EU Leaders Set Strategic Agenda, Pledge Support for Ukraine Amid Russia Tensions


BRUSSELS, June 27 (Reuters) – European Union leaders are poised to finalize a strategic agenda over the next two days, focusing on supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression and strengthening the EU’s own defenses for the coming five years.

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The summit will commence with the signing of a security agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, underscoring EU solidarity with Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Moscow. Draft conclusions for the summit emphasize ongoing EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, insisting that “Russia must not prevail” and calling for the return of annexed Ukrainian territories.

EU leaders will task EU institutions with finalizing details for a substantial 50 billion euro loan package for Ukraine, leveraging profits from frozen Russian central bank assets in the West.

The conflict in Ukraine has exposed gaps in EU defense preparedness, prompting calls from countries like Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to fortify the EU’s eastern border against potential military threats and disruptive activities from Russia and Belarus.

The EU’s “strategic agenda” for 2024-2029, to be agreed upon at the summit, outlines priorities including enhancing EU competitiveness to withstand global economic pressures, particularly from China and the United States. Additionally, preparations for potential EU enlargement, encompassing Ukraine, Moldova, and the Western Balkans, are highlighted.

The agenda will guide the next European Commission, set to commence in October, in formulating its work program. Ursula von der Leyen of Germany is expected to be nominated for a second term as Commission president, alongside Antonio Costa of Portugal as President of the European Council and Kaja Kallas of Estonia as the EU’s foreign policy chief.

While a majority coalition of centrist political groups supports these appointments, resistance may arise from leaders like Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, critical of aspects of the proposed leadership package.

The summit aims to solidify the EU’s strategic direction amidst geopolitical challenges and internal consensus-building, underscoring a unified approach to security, defense, and economic resilience in a complex global landscape.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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