BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union decided on Tuesday to keep in place a package of economic sanctions against Russia over its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine despite what it called “encouraging developments” on the ground after a ceasefire deal.
The 28-nation EU has imposed sanctions on Russia’s finance, defence and energy sectors and has frozen the assets of some 140 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and companies over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.
BRUSSELS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – A tax concession that
Luxembourg authorities granted to a subsidiary of Italian car
maker Fiat may constitute illegal state aid, the
European Commission said on Tuesday.
A 33-page letter to the Luxembourg government from EU
Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia sets out the
Commission’s reasons for investigating further a 2012 decision
by Luxembourg authorities to approve a transfer pricing
arrangement by Fiat Finance and Trade Ltd, which lends money to
other Fiat companies.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union regulators will provide more details on Tuesday of their reasons for launching in-depth inquiries into tax arrangements reached by Ireland with Apple and by Luxembourg with a Fiat subsidiary.
The European Commission has launched a similar investigation into the Dutch government’s tax treatment of Starbucks, but details of that will be published later, Antoine Colombani, spokesman for European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, told reporters.
BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The European Union’s likely
next trade chief will face tough questions about how she would
handle free trade negotiations with the United States when
confirmation hearings for the new European Commission open on
Sweden’s Cecilia Malmstrom will be among the first group of
nominees to former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude
Juncker’s new European Commission to face scrutiny from the
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s trade commissioner-designate stumbled into a political minefield on Saturday by suggesting she wanted to exclude a controversial investor protection clause from a planned EU-U.S. trade agreement.
A European Commission source said however that the furor was the result of an error in a leaked draft version of testimony by Sweden’s Cecilia Malmstrom that would be corrected in the final version.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is likely to keep sanctions on Russia in place for now when ambassadors meet next week to assess progress in implementing Ukraine’s peace process, diplomats said.
When the EU adopted its latest sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine conflict earlier this month, EU ambassadors agreed they would review the implementation of the Ukraine peace plan by the end of September.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Al Qaeda, wary of being upstaged by even more ruthless Islamic State fighters, may try to show its relevance by carrying out attacks in Europe, the United States or Israel, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator said on Wednesday.
With the world’s focus firmly on Islamic State’s advances in Syria and Iraq, the EU’s Gilles de Kerchove warned of the risk of competition between Islamic State and al Qaeda, which has renounced its offshoot as too brutal.
WIESBADEN Germany (Reuters) – Congress should look hard at whether to continue automatic budget cuts that weaken the U.S. military at a time when security around the world is deteriorating, a top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
The rapid advance of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region has fueled calls by current and former military chiefs and the U.S. defense industry for a rethink of the hundreds of billions of dollars in automatic cuts, known as “sequestration”.
WIESBADEN Germany (Reuters) – Air strikes alone will not be enough to destroy Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, and Baghdad will need training to rebuild ground forces capable of “going after them and rooting them out,” the U.S. Army Chief of Staff said on Wednesday.
Three years after U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq, President Barack Obama has ordered air strikes to halt Islamic State fighters who made rapid advances earlier this year as Iraqi forces melted away.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Military intervention against Islamic State militants could be justified on the grounds of self-defense or preventing a campaign “pretty close to genocide”, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
Rasmussen said the threat posed by Islamic State “requires a military response to degrade and defeat this terrorist organization” but he said NATO as an organization would not be undertaking military strikes against the group.