The Latest: Austria welcomes US exemption on tariffs

British Prime Minister Theresa May, center, attends a round table meeting at an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Leaders from the 28 European Union nations meet for a two-day summit to assess the state of Brexit negotiations, the prospect of a trade war with the United States and how to react to Russia following to the nerve agent attack in Britain. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Leaders from the 28 European Union nations meet for a two-day summit to assess the state of Brexit negotiations, the prospect of a trade war with the United States and how to react to Russia following to the nerve agent attack in Britain. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks with the media as she arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Leaders from the 28 European Union nations meet for a two-day summit to assess the state of Brexit negotiations, the prospect of a trade war with the United States and how to react to Russia following to the nerve agent attack in Britain. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

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

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.

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