PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union and the United States agreed on Monday to cooperate more closely to counter disrupted supply of industrial commodities and food caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to combat disinformation from Moscow.
Senior EU and U.S. officials convened in Paris for the second Trade and Technology Council, a forum initially seen as a transatlantic counterweight to China, but now with a clear focus also on Russia.
In a joint statement, the two allies said they would coordinate further to mitigate the negative impacts of what Russia has described as a “special military operation” in Ukraine and on rebuilding Ukraine’s economy.
The European Union and the United States will work to promote more diversified trade in agricultural commodities and inputs and to reduce over-reliance on certain trading partners so as to increase resilience of global food production.
The two sides also agreed to collaborate to reduce dependencies on unreliable sources of strategic supplies and mitigate jointly the negative effects of sudden supply ruptures of critical materials from Russia.
The transatlantic trade blocs said they will cooperate to diversity supply chains for rare earth magnets and in solar power production and seek to overcome shortages of semiconductors with greater transparency and an early warning system, while agreeing also to avoid a chip sector subsidy race.
The European Union and the United States also condemned the Russian government’s undermining of freedom of expression, saying it had “repeatedly used the veil of disinformation” to obscure war crimes committed by Russian forces.
“We also believe that it is important to combat Russian disinformation in third countries, including with regard to food security, including with our G7 partners,” the joint statement said.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Mathieu Roseman)