the 28 EU states signed the accords in Brussels on Friday (27 ...

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