Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Mar 21, 2014

EU leaders accelerate quest to reduce energy reliance on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow’s annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.

The EU has made progress in improving its energy security after gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when rows over unpaid gas bills between Kiev and Moscow led to the disruption of supplies to western Europe. However, it has not managed to reduce Russia’s share of European energy supplies.

Mar 21, 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Ukraine moves closer to unfettered trade access to European Union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Influential European lawmakers backed a package of nearly 500 million euros ($695 million) in annual trade benefits for Ukraine on Thursday, opening the way for duty-free Ukrainian exports into the European Union from late April.

Brussels is giving Ukraine unfettered access to the 28-nation bloc’s 500 million consumers even before a proposed bilateral free-trade accord comes into force later this year to cement Kiev’s historic shift away from Russia.

Mar 14, 2014

EU struggles to convince U.S. to export gas under trade pact

BRUSSELS, March 14 (Reuters) – The European Union has yet to
convince Washington to commit to exporting U.S. gas under a
transatlantic trade deal despite two days of talks on the issue,
highlighting the challenges Europe faces to reduce its reliance
on Russian energy.

Tension between Russia and the West over the future of
Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew efforts to end
decades of dependence on Russian gas. One solution would be
greater access to abundant U.S. resources.

Mar 13, 2014

EU, U.S. to commit to remove all duties on transatlantic trade

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.

Mar 12, 2014
Mar 12, 2014

Europe’s fear of U.S. hormone meat, GM food sows divide in trade talks

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – Europe’s reluctance to buy
hormone meat or genetically modified food from the United States
has exposed an “enormous gulf” that threatens the world’s
biggest trade pact, industry and labour groups told EU and U.S.
negotiators on Wednesday.

Eight months into talks to create a transatlantic pact
encompassing almost half the world’s economy, divisions remain
over opening up to each others goods, rules governing the names
of foods and genetically modified food.

Mar 11, 2014

EU to offer Ukraine trade benefits to help prop economy

BRUSSELS, March 11 (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

Ukraine crisis spurs EU to cut reliance on Russian gas

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – Russia’s seizure of the
Crimea region of Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew
efforts to end decades of dependence on Russian gas by
developing its own energy supplies and pushing for greater
access to abundant U.S. resources.

Ukraine is an important transit route for shipping Russian
gas by pipeline to the EU, which relies on Moscow for about a
third of its supplies.

Mar 11, 2014

Time runs short as Europe haggles over banking union reform

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – European ministers haggled
over how to build a safety net for failing banks on Tuesday,
redoubling efforts to avoid an embarrassing delay to the euro
zone’s centrepiece crisis reform.

The protracted talks over a scheme to close troubled lenders
to complement European Central Bank supervision illustrates the
politically charged nature of the plan to disentangle states and
the banks from which they borrow.

    • About Robin

      "Robin is a Brussels-based correspondent covering Europe's debt crisis, and editor of the euro zone page on He joined Reuters from the Financial Times in Mexico City in 2002, moving to Panama City and then to Lima, Peru, before heading back to Mexico to cover the U.S.-Mexico border. He led the drugs war coverage that was nominated for an Overseas Press Club award in the United States in 2010. Robin started out in Amsterdam at Dutch financial daily Het Financeele Dagblad as an English-language staffer."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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