Europe

Thirteen EU Nations Back Plan for Talks With Russia Over Pipeline

Thirteen EU nations voiced support on Monday for a proposal to empower the bloc's executive to negotiate with Russia over objections to a new Russian gas pipeline to Germany, despite opposition from Berlin.

At an informal debate among EU energy ministers, Germany's partners in the 28-nation bloc spoke out against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline plan to pump more gas directly from Russia's Baltic coast to Germany.

EU nations are expected to vote in the autumn on the European Commission's request for a mandate to negotiate with Russia on behalf of the bloc as a whole.

UK's May Strikes $1.3B Deal with N. Irish Party to Prop Up Government

Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal on Monday to prop up her minority government by agreeing to at least 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in extra funding for Northern Ireland in return for the support of the province's biggest Protestant party.

After over two weeks of talks and turmoil sparked by May's failure to win a majority in a June 8 snap election, she now has the parliamentary numbers to pass a budget and a better chance of passing laws to take Britain out of the European Union.

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Britain Will Allow European Nationals to Remain After Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May has tried to reassure millions of Europeans living in Britain that their lives and those of their families will not be disrupted when London leaves the European Union in 2019.

May's post-Brexit residency proposals offer EU nationals "settled status" in Britain with broadly the same rights as native-born English, Scots and Welsh, and the same access to health care, education, welfare and pensions. EU "settlers" would be subject to British law without recourse to the European Court of Justice.

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EU Ready to Assist Macedonia Implement Reforms to Unlock Membership

The European Union's commissioner in charge of enlargement said on Monday the bloc will help Macedonia make key reforms such as ensuring judicial and media independence to unlock the country's path towards EU and NATO membership.

Johannes Hahn arrived in Skopje on Monday to attend a cabinet meeting scheduled to debate a reform agenda.

“Tomorrow the first experts from the European Union will be in town to assist you in all these reforms,” Hahn told reporters after he met the cabinet.

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Differing With US, Macron Stands by Minsk Accords to Resolve Ukraine Crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he saw no better way of negotiating an end to the conflict in Ukraine than through the Minsk agreements, sharply differing with comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson said on June 14 that the Trump administration did not wish to be "handcuffed" by the 2015 accords, brokered in the Belarussian capital by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, and he suggested Kyiv could reach a separate, independent agreement with Moscow.

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Romania Names New Prime Minister to Defuse Crisis

Romania's president named outgoing economy minister Mihai Tudose as prime minister on Monday, clearing the way for a new leftist-led government to be formed by the end of this week and end a political crisis threatening to sour investor confidence.

The Social Democrats (PSD) picked 50-year-old Tudose to replace Sorin Grindeanu whom they ousted last week in an internal party rift over anti-corruption policy.

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