EU chief spurring negotiations on Cyprus deal

A top European official is leading a high-level meeting Sunday afternoon in a last-ditch effort to help Cyprus come up with a plan necessary for a 10 billion euro bailout loan that would save it from bankruptcy. The day of talks could prove critical — not only for the future of the small island country, but also for the 17-nation eurozone. If Cyprus or its banks were to collapse, officials fear that a lack of confidence could spread to other countries that use the euro, triggering higher borrowing costs or capital flight from those countries. Cyprus is racing to meet a Monday deadline to come up with a plan to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in order to get the bailout from the other European countries that use the single currency, as well as from the IMF. Cyprus has "to fulfill a difficult mission to save the Cypriot economy and avert a disorderly default threatening the economy if there is no final deal for the loan agreement," government spokesman Christos Sylianides … [Read more...]

EU budget in limbo after row on 2012, 2013 spending

Tough negotiations on the European Union's 2012 budget looked headed for collapse Tuesday after the European parliament boycotted talks just days before a key summit on the EU's longer term budget. In a statement issued three hours before EU budget ministers were to go into talks on the 2013 budget, parliament refused to attend on grounds that EU nations had failed to plug an almost nine-billion-euro 2012 hole, depriving Europe's needy of key funds. "European parliament negotiators will not attend the meeting ... because there is no agreement among the member states about a supplementary budget for the current year," said parliament's president Martin Schulz. … [Read more...]

Russia, Ukraine reach deal to restore gas supply

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (L) shakes hands and exchanges signed documents with Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan.

(VOVworld) - Ukraine, Russia, and the EU signed a deal on Friday that will restore Russia's supply of gas to Ukraine until March. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan, and European Union Energy Chief Guenther Oettinger, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso were present at the signing ceremony. Ukraine's PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday that Kiev is ready to pay its gas debts to Russia after the two sides signed a deal on the matter. … [Read more...]

International community welcomes Ukraine parliamentary elections


(VOVworld)- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy welcomed Ukraine's parliamentary elections, and said that they expect the promt formation of a new government. Observers of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe and Canada said the election was held in accordance with international democratic regulations. German spokesman Steffen Seibert congratulated the Ukrainian voters on their decision. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is ready to recognize the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, but is very concerned about two radical parties getting into the Ukrainian parliament. … [Read more...]

Promoting Vietnam-Belgium comprehensive partnership


(VOVworld) - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso discussed multilateral cooperation between Vietnam and the EU at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday. The two leaders expressed their delight at VN's achievements and the EU becoming Vietnam's leading partner in many fields. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a press conference following the talk: "European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and I both agree that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is very important and could help both sides resolve many economic challenges now and in the future. We instructed negotiators to intensify their work with a view to concluding negotiations in the next few months. I also asked the EU torecognize Vietnam's full market economy status at the time of signing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. President Jose Manuel Barroso and I released a joint political statement which stresses the need to reach an EVFTA soon. I strongly … [Read more...]

Vietnam boosts ties with Belgium, EU

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.   Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

(VOVworld) - Vietnam considers the EU one of its important partners and attaches great importance to cooperating with the EU. Vietnamese Ambassador to Brussels Pham Sanh Chau told the press ahead of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's official visit to Belgium and the European Union, starting Sunday. Ambassador Chau said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit will create a political impetus for both sides to quickly complete EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) negotiations as well as to start a new cooperation period between Vietnam and Belgium and the EU. During this trip, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will issue a Political Statement where both leaders stress the importance of quickly signing the Free Trade Agreement to further boost the bilateral comprehensive partnership for mutual benefit. They will witness the signing of a document welcoming the EU's decision to add 400 million euros worth of aids for Vietnam in the … [Read more...]

EU ready to resume talks with Russia and Ukraine

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

(VOVworld) - The EU is ready to resume negotiations with Russia and Ukraine to ease Moscow's concerns over a plan to establish a free trade zone between EU and Ukraine. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed this in a letter to President Putin on Wednesday. Barroso said the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement remains a bilateral agreement in line with international law and any alterations to it can only be made at the request of one of the parties and with the agreement of the other. Only Ukraine and the EU are authorized to change the deal. … [Read more...]

Russia, Ukraine, EU talk about gas disputes


(VOVworld) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso agreed on Thursday to hold talks about current gas disputes. The time and venue for the talks have not been set. According to Marlene Holzner, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, Russian and EU leaders will convene a bilateral meeting on energy issues in Moscow two weeks ahead of the trilateral meeting, which is likely to take place in early autumn. The same day, Putin and Barroso talked on the phone about Russia-EU ties and Ukraine's signing of a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. … [Read more...]

