BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is set to step up pressure on Russia on Monday by taking a first cautious step towards extending sanctions to companies, as well as people, linked to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Discussions among EU foreign ministers in Brussels will again be dominated by the Ukraine crisis after pro-Moscow rebels held a referendum on self-rule in parts of eastern Ukraine on Sunday and fighting flared up again.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments have laid the groundwork for possible sanctions against Russian companies, including energy giants, over Ukraine, but diplomats say there is little appetite for now to impose any far-reaching measures.
Senior EU diplomats reached a preliminary agreement late on Wednesday to expand the legal criteria for imposing sanctions on Russia, with the goal of making it easier to freeze the assets of companies involved in the Ukraine crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments reached a preliminary agreement on Wednesday to expand the legal criteria for targeting people and companies with sanctions to pressure Russia over Ukraine, paving the way for new listings as early as Monday, diplomats said.
The decision should make it easier for the EU to target Russian companies – something it hasn’t done yet, unlike the United States – but needs formal backing during a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union agreed on Monday to step up sanctions against Russia over Ukraine by expanding a list of people targeted with asset freezes and visa bans, and said the bloc could hold an emergency summit next week to adopt further measures.
EU foreign ministers acted in response to a deepening of the crisis in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists ignored an ultimatum on Monday to leave occupied government buildings in the east of the country.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union could hold an emergency summit next week to impose further sanctions against Russia if there is no breakthrough at talks with Ukraine scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, France’s foreign minister said on Monday.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, several EU foreign ministers threatened Moscow with new sanctions over its actions in eastern Ukraine, although some said diplomacy should be given time before firm decisions are taken.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union threatened Russia with more sanctions on Monday over its actions in eastern Ukraine, which Britain said was being destabilized by Moscow, although some EU states said diplomacy should be given more time.
Ukraine dominated talks among EU foreign ministers after Kiev threatened military action against pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers will hold talks on Monday to discuss how to toughen sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine without losing the support of some EU governments worried about antagonizing a power with an energy stranglehold over Europe.
Under discussion are possible new economic sanctions, as well as an EU mission to train police and other law-enforcement officials in Ukraine and the bloc’s approach to issuing visas and trade with the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in March after popular protests toppled pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich.
VIENNA (Reuters) – The United States said on Tuesday Iran has the ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear bomb in two months, if it so decided, as Tehran and six world powers swung into a new round of talks in Vienna on resolving their atomic dispute.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments in Washington highlighted Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear intentions and the wide divisions between the two sides that could still foil a deal. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers began a new round of negotiations on Tuesday aimed at settling the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program by late July, despite wide differences on how to get there.
Chief negotiators from Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia started a two-day meeting around 9:45 a.m. at the U.N. complex in Vienna, where they have held two previous such sessions since February.
ATHENS, April 5 (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers
tried to map out a new strategy towards Russia at talks in
Athens on Saturday, pledging to keep a tough stance over its
tensions with Ukraine, while steering clear of provoking Moscow
into further conflict.
Since Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of
Crimea, the European Union has imposed sanctions against the
closest allies of President Vladimir Putin, and Group of Seven
governments have suspended top-level contacts with Russia.