European Union leaders failed to agree on a proposal by France and Germany to hold a summit soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Poland and Baltic countries said it would send the wrong message as East-West ties deteriorate.
After U.S. President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, French President Emmanuel Macron said the first EU summit with Putin since January 2014 would be "a dialogue to defend our interests". He insisted the EU could not only be reactive in its diplomacy with Russia.
But after late night talks at their meeting in Brussels, the 27 EU leaders failed to reach an agreement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said early on Friday.
"It was a very comprehensive discussion, and not an easy one," she told reporters. "There was no agreement today on an immediate leaders' meeting," she said.
EU summits with Russia ended after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March 2014 and the West imposed sanctions.