The Latest: Austria welcomes US exemption on tariffs

MarketsAssociated Press

The Latest on the European Union leaders summit in Brussels (all times local):

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4:55 p.m.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has welcomed what he saw as a European Union exemption from the U.S. threat to impose steel and aluminum import tariffs.

Kurz Tweeted from an EU summit that the U.S. move was "the result of the Europeans' clear position in the talks with the U.S. A trade war would have damaged both sides."

In Washington, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spelled out which countries would get a "pause" from President Trump and get an early reprieve from the imposition of tariffs. He included Europe among others like Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

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11:55 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge European Union leaders to unite and condemn Russia as they meet in Brussels for a two-day summit.

May is seeking a strong statement against President Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in England.

Britain blames Moscow for the nerve-agent attack and has called Russia a growing threat to Western democracies.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers expressed "unqualified solidarity" with Britain, but May is hoping for a more strongly worded statement that explicitly condemns Russia.

Brexit is also on the agenda at the summit that starts Thursday. Britain hopes the EU will sign off on the terms of the U.K.'s departure next year and green-light talks on future relations.