EU convenes summit on pandemic, climate and Russia on May 25

Source : 112 Ukraine

European Union leaders will hold a face-to-face summit in Brussels
11:55, 24 April 2021

European Union leaders will hold a face-to-face summit in Brussels on May 25 to discuss the coronavirus crisis, the battle against climate change and tensions with Russia.

Several recent EU gatherings have been held by videoconference as a Covid-19 safety measure, but a spokesman for European Council president Charles Michel said next month's summit would be in person.

Related: Ukraine urges EU to disconnect Russia from SWIFT in new sanctions

Officials have expressed frustration that decision-making is slowed at video summits, where leaders can not meet in smaller huddles on the sidelines and there are privacy concerns.

Next month's summit was called just as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that, after a slow start, the bloc's coronavirus vaccine programme is getting up to speed.

The leaders will also address climate change after agreement between the Commission, MEPs and national leaders on binding legislation or emissions cutting targets.

Relations with Moscow are also on the agenda after a Russian troop build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine's borders sparked concern and a report that Russian agents triggered a 2014 explosion in a Czech arsenal which fuelled tensions with Prague.

Related: WHO, EU to inspect Sputnik V manufacturing

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