EU Postpones Free Trade Agreement Talks With Australia for Month Amid AUKUS Row, Reports Suggest
04:41 GMT 01.10.2021 (Updated: 08:12 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinAn EU flag flies on a building located in a one way street in London, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020
© AP Photo / Frank Augstein
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union has postponed the 12th round of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Australia for a month amid the diplomatic row over the US submarine contract with Canberra under the recently-established AUKUS alliance.
In mid-September, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia declared the formation of AUKUS as a platform for defence and security cooperation. The announcement came as Canberra unilaterally withdrew from a $66 billion agreement on submarines with France in favour of the supply of vessels within the framework of the alliance. This move triggered a harsh reaction from France and the EU.
25 September 2021, 16:44 GMT
According to the Australian Financial Review, the 12th round of talks was scheduled for October, but will be held in November at the behest of the EU.
The European Union has not explained the reasons for the delay, but one European observer close to the negotiations told the newspaper that the postponement was related to the submarine issue.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who left for Europe to hold talks with his EU counterpart, Valdis Dombrovskis, has called on the bloc to continue negotiations on a free trade agreement.