The European Union wants the 44 countries gathering for an inaugural summit in Prague of the European Political Community (EPC) on Thursday to highlight Russia's international isolation over Moscow's war in Ukraine, the bloc's top diplomat said.
However, the summit will likely be dominated by differences about how to cap gas prices to contain soaring energy costs driven by the war that are taking the air out of the post-COVID economic recovery.
A brainchild of French President Emmanuel Macron, the EPC brings together the 27 member states of the European Union and 17 other countries, including several waiting to join the bloc and the only one ever to leave it, the United Kingdom.
"This meeting is a way of looking for a new order without Russia. It doesn't mean we want to exclude Russia forever, but this Russia, Putin's Russia, does not have a seat," he said.