- CELAC countries want to delete mention of Russia’s invasion
- Some EU countries warn excluding reference to war is red line
Jorge Valero, bloomberg
EnergiesNet.com 07 17 2023
Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other Latin American leaders will try to avoid any mention of Russia’s war in Ukraine when they meet their European Union counterparts this month, setting up a clash that risks undermining efforts to reboot relations between the blocs.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is seeking to remove any reference to the conflict from the summit conclusions, according to people familiar with the matter. The gathering will take place in Brussels on July 17-18.
Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states made clear in discussions among EU envoys on Wednesday that excluding any reference to the invasion would be a red line for Europe, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity about private talks.
The EU sees the summit as a key chance to reboot the bloc’s relationship with the sub-continent as it competes for influence with China, tries to broaden support for Kyiv in its defense against Russia, and seeks to secure access to critical raw materials needed for its digital and green energy transitions.
Discussions will continue in the coming days but are expected to be difficult, with disagreements also surrounding workers’ rights and the creation of long-term EU-CELAC coordination, the people added.
The process is complex because CELAC countries lack a permanent organizational structure, and the presidency is currently held by the small Caribbean island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which represents the position of countries with more radical views such as Cuba, the people said.
One option would be to agree on shorter conclusions to try and bring negotiations back on track, the people said.
Still, Ukraine would remain one of the most difficult political points to reach consensus on, one senior EU diplomat said. A lack of time and the extent of differences mean a joint statement may not be possible, the diplomat added.
bloomberg.com 07 06 2023