European Union leaders agreed to examine the future of relations with Russia in June, at a time when Moscow is increasingly distancing itself from the European bloc over the treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalni and the harassment of eastern countries. from Europe.
In the conclusions adopted by the European Council, the heads of state and government denounced “provocative, illegal and disruptive” activities against the EU, its member states and the European neighborhood. “We reaffirm the unity of the EU and the solidarity of these laws, as well as the support of the partners in the East,” says the text agreed by the 27.
This discussion about Russia within the EU takes place at a time when relations apart from the situation of the Navalni, the military threat to Ukraine from Russia and the aggressive actions of Russia against member states like the Czech Republic with those of the European heads of state and government have bottomed out with sympathized with.
After a personal strategic debate, the Heads of State or Government have promised to come back to next month’s summit as planned and take decisions on the basis of a report they have requested from High Representative Josep Borrell and the Commission.
Various options are expected to be on the table for the June debate, although the heads of state and government continue to believe that the five principles that characterize the deal with Russia are valid. These are settled through disputes with Moscow and the rapprochement on issues of common interest, so a change in European strategy is not to be expected.
During the meeting, neighboring countries like Lithuania called for a strong hand against the Kremlin. In particular, President Gitanas Nauseda has proposed restricting Russia’s access to financial markets and international payment systems, as reported in a Twitter message.
In reality, the debate on relations with Moscow was scheduled for the March summit, but the lack of confidence in the videoconferencing format meant that the first face-to-face summit in Brussels was postponed. That Monday, the strategic discussion took place behind closed doors, with the leaders alone and without mobile devices to ensure the confidentiality of the debate.