European diplomats familiar with the talks told Reuters that the European Union-UK trade deal remained difficult, but a deal was still possible if the two sides continued to negotiate intensely in the coming weeks.

British chief negotiator David Frost will provide feedback to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the EU summit Thursday and Friday on whether it is useful to continue negotiations and whether an agreement is possible.

A source close to the talks, speaking on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday, said Frost would tell the British prime minister that if both sides continued to speak and work, obtaining an agreement was difficult, but not impossible.

Johnson had previously announced October 15 as the deadline for the negotiations.

USA stimulus package

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the GOP-majority Senate will vote on a $500 billion economic aid bill next week.

After the talks on a broader package came to a halt and before the upcoming November 3 presidential election, both Republicans and Democrats are under pressure to take action for a new aid package against the pandemic that has killed more than 214,000 Americans and damaged the U.S. economy by trillions of dollars and at one point cost nearly 40 million jobs.

The Congress initially provided $3 trillion in aid to counter the pandemic crisis, including aid to the unemployed in the spring.

Both sides say more help is needed now, but they stay far apart in their offers. With leaders of the Democrats-led House of Representatives and the Republican Senate still arguing, a two-party agreement on aid against coronavirus looks difficult before the election.

Trump, who first interrupted and then restarted the coronavirus aid talks last week, said in a tweet on Tuesday that the package either “go big or go home!!!”

Chinese GDP

Ruan Jianhong, an official from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said at a news conference Wednesday that his country’s third-quarter GDP growth is expected to improve further compared to the previous quarter.

Ruan also stated that the authorities should allow the macro-leverage ratio to rise temporarily due to efforts to increase credit support to the economy hit by the pandemic.

Russia-EU tension

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow would respond to European Union sanctions in response to an attempt to assassinate Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny with a military-type poison.

European Union foreign ministers backed a plan to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of Navalny’s poisoning with nerve gas. The EU has implemented its decision to impose sanctions on 6 Russian officials, the French news agency AFP reported, citing diplomatic sources Wednesday.


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