05:10 GMT17 June 2021
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    During the first day of the gathering, EU leaders condemned Russia's activities against the European Union amid a diplomatic row between Moscow and the Czech Republic.

    Sputnik is live from Brussels, Belgium, where European leaders are holding national press briefings after the second session of the European Council. The agenda includes the coordination of the EU's response to COVID-19 and its fight against climate change.

    The first day of the gathering focussed on the EU's reaction to the Ryanair incident. EU leaders condemned the flight's forced landing in Minsk and called for an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) probe into the incident. The bloc also urged for tougher sanctions and bans on Belarusian carrier flights in the EU. In addition, European politicians held a strategic debate on Russia, concluding that Moscow carried out activities against the EU, its member states, and others.

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    European Council, Belarus, Russia, EU
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