Borrell: EU members ‘will reach agreement’ on new sanctions package against Russia

Published in World
Tuesday, 31 May 2022 10:29

European Union members will reach an agreement on a new sanctions package against Russia, including imposing restrictions on Russian oil imports, during the ongoing summit in Brussels, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in an interview with France Info today.

We need to decide unanimously. There were tough talks yesterday afternoon, as well as this morning. I think that this afternoon, we will be able to offer to the heads of the member states an agreement,” said Borrell.

European Union governments have so far failed to reach agreement on an embargo on Russian oil. “We have to take the individual circumstances of everybody into account,” Borrell said.

He  added that an EU-wide solution should give the three countries which accounted for 7% to 8% of Russian oil imports – Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – “more time to adjust”.

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    This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia,  the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we would like to join hands with survivors, activists, decision-makers, and people from every walk of life to take a bold stand against this global scourge.

    Stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Across the world, as well as in Georgia, violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive and latent human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.

    A world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped is possible. It can and must be prevented.

    As highlighted in the GREVIO baseline report on Georgia published on 22/11/2022, over the past decade, Georgia has made significant progress towards effectively addressing the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls by putting in place a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, producing data and strengthening institutions to effectively enforce the laws. Moreover, specialized services for survivors such as shelters, crisis centres and a hotline have been created, and law enforcement has been specialized to handle cases in a more sensitive and qualified manner. Importantly, there have been positive shifts in public perceptions and an increase in survivors’ trust in the justice system and services.

    Despite these significant measures taken to tackle gender-based violence in Georgia, women continue to die as a result of these atrocious crimes. Often, femicide represents the continuum of other forms of violence experienced by women and girls. Sexual violence also persists in Georgia, with an extremely low number of reporting and respective cases reaching the courts. The persistent patriarchal norms and deeply entrenched stereotypes in Georgian society tend to blame victims and condone violence against women and girls.

    We call for the strengthening of a holistic national framework to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls in Georgia.  Efforts should be translated into concrete actions through the necessary legislative measures by, inter alia, amending the definition of rape in the Criminal Code of Georgia to ensure compliance with the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and other international standards, as well as by exercising due diligence to prevent (including through integrating the issue into the general education programmes), investigate, punish, and provide reparation for acts of violence. Building and strengthening an enabling environment for women’s economic, political, and social empowerment is paramount.

    Since everyone has a pivotal role to play in tackling violence against women and girls, we remain steadfast in our determination to support the Government of Georgia, civil society, and other partners to ensure that the inalienable right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is observed and enjoyed for the benefit of everyone.

  • European Commission proposes unprecedented support package for Ukraine – up to €18 billion for 2023

    The European Commission today proposed an unprecedented support package for Ukraine of up to €18 billion for 2023. These funds will be provided in the form of highly concessional loans to be repaid in regular instalments starting in 2033.

    “This stable, regular and predictable financial assistance – averaging €1.5 billion per month – will help cover a significant part of Ukraine’s short-term funding needs for 2023, which the Ukrainian authorities and the International Monetary Fund estimate at €3 to €4 billion per month,” says a press release from the European Commission.

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    The Commission’s proposal will need approval by the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council before entering into force.

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    The European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have announced the first winner who will receive a grant through their capital market support programme. 

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    The company will receive a contribution from the European Union to co-finance issuance related fees, and the support mechanism will be implemented by the EBRD.

    “I believe the programme will catalyze green and sustainable bond issuances in the country and incentivise renewable energy developers to align with high Environmental, Social and Governance standards. We are extremely proud to be pioneers in this regard and to contribute towards the development of the Georgian renewable energy sector,” said Nuka Mshvidobadze, GRPO’s chief financial officer.

    The EU-funded Capital Market Support Programme aims to facilitate capital market development in Georgia, through the implementation of educational activities as well as the support mechanism.

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