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A special summit of the European Union’s national leaders has failed in its set task of appointing the EU’s next foreign-policy chief, with several leaders holding firm in their opposition to Federica Mogherini, Italy’s foreign minister. Although a campaign has grown in recent days against Mogherini for being soft on Russia, Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, refused to back down on Mogherini’s appointment. Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, announced at the end of the summit that he would re-call the leaders for an extra meeting on 30 August. He said afterwards that he had told the leaders, on the basis of his consultations, that a decision was not ripe. (EUROPEANVOICE.COM)

The US and EU have bolstered sanctions against Russia over its alleged support for separatists fighting in Ukraine. The US has targeted major banks including Gazprombank, defence firms and energy companies including Rosneft. Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying sanctions would take US-Russia relations to a “dead end“. The EU said it would announce details of its sanctions by the end of July, but added that its investment banks would no longer fund Russian projects. (BBC.CO.UK)

A law on civil partnerships was passed by the Croatian parliament on Tuesday, recognizing same-sex unions and granting them the same rights as those in traditional marriages with the exception of the right to adopt children. The parliament passed the law, drafted along the lines of its German counterpart, with 89 votes in favor mostly from center-left and liberal parties in the government coalition. (ANSAMED.INFO)

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