Merkel and Macron Reportedly Want to Invite Putin to Summit of European Leaders
The Russian president held his first face-to-face talks with Joe Biden in the latter's capacity as president last week, with European and world leaders watching closely for any signs that the current icy relationship between Russia and the US might thaw, TASS reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France are privately calling for a summit meeting of European leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to steer the European Union toward "closer engagement with Russia," the Financial Times reports, citing people said to be familiar with the diplomatic discussions.
Diplomats told the business newspaper on Wednesday that the summit proposal is being spearheaded by Merkel, with Macron expressing support for the idea.
At the same time, German and French diplomats reportedly put other EU members on the spot in a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday by fielding a new proposal to improve relations with Russia, with some countries raising a "stink" about the idea.
Merkel is said to have been in close contact with Germany's European allies on the matter over the past several days, with Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi recently visiting Berlin this week. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held talks with German officials this week.