EU correspondent, Brussels
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Jul 25, 2014

Insight – Grieving Dutch minister made Europe re-think Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – When Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans spoke to his European Union peers of his grief and anger over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines airliner over eastern Ukraine, it was a turning point in Europe’s approach to Russia.

Several ministers had tears in their eyes when Timmermans said he had known personally some of the 194 Dutch passengers among the 298 people who died on the plane, which Washington believes pro-Russian separatists shot down in error.

Jul 25, 2014

Grieving Dutch minister made Europe re-think Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) – When Dutch Foreign Minister
Frans Timmermans spoke to his European Union peers of his grief
and anger over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines airliner over
eastern Ukraine, it was a turning point in Europe’s approach to
Russia.

Several ministers had tears in their eyes when Timmermans
said he had known personally some of the 194 Dutch passengers
among the 298 people who died on the plane, which Washington
believes pro-Russian separatists shot down in error.

Jul 24, 2014

EU targets state-owned Russia banks in sanctions draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union would target state-owned Russian banks and their ability to finance Moscow’s faltering economy in its most serious sanctions so far over the Ukraine crisis under proposals considered by EU governments on Thursday, diplomats said.

Ambassadors of the 28-nation bloc met in Brussels to discuss options drafted by the executive European Commission in response to the downing of a Malaysian airliner in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists.

Jul 22, 2014

EU readies possible capital, tech sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union threatened Russia on Tuesday with harsher sanctions over Ukraine that could inflict wider damage on its economy following the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but it delayed action for a few days.

Efforts to forge a united front were hampered by a French announcement that the planned delivery of a warship to Moscow would go ahead despite U.S. and British pleas to halt it.

Jul 22, 2014

EU ministers threaten Russia with sanctions but action unsure

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers threatened Russia on Tuesday with harsher sanctions over Ukraine, but tougher talk may not be matched by much action after France’s president signaled the disputed delivery of a warship to Moscow would go ahead.

The 28 EU ministers met under growing pressure from the United States and Britain to step up sanctions after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane last week in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

Jul 17, 2014

West considers early sanctions moves in troubled Iran nuclear talks

BRUSSELS/VIENNA (Reuters) – With talks between world powers and Iran over a broad nuclear accord at an impasse, Western governments are considering offering a significant easing of sanctions early on in the process to try to wring concessions from Tehran, diplomats say.

To be effective, such a plan would have to involve clear guidance to companies made wary by U.S. fines for sanctions-busting, be reversible and not go too far, or skeptical U.S. lawmakers would simply reimpose restrictions.

Jul 15, 2014

EU may impose new Ukraine sanctions, will fall short of U.S. wishes

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders, under U.S. pressure to take a tougher stance towards Russia over the Ukraine crisis, could give the go-ahead on Wednesday to new sanctions but they will fall short of the far-reaching economic measures Washington wants.

EU leaders, who meet in Brussels on Wednesday evening, are likely to give a green light to expanding the list of Ukrainians and Russians targeted with EU asset freezes and visa bans, diplomats said.

Jun 28, 2014

EU signs trade pact with Ukraine, ceasefire extended by 72 hours

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union signed an historic free-trade pact with Ukraine on Friday and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday.

Shortly after returning to Kiev from Brussels where he signed the pact, Poroshenko announced on his website that Ukraine had extended a ceasefire by government forces against pro-Russian separatist rebels by 72 hours until 10 p.m. on Monday.

Jun 27, 2014

EU signs trade pact with Ukraine, threatens sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union signed an historic free-trade pact with Ukraine on Friday and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko came to Brussels to sign a far-reaching trade and political cooperation agreement with the EU that has been at the heart of months of deadly violence and upheaval in his country, drawing an immediate threat of “grave consequences” from Russia.

Jun 26, 2014

World powers plan strategy to rescue Iran nuclear deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Senior diplomats from six world powers met in Brussels on Thursday to search for ways to resuscitate negotiations with Iran over its contested nuclear program, with less than four weeks left until a late-July deadline to strike an accord.

Western officials have said very little progress has been made after five rounds of talks since February towards striking a deal that could end years of hostility, and defuse the risk of a new war and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

    • About Justyna

      "Justyna covers EU foreign policy in Brussels with a focus on Balkans and Turkey, as well immigration, security and human rights in the European Union. Previously she was a bureau chief in Romania and Bulgaria, and wrote about financial markets in London and economic policy in Poland."
      Joined Reuters:
      1999
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