EU eyes Belarus sanctions targeting sectors close to leader
European Union nations are sketching out plans for new sanctions against Belarus that will target economic sectors close to its authoritarian president, as they seek to strike back at him for the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist.
Key EU states worry South America trade pact may hurt Amazon
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EU Commission, speaks at a press conference in Berlin, Germany, following the informal talks of the EU Trade Ministers on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. And we will need definitely to have more discussions between us.”Following two decades of negotiations, the trade pact was announced last year by the European Commission, the executive body that negotiates trade agreements on behalf of EU countries. The preliminary deal, which needs to be ratified by all EU countries, was struck with the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Speaking after the meeting, EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed that several member states expressed concerns relating to the Paris agreement and deforestation, especially in Brazil. Dombrovskis added that the trade deal is still in the process of undergoing legal revision and that the EU Commission will decide on the ratification procedure at a later stage.
EU ministers criticize Turkey over Hagia Sophia, drilling
Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn makes a statement to the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, July 13, 2020. European Union foreign ministers meet for the first time face-to-face since the pandemic lockdown and will assess their fraught relations with China and discuss the troubled relation with Turkey. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)BRUSSELS European Union foreign ministers on Monday criticized Turkey for several reasons, including energy exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters and changing the status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. When I see now what is happening with Hagia Sophia, that is a blow," Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said. Hagia Sophia was originally built in Istanbul as a Christian cathedral, and the pope and others have expressed their sadness and criticism of the move by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.