BRUSSELS, March 19 (Reuters) – European Union leaders look
likely to keep economic sanctions on Russia in place until a
Ukraine ceasefire deal is fully working, after German Chancellor
Angela Merkel said on Thursday it would be wrong to ease
pressure on Moscow prematurely.
EU governments have until now been divided on whether to act
now to renew those sanctions, which expire in July.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk is discussing a proposal with Germany and France to link European Union sanctions on Russia to full implementation of a Ukraine ceasefire, a senior EU official said on Wednesday.
Tusk is working with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on a compromise proposal on the future of EU sanctions that he believes all 28 EU leaders would support at a summit on Thursday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and France denied any change in Western policy on Syria on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would have to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a political transition there.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Kerry had assured him Washington had not altered its stand on Syria and he made clear Paris believed Assad should not stay in power.
BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – European Union foreign policy
chief Federica Mogherini wants the EU to consider sending
soldiers to Libya to back up a potential national unity
government but the plan has met with scepticism from EU
governments worried about the risks.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday will
discuss whether to authorise Mogherini to draw up proposals for
a possible mission to Libya in the event U.N.-brokered talks to
resolve a political crisis there bear fruit.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Even if Iran and six powers can reach a framework nuclear deal by the end of this month, further serious negotiations would be needed to achieve a full agreement by June 30, a senior European diplomat said on Friday.
Iran and the six powers resume talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week, in search of an agreement to curb Iran’s most sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years in exchange for a gradual end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders are unlikely to reach agreement at their summit next week to prolong economic sanctions on Russia that expire in July, a senior EU official said on Friday.
New sanctions on Russia are also off the table for now because EU governments want to give a chance to a fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders are unlikely to tighten sanctions on Russia when they meet next week but will haggle over whether they need to act now to prolong economic sanctions on Russia expiring in July, diplomats said on Thursday.
With an uneasy ceasefire in place in eastern Ukraine, the 28 EU nations see no pressing case to either impose new sanctions on Russia, which they accuse of supporting the Ukrainian separatists, or to relax them.
RIGA (Reuters) – EU foreign ministers showed little appetite on Saturday for stepping up pressure on Russia over Ukraine, preferring to give a fragile ceasefire a chance before deciding whether to apply more sanctions or even to extend existing ones.
Most ministers at an EU meeting in the Latvian capital pinned their hopes on the latest Minsk agreement succeeding and said the EU should only consider tightening sanctions if the ceasefire was seriously violated, such as by a separatist offensive on the Ukrainian port of Mariupol.
RIGA (Reuters) – The European Union might send a team to Libya to monitor a ceasefire or to protect infrastructure if United Nations-backed peace talks lead to a settlement between contending factions, the EU’s head of foreign policy said on Friday.
“We have started discussing possible EU contributions …
to supporting any possible agreement,” Federica Mogherini told a news conference in the Latvian capital of Riga after talks among EU foreign ministers.
RIGA (Reuters) – Commitments offered by Iran in talks with six world powers on its nuclear program do not go far enough and more work needs to be done, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday.
Fabius said he had invited U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Germany and Britain to Paris on Saturday to review the state of the Iran nuclear negotiations.