Daily Memo: Brussels’ Frustrations, Cuba’s Economic Opening

Moscow offered little room for compromise on the Navalny case, according to the EU's foreign affairs chief.

Russian resistance. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Russia was not interested in a “constructive dialogue with the EU” following his visit to Moscow. One of the main topics of conversation in his meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the poisoning and imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Borrell said that the discussions were tense and that he called for Navalny’s “immediate and unconditional release.” On Monday, Poland was planning to set up talks between representatives of EU member states and Navalny supporters. Brussels’ ultimatum. Hungary must make changes to its public procurement laws to receive its share of the 750 billion-euro ($900 billion) recovery fund, according to an internal European Commission document seen by Reuters. Hungary is due to receive 6.3 billion euros in grants if its spending proposal is submitted by the April 30 deadline and then approved. The EU has made funds contingent on curbing systemic fraud by improving transparency and accessibility. Cuba opens up. Cuba announced over the weekend that it will expand opportunities for private businesses to operate, lifting restrictions on private enterprise in 1,873 of 2,000 sectors. The government also increased fines for those that engage in price speculation. Cuba’s […]

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