Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russia To Expel UK Diplomats As Spy Poisoning Spat Intensifies

Russia To Expel UK Diplomats As Spy Poisoning Spat Intensifies

As Reuters writes in the article France, Germany aim for euro zone reform roadmap by June, Berlin and Paris both talk up the need for European renewal but Merkel is at odds with French President Emmanuel Macron over the pace and scope of reforms to the euro zone project that they both cherish.

Germany and France are seeking to reach a basic agreement on reform of the eurozone and on the European Union asylum policy by June, the German Chancellery said Friday in a statement on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's first overseas trip since here re-election.

But that gathering is a week away and it appears unlikely that they will have anything concrete to put forward by then, with the next European Union leaders' meeting in June now the new deadline.

"We'll put forward a clear, ambitious roadmap by June for this overhaul", Macron said, adding that the plan should also address further integration of the bloc on migration, defense and trade.

"We do not always have the same opinions at first but France and Germany have accomplished a lot together in the past", the chancellor said.

"A common approach is more necessary than ever, because Europe must act in a geopolitical situation in which multilateralism is under pressure", Merkel said at a meeting with Macron in Paris on Friday afternoon, according to the statement.

Both Merkel and Macron also denounced Russia's alleged poisoning of a former agent in the United Kingdom and reiterated their support for the British government on the issue.

"There is a conscious policy decision that we must keep talking to the Russians and even go to Saint Petersburg despite none of the red lines Macron set next to Putin in Versailles (last May) being kept", said a former senior French diplomat.

Merkel, who was narrowly reelected to a fourth term as chancellor, wants to fulfill her incoming government's pledge to deliver a "new start" for Europe.

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