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.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and Ukraine agreed on Friday to delay the implementation of their free-trade pact until the end of next year in a concession to Russia, which had complained its industry would be hurt by the deal.
Russia and the West are bitterly at odds over Ukraine, and the European Union and United States both imposed new sanctions against Moscow on Friday over what they say is its military backing for separatist rebels in the east of the country. Russia, which denies involvement, said it would consider retaliating.
BRUSSELS, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The European Union tightened
sanctions on Russia on Friday over its role in the Ukrainian
conflict, restricting access to financing for top Russian banks,
defence and energy firms and freezing the assets of senior
politicians and rebel leaders.
The United States was set to follow suit with its own
tougher sanctions later on Friday, heaping pressure on Russian
President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea
region and sent troops to back pro-Russian separatists in
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union put into effect on Friday a new round of sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine, including restrictions on financing for some Russian state-owned companies and asset freezes on leading Russian politicians.
The EU and the United States have been stepping up pressure on Moscow after its annexation of Crimea in March and what the West sees as an effort since then to further destabilize Ukraine by backing pro-Russian separatists in the east with troops and arms.