The summit between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) concluded on July 18, in Brussels, with a resolution of moderate condemnation against the invasion of Russia in Ukraine without the support of Nicaragua and after previous reluctance from Venezuela and Cuba. In the final declaration, the promise to reinvigorate the agreement between the EU and Mercosur by the end of this year has special weight.
What was supposed to be a summit focused on revitalizing economic and trade relations between the European Union and the Latin American and Caribbean countries, eight years after the last meeting, ended up being a meeting marked by divisions around the war that he ordered Russia against Ukraine almost a year and a half ago.
The second and last day of the summit between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) remained overshadowed by what was intended to be a strong resolution condemning the two blocs against the invasion.
It was finally approved, but as a moderate declaration, without the support of Nicaragua, and with changes in the wording of the text after the reluctance of Cuba and Venezuela about the language used.
“This declaration has been supported by all the countries, with the exception of one that has not been able to sign it due to a paragraph,” said the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, at a post-summit press conference.
“Today it is Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be any of us.” Chilean President Gabriel Boric with an impassioned speech at the #EUCELAC Summit in Brussels today. With English subtitles: pic.twitter.com/E0rOE9VOyB
— Benjamin Alvarez (@BenjAlvarez1) July 18, 2023
Europe’s fervent support for the nation invaded by the Kremlin clashed with the more distant approach widespread in the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Havana and Caracas, governments with close political and economic ties to Moscow, reportedly demanded changes to the document.
According to a draft of the text, quoted by Reuters, the statements that referred to “deploring in the strongest terms the aggression of the Russian Federation” were eliminated.
The manuscript limited itself to referring to “specific national positions” of the countries represented at the summit, which brought together some 50 leaders from the EU and Celac.
“It is important that from Latin America we say it clearly, what is happening in Ukraine is a war of aggression, imperial, unacceptable (…) Today it is Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be any of us,” Chilean President Gabriel Boric urged. during the encounter.
They promise to ratify the trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur by the end of the year
According to the statement released on July 18 by the European Commission after the meeting, the two blocs “reaffirmed their determination to work towards the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Mercosur by the end of 2023, and to resolve all pending issues.” in accordance with the priorities and concerns of each party”.
The ratification of the association pact between the EU and Mercosur – made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay– reached in 2019, depends on the two parties agreeing to an annex that emphasizes climate commitments and the prevention of deforestation.
The revalidation of the agreement is paralyzed by the reluctance of France and Ireland to the impact that meat imports may have on their farmers and by the demands of the European Parliament or Austria in the fight against the climate.
At the beginning of this summit, the executive president of the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF), Sergio Diaz-Granados, described as “urgent” to conclude the procedure to make the most of business in an economic space equivalent to the US.
For now, the parties involved promise that it will be achieved by the end of 2023.
Amid the economic effects caused by Russia’s conflict against its neighboring country, the European Union seeks to strengthen and expand its trading partners.
With Reuters and EFE
Source: France 24