Leaders from 44 countries in Europe and neighboring regions gathered for a summit in the Czech capital, Prague, against the background of the war in Ukraine and a sharp deterioration in relations between the EU countries and russia. This is reported by Radio Liberty.
This is the first meeting of a new informal organization – the European Political Community. Representatives of all 27 EU countries, as well as candidate states for joining the bloc and those countries that are connected with the EU by economic agreements and share common European values, participate in it.
Invitations were received by the leaders of Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, as well as the UK, Turkey, Serbia and a number of other non-EU countries.
Belarus and russia are not among those invited.
The idea to create a new format belongs to French President Emmanuel Macron, he came up with it in May. Subsequently, it was approved by the EU summit. The EU emphasizes that this is not about an alternative to EU accession for candidate countries, but about a new format of cooperation.
"Given the dramatic consequences of the russian war, which affected European countries on many fronts, we agreed to create a European political community with the aim of uniting the countries of the European continent and providing a platform for political coordination", - President of the European Council Charles Michel noted in his invitation to the countries’ leaders. According to him, security, economy, energy and migration can be discussed at the summit.
Before the start of the meeting in Prague, EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell stated that its participants would discuss the creation of a "new order without russia", and the very fact of the meeting is a clear signal that moscow is isolated in connection with its aggression against Ukraine. Earlier, Borrell published an article in which he developed his idea of building a single European space without the participation of putin's russia.
He noted that in putin's recent speech about the annexation of Ukrainian territories, it was not just about territorial disputes with Ukraine or the desire to conquer it, but about the fight against the "collective West", which putin accused of everything from the bombing of Dresden to sex reassignment surgery and satanism.
According to Borrell, putin's speech indicates that he has closed the door to dialogue and diplomacy and is increasingly dragging his country into the path of war and isolation. Borrell noted that putin denies the legacy of deceased Mikhail Gorbachev, who proposed the idea of a "common European home".
"For the foreseeable future, probably, as long as putin remains in power, it is not possible to develop a new security structure or "peace architecture" in Europe, of which putin's russia is a part", - Borrell notes.
According to him, russia remains a geographical neighbor of Europe and a participant in the international system of relations, but at the moment, it is necessary to build a European political community without its participation. As Borrell notes, this refers to a structure the scope of which is wider than the EU and NATO.