Matina Stevis-Gridneff Profile picture
Brussels bureau chief @NYTimes. Ex East Africa, Europe @WSJ.
spiros tsakas Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
Apr 3 4 tweets 1 min read
Short analysis 🧵 on EU reaction to evidence of atrocities in Bucha as Russian forces withdraw.
Recently we've been hearing statements like "we might do X or Y if something really horrible happens." Heard this from EU officials & diplos. Yes, it is pure cynicism, but here we are. The following types of arguments/variations on these themes have been gaining ground.
1. We've done enough, let's see if it works & how, & what the cost to us is.
2. Let's not touch energy until a deliberately undefined red line is crossed.
3. Putin needs an off-ramp.
Feb 24 5 tweets 2 min read
This tweet has received attention & provoked outrage. It's made some officials angry w me for reporting on the negotiations.

Pls read on:
- Officials tell me that post-invasion resistance has melted away & there's broad agreement on sanctions 🧵… It is clear, diplomats tell me, this morning's EU ambassadors' meeting on sanctions preparation took place in a new world that forced members into line.
The new cleavage, I'm told, is whether to leave Putin out of the sanctions package to be adopted over the next 24 hours. Why?
Feb 24 6 tweets 2 min read
Our story on the 1st package of #EU sanctions yesterday got into what lies ahead for the 2nd set of sanctions.
EU less united on that, although in the face of all-out war in Ukraine, it's hard to imagine how any EU leader will openly oppose.… Diplomats tell us following sanctions are tricky:
- ITA, AUS, DE concerned abt broad banking-sector sanctions
- ITA resistant to sanctions that include railways
- ITA wants carve-out for luxury goods
- BEL wants carve-out for diamonds
+ broad reluctance to sanction energy sector
Apr 28, 2021 16 tweets 4 min read
The E.U. vaccine rollout was tanking. AstraZeneca had slashed deliveries. Ursula von der Leyen was getting blamed for it all. Then she, and the E.U., caught a break. Our insider's tale of how the new monster E.U.-Pfizer/BioNTech deal came together #Thread… Through interviews with Ms. von der Leyen, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, BioNTech chief commercial officer Sean Marett & 9 more experts & officials, we reconstruct the background to the deal.
News: the deal for 1.8 bln doses was finalized yesterday. It will be announced this week.
Mar 24, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read

E.U. Set to Curb Covid Vaccine Exports for 6 Weeks

Draft of reinforced EU vaccine export rules seen by @nytimes lays out new criteria to block vaccine exports.

No export ban, no country named, but UK stands to be affected the most.… @nytimes - New rules to be unveiled later today
- Legal procedure to pass them means they're set to sail through
- Broaden scope for blocking exports
- Previously targeting AstraZeneca exports, new rules cd affect Pfizer, Moderna
- UK focus, but Israel, Australia & Canada cd be affected
Mar 23, 2021 10 tweets 3 min read
Leader of Austria, others claim something isn't right in the allocation of vaccine doses via the EU, that the pro rata system is being violated. @nytimes reporting in 10 countries in Jan & Feb found opaque & politically sensitive arbitrage going on #thread #covid #vaccines @nytimes Some of our reporting was included in this story about desperate attempts to get more doses.
We found that in Q4 2020 the EU set up an internal arbitrage mechanism where members could sell on chunks of their allotted doses of any vaccine to other members…
Mar 12, 2021 10 tweets 4 min read
Helluva week in advancing our understanding of the politics underpinning the global export of vaccines.
Read our scoops @nytimes about EU & US vax exports:……

Some thoughts, hoping they’ll help the debate. #Thread #covid #vaccines @nytimes 1. Having toiled for weeks to get access to confidential documents on how EU-based facilities are exporting vaccines to the world w. EU permission, I can say: this information should be public. It is devastating how little the public knows about it.
Feb 9, 2021 9 tweets 5 min read
After weeks of intensive debate on EU's vaccine standing compared to UK, USA, we try to show that in narrow speed terms Germany & maybe France have been slowed down by the EU collective effort, but the vast majority of EU countries are better off for it… As @GuntramWolff tells us, politically & economically, Germany pulling ahead of other EU nations would have been catastrophic. A country that hugely depends on movement of labor, exports & shares borders w/ 9 others reaps large benefits from all being vaccinated at the same time.
Jan 27, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
EU official confirms that the European Commission is seeking publication of its contracts with AstraZeneca to allow people to draw their own conclusions about whether AZ is in breach of its obligations. The contract is protected by mutually agreed confidentiality. EU won't breach that agreement unilaterally, ergo needs to agree with the firm if they're going to release it.
Sep 19, 2020 15 tweets 6 min read
How the Hero of "Hotel Rwanda" Fell Into a Vengeful Strongman's Trap

