00:23 GMT16 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union wants to avoid a hard Brexit and will compromise with London if it agrees to strike a balance on their future ties, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Wednesday.

    EU leaders are meeting in Salzburg, Austria for an informal summit in the run-up to a formal event later this year as the March 2019 deadline looms for a post-Brexit deal.

    "We must do everything to avoid a hard Brexit… [EU’s Brexit negotiator] Michel Barnier … has made a step toward the UK and we expect the Brits to be ready for a compromise," Kurz told reporters before the meeting.

    The chancellor said he was going to request an extraordinary EU summit in November and hoped an agreement on the EU-UK relationship could be reached by that time. The two parties have been deadlocked on the Irish border and what EU rules London should stick to to continue trading with the union.

    READ MORE: German Right-Wing Party Calls for Creation of 'Fortress Europe' With Kurz, Orban

    Earlier, Austrian Chancellor warned the UK against any attempt to divide the EU to secure a more favorable Brexit deal, saying that facilitating Britain’s exit from the bloc in an unharmful way is “important.”


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