Germany and France seek EU-Russia meeting
Wednesday - 23/06/2021 11:41
Surprise initiative follows US president Joe Biden’s summit with Vladimir Putin
Germany and France have called for a new EU strategy of closer engagement with Russia to build on discussions with Moscow in the wake of US president Joe Biden’s Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin. Diplomats said Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, wanted the EU to consider inviting the Russian president to a summit with EU leaders, and that the initiative was supported by French president Emmanuel Macron. Ambassadors representing Berlin and Paris wrongfooted other EU capitals at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday by making the new proposals on the relationship with the Kremlin, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. However, Merkel has been in close consultation with European allies in the past few days, with Macron and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi both visiting Berlin for talks. US secretary of state Antony Blinken has also been in the city for discussions with the government this week.
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