Ukraine thinks it is a bad idea if the European Union starts holding top talks with Russia again.
“Initiatives to resume EU summits with Russia without progress on the Russian side amount to a dangerous departure from EU sanctions policy,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Koeleba said after meeting EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell in Brussels.
The leaders of the EU countries will meet there later in the day. With the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed an EU summit with Vladimir Putin on cooperation in areas where interests converge, such as public health and climate.
Regular summits with President Putin were suspended after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The complicated relationship with Moscow is an important topic during the deliberations of the European heads of government. In addition to Ukraine, the EU has great difficulty with the Kremlin’s stance on issues such as Belarus, human rights, election interference, disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks and military manoeuvres.
Direct contact with Putin could be useful, according to Merkel, to discuss the “many provocations” against EU countries and their neighbours in Eastern Europe. US President Joe Biden recently held summits with his Russian counterpart.