UN supports Palestinian national reconciliation

UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry. (Photo: UN)

(VOVworld) - UN Special Envoy Robert Serry visited the Gaza Strip on Sunday to meet with 4 Palestinian ministers, who were prevented from attending the inauguration of the Palestinian national unity government in Ramallah last week. Serry discussed with the ministers up-coming challenges and expressed the UN's support for the Palestinian reconciliation effort. He called on all parties to exercise restraint. The same day European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso voiced his support for the Palestinian agreement. Barroso urged Israel and Palestine to take decisive steps to restore peace. … [Read more...]

G7 pledges to support Ukraine and increase internal co-operation

From left, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a group photo at the G7 summit in Brussels on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

(VOVworld) - Leaders of the G7 industrial nations expressed their support of the new leadership in Ukraine and planned to strengthen co-operation in energy, trade, and tackling climate change. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters on Thursday after concluding the G7 Summit that the G7 stands behind Ukraine and its new leadership, politically and economically. … [Read more...]

G7 countries worried about East Sea dispute

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy before the G7 summit. (Photo: Reuters)

(VOVworld) - Leaders of the G7, a group of the 7 wealthiest nations in the world, have expressed deep concern about current tensions in the East Sea and East China Sea. At the G7 Summit in Brussels on Thursday, G7 members protested against any use of intimidation, coercion, or threat of force by any nation to further its territorial claims. Their statement called on all parties to honor international law in settling disputes. … [Read more...]

EU leaders call for reform of EU

A TV grab taken from French TV channel France 2 shows French President Francois Hollande addressing the nation, on May 26, 2014 during a TV broadcoast at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris (AFP Photo)

(VOVworld) - French President Francois Hollande has said the EU must reform and scale back its power, amid a surge in support for Eurosceptic and far-right parties reflected in the just-concluded European Parliament elections. He said it was necessary for the EU to change, as it had become too complex and remote for many EU citizens, calling for a more simplified, obvious, and effective EU. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged EU leaders to express their opinions that the EU needed to change and can's continue as it is doing now, at an unofficial meeting of the European Council on Tuesday. He stressed the number of voters casting their ballots and the election results indicated an urgent demand to reform and ensure more action be taken to address voters' concerns over jobs, growth, and a brighter future. … [Read more...]

Fresh violence rattles new Europe push for Ukraine talks

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) and Interim Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. (AFP/Georges Gobet)

Separatist rebels killed seven Ukrainian soldiers in a bloody ambush in the restive east on Tuesday, rattling efforts by Europe to step up a diplomatic push to resolve the escalating crisis on its doorstep. KIEV: Separatist rebels killed seven Ukrainian soldiers in a bloody ambush in the restive east on Tuesday, rattling efforts by Europe to step up a diplomatic push to resolve the escalating crisis on its doorstep. … [Read more...]

EU, Japan boost cooperation

Jose Manuel Barroso, Schinzo Abe and Herman Van Rompuy

(VOVworld) - EU and Japan are trying to conclude negotiations on a EU- Japan Free Trade Agreement by 2015. They have agreed to step up trade cooperation, increase Japan's auto and television exports to the EU, and boost exports of the EU's cheese and wine products to Japan by removing non-tariff barriers. The agreement was contained in a joint statement made at the 22nd Japan - EU summit attended by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Brussels on Thursday. Leaders of both sides also agreed on a collaboration of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and European military forces in antipiracy operations off Somalia and controlling exports of weapons and technologies for military use. Japan and the EU will accelerate negotiations toward greater cooperation in cyber security and aerospace. … [Read more...]

Europe not to impose further economic sanctions against Russia

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (center), and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at a EU-Russia Summit. (Photo: DAPD)

(VOVworld) - A spokesperson for the European Council on Monday said that the EU has not decided whether to impose additional economic sanctions against Russia. EU Foreign Ministers are scheduled to discuss the issue next Monday in Brussels. Diplomatic sources said that Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain, Portugal, and Malta oppose imposing strict economic-financial sanctions on Russia. European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas said that imposing sanctions against Russia could mean the European economy facing severe consequences. … [Read more...]

Japan PM set for European trip

Japan PM set for European trip

(VOVworld) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe begins his six-nation European tour on Tuesday to enhance relations between Japan and international organizations. The trip will take him to Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, Portugal, and Spain. During his first stop, in Germany, Abe will meet with his German counterpart Angela Merkel. In Belgium, Abe is scheduled to visit NATO head-quarters in Brussels and meet Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He will deliver a speech on Tokyo's defense policy and Japan's commitment to counter-terrorism in Somalia. Abe will also pay a visit to EU head-quarters in Belgium and hold talks with the European Council's President, Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The talks will focus on a free trade agreement between Japan and 28 EU member countries. Prime Minister Abe and European Union leaders will also launch a dialogue to boost cyber security at a summit in Brussels on May 7. … [Read more...]