L. Linkevičius: COVID-19 does not stop Russia's ongoing aggression
On 21 April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius took part in a videoconference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, which was organized by the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod.
A group of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Olivér Várhelyi, and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid also took part in the informal discussion. They participants held an exchange of views on the reform agenda of the Ukrainian Government, Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine, the evolving situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak, and issues related to EU support.
L. Linkevičius welcomed Ukraine’s reform process, which was advancing despite the pressing COVID-19 challenge, and urged the country to pursue the necessary reforms. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister also noted that the situation in eastern Ukraine was not improving.
“The ceasefire is regularly violated. Russian-backed fighters prevent the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine from entering the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under their control. Therefore, the EU must continue and intensify pressure on Russia until the Minsk agreements are implemented," said L. Linkevičius.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister D. Kuleba informed about steps taken by the Ukrainian Government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement the ongoing reforms, the deterioration of the security situation and humanitarian conditions in Donbas, and underlined the importance of ambitious objectives of the Eastern Partnership.
The discussion took place on the eve of the informal videoconference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers on 22 April, which will focus on the situation in Ukraine, the Eastern Partnership initiative, as well as the trajectory of the COVID-19 situation in Eastern Partnership countries.