Brussels (Reuters) – France and Germany proposed on Wednesday a European Union summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to improve relations, two diplomats said, potentially paving the way for the first such meeting since 2014.
Such an event would follow U.S. President Joe Biden’s summit in Geneva with Putin earlier this month and reflects concern in Paris and Berlin that the EU’s approach to Russia in recent years has mainly been focused on sanctions on Moscow.
“Germany and France have given some ideas for the EU-summit-debate on Russia. Merkel has mentioned before that not only the U.S. should talk with Russia (and China) on the highest level. Russia is a neighbour. Such a format existed already in 2007 in Finland,”
a person dealing with the preparation of the summit told Reuters.
“The entire post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that prosperity and security of our common continent is only possible through the joint efforts of all countries, including Russia,”
the Russian President pointed
A strategy paper by the European Commission and the EU’s diplomatic service said earlier this month that despite years of tensions,
“the EU and Russia have a fundamental common responsibility for peace and security on the European continent.”
It can well be that Russia is open to honest and constructive cooperation with Europe. It calls for the recovery of a comprehensive partnership with it, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article “Being Open, Despite the Past” timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).
“I reiterate that Russia is in favour of restoring a comprehensive partnership with Europe. We have many topics of mutual interest. These include security and strategic stability, healthcare and education, digitalization, energy, culture, science and technology, resolution of climate and environmental issues,”
the Russian leader said in an article published on the Kremlin website.
“We are open to honest and constructive interaction. This is confirmed by our idea of creating a common space of cooperation and security from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, which would comprise various integration formats, including the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union,”