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EU plus

Stories in this section cover the EU-27 countries plus the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and the Balkan Countries (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia).

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Progress in EU hosted talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Progress in EU hosted talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

A third round of meetings between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan hosted by the European Union in Brussels have resulted in progress on a range of issues as the two countries work to resolve the long standing conflict between them. European Council president, Charles Michel welcomed president Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and prime minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia for another meeting in trilateral format on Sunday (22 May). He later described the talks as "frank and productive". In a statement to the media late on Sunday night Michel said the talks focused on the situation in the South Caucasus and the development of EU relations with both countries as well as the broader region. Summarising the meeting, Michel said "the discussion was frank and productive. We reviewed the entire set of issues. We had a detailed discussion on humanitarian issues, including demining, and efforts to free detainees and address the fate of missing persons." He listed a number of outcomes from the meeting including on border issues, connectivity, on a future peace agreement and on socio economic development. In conclusion president Michel said that he also stressed the importance of preparing the populations for long-term sustainable peace. The EU is ready to step up its support. "We agreed to remain in close contact and will meet again in the same format by July/August." 

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US tells Russia in no uncertain terms: Don't do it!

US tells Russia in no uncertain terms: Don't do it!

The US, NATO, the EU and their members and partners believe Russia is about to intervene militarily in Ukraine. The message from US Secretary of State Blinken to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, at their talks in Geneva on Friday was clear and simple, "Don't do it, because the consequences will be swift and severe".
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Aliyev in "excellent meeting" with EU diplomats to follow-up on December discussions in Brussels

Aliyev in "excellent meeting" with EU diplomats to follow-up on December discussions in Brussels

A delegation of EU diplomats is currently in the South Caucasus to follow-up on discussions held in Brussels last December in the framework of the VI Eastern Partnership Summit, particularly as related to Armenia-Azerbaijan relations. The delegation is led by Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and  Isabel Dumont, the French President's Adviser on Continental Europe and Turkey.  France currently has the rotating presidency of the European Union.
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European Union provides 268 million euros in humanitarian support for the Afghan people

European Union provides 268 million euros in humanitarian support for the Afghan people

The European Union (EU) has allocated 268.3 million euros to support the Afghan population through the current major humanitarian crisis. Through the United Nations, projects are being funded that focus on access to education and health care, and help to provide livelihoods for civilians, including refugees and displaced persons.
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Blinken flies to Europe as fears increase of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine

Blinken flies to Europe as fears increase of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Kiev for talks with the Ukrainian leadership as fears increase of an imminent Russian invasion. In Brussels, European Union officials are bracing themselves for the biggest crisis on the European continent since the war in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. There are still some hopes that Russia will de-escalate the situation, but most observers think this is now unlikely and that some sort of aggression - even if not an all-out invasion - is imminent.
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NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.