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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

Putin cheese: EU farmers to get 'targeted' compensation

05.09.14 @ 20:28

European farmers hit by a Russian embargo on fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat are likely to tap a €400 million EU emergency fund from October on. Speaking after a snap meeting of agriculture ministers in Brussels on ...

AgendaEU commissioner portfolio decisions this WEEK

05.09.14 @ 20:23

A major piece in the making of the EU institutional puzzle is to go into place next week when incoming EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hands out portfolios to his team of commissioners. Expected to happen 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 ...

EU, US to tighten Russia sanctions

05.09.14 @ 09:29

The EU and the US are to announce tighter Russia sanctions on Friday (5 September), with the EU’s draft legal texts - seen by EUobserver - targeting state-owned banks, oil technologies and defence goods. The move comes ...

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 targets bank loans, World Cup in Russia sanctions talks

03.09.14 @ 17:59

EU ambassadors are holding talks in Brussels on new proposals for Russia sanctions - seen by EUobserver - with ideas including “action” to block its 2018 World Cup. The talks are taking place amid news of a “ceasefire ...

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 ...

OpinionWhy America is recovering, but Europe is not - Part II

01.09.14 @ 09:17

It is the differences in the way the United States and Europe tackled the global financial crisis that explain why the US economy is recovering, whereas the eurozone is in a lost decade. Why US crisis policies worked In ...

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 ...

EU leaders meet on top jobs, Ukraine

29.08.14 @ 21:24

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Saturday (30 August) to clinch a deal on two top posts and to discuss further sanctions on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine. The summit will start at 5pm local time ...

Rasmussen: Ukraine free to seek Nato membership

29.08.14 @ 15:00

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said Ukraine is free to pursue membership of the Western alliance despite Russian opposition. He told press in Brussels on Friday (29 August): “I’m not going to interfere in ...

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, ...

Merkel: Ukraine can go to Eurasian Union

25.08.14 @ 13:25

Germany’s Angela Merkel has said Ukraine is free to “go to” Russia’s “Eurasian Union”, amid signs of a new willingness to make peace with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Speaking to German public broadcaster ARD on ...

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 ...

AnalysisCan Europe afford a Russia trade war?

22.08.14 @ 09:23

“We’ve known for more than 100 years that protectionism and trade barriers are very bad for your economy”. So says Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, a trade lawyer and director of the European Centre for International Political ...

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 ...

Poland demands WTO challenge over Russia food ban

20.08.14 @ 07:45

Poland has made a formal request that the EU take Russia before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to overturn its ban on EU food and vegetables. Reuters reported on Tuesday (19 August) that Poland’s economy ministry ...

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 ...

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 ...

EU prepares compensation for farmers hit by Russia sanctions

11.08.14 @ 18:20

EU officials will this week draw up a plan to compensate farmers if they are hit by Russia’s ban on food exports. Agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos cut short his summer holiday to set up an expert panel last Friday ...

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 ...

OpinionMH17 and the diplomacy of business going Dutch

11.08.14 @ 09:19

MH17 has left Dutch society in a state of mid-summer anaesthesia. Exactly 25 years after the end of the Cold War, and 20 years after the Srebrenica genocide that left more than 8,000 dead in a UN ‘safe area’ under Dutch ...

Russia threatens to go beyond EU food ban in sanctions war

08.08.14 @ 09:28

The Russian government may expand its economic sanctions against the west, as its diplomatic stand-off over the Ukraine crisis intensifies. At a meeting of Vladimir Putin’s ministers on Thursday (7 August), prime ...

Russia imposes retaliatory sanctions on EU

07.08.14 @ 09:30

Moscow is slapping a ban on EU-imported fruit and vegetables and food from the US in retaliation for western economic sanctions. A Russian decree published Wednesday (6 August) called upon government officials to put ...

Russia in sanction threat against EU

06.08.14 @ 09:30

Russia may restrict or impose a ban on Asian-bound European airlines from flying over its Siberian territory as part of a retaliatory move against western-imposed sanctions. On Tuesday (5 August), President Vladimir ...

Nato to strengthen military exercises after Russia 'aggression'

04.08.14 @ 09:28

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said the transatlantic military alliance will draw up new defence plans following Russia's "aggression" in Ukraine. In an interview with French regional newspaper Midi Libre, ...

EU hits Russia's largest banks, imposes arms embargo

31.07.14 @ 22:18

Russia's largest and second largest banks from Friday (1 August) will no longer be able to raise money on EU markets, as economic sanctions enter into force. Published in the EU official journal on Thursday, the ...

Russia ordered to pay €1.8bn by human rights court

31.07.14 @ 17:22

The European Court of Human Rights Thursday (31 July) told Russia to pay €1.86 billion to the shareholders of the disbanded Yukos oil group. “The court decided that this amount should be paid by the Russian Government ...

Russia threatens Europe with higher energy prices

31.07.14 @ 09:04

Russia on Wednesday (30 July) reacted angrily to the EU economic sanctions, threatening to increase energy prices. “Obsessed with sanctions, Brussels is itself creating barriers for further cooperation in such a key ...

EU blacklists three Putin 'cronies'

30.07.14 @ 21:59

The EU on Wednesday (30 July) for the first time included three of Vladimir Putin's loyal oligarchs and his propaganda chief on an existing blacklist in response to Russia's continued "destabilisation" of Ukraine. The ...

EU approves economic sanctions on Russia

29.07.14 @ 19:52

EU ambassadors on Tuesday (29 July) approved economic sanctions on Russia which are expected to enter into force on Friday. Under the new regime, known as stage three sanctions, EU citizens and firms will not be allowed ...

Obama, EU leaders agree on Russia sanctions

29.07.14 @ 09:28

The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the US held a conference call on Monday (28 July) and agreed to impose economic sanctions on Russia as it continues to support the war in eastern Ukraine. In a press ...

Multi-billion losses expected from Russia sanctions

28.07.14 @ 09:49

EU diplomats on Monday (28 July) are to pour over the legal texts drafted by the EU commission for imposing sectoral economic sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukrainian conflict. The sanctions are expected to be ...

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 to hit Russia with economic sanctions next week

25.07.14 @ 17:14

The European Commission is preparing legislative on four types of economic sanctions likely to be imposed on Russia on Tuesday. A meeting of EU ambassadors (Coreper) on Friday concluded that legal texts should be ...

German, Dutch firms ready to take hit from Russia sanctions

25.07.14 @ 09:25

German and Dutch companies, so far among the most reluctant to back EU's planned Russia sanctions, are ready to take a hit from possible retaliatory measures. The "Eastern association of German economy" representing ...