Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France are privately calling for a summit meeting of European leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to steer the European Union toward "closer engagement with Russia," APA reports citing the Financial Times.
Diplomats told the business newspaper Wednesday that the summit proposal is being spearheaded by Merkel, with Macron expressing support for the idea.
At the same time, German and French diplomats reportedly put other EU members on the spot in a meeting in Brussels Wednesday by fielding new proposals to improve relations with Russia.
Merkel has reportedly been in close contact with Germany's European allies on the matter over the past several days, with Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visiting Berlin.
The Federal Republic reportedly considers last week's Putin-Biden summit as a 'template' for improving ties with Moscow, over seven years after the Western-backed coup d'etat in Kiev, Ukraine sent relations plummeting to levels unseen since the Cold War.