The EU Lays Out Its Approach to Russia and Turkey

Jun 25, 2021 | 17:27 GMT

The Turkish flag (left) waves alongside the EU flag in Istanbul in August 2018.

The Turkish flag (left) waves alongside the EU flag in Istanbul.

(OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

The results of a foreign policy-focused EU summit signal that bilateral tensions with Russia will continue while a more pragmatic approach to Turkey is possible. During a summit of EU heads of government and state on June 24-25, the bloc rejected a Franco-German proposal to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and only pledged to “explore” the format and conditions for dialogue with Moscow. The leaders also approved granting an extra 3 billion euros to Turkey over the next three years to continue the migration agreement between Brussels and Ankara, while Germany proposed to restart negotiations to upgrade the EU-Turkey customs agreement. The summit once again highlighted the European Union’s limitations when it comes to foreign policy, as the most crucial decisions are taken by unanimity, which severely constrains the bloc’s room for action on controversial issues....

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