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The leaders start the EU summit with provocations from Russia and Belarus - the European Union

The leaders start the EU summit with provocations from Russia and Belarus – the European Union

The heads of state and government of the European Union started the European Council session this afternoon in Brussels, where they will discuss the responses to be given to the “provocations” of Russia and, now, Belarus as well.

At the first face-to-face summit of the year of European Union leaders in Brussels, today’s session was already devoted to foreign policy, but the agenda was “ full ” with the inclusion of a discussion of possible additional sanctions on Minsk. The regime is headed by President Alexander Lukashenko, after the misappropriation and forced landing of a Ryanair commercial plane, the day before, to arrest an opponent.

Thus, during today’s working dinner, the leaders of the 27 countries will institute a new package of sanctions against Belarusian officials, as many heads of state and government, upon their arrival at the Council, claim the “solid hand” of the European Union against the Lukashenko regime, after this additional incident, which was classified by Many describe it as “state terrorism.” The diversion of the Ryanair flight that linked Athens to Vilnius and the forced landing in Minsk allowed the Belarusian authorities to arrest Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevic, whose Telegram social network Nexta became the main source of information in the first weeks of anti-government protests after the election. Presidential elections in August 2020.

In addition to Belarus, European Union leaders will have a delicate “strategic discussion” about Russia tonight, which was on the agenda of the European Council last March, but has been postponed since the summit that was supposed to take place face to face, had to change to hypothetical coordination , Due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation of covid-19, due to security concerns related to the “ weakness ” of video conferencing.

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Now that the leaders of the 27 countries have finally been able to meet again in Brussels, which has not happened since December 2020 – the Porto Summits two weeks ago, on May 7 and 8, were the first “ physics ” of 2021, but with an agenda of their own – Then this discussion will take place about Russia, and in particular its “provocative actions,” as the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, wrote in the invitation letter to the leaders.

“Russia’s illegal and provocative actions, both with EU member states and abroad, have continued recently with the so-called“ unfriendly countries. ”A future discussion between us can be forged through a report from the High Representative and the Commission, in accordance with the Five Guiding Principles on Relations between the Union European and Russia, “wrote Charles Michel.

On foreign policy matters, the 27 heads of state and government will discuss relations with the United Kingdom for the first time since the conclusion of “ Brexit ”, at the end of last January, and indeed in light of the entry into force of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, on the first of May, which governs Relations between the two parties now.

European sources indicated that there are no other topics on the agenda, which will likely be discussed on Monday evening, namely the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and immigration, and the latter at the request of the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi. Therefore, today’s evening session could be long, according to European sources.

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On the second day of action, Tuesday, European leaders will devote themselves to the other two main topics of this European Council: European coordination in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, as it should be – a “mandatory” topic for more than a year. Combating climate change.

Portugal will be represented at the summit by Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the current president of the Council of the European Union until the end of June, who did not make a statement upon his arrival at the European Council, which started shortly after 7:30 pm. Local time (6:30 pm Lisbon time).