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Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond will stand down in November. At a press conference Friday after Scots voted by 55-45 percent to reject independence, Salmond said he would not accept the Scottish Nationalist Party's nomination to remain as leader, commenting that "party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership".
Poland Friday announced deputy PM Schetyna will become its new foreign minister, replacing Sikorski, who is to become parliament speaker. Sweden's FM Bildt is also expected to step aside after the government lost elections. Sikorski and Bildt co-authored the EU's Eastern Partnership policy on relations with former Soviet states.
The European Commission Friday reacted positively to the outcome of Scotland's independence referendum. "I welcome the decision of the Scottish people to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom. This outcome is good for the united, open and stronger Europe that the European Commission stands for," said President Barroso.
The Russian foreign ministry has complained after a WWII statue of Soviet soldiers was painted blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag, in Lithuania. It said Thursday it is "demanding urgent measures to clean up the monuments, punish those responsible and prevent similar provocations in the future".
Stop TTIP, an alliance of some 240 organisations across Europe, announced Friday it will take the European Commission to court after it dismissed a Citizens’ Initiative to stop the EU-US trade talks. “International trade agreements should not be negotiated behind closed doors,” said Michael Efler, of the ECI citizens’ committee.
MEPs in a resolution Thursday said their consent to an EU "Strategic Modernisation Partnership" with Azerbaijan "will be conditional" on its release of five named human rights defenders. Rights campaigners say Baku is holding 98 political prisoners, but has privileged EU relations due to plans to build a gas pipeline.