Senior correspondent, Brussels
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Jan 29, 2015

EU wins Greek backing to extend Russia sanctions, delays decision on new steps

BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt.

The ministers agreed to extend until September travel bans and asset freezes imposed last year that had been due to expire. They also agreed to list new names that could be targeted with sanctions when they meet again on Feb. 9.

Jan 29, 2015

EU extends existing Russia sanctions but Greece brings doubt over new measures

BRUSSELS/KIEV, Jan 29 (Reuters) – European Union foreign
ministers agreed on Thursday to extend existing sanctions
against Russia by six months but were still debating whether to
impose new measures, with the new government in Greece sowing
uncertainty that exasperated its allies.

The worst fighting for five months raged on in eastern
Ukraine, with pro-Russian rebels who have disavowed a ceasefire
pressing to encircle a government-held garrison town.

Jan 27, 2015

EU agrees 1.8 billion euros for Ukraine, to consider more

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – EU finance ministers agreed on
Tuesday to loan Ukraine 1.8 billion euros ($2.0 billion) to help
save it from bankruptcy, leaving open the option of increasing
aid at a later stage.

Diplomats at the meeting in Brussels said several European
governments including Britain pushed for as much as 2.6 billion
euros in medium-term loans for this year and 2016.

Jan 27, 2015
Jan 26, 2015

EU open to later Greek debt repayment, not forgiveness

BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Europe showed a willingness on
Monday to give Athens more time to pay its debts, but little
sign that it would yield to a new Greek government’s demands for
debt forgiveness.

European Union leaders and policymakers responded to Greek
anti-bailout party Syriza’s election victory on Sunday with
warnings that a debt reduction for Greece would be against euro
zone rules and would send the wrong message to other members of
the single currency.

Jan 23, 2015

Greece to need another bailout extension -euro zone official

BRUSSELS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Greece will have to ask for a
new extension to its euro zone bailout programme before 1.8
billion euros in pending aid can be paid, a senior euro zone
official said on Friday, stressing that a new government must
first be in place to do so.

Greece’s programme with the euro zone expires on Feb. 28.
Although the International Monetary Fund will continue to back
Athens, the country needs to be under an European accord to
receive the final euro zone loans and to be eligible for support
from the European Central Bank.

Jan 23, 2015

EU to consider raising new Ukraine aid to 2.5 bln euros

BRUSSELS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – EU finance ministers will
discuss on Tuesday offering additional money to help save
Ukraine from bankruptcy, potentially increasing its original
plan to as much as 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), diplomats
told Reuters.

Ukraine, fighting a costly war against pro-Russian
separatists, is relying on a lifeline from the International
Monetary Fund programme to avoid default but some economists say
it is facing a $15 billion shortfall in funding.

Jan 20, 2015

EU looks to respond to threat of radical Islam

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on Jan. 7.

The meeting aimed to lay the groundwork for an EU leaders summit on Feb. 12-13 in Brussels which will cement the bloc’s strategy to deal with young European Muslims heading to Middle East war zones or returning radicalised from the region.

Jan 19, 2015

Time not right to ease Russia sanctions, EU says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers said on Monday there were no grounds to lift economic sanctions against Russia despite conciliatory proposals from the EU’s foreign policy chief, as violence intensified in Ukraine.

Federica Mogherini had suggested in a confidential memo seen by Reuters that member states could start talking to Russia again about global diplomacy, trade and other issues if Moscow implemented the Minsk agreements to end the separatist conflict.

Jan 19, 2015

European Union looks to respond to threat of radical Islam

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU foreign ministers pledged on Monday to counter radical Muslims returning from Syria and Iraq with a better strategy at home and abroad, but ruled out sweeping new laws in the wake of the Jan. 7 Paris attacks.

Following the deadliest assault by militant Islamists on a European city since suicide bombers targeted London’s transport system in 2005, Europe is seeking a united response without new legislation or a prolonged military presence on its streets.

    • About Robin

      "Robin Emmott is Reuters diplomatic correspondent in Brussels, covering the European Union’s foreign and security affairs and NATO. After spells in Amsterdam at Het Financeele Dagblad and in Mexico City with the Financial Times, Robin spent a decade covering Latin America for Reuters. Since 2011, he has been in Brussels writing on trade, foreign affairs and economics."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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