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EU leaders meet to discuss Ukraine, Wagner mutiny
Leaders of the EU member states are meeting in Brussels to discuss the recent mutiny in Russia as well as support for Ukraine
The leaders of the 27 EU member states met in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit, nearly a week after the Wagner mercenary group caused chaos in Russia by launching a short-lived mutiny.
While Ukraine, and its prospects of joining the EU, were on the agenda, the question of how to respond to the upheavals in Russia has quickly become the most urgent topic.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg were also taking part in the summit. The NATO chief was set to join the EU leaders for lunch while the Ukrainian president planned to call in via video link.
"At the summit, I expect announcements of military support to Ukraine," Stoltenberg said ahead of the meeting, adding that he expected a program to be drawn up to make Ukraine "fully interoperable with NATO."
What to expect from the EU summit
DW's Brussels bureau chief Alexandra von Nahmen was outside of the EU Council building in the Belgian capital where the summit is taking place.
"The question is whether and if yes, how the cracks and divisions in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's system could be turned into Ukraine's advantage. That is a question that is being discussed here of course," she said.
She added that some leaders considered now the opportune time to ramp up support for Ukraine due to Russia's perceived weakness.
"It's important that we consult and say we're ready to hold on for the long term, with financial and humanitarian support that's necessary for Ukraine but also when it comes to weapons," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.
Others, however, said that Russia is unpredictable and remains dangerous, despite the mutiny.
"A weaker Putin is a greater danger. So we have to be very much aware of the consequences," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said ahead of the gathering.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, on the other hand, has said that he is concerned about the presence of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in neighboring Belarus.
"We are extremely concerned about the developments in Belarus. Prigozhin is already there... I cannot say 100%, but it is very likely that he is already there," Nauseda told reporters.