By KAREL JANICEK
By Associated Press
PRAGUE (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what Europe must do to counter the consequences of it have become the key task for the Czech Republic’s upcoming presidency of the 27-nation European Union. The country formally takes reins from France on July 1. The political priorities of the rotating presidency are all linked to the war. The Czechs want to use this period to help Ukraine, including granting it EU candidacy status. The Czech are also seeking the toughest possible sanctions against Russia and hope to organize a summit on Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. The Czechs want the EU to “drastically reduce its (energy) dependence on hostile or unstable regimes,” setting up possible disputes with Germany and Italy, who are more dependent on Russian gas than other EU nations.
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