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newsEuropean Council conclusions on Russia, UK, Middle East and Mali, 24 May 2021

IV. Russia

11. The European Council held a strategic debate on Russia.

12. It condemns the illegal, provocative and disruptive Russian activities against the EU, its Member States and beyond. It reaffirms the EU’s unity and solidarity in the face of such acts as well as its support to Eastern partners.

13. The European Council expresses its solidarity with the Czech Republic and supports its response.

14. The European Council reaffirms its commitment to the five principles governing EU policy vis-à-vis Russia. It invites the High Representative and the Commission to present a report with policy options on EU-Russia relations, in line with these principles, with a view to its meeting in June 2021.

15. The EU will continue coordination with like-minded partners.

V. UK

16. The European Council welcomes the entry into force of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 1 May 2021. This Agreement, together with the Withdrawal Agreement and its Protocols, provides the framework for our relations with the UK. Both Agreements should be fully and effectively implemented and their governance structures made operational.

17. The two Agreements allow for the EU to have as close as possible a partnership with the UK, while recognising that a non-member of the EU cannot enjoy the same benefits as a member and that the relationship must be based on a balance of rights and obligations at all times. Relations with the UK should remain mutually beneficial and can under no circumstances undermine the integrity of the Single Market, the Customs Union or the EU’s decision-making autonomy. The European Council calls on the UK to respect the principle of non-discrimination among Member States.

18. The European Council invites the Commission to continue its efforts to ensure full implementation of the Agreements, including in the areas of EU citizens’ rights, fisheries and level playing field, making full use of the instruments under the Agreements, in continuous coordination and permanent dialogue with the Council and its preparatory bodies in accordance with established practice.

19. The European Council will remain seized of the matter and the EU will continue to be united in its engagement with the UK.

VI. Middle East

20. We welcome the ceasefire that should bring an end to the violence. The EU will continue to work with international partners to restart a political process. The EU reiterates its firm commitment to the two-state solution.

VII. Mali

21. The European Council associates itself with the declaration of the ECOWAS and the African Union and strongly condemns the kidnapping of the President of the Transition of Mali and the Prime Minister and calls for their immediate release.

22. The European Union is ready to consider targeted measures against political and military leaders who obstruct the Malian transition.

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