China and Russia on the agenda at the European Council
At their meeting in Brussels, the EU leaders strongly condemned Russia’s war of aggression and expressed their strong support for Ukraine. The second day of the European Council meeting began with a strategic discussion on China.
In the discussion, Prime Minister Sanna Marin emphasised the need for the European Union to move away from its critical dependencies on China.
“China is less and less a partner to Europe and increasingly a competitor and challenger. We need to have a serious discussion, especially about Europe’s technological dependence on China and China’s investments in strategic sectors in Europe. It is crucial that we reduce these dependencies on China,” Prime Minister Marin said.
The European Council also discussed Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. The EU leaders condemned Russia’s attacks on civilians and infrastructure and demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately. The EU leaders reiterated their commitment to stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary and their resolve to bring Russia and all the perpetrators to justice. The European Council urged Belarus to stop supporting Russia’s war of aggression and strongly condemned Iran’s arms assistance to Russia.
The EU leaders reiterated that Russia alone is responsible for the global food security crisis, which it has provoked by weaponising food in its war against Ukraine.
The European Council also strongly condemned the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline and other infrastructure. The Union will respond in a united and determined manner to disruptions to critical infrastructure and other hybrid activities. The European Council called on the EU Member States to rapidly improve resilience to disruptions in their critical infrastructure in cooperation with other Member States and the European Commission, for example.
In its discussion on external relations, the European Council condemned the use of force by Iranian authorities against peaceful demonstrators, especially women. Other topics on the agenda included preparations for the EU-ASEAN Summit (14 December), the UN Climate Change Conference (6–18 November) and the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (7–19 December).
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