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Macron's European summit showcases Moscow's isolation

10/06/2022 | 05:48pm EST

STORY: French President Emanuel Macron was warmly welcomed by Czech leader Petr Fiala at a castle in Prague on Thursday.

Macron is among leaders of European nations - and some from outside of the European Union - gathering to discuss shared security and energy problems.

It's a rare and symbolic summit of some 44 states - with one notable absence: Russia.

This Prague gathering is the brainchild of the French leader: the inaugural meeting of what Macron calls the European Political Community.

"The objective is to share the same understanding of the situation, which is affecting Europe, and to battle out a common strategy, so a strategic conversation, which doesn't really exist at the moment, and which could reduce the divisions, and I hope that we can come out of this with a common project."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that many of the problems facing those gathered stemmed from Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

He told reporters, "we don't accept that part of a neighboring country is annexed."

Beyond lofty declarations there were doubts about the forum's concrete goals and actions.

And apart from unity in the face of Russian military aggression, it's unclear what this gathering really unites, or what it might accomplish.

In addition to core EU members such as the German chancellor, inside the castle Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan put a friendly hand on the shoulder of North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski. Both nations are currently candidates to join the EU.

Also present was the leader of a former EU nation: the new UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss.

Pushing the boundary of what constituted Europe, Macron sat down with the president of Azerbaijan and the prime minister of Armenia, two former Soviet Republics east of Turkey, who saw a fierce flare-up in armed conflict last month before a truce cooled things down.

Some dismissed the European Political Community, or EPC, as just talking shop. The president of the European commission said no major platform had been adopted.

"We did not adopt any official resolution. We just feel the need of having space for informal exchange of views on ongoing events in Europe and beyond."

Anything more might be difficult to manage, not just because of its size but also because of its diversity and the traditional rivalries between many of its members, from Armenia and Azerbaijan to Greece and Turkey.

The 27 EU-member countries will go on to meet separately on Friday.


ę Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 1.40% 60.8 Delayed Quote.-19.07%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.06% 18.635 Delayed Quote.39.77%
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