Tag - EU

EU preparing new Russia sanctions package: Chief

Helsinki: On Nov 24, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyden said that the bloc is pressing ahead with a ninth sanctions package on Russia in response to Moscow's attack on Ukraine. "We are working hard to hit Russia where it hurts to blunt even further its capacity to wage war on Ukraine and I can announce today that we are working full speed on a ninth sanctions package," von der Leyen told a news conference.

EU delivers weapons worth £8 bln to Ukraine

Brussels: On Nov 14, the bloc's top diplomat said that European Union and its member states provided weapons and military equipment worth at least eight billion euros ($8.27 billion) to Ukraine. This sum amounts to about 45% of what the United States has supplied to Kyiv, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

EU sends power generators to Ukraine

On Sunday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, seventeen European countries sent 500 power generators to the war-ravaged state. He thanked the European allies for the deliveries. The generators were sent after Russia stepped up its attacks across Ukraine since mid-October and damaged 30 percent of its energy facilities.

EU’s trade with China, an error: President Macron

Brussels: On Oct 21, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the European Union had to rethink its trade dialogue with China. He also called for a more even playing field between the two commercial powerhouses. "We have made strategic errors in the past with the sale of infrastructures to China," Macron said at the end of two-day EU summit which had EU-China ties on its agenda.

EU neighbors seek stability from UK after Truss exit

Brussels: On Oct 20, French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin voiced hope that the next British leader would bring stability to the country. The remarks were made after Liz Truss resigned just six weeks into the job. Macron, whom Truss had referred to as not clearly "friend or foe", said it was important Britain found stability as soon as possible.

EU neighbors seek stability from UK after Truss exit

Brussels: On Oct 20, French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin voiced hope that the next British leader would bring stability to the country. The remarks were made after Liz Truss resigned just six weeks into the job. Macron, whom Truss had referred to as not clearly "friend or foe", said it was important Britain found stability as soon as possible.

EU imposes new sanctions on Russia

On Thursday, the European Union imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia. The embargoes expanded to import and export bans and blacklisted individuals over Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian regions. The EU stated that the sanctions were in response to Russia’s “further aggression against Ukraine.”

EU announces more aid for flood stricken-Pakistan

The European Union on Tuesday announced additional 30 million euros in humanitarian aid for Pakistan to cushion the devastating impact of the floods. The announcement came during EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič's visit to Pakistan following the unprecedented flooding emergency. “People in Pakistan are suffering the devastating consequences of an unprecedented flooding emergency. Once again, however, nature reminded us of the impact of global warming," Commissioner Lenarčič said in a statement.

EU considers tightening visa for Russians: Officials

Prague: On Aug 29, it emerged that the European Union foreign ministers' meeting in Prague might agree tightening the issuance of visas for Russians. It could also start debating a wider ban on tourist visas though there is no agreement on that, EU officials said. The bloc's defense ministers, also meeting in Prague on Monday and Tuesday, will also discuss options for setting up an EU military training mission for Ukraine.

EU to provide €350,000 for Pakistan’s flood victims

It emerged that the European Union approved a grant of €350,000 (nearly Rs76 million) to provide crucial humanitarian assistance to families affected by severe flooding. “The devastating floods have left a trail of destruction in Pakistan, causing many to suffer the loss of their homes, livelihoods and belongings,” said Taheeni Thammannagoda, who oversees EU humanitarian programmes in Pakistan.

EU urges countries to curb gas usage

Brussels: On July 13, the European Union draft plan says that it would encourage member countries to cut gas demand in a bid to prepare for possible further cuts to Russian supply. Brussels is bracing for potential further cuts to Russian gas deliveries, a scenario the International Monetary Fund chief on Wednesday warned could plunge economies into recession. The European Commission plan will suggest countries launch financial incentives for industries to cut gas use, exhaust fuel switching in industry and power plants, and roll out information campaigns to nudge consumers to use less heating and cooling.

EU accepts Croatia as 20th euro zone member

Brussels: On July 12, European Union finance ministers formally approved Croatia becoming the 20th member of the euro common currency at the start of 2023. European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said Croatia's accession confirmed that the euro remained an "attractive, resilient and successful global currency" and a symbol of strength and unity. "This is particularly important at such a challenging time when Russia's aggression against Ukraine continues to send shock waves around the world," Dombrovskis told a ceremony to mark Croatia's accession, the euro zone's first expansion since 2015.

EU misses climate spending target

Brussels: On May 30, the European Court of Auditors said that European Union missed its target to spend 20% of its pre-2020 budget on fighting climate change. It also added that the EU also overstated its green spending to claim that the goal had been met. "Not all the reported climate-related spending under the EU budget was actually relevant to climate action," said European Court of Auditors (ECA) member Joelle Elvinger.

Hungarian President seeks EU funds for refugees

Budapest: On March 22, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked the European Commission to disburse all EU funds allocated to the country under the 'Recovery and Resilience Facility' to help handle the Ukrainian refugee crisis, his press chief said. Orban stated that Hungary had received over 450,000 refugees from Ukraine so far and he cited "shared responsibility" amid the crisis. "To this end, Hungary only asks for immediate and effective access to EU funds allocated to it, and to be able to use them in a flexible way for the purposes best suited to dealing with the crisis," Orban wrote in the letter.

