Thursday

24th May 2018

EU commissioner to strike out at Russia

EU neighbourhood commissioner Stefan Fuele is planning to criticise Russia's strong-arm tactics on would-be EU partners in a speech to MEPs on Wednesday (11 September).

The rebuke comes after Armenia suddenly dropped plans to sign a political association and free trade pact with the EU in November.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Fuele aims to say Russia's behaviour has no place in modern Europe (Photo: European Parliament)

It also comes amid Russian trade blockades on Moldova and Ukraine, as well as harsh rhetoric from senior politicians, such as Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, who last week threatened to cut off Moldova's gas in winter if it goes down the EU path.

Fuele is expected to complain about abuse of gas prices and import bans.

In an allusion to Russia's military support for Armenia, he will criticise Russia's threat to suspend security guarantees.

In an allusion to Rogozin's other remarks - on making it harder for Moldova to solve its frozen conflict with Transniestria - Fuele will also hit out against Russia's exploitation of old conflicts.

He plans to repeat a previous EU statement that threats from Russia linked to the possible signing of agreements with the European Union are "unacceptable."

He also aims to say this is "not how international relations should function" in Europe in the 21st century, because post-Soviet nations should be free to decide whether or not to integrate with the EU.

Fuele's speech underlines that neighbouring states cannot sign EU free trade zone pacts at the same time as joining Russia's Customs Union because of "legal impossibilities."

It says the EU free trade zones will boost neighbours' GDP by up to 12 percent.

At the same time, Fuele is to note there are legal ways to make EU free trade "compatible" with the Customs Union, with a final goal to create a free trade zone which also encompasses Russia, stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostock.

"The last thing we want to see is a protectionist wall cutting our continent in two," Fuele is to say.

Analysis

EU has no 'magic bullet' against US Iran sanctions

EU leaders in Sofia will discuss how they can protect the bloc's economic interests against US threats to sanction companies doing business in Iran. But their options are limited.

Opinion

Ratifying CETA after 'Achmea scandal' is anti-European

While few people in Europe have heard of the 'Achmea' ruling, the case will have far-reaching consequences. Member states must understand the implications of the case quickly - especially those considering ratifying the EU-Canada trade agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. 'Killer robot' projects eligible for EU defence fund
  2. Funding for European values needs radical changes
  3. Feeble EU format deflates Zuckerberg 'hearing'
  4. Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?
  5. EU pessimistic on permanent US trade exemption
  6. US asks EU to go after Russian and African villains
  7. Facebook threatened with removal from EU-US data pact
  8. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of advice to EU