French-German plan for EU-Putin talks collapses
The European Union failed to agree on a French-German proposal for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Thursday, Berlin and Paris called for the bloc to resume talks with the Russian leader after US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Putin in Geneva. Some critical member states denounced the plan as dangerous.
At a European Council meeting in Brussels, the idea was formally rejected. Putin had welcomed the plan when it was announced and expressed disappointment on Friday after the rejection. Putin is interested in improving working relations between Moscow and the bloc. The EU froze summits with Putin after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and relations between the bloc and Moscow have deteriorated since.