At the EU Summit in Brussels the leaders agreed to prolong economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January, the sanctions were imposed in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine against the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. (Image above: Crimea bridge).
“Russia sanctions unanimously extended for another six months because of a lack of Minsk Agreements implementation,” wrote in his Twitter micro blog the spokesman, Preben Aman, .
After the European Parliament elections EU heads of state or government will meet for a summit on 28 May 2019 in Brussels.
They will discuss the outcome of the vote and launch the procedure of the nomination process for the heads of the EU institutions.
“Naturally, this process will follow the rules set down in the Treaties. It should reflect geographical balance as well as demography, so that both large and smaller countries are represented in the highest positions in the EU.”
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council
President Tusk, who announced the meeting after the summit in Sibiu, stressed that he would like the European Council to nominate the new EU leaders in June 2019.
European leaders will highly likely meet in an extraordinary summit on 28 May after the elections of the member states’ representatives in the European Parliament, according to the diplomatic source in Brussels. (Image above: archive).
This summit, like the extraordinary European Council that followed the 2014 European elections, will allow them to discuss the future European Commission and the identity of Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor as president.
EU-China Summit took place the 21st time on 9 April in Brussels, providing a forum for engagement at the highest level and for advancing the relationship as regards the bilateral and multilateral agendas.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk represented the European Union at the Summit. The People’s Republic of China was represented by Premier Li Keqiang.
“In today’s world, our partnership is more important than ever before. We share the same belief that working together makes the world a stronger, safer and more prosperous place”, said President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“As good friends, we can also be honest with each other when we need to be or when progress is slower than we would like. This honesty and a strong determination to face our challenges together have allowed us to make real progress, reflected in today’s Joint Statement. But we can do a lot better. We need to find a better balance and level of reciprocity. Europe wants to trade more and invest more in China but we need rules that allow us to do so. We want to work with China, because we believe in the potential of our partnership.”
The European Union and China have agreed a Joint Summit Statement, which is available online, along wth the full remarks of President Juncker at the press conference following the Summit.
Significant progress has been made on a number of key issues, as highlighted:
- Preserving the international rules-based trade system with the World Trade Organisation at its core and strengthening international rules on industrial subsidies;
- Enhancing bilateral trade and investment, including through removing key market access barriers, and moving to conclude negotiations on an Investment Agreement and an agreement on Geographical Indications;
- Tackling global and regional challenges together, including foreign policy priorities, climate change and cyber activity.https://twitter.com/EU_Eurostat/status/1115497594472542209
President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin arrived to Helsinki for his bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Although there is no official agenda, two leaders are expected to cover not only bilateral relations, but a broader range of international issues: conflict in Syria, Donbass, nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA), and North Korean non-proliferation in first ranks. Ahead of the talks between two delegations, Trump-Putin will have a tete-à-tete meeting, where only two interpretors would be present. The press-conference is announced by the end of the Summit.
The expectations of the international community are high, especially for those who live in regions of conflict, wating the superpowers to start a dialogue to release tensions to benefit of all. The relations between Russia and the U.S. are at lowest since the times of Cold War.
The meeting of two leaders in the Finnish Presidentaial palace is expected to start around 13:00 (local time).
Hours before the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki President Donald Trump blamed “U.S. foolishness” for bad relations between Washington and Moscow, while the Kremlin said it expected a tough meeting.
President Trump wrote in his Twitter microblog that “foolishness and stupidity and now. the Rigged Witch Hunt” are causes of poor relations with Russia.
“…So common sense tells us that the countries of the world, especially European countries, should be interested in the normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington” – Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told ahead of the visit. However The Kremlin must be on alert in case the North Atlantic Treaty Organization increases the military budget. The Alliance is “an instrument of confrontation,” designed for the purpose, he continued. As NATO openly considers Russia an opponent, the government in Moscow is determined to ensure parity in weapons systems, including nuclear arms, Peskov said to RT TV channel.
“This European Council meeting will be remembered for a long time, but we cannot yet say whether it will be remembered as a success or a failure. That will depend on us, on the responses we offer to our fellow citizens’ most pressing concerns, in particular those linked to the migration crisis which is putting our cooperation arrangements and our determination to work together to a serious test” – European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said, addressing international press in Brussels at the margins of the EU Summit on Migration (#EUCO).
“The issue is a complex one, and it poses a particularly daunting challenge, given the contrasting national interests at stake: nobody is unaware of this problem, least of all the public” -president continued.
“However, our fellow citizens are looking to the European Union to do what it was primarily set up to do, namely to find common solutions to common problems, not least (and in particular!) when national interests diverge.”
“There surely cannot be a single EU citizen anywhere who does not want us to come up with a common solution. Unilateral solutions are by definition partial solutions, and therefore ineffective, not to say dangerous.”
“If the ‘every country for itself’ approach prevails, the Schengen system will not be the only thing which is in jeopardy: the very credibility of our common project will be dealt a body blow from which it will be difficult to recover.”