BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union wants to accelerate efforts to finalise trade agreements with third parties after a six-month pause, as the bloc adapts to the Ukraine war and other challenges, EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday.

Dombrovskis said there was a “very broad consensus” among ministers meeting in Luxembourg that the bloc should step up efforts to conclude, sign and ratify trade agreements.

“We need to reconsider the current geopolitical landscape to ensure security of our supply chains and create new opportunities for our exporters,” he said.

Dombrovskis said the Ukraine war was the main but not only factor behind the bloc’s greater focus on trade deals. China’s “ambiguous positioning” towards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was also a problem, although Brussels still needed to talk to Beijing.

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