Chancellor Merkel continues to insist on a meeting between the EU and Russian President Putin. It’s about cyber attacks, the Ukraine conflict and Belarus.
Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for an EU-Russia meeting at the highest level. Merkel told a Franco-German parliamentary assembly on Monday that the move was just not approved at the EU summit last week because there were fears that the 27 EU heads of government could appear inconsistent. But this worry is unnecessary.
The first step has been taken because the EU is now examining formats for direct dialogue and naming issues. “We have made a step forward, but we haven’t reached our goal yet,” she emphasized.
“Confront the Russian President”
Merkel said that at such a summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin would have to be clearly stated where the problems with Russia were. In addition, one can talk about international trouble spots. At the EU summit, Merkel had emphasized to critics that one could not speak of a reward for Putin. With regard to Russian cyber attacks or Ukraine and Belarus, Merkel said: “I think it is better to confront the Russian President with these things.”
At the EU summit, Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were only able to partially prevail with the proposal of a new Russia initiative. It is true that the summit declaration now includes the mandate for a new sanctions regime and further aid for states that are under Russian pressure.
But the idea of a full EU-Russia summit, as Merkel had already proposed for the EU’s talks with China, was initially not followed by the EU-27. France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex said Paris supported Merkel’s move.