The European Union has dropped a dinner traditionally held during the EU-Russian summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brussels later this month.
This would cut the long-planned summit short and demonstrate to Russia that the relationship has not returned to normal after a tensions in the Ukraine.
In spite of the strained relations, Putin will visit Brussels on Jan. 28 for his twice-yearly summit with the EU’s top officials. This time, however, the summit will be done in one day instead of usual two days.
The tension between countries arose in November last year, when the EU accused Russia of pressuring Ukrainian officials to refuse the deal with the European Union and to join the Customs Union instead.
Kiev stunned Europe by rejecting the very beneficial cooperation agreement with the EU, making a questionable decision to take a financial aid from Russia. This sparked anti-government protests in Kiev that have yet to die down.
Now the summit will be limited to several hours of talks between Putin and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and their key advisors. The EU diplomats says that this time the EU is going to drop the usual theatrical summit in order to speak openly and make strategic discussions.