The first day of the European Union summit was largely dominated by some of the most burning issues of Brexit, trade, migrants and Russia. It can be righty touted as a stressful period for the EU as the impact of the negotiations surrounding Brexit will be having far reaching ramifications for the other 27 members as well. When the fresh news of Theresa May announcing the exit of Britain from the Union made the headlines, there was a lot of furor about Russia attempting to sabotage the union from within.
The Russian activities
Several big leaders of the country unveiled a slew of Russian misdemeanors including cyber attacks, air space violations, disinformation campaigns and also an interference with the internal political functions of the union, that were an indication of how ugly the situation could get. Commenting on the active developments on the MH17 investigation and the creation of hybrid tools in the Balkans, the president of the European Union Donald Tusk outlined his concern that Russia might be planning to take the Brexit as a favorable advantage to weaken the Union.
The EU summit witnessed some major discussions over release of additional sanctions as a means to tackle the aftermath of the recent air attacks in Syria. Although, there was a divided opinion upon the inclusion of new sanctions and whether the existing sanctions should be lifted or not, the president of European parliament Martin Schulz stated that the sanctions should not be lifted as long as the Minsk Agreement is not applied in its entirety. The members also reiterated the need for strengthening the migration policy in the union, more stringent security across the borders, increase in the repatriation of economically failed migrants and improvement in the trade and economic ties with Africa. There were discussions over international trade cooperation and specially the one that has been agreed upon with Canada. As per a recent press release, the member states of the European Union have agreed to provide Wallonia with fresh guarantees in order to encourage Belgium and the surrounding areas to make way for the trade agreements between Canada and Europe. The trade talks have been discussed only on an ambassador level as of now. If there is hope for a better future in the light of the new trade deal, the matter will be upgraded to the state level, where the top officials and heads of the government will grant their approval.