First day of EU leaders’ summit completed

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At the meeting on the first day of the EU leaders’ summit, the main agenda item was the landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on the basis of a notice of the bomb during the Athens-Vilnius flight, and the detention of Belarusian opposition journalist Raman Pratasevic, one of the passengers on the plane.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called the landing of the plane “piracy”.

“This event is an attack on democracy, freedom of expression and European sovereignty.” Von der Leyen said Belarusian airspace could not be trusted and EU airspace would be closed to airlines from that country.

Von der Leyen announced that new sanctions will be added to the existing sanctions imposed on Belarus and that economic sanctions will be announced soon.

“We cannot tolerate attempts to play Russian roulette with the lives of innocent people. This event is unacceptable,” said Charles Michel, President of the European Council. He spoke.

In a statement released at the summit, EU leaders said they agree to impose new sanctions on the plane’s landing in Belarus and not allow Belarusian airlines to use space. airlines and airports in the EU.

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The EU is imposing sanctions on Belarus, on the grounds that the August elections were fraudulent and that pressure was exerted on the opposition. The sanctions concern 88 Belarusian officials and 7 companies, including President Alexander Lukashenko.

RELATIONS WITH ENGLAND

One of the main issues was the implementation of post-Brexit EU-UK trade deals. Michel said they had had a brief meeting on this issue and that the EU wanted a fruitful relationship with the UK.

Stressing that the Northern Ireland protocol must be implemented “faithfully” with the Brexit deal, Michel said: “We have confirmed that the EU is in unity on this issue”. mentionned.

Michel said he was ready to use the legal tools contained in the agreements to protect the interests of the EU and the integrity of its internal market.

REAMMING RUSSIA

In the declaration of the summit of EU leaders, it was stated that a strategic meeting had taken place on Russia. “The European Council condemns Russia’s illegal, provocative and subversive activities against the EU,” the statement read. declaration took place.

EU leaders sent a message of solidarity with “Eastern partners” and support for the Czech Republic in the diplomatic crisis between the Czech Republic and Russia.

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The declaration also confirmed adherence to the 5 principles which form the basis of Russian EU policy. These principles set out in 2016 include the implementation of the Minsk agreement aimed at ending the conflicts in eastern Ukraine, selective work with Russia in areas of EU interest, the pursuit of contacts with Russian civil society, strengthening of relations with the eastern part of the EU. partners and energy security, cyberspace and strategy This was about strengthening the resilience of the EU in vital sectors such as communication.

The leaders asked Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to report on political options for EU-Russia relations until the June summit.

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MIDDLE EAST AND MALI

The EU leaders’ summit also discussed growing tension in the Middle East following Israel’s attacks on Gaza and the Palestinians, and the detention of the country’s Transitional Council chairman Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. .

In the summit declaration, the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was welcomed and stressed that the EU will continue to work with international partners to launch a political process of peace and that the EU supports a solution with two states.

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Financially, the country’s leaders were ordered to be “kidnapped” and demanded to be released immediately. It was noted that the EU is ready to impose sanctions on political and military officials that prevent the transition process in Mali.

The second day session of the EU Leaders’ Summit will start in the morning. During this session, issues such as combating the Kovid-19 epidemic and climate change will be discussed.

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