European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday he hopes that some European Union (EU) countries will take additional action against Russia in response to the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury, United Kingdom. of which the British Government accuses Moscow.
“I hope that a number of member states will take additional measures towards Russia on Monday, which means that it is not the end of the road,” Tusk told a news conference after the summit of leaders of the European Union held on Thursday and Friday. Brussels.
The EU yesterday expressed its support for the United Kingdom, noting that it is “highly probable” that Russia is responsible for the attack and that “there is no other plausible explanation” for it while deciding to call for consultations to its ambassador in Moscow.
Asked about the number of countries that could decide national response measures against Russia, Tusk said he expects them to be “more than one, but not the whole group.”
As for possible additional actions by the European Union as a whole, the president of the European Council noted that “it is too early to say what the next possible step will be” and said that they should “wait for the results of the investigations” on the attack.
In this regard, he considered that the subject could be discussed again in April.
Both Tusk and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who appeared together, defended that the response adopted by the EU on Thursday “is unprecedented” and underscored the unity of the countries in their support for the United Kingdom.
The head of the Council stated that “it is very difficult to prepare and adapt the reaction to this type of behavior”, referring to the fact that a nerve agent was used in the attack.
“We have never had an opportunity to respond adequately because we are completely different from the perpetrators of this attack,” he said.
Tusk acknowledged that the Member States have different positions and “interests” when it comes to responding to Russia for its traditions or geographical situation, so “it is not easy to keep the Twenty-eight together.”
“In this context, I appreciate the goodwill, determination and good political instincts of all my colleagues yesterday, I think it was the best reaction we were able to decide,” insisted the Polish politician.
For his part, Juncker said that, while countries are responding to Russia for this action, they are also willing to develop “better relations” with Moscow and have a “channel” open to discuss with that country.
Ireland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Denmark have all indicated that they are considering adopting additional measures against Moscow.
For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned today after the summit that there will be more “coordinated and proportionate” measures after the poisoning against an ex-spy in the United Kingdom and that they will be announced, “in the following days”.
Latvia, for its part, has reported that it plans to expel at least one Russian diplomat, while Greece and Italy are the most reluctant countries to take supplementary measures against Russia.