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Dec 18, 2014

Luxembourg accedes to EU antitrust demand to divulge tax data

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Luxembourg acceded on Thursday to the
demand of the European Commission to release data to further EU
antitrust regulators’ investigation into whether it allowed
multinationals to pay excessively low taxes.

The European Commission launched investigations this year
into whether U.S. retailer Amazon and a unit of Italian
carmaker Fiat benefited from unfair state aid to the
detriment of competitors as a result of Luxembourg’s tax
arrangements.

Dec 18, 2014

EU to Putin: ‘Change attitude’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief urged President Vladimir Putin to adopt a “radical change in attitude” and begin cooperating as EU leaders gathered to map out a long-term strategy for dealing with an economically wounded Russia.

Federica Mogherini said the financial crisis hitting Moscow as a result of falling oil prices and Western sanctions was “not good news” and was adding to dangerous global instability. She spoke as she arrived on Thursday at an EU summit in Brussels.

Dec 18, 2014

Georgian economy buffeted by Russia, Ukraine crises: president

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Georgia’s economy has been buffeted by the Russian currency crisis and the Ukrainian conflict but it is still growing strongly, President Georgy Margvelashvili said on Thursday.

Margvelashvili spoke to Reuters from Strasbourg, where he watched the European Parliament ratify an EU-Georgia trade and cooperation accord, describing this as an important step toward Georgia’s eventual goal of EU membership.

Dec 18, 2014

EU bans investment in Crimea, targets oil sector, cruises

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union banned investment in Crimea on Thursday, halting European help for Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and outlawing European cruise ships from calling at Crimean ports.

The new measures, which EU governments have signed off on and will take effect on Saturday, reinforce the EU’s policy of not recognizing Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March.

Dec 17, 2014

EU will keep up pressure on Russia despite concerns over economy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will discuss Russia’s currency crisis on Thursday amid worries it could impact their own economies, but they will not relax sanctions imposed against Moscow over Ukraine, diplomats said.

On the contrary, the EU plans this week to widen a ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and the tourism sector. Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.

Dec 17, 2014

EU to tighten sanctions on Crimea in time for leaders summit: officials

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will widen its ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration, EU officials said on Wednesday, tightening sanctions first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of the region.

At a summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, EU leaders meeting in the European Council will announce the punitive measures that are also expected to be coordinated with similar steps by the United States, officials have told Reuters.

Dec 16, 2014

Ukraine criticises Russia over Crimea nuclear weapons comment

BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Russia would violate
international agreements if it placed nuclear weapons in Crimea,
which it annexed from Ukraine, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny
Yatseniuk said on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared to reserve
the right for Russia to put nuclear weapons in Crimea in
comments to Russia’s Interfax news agency on Monday.

Dec 15, 2014

Ukrainian PM appeals to EU for immediate financial aid

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny
Yatseniuk appealed to the European Union for urgent financial
aid on Monday, saying the government was doing all it could to
fix a shattered economy but needed help.

A year of revolution and war with pro-Russian separatists
has pushed Ukraine’s hryvnia currency to record lows and
crippled the economy, which was already near bankruptcy after
years of corruption and economic mismanagement.

Dec 15, 2014

European Union backs U.N. plan for Syrian truce

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers threw their weight behind a U.N. plan for a truce in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday, saying it offered a glimmer of hope for finding a political solution to the three-and-a-half year old civil war.

U.N. peace envoy Staffan de Mistura briefed the ministers on Sunday evening on his plan for a “freeze in the fighting” in Aleppo to try to get humanitarian assistance into the city that is split between opposition fighters and government troops.

Dec 14, 2014

Insight – EU’s Russia debate a challenge for top diplomat Mogherini

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy’s Federica Mogherini pledged as European Union foreign policy chief that the EU would play a stronger role in tackling world crises. Her resolve is about to be tested as the bloc debates whether it is time to mend its relationship with Russia.

A year after Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich backed out of an EU trade deal and lit the ongoing crisis, the EU’s new top diplomat must steer senior officials to a decision whether to keep up strong pressure on Moscow or “re-engage.”

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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