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>> EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday for their final summit of 2016. It is a year few will be sad to see end. In Brussels, I'm Reuters reporter Julian Satterthwaite. The leaders gathering here are grappling with almost too many issues to count. Aleppo, Brexit, the Greek debt crisis, turmoil in Italy, the migrant crisis, the list goes on and on.
And it's hard to imagine that this one day gathering can produce too much in the way of big decisions. Little mention of Brexit. The 27 leaders, other than the UK, refusing to discuss it until the exit process officially begins. Sanctions on Russia one possible source of agreement, the EU almost certain to extend the measures but maybe for the last time.
US President-elect Donald Trump wants warmer relations with Vladimir Putin, and no one here is sure where that might leave Europe. A tougher question is whether to accuse Russia of war crimes over its actions in Syria. On Thursday morning the mayor of East Aleppo came to the summit to put moral pressure on the leaders.
>> We have there 50,000 people who are only waiting for death. This is what we ask from the European Union. We want a strong commitment from the EU to save the civilians.>> Earlier in the day the EU's foreign policy chief was certainly sounding tough.>> For us, what is happening to civilians in this moment is completely unacceptable and our priority in this moment is this, protection of civilians, protection of civilians.
>> But Europe is deeply divided, countries including Hungary and Italy reluctant to do anything that would provoke Moscow. If this summit does go late into the night, as so many do, it may be Russia that is costing the leaders their sleep.