Topics leaders are not expected to discuss
Several topics are not on the agenda but are expected to rear their (ugly) heads. These include energy as prices have soared pushing inflation higher. Gas, therefore, is likely to be talked about but no conclusions will be released on this even though several member states have had their gas deliveries drastically reduced by Russia.
As a reminder, the bloc has committed to cut its Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year and is striking deals with alternative sources of supply including Israel, Norway and the US.
Not on the agenda and not likely to be discussed will be the EU’s potential seventh round of sanctions against Russia over its aggression on Ukraine. An EU diplomat stressed that there is no proposal on the table and that leaders want to focus instead on the implementation of the six packages.
Finally, Kaliningrad should not be discussed at length either. In recent days, Moscow has warned of “unprecedented” action after Lithuania started checking Russian cargo transiting through its territory and heading for the Russian exclave for sanctioned goods. The EU, meanwhile, has supported Lithuania, emphasising the Baltic state is respecting the sanctions the bloc has imposed.