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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 ...

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 ...

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”, ...

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 ...

International banking giant pressured to block Israel and Russia

07.10.14 @ 09:29

The international wire transfer system Swift will not block Russia or Israel from its services following requests for it to do so. The Belgian-based firm on Monday (6 October) said it had received calls to disconnect ...

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 ...

Russia's information war in Lithuania

06.10.14 @ 09:28

It is hard to find anyone in Lithuania who does not believe that Russia's propaganda campaigns in the Baltic EU member state have been growing in intensity. There has been an increasing number of pro-Soviet commentary ...

The new Polish government: What to expect?

02.10.14 @ 09:29

Poland's new prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, presented her government’s agenda on Wednesday (1 October) in a speech in front of the parliament that showed that on EU questions Warsaw is unlikely to look much different. ...

'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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

OpinionRussia sanctions and the EU: What went wrong?

23.09.14 @ 09:07

Last March – after months of escalation in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine – President Obama initiated sanctions against Russia in financial services, energy, defence and related materials sectors. New sanctions ensued ...

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 ...