Europe’s leaders disagree on Russia talks despite Biden-Putin meeting

Angela Merkel, Germanys chancellor, speaks with journalists as she departs a EU leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday, June, 25, 2021.

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LONDON — France and Germany’s plans to restart talks with Russia have failed, as a number of other EU leaders remain skeptical about re-engaging with the Kremlin.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin last week despite their outstanding differences. Now, the German and French leaders would like to follow suit.

However, several EU leaders, notably from the Baltic Nations, which are closest to Russia geographically, do not believe there has been any change in behavior from Moscow that warrants new talks between the two sides.

Speaking on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the idea was not to offer concessions to Moscow, but simply to have a dialogue. The bloc would not “surrender” its values or interests, he said.

But the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, said Friday: “It’s too early because, so far, we don’t see any radical changes in behavior from Putin.”

The 27 EU leaders need to unanimously agree on restarting talks with Russia for such a meeting to take place.

Russia said on Friday that the EU was a “hostage to an aggressive minority,” according to Reuters, citing the RIA news agency.

‘Unreliable partner’

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