- Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
On 15 September, the US, UK, and Australia announced the new trilateral AUKUS defence partnership. While the partners said it's designed to protect and defend "our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific", some experts believe the true purpose of the partnership is to counter China.

EU Postpones Free Trade Agreement Talks With Australia for Month Amid AUKUS Row, Reports Suggest

© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinAn EU flag flies on a building located in a one way street in London, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020
An EU flag flies on a building located in a one way street in London, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.10.2021
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.
Flags of Russia, EU, France and coat of arms of Nice on the city's promenade - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.09.2021
Sergei Lavrov: Creation of AUKUS Security Pact Could Affect Russia-EU Dialogue
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.
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