European Union leaders have rejected a call by Germany and France for formal talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. About 10 countries of the bloc have opposed the initiative, reports Bloomberg.
According to the media, the refusal of some of the members of the bloc to organize a meeting with the Russian president represents a rare public defeat for Angela Merkel in what could be her last summit of the European Union as German chancellor.
The proposal was removed from the final statement after talks that dragged on into the early hours of Friday. Some officials had previously said that some Eastern European countries were so opposed to the plan that they were willing to veto it.
Merkel herself has confirmed that EU leaders failed to reach an agreement on a possible summit with Russia proposed by Berlin and Paris.
“It was a very complete discussion and not an easy one,” the German chancellor told reporters. “We redefined under what conditions we are prepared to work and communicate more closely with Russia. There was no agreement today on an immediate leadership meeting.”
This Wednesday, the Financial Times newspaper, citing diplomatic sources, reported that Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron want the European Union to consider inviting Putin to their summit. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov confirmed that this initiative belongs to Merkel, has the support of Macron and should be discussed by the EU to understand if all members of the bloc agree to a meeting with Russia.