Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Mar 18, 2014

Insight – Calls to escalate Russia sanctions leave EU in a quandary

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Mocked by Moscow, the European Union needs to impose far tougher sanctions over Crimea to make President Vladimir Putin sit up and pay attention, but its ability to agree them is limited – and may not be achievable at all.

Russia’s response to the first phase of EU sanctions – travel bans and asset freezes on 13 Russian and eight Crimeans – has been dismissive. Deputy PM Rogozin took to Twitter to ridicule the EU and the United States, calling their steps weak and meaningless.

Mar 18, 2014

Calls to escalate Russia sanctions leave EU in a quandary

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Mocked by Moscow, the European Union needs to impose far tougher sanctions over Crimea to make President Vladimir Putin sit up and pay attention, but its ability to agree them is limited – and may not be achievable at all.

Russia’s response to the first phase of EU sanctions – travel bans and asset freezes on 13 Russian and eight Crimeans – has been dismissive. Deputy PM Rogozin took to Twitter to ridicule the EU and the United States, calling their steps weak and meaningless.

Mar 17, 2014

Crimea asks to join Russia after Soviet-style vote

SIMFEROPOL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday after its leaders declared a Soviet-style 97-percent vote in favor of quitting Ukraine in a referendum condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West that will trigger immediate sanctions.

European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels to decide on visa bans and asset freezes against Russian and Crimean officials held responsible for Moscow’s military seizure of the southern Ukrainian region that is home to its Black Sea fleet.

Mar 12, 2014

Exclusive – EU approves framework for asset freezes, travel bans on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union member states have agreed the wording of sanctions on Russia, including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, according to a draft document reviewed by Reuters.

The seven-page document describes in detail the restrictive measures to be taken against Moscow if it does not reverse course in Crimea and start to engage with international mediators on efforts to resolve the crisis.

Mar 12, 2014

EU approves framework for asset freezes, travel bans on Russia

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – European Union member states
have agreed the wording of sanctions on Russia, including travel
restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for
violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, according to a draft
document reviewed by Reuters.

The seven-page document describes in detail the restrictive
measures to be taken against Moscow if it does not reverse
course in Crimea and start to engage with international
mediators on efforts to resolve the crisis.

Mar 12, 2014

Exclusive: EU approves framework and wording for sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU member states have agreed the wording of sanctions on Russia, including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

The seven-page document describes in detail the restrictive measures to be taken against Moscow if it does not reverse course in Crimea and begin talks with international mediators on efforts to resolve the crisis over Ukraine.

Mar 12, 2014

EU approves framework and wording for sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – EU member states have agreed
the wording of sanctions on Russia, including travel
restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for
violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, according to a draft
document seen by Reuters.

The seven-page document describes in detail the restrictive
measures to be taken against Moscow if it does not reverse
course in Crimea and begin talks with international mediators on
efforts to resolve the crisis over Ukraine.

Mar 11, 2014

EU to offer Ukraine trade benefits to help prop economy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to give nearly 500 million euros ($685 million) worth of trade benefits to Ukraine, which had been teetering towards default even before pro-Western unrest in Kiev revived Cold War tensions.

The Commission plans to remove duties on a wide range of agricultural goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to support the Ukrainian economy, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies and running critically short of foreign currency to meet debts or finance imports.

Mar 11, 2014

EU to offer 500 million euros of trade benefits to Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to extend nearly 500 million euros worth of trade benefits to Ukraine, removing duties on a wide range of agricultural goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to support the Ukrainian economy.

European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the benefits would be in force until at least November 1 this year, by which time the European Union expects to have signed a full free-trade agreement with a new government in Ukraine.

Mar 10, 2014

EU diplomats preparing next level of sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is preparing to impose travel bans, asset freezes and other restrictions on Russia for its failure to “de-escalate” the crisis in Crimea, officials said on Monday.

While the formal decision to impose the sanctions is only expected to be taken when EU foreign ministers next meet on March 17, preparations on the measures have already started.

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
      Languages:
      English, Italian, French, Spanish
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      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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