- First day of the E.U. Council Summit Completed
- Iranian President Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Discuss the ‘Nuclear Deal.’
- Saxo Launches Crypto Derivatives
First day of the E.U. Council Summit Completed
The leaders of the European Union (E.U.) countries discussed the issues of Russia, EU-UK relations, and foreign policy on the agenda, especially Belarus, at the summit they held face to face in Brussels.
The main agenda item at the meeting of the first day of the E.U. Council Summit was the landing of the Ryanair plane to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on the grounds of a bomb notification while making the Athens-Vilnius flight and the detention of the Belarusian opposition journalist Raman Pratasevic, one of the passengers on the plane.
In a statement released during the summit, E.U. leaders announced that they agreed to impose new sanctions on the landing of the plane in Belarus and not allow Belarusian airlines to use E.U. airspace and airports.
“We cannot tolerate attempts to play Russian roulette with the lives of innocent people. This event is unacceptable,” said Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
One of the issues at the top was the implementation of post-Brexit EU-UK trade agreements. And the leaders also adopted conclusions calling for faithful upholding of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the subsequent Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the U.K.
In the E.U. Council Summit declaration, it was stated that a strategic meeting was held in Russia. “The document, which contains five points, also emphasizes that the European Council “condemns the illegal, provocative and disruptive Russian activities against the E.U., its Member States and beyond.”
“It reaffirms the E.U.’s unity and solidarity in the face of such acts as well as its support to Eastern partners.” The E.U. leaders also expressed solidarity with the Czech Republic and supported its response to Moscow. “The E.U. will continue coordination with like-minded partners,” the statement said.
The second day’s session of the E.U. Council Summit will begin today. In this session, issues such as combating the Covid-19 outbreak and climate change will be discussed.
Iranian President Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Discuss the ‘Nuclear Deal’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Jinping evaluated bilateral and regional relations and nuclear agreement in their phone call.
“China supports Iran’s reasonable demands concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] on the Iranian nuclear issue, and stands ready to strengthen coordination with Iran and safeguard the common interests of both sides,” Xi told Rouhani.
Stating that they look at the long-term cooperation with China, Rohani emphasized the importance of the rapid implementation of the 25-year agreement signed between the two parties on March 27 as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Noting that they are ready to increase cooperation with Beijing in West Asia, Rohani said they want to increase exports to China and facilitate Chinese companies investing in Iran.
Rouhani also expressed their support for China’s assistance in resolving the Palestinian issue.
Iran and the other signatories of the agreement – France, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, and the E.U. – started talks last month in Vienna to salvage the deal. First, however, U.S. must lift sanctions on Iran to return to the nuclear deal.
Criticizing the United States about the nuclear deal, Xi said: “The U.S. cannot exit the nuclear deal whenever it wants and then not return. The U.S. must lift all sanctions on Iran to return to the nuclear deal.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it remains unclear whether Iran is “ready and willing” to take the necessary steps to return to compliance.
His counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said lifting the sanctions would be a “legal and moral obligation” for the U.S., “not negotiating leverage.”
Saxo Launches Crypto Derivatives
Following Goldman Sachs, Saxo Bank is also launching a derivative product that allows investment in cryptocurrencies.
Saxo Bank’s digital investing arm, Saxo Markets, is launching trading services with three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Traders will be able to trade crypto and other assets from a single margin account.
According to the statement released on Wednesday, the bank will offer services in transactions with U.S. Dollars, Euros, and Japanese Yen on one leg and crypto on the other.
Saxo Markets will offer digital currencies as derivatives and allow traders to take both long and short positions. Retail clients will trade with a maximum leverage of 2:1, while it will be 3:1 for accredited investors.
The new service will be initially available only to clients in Australia and Singapore. However, the bank has plans to roll out crypto services to other markets as well. In the United Kingdom, these products will be available only to professional clients due to the FCA’s ban on retail crypto derivatives.
Goldman Sachs, Citi, and JP Morgan have also announced that they will start crypto-asset services at the request of their customers.
While JP Morgan has planned to provide Bitcoin fund services to its clients until this summer, Goldman Sachs has begun offering Bitcoin derivative instruments to its investors. The institution, which is not in the crypto money market, opened the relevant derivative instruments to investors without any announcement.
Citigroup, on the other hand, stated that cryptocurrency-related services have not yet been provided to customers, but financing and preservation are among those considered.