PM Khan lashes out at EU

In response to the letter written by the European Union envoys in Pakistan, asking Islamabad to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the coalition where they were when India broke the international law in Kashmir. “When India broke international law in Kashmir and abrogated Kashmir’s autonomous status, did anyone of you break ties with India, end trade or criticize [New Delhi]?” asked PM Imran. PM Khan shared these views during a public rally in the Tehsil Mailsi of the Vehari District. He was accompanied by CM Punjab Usman Buzdar and other government members.

EU to ban trade in Russia

Brussels: On Feb 22, European Union sanctions on Russia could include putting hundreds of politicians and officials on black lists. This is a ban on trading in Russian state bonds and an import and export ban on separatist entities, EU diplomats and officials explained on Tuesday. The confederation's ambassadors agreed unanimously at a meeting in Brussels on the principle of inflicting sanctions after Russia formally recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

EU allows Pfizer Covid-19 pill for high risk adults

Brussels: On Jan 27, the European Union's drug regulator gave the green light to Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) antiviral COVID-19 pill for treating high-risk patients. EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the bloc was now making good progress on lining up treatments, which she described as 'a second line of defense after vaccines'. "Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral for home use in our portfolio, and has the potential to make a real difference for persons at high risk of progression to severe COVID," she said.

EU officials advised to prepare for fourth covid-19 doses

Brussels: On Jan 21, European Union health ministers were told to be ready to deploy the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as needed. The EU drugs regulator explained this week that it would be reasonable to give the fourth dose to people with severely weakened immune systems, but more evidence was needed. "If we see data which is conclusive on whether a fourth dose is needed, we need to be ready to act," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides notified EU ministers.

EU conciders imposing sanctions on Russia

Brussels: On Dec 13, the European Union's top diplomat said that it was discussing a possible new round of economic sanctions against Russia with the United States and Britain. The EU with the United States put economic sanctions on Russia in July 2014 which mainly targeted its energy, banking and defence sectors. The bloc is considering further measures if Russia tries to invade Ukraine after a troop lineup on its boundaries.

US hardens travel rules amidst Omicron

Washington/Paris: It is reported that the United States mandated airlines to provide the names of passengers from southern African countries struck by the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The US along with other countries has tightened its borders as a European leader cautioned people to "prepare for the worst". 24 countries may have reported cases of the variant so far but that some of the early indications were that most were mild and none severe, World Health Organization (WHO) officials disclosed.

Deborah Lyons warms about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Deborah Lyons, the UN’s special representative for the country warned that war-ravaged Afghanistan was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe” and its collapsing economy was exacerbating the risk of extremism. "The United Nations predicts that 60% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people face crisis levels of hunger in a food emergency that will likely worsen over the winter," she said. She also disclosed that the country’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by 40%.

NATO warns Russia on military lineup at Ukrainian border

Brussels: On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg cautioned Russia of dire consequences for unusual concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine's borders. He added that the western military alliance would back Ukraine against Russia. He also urged Russia to be apparent about military activities, to curtail tensions and impede an escalation.

Turkey stops flights to Belarus to alleviate migrant crisis

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: On Nov 12, it emerged that Turkey had banned Syrian, Yemeni and Iraqi residents from flights to Minsk. The decision potentially closes off one of the main routes that Belarus has used to fly in migrants by the thousand to plan a humanitarian catastrophe on its border, according to the EU. EU officials have welcomed the announcement by Turkey's Civil Aviation General Directorate that Syrians, Yemenis, and Iraqis would not be authorized to purchase tickets to Belarus or board flights there from Turkish territory.

Poland won’t kneel to EU ‘blackmail’: PM Mateusz Morawiecki

On Thursday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland would not bow to EU's " blackmail " but would intend to decipher ongoing differences with EU. There have been long-running tensions between nd the bloc's liberal majority and Poland's ruling nationalists. "We will not act under the pressure of blackmail, we are ready for dialogue, we do not agree to the ever-expanding competences (of EU institutions), but we will of course talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue," he declared.

EU clash with Poland to be discussed

Brussels: On Wednesday, it was reported that many European Union leaders seek to discuss the rule of law in Poland at the EU summit in Brussels on Oct 21. Before this, the Polish constitutional court had ruled on Oct 7 about the incompatibility of fractions of the EU treaty with the country's law.

EU’s chief executive warns Poland for challenging its supremacy

Brussels: On Oct 19, the EU's chief executive warned Warsaw of punishment for challenging the supremacy of the EU. Poland's prime minister was repeatedly criticized during a serious debate in the European Parliament. "Your arguments are not getting better. You're just avoiding the debate," said EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

Russia ready to solve EU’s energy crisis

Moscow: On Oct 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that Russia was not using gas as a weapon and was ready to help ease Europe's energy crunch. The gas market was not balanced or predictable, particularly in Europe, but Russia was fulfilling its contractual commitments to supply clients and was ready to increase supplies if pleaded, he said during the emergency summit.

EU announces 1bn euro relief package for Afghanistan

On Tuesday, The European Union (EU) has approved a one billion euro aid for Afghanistan. The relief fund is released to stave off a major humanitarian and socio-economic disaster, said the EU's chief, Ursula von der Leyen said. She announced the sum at the G20 summit hosted by Italy to specifically discuss the alarming situation of Afghanistan.