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Federica Mogherini: Russia no longer strategic partner of Europe

Federica Mogherini: Russia no longer strategic partner of Europe

1 September 2014 | 12:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who was on Saturday elected High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and is to take office on November 1, no longer considers Russia a strategic partner of Europe, RIA Novosti reported.
Ms Mogherini laid emphasis on the fact Ukraine could choose for itself the road to Europe.
”The road to Europe – this is a positive choice. This is the way to view this choice. We built partnership with Moscow with this idea. Today, at the will of Putin, this partnership no longer exists. Russia is currently not a strategic partner but continues to have strategic importance on our continent,” the official said.

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Australia to match EU on Russia sanctions: PM

Australia to match EU on Russia sanctions: PM

1 September 2014 | 08:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Sydney. Australia will toughen its sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine so they match those of the European Union, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday, as quoted by AFP.
Australia already has some sanctions against Russia, but Abbott said these would be tightened as a result of Moscow's persistent and deliberate violation of its neighbour's sovereignty.
"Australia will lift its sanctions against Russia to the level of the European Union," Abbott told parliament in Canberra.
"There will be no new arms exports, there will be no new access by Russian state-owned banks to the Australian capital market, there will be no new exports for use in the oil and gas industry, there will be no new trade or investment in the Crimea.
"And there will be further targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against specific individuals."
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Rosneft chairman of says Western sanctions will not prevent Russian companies to meet their obligations

Rosneft chairman of says Western sanctions will not prevent Russian companies to meet their obligations

31 August 2014 | 18:35 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Chairman of the Russian state oil company Rosneft Igor Sechin called "absurd" the sanctions by the West and expressed the opinion that they will not prevent Russian companies to meet their obligations, Der Spiegel writes.
Sechin said that neither he nor the Rosneft Company is relevant to the crisis in Ukraine, which is why sanctions are devoid of any reason and are violations of international law.
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EU wields Russia sanctions threat but timing vague

EU wields Russia sanctions threat but timing vague

31 August 2014 | 10:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. The European Union threatened Russia with new trade sanctions if Moscow fails to start reversing its action in Ukraine, but sharp divisions among leaders at a summit in Brussels left the timing of any measures uncertain, Reuters reported.
After a lengthy briefing by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who warned "full-scale war" was imminent if Russian troops continued an advance in support of pro-Moscow rebels, the EU leaders agreed on Sunday to have officials draw up within a week a list of new measures that could hit a range of sectors.
But anxiety about the impact of sanctions on their own sluggish economies - and their access to Russian energy supplies - meant a divided EU could not agree to impose firm deadlines or precise conditions on President Vladimir Putin. He denies his forces are involved, in the face of substantial evidence.
The European Council called on Russia "to immediately withdraw all its military assets and forces from Ukraine" and urged a ceasefire. The leaders asked the EU's executive arm, the Commission, to prepare proposals on new sanctions for them to review within a week, including measures that would penalize any person or body which dealt with Ukraine's eastern separatists.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the bloc's most powerful figure, noted measures would be ready within a week and said Putin must act to avoid them: "There will be decisions about new sanctions, if the current situation goes on or deteriorates."
She said the penalties could be in any of the business sectors the EU has already said could be targeted.
But asked about a deadline for EU action, the summit chairman, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, said: "It depends, further steps, on development of the situation on the ground. There is no precise criteria, but I can assure you that everybody is assured that we have to move quickly."
Underlining division among the 28 member states during talks that lasted till after midnight, the Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, called sanctions "meaningless and counter-productive" and threatened to veto any new measures that harmed Slovakia's interests. Those include its need for Russian gas.
Van Rompuy, whose successor was named on Saturday as Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, conceded that the sanctions caused problems for member states: "But this is the price to pay."
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USA welcomes EU sanctions ultimatum to Russia: AFP

USA welcomes EU sanctions ultimatum to Russia: AFP

31 August 2014 | 06:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. The United States expressed support Saturday for the announcement by EU leaders giving Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has been ordered to produce options for new sanctions within a week, said EU President Herman Van Rompuy after a meeting with leaders in Brussels.
"We welcome the European Council's consensus today to show strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions for consideration in coming days," said National Security Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
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Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini get EU top jobs

Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini get EU top jobs

31 August 2014 | 05:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European leaders Saturday named Polish Premier Donald Tusk the next EU president and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini to head its diplomatic service as the bloc faces a series of challenges topped by Ukraine, AFP reported.
Tusk, who speaks only halting English and no French, is the first eastern European to hold such a senior post in the EU and is known as a tough critic of the Kremlin, especially over the Ukraine crisis.
"The suspense is up, the new EU leadership team is complete," said current EU President Herman Van Rompuy moments after the announcement was made.
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White House sends congratulations to EU's Tusk, Mogherini

White House sends congratulations to EU's Tusk, Mogherini

31 August 2014 | 03:44 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. The White House on Saturday sent congratulations to Polish Premier Donald Tusk and Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini on their election to top posts within the European Union.
"The president congratulates Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland on his election as President of the European Council, and Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini of Italy on being chosen as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy," a White House statement said, as cited by AFP.
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New Russia sanctions ready within one week: Herman Van Rompuy

New Russia sanctions ready within one week: Herman Van Rompuy

31 August 2014 | 02:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Brusssels. EU leaders early Sunday asked the European Commission to draw up a new round of sanctions against Russia within a week, European Council President President Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference cited by AFP.
"The European Council says it stands ready to take further signficant steps and urges the Commission to take urgent preparatory work and present proposals within a week," Van Rompuy said after a summit that discussed the deepening crisis in Ukraine.
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Tusk: unflappable leader who has steered Poland through crisis after crisis

Tusk: unflappable leader who has steered Poland through crisis after crisis

31 August 2014 | 00:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk is a pro-European free marketeer who has earned the reputation of being an unflappable leader able to turn even the most difficult situations to his advantage, an analysis by AFP reads.
With political roots in Poland's anti-communist Solidarity trade union, the football-mad historian named on Saturday as the EU's next president started out as an underground journalist.
Under Communism, he also put his liberal ideals to work running a modest industrial painting business. Private enterprise was rare then, but small ventures were tolerated by the ruling Communist Party.
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EU leaders call for stronger sanctions against Russia

EU leaders call for stronger sanctions against Russia

30 August 2014 | 23:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European leaders at their summit in Brussels on Saturday called for stronger sanctions against Russia but will determine them later, a West European source told ITAR-TASS.
The leaders, at the same time, stressed the need to continue diplomatic dialogue, he said.
The source quoted Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko as saying that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was escalating with Russia’s direct participation, and the EU decided to respond.
The EU leaders will not determine concrete forms of sanctions at the current summit but will instruct the European Commission to do so, the source said.
They will also ask Russia to take practical steps towards ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, support Poroshenko’s peace plan, stop destabilising the situation in Ukraine and fulfill its international obligations.
EU leaders will also urge Russia to guarantee impenetrability of the border and issue a clear signal to militias to stop the fighting.
The EU will support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognised borders.
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Italy's Mogherini and Poland's Tusk get top EU jobs

Italy's Mogherini and Poland's Tusk get top EU jobs

30 August 2014 | 21:51 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. EU leaders have appointed Italy's Federica Mogherini as EU foreign policy chief and Poland's Donald Tusk as European Council president, BBC reported.
The announcement came in tweets from the current council president, Herman Van Rompuy, at an EU summit.
Ms Mogherini, a centre-left politician, is Italy's foreign minister. She will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton.
Mr Tusk, Poland's centre-right prime minister, has been Polish leader since 2007. He will chair EU summits.
The full-time appointments mean that the EU's three top jobs are now filled. Mr Tusk and Ms Mogherini will work closely with the new European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.
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Poland's Tusk named EU president, Italy's Mogherini to head diplomacy

Poland's Tusk named EU president, Italy's Mogherini to head diplomacy

30 August 2014 | 20:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European leaders named Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as the next EU president and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini to head the bloc's foreign service, current leader Herman Van Rompuy said Saturday, cited by AFP.
"Elected. The European Council has elected PM Donald Tusk as the next president of the European Council and Euro Summits," said Van Rompuy on Twitter.
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EU Socialists back Mogherini for bloc foreign policy chief

EU Socialists back Mogherini for bloc foreign policy chief

30 August 2014 | 15:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. European Union Socialists have agreed to back Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the bloc's new foreign policy chief, Germany said on Saturday, AFP reported.
"We agreed we support the candidacy of our Italian colleague Federica Mogherini for EU high representative," Germany's vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told reporters after a meeting of EU centre-left leaders in Paris ahead of a European summit.
The 41-year-old Mogherini is favourite to clinch the job, with her supporters hailing her as a new younger face for Europe.
Her candidacy initially ran into difficulties as eastern European countries criticised her both as being too inexperienced and too soft on Russia.
She was initially sidelined at a first summit to decide on the top jobs in July.

