France, Germany drop plans for Russia summit after European Union outcry

European Union leaders failed to agree on a proposal by France and Germany to carry a summit quickly with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Poland and Baltic nations mentioned it will ship the mistaken message as East-West ties deteriorate.

After US President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned the primary EU summit with Putin since January 2014 can be “a dialogue to defend our pursuits”.

He insisted the EU couldn’t solely be reactive in its diplomacy with Russia.

However after late evening talks at their assembly in Brussels, the 27 EU leaders failed to succeed in an settlement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned early on Friday.

“It was a really complete dialogue, and never a simple one,” she informed reporters.

“There was no settlement at this time on an instant leaders’ assembly,” she mentioned.

EU summits with Russia ended after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March 2014 and the West imposed sanctions.

Whereas Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz mentioned he supported the Franco-German proposal, many different leaders have been opposed.

“It was a typical place of many leaders” to not change the stance on Russia, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda mentioned after the assembly broke up.

He earlier mentioned the thought was like “making an attempt to have interaction the bear to maintain a pot of honey protected”.

Latvia’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins mentioned the EU risked rewarding Russia with a summit regardless that diplomacy has failed to finish the battle in japanese Ukraine with Russian-backed separatists.

As an alternative, EU leaders fell again to a well-recognized place of warning of extra sanctions on Moscow if it continued what the EU says is a Russian coverage of disinformation, cyber and covert assaults and interference to attempt to divide the bloc.

Russia denies any wrongdoing.In a summit assertion, leaders referred to as on the European Fee and the EU’s prime diplomat Josep Borrell “to current choices for further restrictive measures, together with financial sanctions” in opposition to Russia.

The EU has sanctions on the Russian vitality, monetary and arms sectors and particular person sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses and for utilizing banned chemical weapons.

Diplomats say additional sanctions might goal Russian cash laundering or highly effective oligarchs suspected of significant corruption overseas, as non-EU member Britain did for the primary time in April.

Search for dialogue:

Macron had tried in September 2019 to hunt much less frosty ties with Putin, with out success, and Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel met Putin in Moscow in January 2020. Putin held a cellphone name with European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits, on June 7 this 12 months.

France and Germany need to have the ability to work with Russia on combating local weather change and to search out methods to stabilise relations.

Merkel mentioned even and not using a summit: “Codecs can be explored underneath which dialogues may be began.

“Many EU nations are involved that the Kremlin doesn’t take the bloc severely, after Borrell was publicly humiliated in February by the Kremlin.

Russia expelled EU diplomats throughout Borrell’s go to to Moscow with out warning.

Lithuania’s Nauseda mentioned: “We must be extraordinarily cautious, this isn’t like the connection of Russia with the United States”.

Whereas France is a nuclear energy, the EU depends on NATO for its territorial defence and takes choices amongst 27 states, making it simpler for the Kremlin to use divisions.

The Kremlin earlier welcomed the thought of a summit, saying each Brussels and Moscow wanted dialogue, though Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned he wished extra particulars.

On opposing sides in standoffs in Ukraine and Belarus, and at odds over human rights, the EU and Russia accuse one another of threatening safety and stability from the Baltics to the Black Sea.

The EU on Thursday imposed financial sanctions on Belarus, an ally of Russia that the Kremlin sees as a buffer state between Russia and NATO.

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