Kremlin was shocked by EU unity says former Russian PM
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The Prime Minister is considering whether to attend an extraordinary meeting in Brussels next week to tackle the Ukraine crisis. US President Joe Biden has already confirmed attendance as the West looks to present a united front in the face of Russia’s aggression.
Mr Johnson is understood to have also been invited to the EU meeting, taking place alongside a NATO summit, but no final decision on his attendance has been made by No10.
Britain has played a leading role in responding to Vladimir Putin’s war, crippling Russia’s economy with sanctions and coordinating an international response.
UK intelligence – along with the US – has been at the forefront of the West’s response, with updates shared with allies helping to shape reaction to the situation.
There have even been reports the EU is eager to set up a new European security council with Britain playing a leading role in order to make the most of UK intelligence.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman today refused to confirm Mr Johnson’s movements.
He said: “At this stage we haven’t confirmed plans for next week with regards to either the council or NATO.
“We expect he will be attending the NATO summit but at this stage we haven’t confirmed anything.
“We will do so as soon as possible.”
Asked specifically about whether he was considering attending the EU summit, the official added: “I’m not going to speculate.
“I think we’ve seen throughout this crisis in Ukraine, the invasion of Ukraine, that the UK is working extremely closesly with European allies on that.”
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On December 9, 2020 the Prime Minister attended a frosty dinner with European Commission President Ursula von de Leyen to discuss remaining roadblocks to negotiations.
The evening ended without a breakthrough and both sides briefing against one another.
While some Brexit frictions have remained since the UK moved out of Brussels’ orbit in January 2021, Britain and the EU have put aside their differences to focus on Ukraine.
Mr Johnson’s attendance at next week’s summit would be a hugely symbolic moment.
Usually the meetings are for EU leaders only, with a UK Prime Minister not attending since 2019.
The invitation extended by Brussels to Britain and the US signifies with which the seriousness the Ukraine invasion is being treated.
Mr Johnson’s attendance was pathed earlier this month when Foreign Secretary Liz Truss joined a special meeting of the EU foreign affairs council to discuss the deteriorating situation in Eastern Europe.
Leaders will meet on March 24-25.
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