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The European Commission's President, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled a package of measures to curb energy prices, which skyrocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and stressed the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, in her annual State of the Union address delivered on 14 September. The plan envisages cuts in the use of electricity across the bloc, a cap on the revenues of companies which produce electricity at low cost, aid for companies and individuals hit by the energy crisis ...

The European Union is debating how to respond to the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s war on Ukraine. Energy prices are surging in the EU and elsewhere, as Russia curtails fossil fuel exports with the aim of pressing the Union to reduce its support for Ukraine. Gas prices are now some ten times their average over the last decade. Individual EU governments are offering their citizens and businesses financial relief, but they face the dilemma of balancing this aid with allowing energy prices to ...

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to make it more difficult for Russians to obtain visas to travel to the bloc, but stopped short of imposing an EU-wide visa ban, as called for by Ukraine. More than six months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the country is holding out against the aggressor, helped by military and financial help from the United States, EU countries and others. Ukrainian forces have recently launched counter-attacks against the Russian military occupying areas in the south ...

The thirty NATO member states agreed on 29 June to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Western military alliance, accepting the Nordic countries' accession bids, which came after Russia launched its war on Ukraine nearly five months ago. The June NATO Summit in Madrid also endorsed a new Strategic Concept and branded the Russian Federation as 'the most significant and direct threat to Allies' security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area'. NATO also agreed to boost significantly ...

Russia’s war on Ukraine has reduced supplies of gas and oil to the European Union and other regions, increasing energy prices and complicating efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Faced with oil and gas shortages, some countries have started to fire up polluting coal power plants which had previously been shut down, or have postponed their planned closure. Burning coal or lignite emits much more carbon dioxide than using oil and gas to produce electricity. Scientists and analysts are urging ...

Russia’s war on Ukraine has sent global food prices soaring. It has fuelled inflation in the European Union, the United States and many other countries, while threatening hunger in some poorer regions. Russia and Ukraine play a major role in food and fertiliser supply. They export about 30 per cent of the world’s wheat and 75 per cent of its sunflower oil. Some countries in Africa and the Middle East are nearly 100-per cent dependent on Russian or Ukrainian food. According to the United Nations Food ...

Inflation has risen to levels not seen in 40 years in the euro area or in many other countries, forcing some central banks to raise interest rates in a context that bodes ill for economic growth. Initially driven by post-pandemic supply shortages and then by soaring energy prices, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, inflation is now becoming increasingly broadly based, affecting everything from food and services to household goods. Dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living is leading to ...

EU Heads of State or Government will discuss war-torn Ukraine’s bid to join the EU when they meet at a regular European Council meeting in Brussels next week. The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s request to gain the status of official EU candidate along with French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to create a ‘European Political Community’, with Ukraine as a member, as news media have reported, quoting draft Council conclusions. The meeting on 23-24 June is unlikely to make any firm decisions ...

The European Union's governments, the European Parliament and European Commission have agreed on key regulations that will overhaul the EU’s digital market and increase the Union’s digital sovereignty in a field dominated by big US companies. The Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act aim to make the digital market in Europe more transparent, safe and accountable. The planned legislative changes will introduce new rules for online digital players, such as intermediary services, hosting services ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his speech at the annual Victory Day over Nazi Germany, on 9 May, to mobilise support among the country's citizens for its 11-week-old war on Ukraine, claiming that Moscow had to defend itself against imminent attack. Recently, Russia has shifted its military efforts towards the east and south-east of Ukraine, as well as to the bombing of critical infrastructure, after it failed to capture Kyiv, the capital. In some areas abandoned by the Russian forces, Ukrainian ...