Our @nytimes investigation is packed with drama fit for (another) film.… @nytimes .@Lattif @declanwalsh @ruthmaclean & I worked for weeks across continents & timezones to fill in the gaps of what really happened between Paul Kagame and Paul Rusesabagina.

We found cloak-and-dagger tactics of opposition oppression in the dramatic showdown between the two men.
Aug 9, 2020 19 tweets 5 min read
In early April, while in lockdown, I spoke to a friend who works at @MSF. She said "you won’t believe it but we’re sending teams into nursing homes, they’re completely overwhelmed."
That was the beginning of a reporting effort that lasted 3+ months #thread… @MSF We gathered details from homes, families & the Belgian govt. 4 types of disasters combined to doom Belgian nursing home residents. All were present in other rich countries but nowhere did they coalesce to the degree they did in Belgium. Read on.
Jun 24, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read
EU states are in complex talks on which countries to reopen to July 1. #thread
What we know:
- Keen for scientific criteria: countries as good, better or possibly a little worse than EU average new cases per 100,000 pop (past 2 weeks). Magic number is 16.… - Question is country of departure/origin, not passport
- List will be renewed regularly, current thinking: every 2 weeks.
- List cannot be mandatory but pressure is on for EU countries to eliminate loopholes for visitors from countries not on the list.…
Mar 1, 2020 7 tweets 1 min read
Είναι τρομακτική, επικίνδυνη η παραπληροφόρηση που διακινείται σε Ελλάδα & Τουρκία σχετικά με την κατάσταση στα σύνορα. Είμαι στον Έβρο & ακούω/βλέπω πράγματα τρελά. Να κοιτάτε ποιος μεταδίδει τι, ποιες πηγές. Η κατάσταση είναι πολύ σοβαρή για να παίρνετε την ενημέρωσή σας ελαφρά Σύντομα.
1. Υπάρχουν παιδιά κ οικογένειες στον Έβρο. Είναι αναληθές ότι είναι μόνο άνδρες. 'Ομως οι 500 συγκεκριμένα που έχουν κολλήσει στο πέρασμα των Καστανιών/Pazarkule είναι κυρίως άνδρες, οι γυναίκες εκεί είναι στα πλαϊνά και πιο πίσω
Jan 5, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Three US casualty in the morning attack by al Shabaab on Kenya’s Manda base today is massive. Major lapse on the base, terrible loss for US forces, worst suffered recently on the continent. Hard to overstate the severity of this news just in from @USAfricaCommand. Shabaab will milk this. Soft targets have been their preference when mounting attacks outside somalia, see Dusit this time last year. But this type of attack on highly secure base is another animal.
Dec 12, 2019 14 tweets 6 min read
European Green Deal: a cynic’s (long) #thread. The EU is desperate to lead at *something* and the new boss says it’s going to be CLIMATE. It’s genius if you think about it: it commits #Europe to goals well beyond its leaders’ political (and, for many, physical) lives. It hinges on making money out of nothing (“leveraging”) and handing it out to some of the biggest delinquents of the bloc. Vintage EU.
It allows the EU to maintain its favorite game, that of moral superiority based on “shared European values” esp vs the US.
Oct 23, 2019 8 tweets 4 min read
The #EU is pretty set to grant #Brexit extension of three months, to Jan. 31 2020. A short #thread on why… Last week me & others objected to parts of the British press pushing the idea that Juncker was "ruling out" an extension. Reasons: 1/ by law he can't & 2/ this spin was on by No10, in a bid to push the deal through parlt. Now that's failed, let's see what this extension is about