While European Commision President sends the congratulatory letter to Vladimir Putin, other EU leaders criticize him for that. This week, at a summit, EU will discuss how to defend from Russian disinformation and cyber attacks, so Jean-Claude Juncker’s letter looks strange on this background.
The European countries demonstrated strong support to the UK Britain, which accuses Moscow of poisoning a former spy with a nerve agent in England in an attack on March 4. That’s why Jean-Claude Juncker was criticised for his sending the congratulatory letter to Mr Putin who won his fourth terms as President.
In fact, EC President sent Mr Putin his congratulations on the re-election as President of the Russian Federation, that was a traditional diplomatic letter.
“I have always argued that positive relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation are crucial to the security of our continent,”
Jean-Claude Juncker wrote and added that the common objective should be to re-establish a cooperative pan-European security order. Sending a congratulatory letter, EC President expressed the hope that Mr Putin will use his fourth term in office to pursue this goal.
“I will always be a partner in this endeavour,”
Juncker wrote. He wished Vladimir Putin every success in carrying out the high responsibilities, while EU lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt noted that this is no time for congratulations.
There were more angry reactions to the fact of Juncker’s letter. Ashley Fox, the leader of Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament, tagged the letter “disgraceful” as he accused Mr Juncker of “appeasing” the Russian President.
“To congratulate Vladimir Putin on his election victory without referring to the clear ballot rigging that took place is bad enough,”
US President Trump also congratulated Mr Putin on his victory in a telephone call, with the White House confirming the Salisbury attack was not mentioned between the two leaders.