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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 ...

OpinionUkraine needs reform to survive

20.10.14 @ 10:58

With a shaky peace in the east agreed and parliamentary elections approaching, the focus in Ukraine is shifting back from war or peace to the country’s internal malaise. After all, the Maidan events were not only a ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Romania has contingency plan for Russian attack

08.09.14 @ 09:29

Romanian president Traian Basescu has said Nato has a contingency plan for the "0.01 percent" chance that Russia will one day attack his country. Romania, the EU's most easterly member state, has a 650km border with ...

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, 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

EU blacklists more Russians, prepares economic sanctions

24.07.14 @ 20:55

EU ambassadors in a marathon meeting on Thursday (24 July) added 15 more individuals, nine companies and nine institutions from Russia and east Ukraine to an existing blacklist of 72 individuals and two firms linked to ...

EU readies new sanctions on defiant Russia

24.07.14 @ 09:25

EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels at 9.30 local time on Thursday (24 July) are set to discuss a raft of new sanctions on Russia, as Moscow has shown no signs of wanting to meet an EU ultimatum over Ukraine. According ...

UK is still sending arms to Russia, say MPs

23.07.14 @ 09:12

The UK is still exporting millions of euros worth of arms to Russia, despite fears that Moscow has been arming separatists in Ukraine. A report by MPs, published Tuesday (23 July), said that 251 licences worth around £ ...

EU foreign policy faces test after MH17 shootdown

22.07.14 @ 09:18

EU foreign policy is facing a major test today as ministers gather in Brussels to consider their response to the suspected downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. The plane ...

EU under pressure to broaden Russia sanctions

21.07.14 @ 10:25

The US and the UK are putting pressure on the EU to impose tougher sanctions on Russia in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines disaster. The calls come ahead of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (22 ...

Ukraine investigators race to recover flight recorders

18.07.14 @ 16:03

The race to locate the black box, flight deck recorder, and the cockpit recorder is underway as investigators make their way to the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 in eastern Ukraine. Kiev dispatched a team to ...

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 ...

LetterNato reacted quickly to Ukraine crisis

18.07.14 @ 09:21

In in recent opinion piece, Nato puts brakes on enlargement, the author Matthew Turner's comment that “when Russia annexed Crimea, Nato failed to make itself heard, as heads of state chose either the European Union or ...

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 ...

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 ...