The summit is intended to allow EU leaders to reacquaint themselves with President Vladimir Putin, but they are expected to lean on him to take a stronger stand on Syria.
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Russia and Syria remain strong allies and Western officials have accused Russia of selling arms and providing support to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Putin has denied these claims, but his nation has also refused to condemn Mr. Assad and call for his removal.
If the EU can persuade Moscow to take a harder line against Syria, it may enable the United Nations Security Council to take more decisive action to end the conflict without Russia exercising its veto power. EU officials will likely attempt to persuade Putin to call on Assad to remove heavy weapons from Syrian cities and step down from power.