BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union could consider imposing new sanctions on Libya if U.N. Special Envoy Bernardino Leon thought it would help his efforts to end the political crisis there, EU diplomats said on Friday.
The prospect of more sanctions had been raised in EU discussions but had not been discussed in detail, one diplomat said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will press Turkey to cooperate more closely in the fight against Islamic State and urge it not to undermine EU sanctions on Russia on a visit this week intended to give new impetus to often fraught EU-Turkish relations.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides will travel to Turkey on Monday and Tuesday in one of the highest-profile EU visits in years.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain’s Catherine Ashton will continue to play a key coordinating role in negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program despite stepping down as the European Union’s foreign policy chief.
Federica Mogherini, who took over from Ashton as EU foreign policy chief on Nov. 1, has appointed Ashton as her special adviser for facilitating the nuclear talks with Iran, the EU said on Friday.
BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s economy is being
badly hurt by European Union economic sanctions against Russia,
its prime minister said on Thursday.
EU member states such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia,
which are heavily dependent on Russian energy, have only
reluctantly gone along with the sanctions, imposed over Russia’s
annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. The measures targeted
Russia’s financial, defence and energy sectors, and Russia hit
back by banning most food imports from the EU.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the $40 billion South Stream natural gas pipeline can still go ahead and accused Russia of holding EU-member Bulgaria to ransom when it said it had abandoned the project.
Speaking after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, whose country South Stream would traverse making it a major beneficiary, Juncker rebutted Russia’s statement that EU competition rules had killed it.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The U.S.-led coalition has inflicted serious damage on Islamic State, carrying out around 1,000 air strikes so far in Iraq and Syria, but the fight against the militants could last years, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.
The United States and its allies began air strikes against Islamic State after the Sunni militants made large territorial advances last summer. The Iraqi army, Sunni tribal fighters and Kurdish forces have since recovered some ground against them.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany urged NATO on Tuesday to set up an early warning system with Russia to prevent any military accident from spiraling out of control.
NATO’s ties with Moscow have hit a post-Cold War low over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and what the alliance says is Russian backing for separatists in the east of the former Soviet republic.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russian military aircraft are posing a threat to civilian planes by turning off communications devices and failing to file flight plans, the U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Monday.
Russia has stepped up flights near NATO’s borders in 2013, the alliance says, coinciding with increased East-West tension over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis. NATO aircraft have scrambled more than 400 times this year to intercept Russian aircraft, up 50 percent from the 2013 total.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia on Monday of violating a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine by sending large deliveries of advanced weapons to pro-Russian separatists.
Ukraine said on Sunday that a convoy of 106 vehicles had entered its eastern territory from Russia without Kiev’s permission and accused Moscow of using humanitarian aid shipments to send weapons and ammunition to separatist rebels.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s planned new fast-reaction force, centerpiece of its response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, is proving harder to set up than expected because of shortages of vital equipment and arguments over funding, diplomats say.
NATO leaders meeting in Wales in September agreed on a new “spearhead” force of up to 5,000 ground troops with air, sea and special forces support as part of a plan to reassure eastern European allies nervous about Russia’s actions in Ukraine.