B.und-Chancellor Angela Merkel was unable to push through her proposal for a top EU meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the EU summit.
“We couldn’t agree today that we would meet immediately at management level, that is, at executive level,” said the CDU politician in Brussels early on Friday morning. But formats and conditions for a dialogue with Russia are now being worked on.
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had campaigned for a course correction: on the one hand, tougher, coordinated sanctions for violations of the law by Russia, on the other hand, the option of EU top meetings with Putin. However, many EU countries have reservations about an unconditional dialogue.
“Personally, I would have liked a more courageous step here,” added Merkel. It is important, however, that the dialogue format is retained and that work is done on it. She described the discussion with her EU colleagues as extensive and not easy.
“Very honest discussion with Orban”
Merkel also confirmed a “controversial but very honest discussion” with Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the new Hungarian law restricting information about homosexuality. “We have all made it clear here what fundamental values we are pursuing,” said the Chancellor. The EU Commission will continue to deal with the Hungarian law.
Such talks would be needed more often because there were different ideas about the future of Europe, not just with Hungary, said Merkel. “That means that this discussion must continue.”