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Bulgaria’s CEDB leader: Tusk, Mogherini to be most probably elected, EU Council President, foreign minister

Bulgaria’s CEDB leader: Tusk, Mogherini to be most probably elected, EU Council President, foreign minister

30 August 2014 | 11:22 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. “According to me, the posts of President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have been already shared out after consultation. The post-holders will be probably Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, respectively” said Boyko Borisov, leader of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB), speaking for Darik Radio from Brussels, where he attended the meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP).
Borisov stressed that the consultations were still underway, while the sitting itself was going to start at 3 p.m. Bulgarian time, and the decisions were not official yet.
“We will continue insisting for Kristalina Georgieva to be appointed Vice President of the Commission with a good portfolio. Speaking of the good portfolios, according to me, these are – ecology, energy, transport, budget – these are the portfolios that can be considered successful,” Borisov said further.
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Bulgaria to defend Kristalina Georgieva’s candidacy for EU foreign minister

Bulgaria to defend Kristalina Georgieva’s candidacy for EU foreign minister

30 August 2014 | 09:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. At the European Council today Bulgaria will defend the candidacy of Bulgarian European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the press office of the Bulgarian Government announced.
On August 30 the state and government leaders of the EU member states will nominate candidates for the new line-up of the European Commission (EC), President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Bulgaria will be represented by President Rosen Plevneliev, who will defend the nomination of Kristalina Georgieva for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The post-holder is responsible for coordinating the EU's common foreign and security policy and contributes to the development of that policy. The High Representative is also a Vice-President of the Commission and ensures the consistency of the Union's external action. The European Council, acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, appoints the High Representative. His or her term of office is 5 years, in line with that of the other Commissioners.
As far as the EC is concerned, each EU member state proposes a candidate for the position of Commissioner. These names are submitted to the incoming President of the Commission who is responsible for the distribution of portfolios. The list of nominations is then, by common accord with the President-elect, adopted by the Council.
The mandate of the new European Commission will start on November 1, 2014, while of the new President of the European Council – on December 1, 2014.
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Bulgaria President to take part in European Council sitting

Bulgaria President to take part in European Council sitting

30 August 2014 | 08:36 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is to take part in the sitting of the European Council at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, the press centre of the President’s Office announced.
The nomination of Kristalina Georgieva, current European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, for the post of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will also be presented at the meeting of the heads of state and government of the EU member states.
At 4:30 p.m. President Plevneliev and the members of the European Council are due to meet with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.
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Italy's Mogherini tipped as EU foreign affairs chief

Italy's Mogherini tipped as EU foreign affairs chief

28 August 2014 | 08:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini is poised to become the next EU foreign policy chief, several European sources said on Wednesday, AFP reported.
"It is clearly the way the wind is blowing," a European source told AFP, only three days before a summit to fill top EU jobs.
"Nobody sees any alternative," another source said, though officials cautioned that a last minute surprise could never be ruled out.
The bloc's 28 leaders gather in the EU's capital Saturday to decide who will replace Catherine Ashton as head of the EU's foreign policy arm, one of the bloc's most coveted jobs.
This will be a second attempt at filling the five-year post after Eastern European leaders stonewalled Mogherini at a summit in July, alleging she was inexperienced and too close to Moscow amid tensions over Ukraine.
Another leading candidate had been the European Commission's well-liked humanitarian affairs chief, the Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva, though all sides have now agreed that the job should go to a socialist.

The leaders on Saturday will also seek to replace Herman Van Rompuy, the EU President whose job is to coordinate policy for the 28 heads of state and government.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
ExpoDefensa specialised exhibition in Bogota, Colombia.
ExpoDefensa specialised exhibition in Bogota, Colombia.

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Far-right Freedom party protests against the elections results rigging in Ukraine.
Far-right Freedom party protests against the elections results rigging in Ukrain...
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