After Joe Biden’s meeting with the Russian president, leaders think the bloc can reset relations and help contain its eastern rival
France and Germany have suggested inviting Vladimir Putin to a summit with the EU as part of a broader reset of the bloc’s relations with Russia.
The proposal from Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel comes after Joe Biden’s Geneva summit with the Russian president, and supporters of the idea argue that European leaders can deliver the same direct messages about Russian behaviour while keeping the door open to compromise and cooperation.
Critics of closer ties to the Kremlin are concerned that it would reward Putin at a time when he is once more building up pressure on Ukraine, and Russia has been accused of stepping up cyber-attacks on the US and its allies. It came on a day when Russian forces claimed to have fired warning shots at a British warship in the Black Sea close to Russian-occupied Crimea, a claim that the UK denied.
The EU has not held a summit with Putin since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and has imposed several layers of sanctions on Russia.