EU leaders remain confrontational towards Russia at ‘Eastern Partnership Summit’ | DW News

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DW News published this video item, entitled “EU leaders remain confrontational towards Russia at ‘Eastern Partnership Summit’ | DW News” – below is their description.

European Union leaders met Wednesday with their counterparts from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but most of the politicians’ attention was devoted to tension at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sat down with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as European Council President Charles Michel to discuss the build-up of Russian troops near the border to Ukraine and fears of a possible Russian invasion. They all emphasized dire economic sanctions would be imposed on Moscow should Russia launch incursions in Ukraine. Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine already reportedly receive support from Moscow. Zelenskyy urged the EU not to wait for a Russian invasion of Ukraine before imposing new sanctions on Moscow.

Ukraine is currently the primary point of contention between Western leaders and Moscow, with Western leaders threatening sanctions over Russia’s build-up of troops along Ukraine’s border. Prior to his departure for the summit in Berlin, Scholz said, “Any violation of territorial integrity will have a high price, and we will speak with one voice here with our European partners and our transatlantic allies.” He also added that he still sought “constructive dialogue” with Russia. The EU has publicly rejected the notion that Russia has a say in the decisions of sovereign nations or any claims to a sphere of influence. Brussels insists countries in the Eastern Partnership are free to make their own security and economic arrangements. However, in private AFP reports several senior European diplomats and officials profess a lack of a pathway for Ukraine or Georgia into the EU at present. Moscow hopes to maintain a large degree of influence over the independent nations that previously were part of the Soviet Union. Russia also hopes to avert any hope they may have of becoming EU and NATO members. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Ukraine and Western governments to implement peace deals negotiated in 2014 and 2015 that include prisoner exchanges, aid and the withdrawal of weapons.

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