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Fri April 4, 2014
A conversation with the European Union's ambassador to the U.S.
João Vale de Almeida is the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States of America. He sat down with Global Journalist's Jason McLure to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the EU-U.S. relationship, and other topics. Below are excerpts from that interview, but you can listen to the whole interview above, or watch a video of it at the bottom of this page.
On Russia, Ukraine and the ongoing crisis: "Europe is very determined to again support Ukrainian aspirations, and to be very clear with Russia that we don't accept this kind of behavior. Let me be clear about one point: it's true that we import energy from Russia. Some of our member-states are, you know, very dependent upon Russian exports, but that also means that Russia is dependent upon our markets to sell their own products. So, this is a two-way street. We have to realize that it's in Russia's interests to keep good relationship with Europe. We are their most important market. [...] But, we will not compromise our values in favor of economic interests."
On the relationship between the European Union and the United States, including the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): "[W]hat we are doing across the Atlantic is to look at our economic relationship, which is already a very vibrant one. We cover more or less half of the world's wealth. But, there's more we can do. [...] So, if you want to talk about Missouri – what is in it for Missouri, for instance – I think there will be more jobs and more economic opportunities."
On genetically modified crops, and regulations on naming certain agricultural goods: "We want a consumer, when they buy a product, to know exactly where it comes from. It corresponds to the name that is written on the label. [...] There is very good cheese in America, and I am a consumer of American cheese, but when I buy camembert du monde, which is a particular kind of camembert cheese, I want to be sure that it comes from that region in France, and not from somewhere else. [...] I have no doubt that we will find solutions for all these problems with our American friends, and this will translate into more products – more American products in Europe, more European products here – better choices for the consumers, better prices, more competitive offers."