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EU adds 12 people to list of Russia sanctions in step with U.S.

The European Union on Thursday decided to add 12 people to a list of those subject to its sanctions against Russia over the country's bid to annex Crimea, joining the United States which expanded the scope of its sanctions earlier in the day. EU leaders also canceled a summit meeting with Russia that had been scheduled to be held in Sochi, southern Russia, in June.

EU leaders say Crimea annexation will not be recognized

EU leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso issued a joint statement Tuesday, saying that the European Union "does not and will not recognize" the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. Van Rompuy, the European Council president, and Barroso said that the EU does not recognize the outcome of Sunday's Crimea referendum endorsing secession from Ukraine to join Russia, branding the vote "illegal and illegitimate."

EU calls Crimea referendum 'illegal', to decide new sanctions

Crimea's referendum on joining Russia is "illegal and illegitimate", the European Union said Sunday, announcing that it would decide on sanctions on Monday. "The referendum is illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised," the European Council and European Commission presidents said in a joint statement. EU foreign ministers meeting from 0830 GMT on Monday "will evaluate the situation tomorrow in Brussels and decide on additional measures" against Moscow, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso said.

G7 calls on Russia to stop all efforts to 'annex' Crimea: EU's Barroso

The Group of Seven most developed economies is calling on Russia to stop all efforts to "annex" Ukraine's Crimea region, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday. G7 leaders, European Council head Hermann Van Rompuy "and I will in a new declaration call on Russia to cease all efforts to annex Ukraine's autonomous republic of Crimea," Barroso said in a tweeted message. "Together with other G7 leaders, Van Rompuy and myself have strongly and unequivocally condemned this action on behalf of the EU," Barroso said.

Europe readies fresh Russia sanctions failing quick talks

Europe's leaders on Thursday suspended visa and other talks with Russia due to events in Ukraine and threatened harsher targeted sanctions within days if Moscow failed to join peace talks over the ex-Soviet state. Winding up six hours of talks, the European Union's 28 leaders agreed a three-step series of sanctions beginning with the immediate halt of talks on easing visas for Russians as well as talks on a new economic accord, said EU president Herman Van Rompuy.

EU summit greenlights budget despite UK rebate hitch

European Union leaders Thursday approved a political deal on the bloc's hotly contested 2014-2020 trillion-euro budget despite British fears of a cut in its cherished rebate. Asked whether heads of state and government had approved a deal clinched earlier in the day, Herman Van Rompuy, who heads the EU Council, said: "It's a quite clear yes." Van Rompuy admitted at a news conference however that "we discovered certain budgetary problems for certain countries" that would be corrected by "technical not political measures."

US Treasury Secretary urges able countries to spur growth

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged countries with the "capacity" to help spur growth, after talks with his German counterpart here on Tuesday. Lew told a joint press conference with Wolfgang Schaeuble that the driver of economic growth would be consumer demand, adding "policies that will help drive consumer demand in countries that have capacity" would be "helpful". The Treasury chief is on a whistle-stop tour to meet eurozone leaders, his first trip to Europe since taking over the post from Tim Geithner in February.

EU leader warns British exit would 'not come for free'

Britain's plans to renegotiate its relationship with the European Union lack support from other leaders, while an exit from the EU could prove costly, EU president Herman van Rompuy warned Thursday. Speaking at a forum in London, Van Rompuy said that Britain would have a stronger voice in world affairs if it stays inside the 27-member group and compared a so-called "Brexit" to a divorce. "Leaving is an act of free will and perfectly legitimate but it doesn't come for free," Van Rompuy said.

EU agrees historic cut to budget after tough talks

European Union leaders agreed Friday the first ever cut in the bloc's budget after all-night talks driven by sharp differences over priorities for the next seven years. "Deal done!" summit chair and EU President Herman Van Rompuy said on Twitter after more than 24 hours of tough talks between the bloc's 27 heads of state and government. "There's a lot in it for everybody", he added a short time later, while emphasising that the 2014-2020 austerity budget embodied "a sense of collective responsibility from European leaders."

EU budget summit opens hours late

EU leaders opened tough talks over a trillion-euro budget hours late Thursday amid sharp differences over spending cuts and investment for growth and jobs. The meeting got underway almost six hours behind schedule as leaders of the 27-nation bloc held backroom talks and Britain, notably, pressed for huge cuts in EU spending over the rest of the decade. EU president and chair of the talks, Herman Van Rompuy, said as the summit began that he had held productive discussions in recent weeks and was "confident that around this table we can now settle on a final compromise."
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