The meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers will focus on Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine and a dramatic deterioration of Navalny’s health
On 19 April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis will take part in a video conference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. The meeting will focus on the situation in Ukraine and the increasing tension due to Russia’s current policies.
Foreign Affairs Ministers will also have an opportunity to hold an online exchange of views with their Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Russia's military buildup on Ukraine’s border and the latest escalation in eastern Ukraine. Foreign Affairs Ministers will also discuss a possible joint EU response, focusing on the EU's possibility of deepening cooperation with Ukraine, the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), and the process of carrying out the systemic rule of law reforms in Ukraine in a time of pandemic.
Landsbergis will share the latest news from Kyiv. Lithuania's Foreign Minister, together with the Latvian and Estonian Foreign Ministers, was visiting Ukraine last Thursday.
According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Russia clearly demonstrates a reluctance to seek a peaceful political solution to the war in eastern Ukraine and continues to refuse to recognise its role in this conflict, although it is evident.
“Russia's statements about its readiness to defend the rights of the Russian-speaking minority in eastern Ukraine are worrying. There is no positive change in Crimea. Russia has further consolidated the annexation of Crimea, the human rights situation is catastrophic, and the militarisation of the peninsula is continuing," said Landsbergis. Lithuania's Foreign Minister believes that the EU will undoubtedly voice strong support for Ukraine and its sovereignty in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in this country.
In the Council, Lithuania's Foreign Minister will address the issue concerning the unlawfully jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's significantly worsening health in the penal colony and will propose that the EU should take immediate measures.
“The Kremlin continues a liquidation campaign against Navalny, ignores his appeals for appropriate medical treatment. If the international community does not respond, the regime’s opposition leader will be sent quietly to his death. The Kremlin indiscriminately and unscrupulously seeks to destroy all those who dare to oppose the Kremlin," said the Foreign Minister before the meeting.
At the meeting, Foreign Affairs Ministers will also discuss the results of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia, the deteriorating security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Ethiopia, and the destabilising effects of the crisis in Tigray across the Horn of Africa region and beyond, as well as possible next steps of the EU policy in support to the alleviation of the humanitarian situation in Tigray, and in view of the upcoming election in Ethiopia.
In light of the escalating repression by Myanmar's military junta, the Council is due to adopt a second set of restrictive measures against individuals and legal entities - companies that have a direct relationship with the military regime.
EU Foreign Affairs Ministers will also take stock of the preparations for the upcoming EU-India Leaders’ Meeting in Porto, Portugal.