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February 23, 2018

Friday briefing: EU post-Brexit budget debate / Russia gets a report card / Ivanka at the Olympics

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

  • Apologies to email subscribers, a technical error has prevented the briefing appearing in your inboxes this morning

EU leaders talk post-Brexit future

The leaders of the 27 European Union member states will meet in Brussels today for a summit discussion about the bloc’s long-term budget and future leadership.

The gathering is the first time the member states debate how to handle the gap created in their €1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) budget after Brexit.

Meanwhile, they’re also expected to reject a European Parliament bid for a greater role in choosing the next head of the EU’s powerful executive, the European Commission, and what to do with assembly seats vacated by British deputies.

Russia gets a report card

Russia could today get a long-awaited upgrade to its sovereign ratings.

International rating agencies S&P and Fitch are expected to weight the diminished risk of new sanctions against the country and improved economic fundamentals.

Russia is this year on track to post a budget surplus amid rising oil prices, a stabilised rouble, record-low inflation and an economic recovery after recession seen in 2015-2016.

Ivanka at the Winter Olympics

Ivanka Trump — the daughter of US president Donald Trump — will arrive in South Korea today, where she will lead the presidential delegation to the closing ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

Ivanka is flying commercially to Seoul today and will dine with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in at his residence, the Blue House, tonight.

She will attend the closing ceremony with the delegation Sunday evening and return to the US Monday morning.

Earlier this week it was revealed US vice president Mike Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un’s sister, during the Games but the meeting was cancelled by the North Koreans.