The European leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday for a major two-day summit to discuss global security, climate change, and other major issues. The second part of the summit is due to take place on Friday.
Sanctions Against Russia
During the summit, the EU leaders voted for an extension of sanctions against Russia for six more months, as existing sanctions expire on 31 July. The sanctions were introduced over the unification of Crimean peninsula with Russia via a referendum, which Ukraine and the EU consider an “annexation”. According to UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, who spoke about on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures, the EU has suffered more from Russia’s retaliatory sanctions, as Russia managed to mitigate the economic effects by ramping up domestic production.
The European Council said that it would enhance its defence investment and continue to cooperate with its NATO partners.
The bloc continued to develop cooperation with its allies across the Atlantic and other NATO members.
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“[The European Union] will cooperate closely with NATO, in full respect of the principles set out in the Treaties and by the European Council, including the principles of inclusiveness, reciprocity and the decision-making autonomy of the EU,” it added.