News / Europe

EU's Barroso Says Europe Divided Over Ukraine Crisis

FILE - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
FILE - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Reuters
European Union countries are struggling to agree on the approach to take on the crisis in Ukraine, despite broad condemnation of the actions of Russia, outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday.
 
Barroso, who is due to step down after 10 years in office, said the Ukraine crisis was the biggest threat to security in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall with greater potential for destabilization than the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
 
He said European countries had decided to support Ukraine and to show that Russia's actions had to have consequences but he said settling on a united response was “still a work in progress” given different views by EU member states.
 
“And this, let's be honest, this is the issue,” he said.
 
EU countries have moved slowly towards agreeing a tougher line on applying sanctions against Russian companies but Barroso's comments underline how difficult it will be to reach any more far-reaching agreement.
 
Differences within the 28-member bloc, much of which depends on Russian gas supplies, have stood in the way of agreement on toughening the limited sanctions against members of the Russian elite. Germany, Europe's most powerful economy, is urging more room for diplomacy while others, including Britain and France pushing for tougher action.
 
German growth could be reduced by up to 0.9 percentage points this year if the EU imposes tougher sanctions, a German magazine reported, citing a European Commission study.
 
Barroso, who said he had met Russian President Vladimir Putin more than 20 times during his time in office and had spoken frequently with him during the crisis, said Putin's ambition to strengthen ties with some of the former Soviet Union states to create a new Eurasian Union was behind the crisis.
 
“He wants to build on that and enlarge it to become a Eurasian Union, a kind of a pole of power opposed to the European Union, unfortunately,” he said.
 
Barroso also defended the record of the Commission in the financial crisis which took the euro zone to the brink of collapse in late 2011, saying it had taken the right decisions in defending the stability of the single currency.
 
“The existential crisis of the euro, I think we can say is solved now,” he said.
 
“No complacency, some problems remain and we know the difficulties that exist mainly in social terms but the reality is that those observers, those analysts in Europe and outside who were predicting the Greek exit, they were predicting the implosion of the euro, they were completely wrong. They are the ones who have to apologize.”

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More