EU to present military assistance measures for Georgia and Moldova as war rages in Ukraine

Published in Economics
Thursday, 09 June 2022 08:28

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative Josep Borrell addressed the European Parliament today, reporting on recent EU decisions, including on Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries, and presenting the results of the Extraordinary European Council held in Brussels on 30-31 May.   

Ursula von der Leyen noted that breaking free from dependency on Russian fossil fuels, strengthening the EU’s defence, food security, and reconstruction of Ukraine remain the main EU priorities. 

She said the upcoming food crisis, which will affect 265 million people worldwide this year alone, is fuelled by Putin’s aggressive war against Ukraine: “Whereas Russia actively weaponises hunger, the EU’s sanctions are carefully crafted to avoid a negative impact and they foresee a clear exemption for food products. Our sanctions do not touch basic food commodities. They do not affect the trading of grain, or other food, between Russia and third countries.” 

Josep Borrell (whose speech was delivered by European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis) added that the EU would continue to work with its partners to isolate Russia in international fora and would increase military support to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

We have proposed to increase the non-lethal military assistance measures benefitting Georgia and [the Republic of] Moldova. It will support logistics, cyber-defence, military medical, engineering and mobility capabilities. We will present them in June for planned adoption by the Council in July,” said Borrell.

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Ursula von der Leyen speech

Josep Borrell speech

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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Press release

Sanctions: European Commission publishes consolidated list of travel bans

Published in Politics
Friday, 13 May 2022 11:05

On 11 May, the European Commission published a consolidated list of travel bans in its EU Sanctions Map tool. This includes those who are implicated, in one way or another, in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

This sanctions tool is available to Member State authorities as well as EU citizens and allows EU citizens to see who is subject to a travel ban under our sanctions measures, and is therefore prevented from travelling to the EU.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that “travel bans are an integral element of our foreign policy toolbox and an important feature of most EU sanctions regimes”.

Since 2014, the Council has imposed travel bans against 1,091 individuals in response to their actions violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Since the start of the illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine this year, approximately 900 travel bans restricting entry into the territory of the EU have been imposed against individuals who support and facilitate that aggression,” said Borrell.

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Press release

EU Sanctions Map tool

EU Sanctions Whistleblower Tool looks for information on violations of EU sanctions on Russia or Belarus

 

 

World Press Freedom Day: EU urges Russia to stop attacks on journalists

Published in Society
Tuesday, 03 May 2022 16:43

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, EU High Representative Josep Borrell has congratulated brave journalists, camera crews, reporters, photographers and bloggers on behalf of the EU, saying that they are “risking their lives to keep us informed about Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine”.

Russian forces are detaining, abducting or kidnapping and targeting journalists and civil society actors to prevent the world from hearing the truth,” J. Borrell said. “We strongly urge the Russian Federation to immediately stop such attacks and practices.” 

According to the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, ten Ukrainian and international media workers have already been killed, and many others were wounded.

J. Borrell said the safety of journalists was an EU priority,adding that the EU is providing emergency support to media outlets and journalists covering the war in Ukraine, including psychological support, helmets and other protective equipment, as well as financing to cover salaries.

By reporting from the front lines and shedding light on the gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Russian armed forces, journalists importantly contribute to counter disinformation and information manipulation surrounding the invasion,” said J. Borrell. “They play a crucial role in ensuring that these atrocities do not remain unpunished.”

J. Borrell also noted the courage of independent journalists in Russia and Belarus, who are trying to convey accurate information about Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Source: https://euneighbourseast.eu/news-and-stories/latest-news/world-press-freedom-day-eu-urges-russia-to-stop-attacks-on-journalists/

EU triples initial support to Ukrainian Armed Forces – up to €1.5 billion under the European Peace Facility

Published in Economics
Thursday, 14 April 2022 10:42

On 13 April,  the Council of the European Union adopted two assistance measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) that will allow the EU to further support the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the country against the ongoing Russian military aggression.

The EU will add €500 million to the resources already mobilised under the EPF for Ukraine, thereby tripling the initial budget to €1.5 billion.

The next weeks will be decisive. As Russia prepares for an offensive on the East of Ukraine, it is crucial that we continue and step up our military support to Ukraine to defend its territory and population and prevent further suffering,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

The agreed measures will finance both the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by EU Member States, including personal protective equipment, first aid kits and fuel, as well as military equipment designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes. The duration of the assistance measures is also extended by 24 months.

Source: EU Neighbours East

Borrell meets new Georgian Foreign Minister, underlines full EU support

Published in Politics
Thursday, 07 April 2022 12:26

EU High Representative Josep Borrell yesterday met new Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Strasbourg, and congratulated him on his appointment.

The High Representative  recalled the European Union’s full support to Georgia in the current challenging regional and geopolitical context and in facing the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The EU continues to be ready to step up its cooperation with Georgia to strengthen its resilience,” an EU press release said. 

Borrell reaffirmed the EU’s unwavering commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders, and underlined the EU’s commitment to further deepen EU-Georgia relations. He stressed the importance for Georgia to make concrete and rapid progress on key reform priorities, and notably to further tackle the domestic political polarisation, reform the judiciary and adopt the agreed constitutional reforms.

 

EU foreign ministers agree to give Ukraine another €500 million in arms and military equipment

Published in World
Wednesday, 23 March 2022 11:16

On 22 March, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels reached a political agreement to give Ukraine another €500 million in arms and military equipment.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that all Member States remain “extraordinarily united in supporting Ukraine” –  supporting the country diplomatically, on the international stage, economically, financially, with humanitarian assistance and supporting the Ukrainian armed forces. 

He added that the EU “will continue isolating Russia, to call it out for war crimes, and for blatant violations of international humanitarian law”.

During the joint session of the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs, the European Council also adopted the Strategic Compass for strengthening the EU’s security and defence policy. 

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the adoption of the document “sends a strong signal of unity and resolve”, but added it was not an answer to the Ukrainian war. “We started working two years ago, but it is very timely that we approve this Strategic Compass in a moment in which I think every citizen in Europe can understand the purpose of a document that wants to increase the strength of the European Union as a security provider”.

Borrell said that today the military expenditure in Europe – adding up all Member States – stood at about €200 billion, more or less four times more than the military expenditure of Russia. However, the EU should spend more than 1.5 % of the GDP on security and defence: “We have to spend more. But we have to spend better. Better means to avoid duplications and to avoid gaps”. He added that the EU did not want to create a European army – the European Member States armies will remain.

Borrell added that the Council agreed to the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity, which will allow the EU to mobilise up to 5,000 troops, trained and equipped to react to crises. “We will strengthen our Command-and-control capabilities, and we will conduct live exercises together. It has never happened,” added Borrell.

EU imposes sanctions on another 26 persons and one entity from Russia

Published in Politics
Monday, 07 March 2022 13:05

The Council of the European Union added 26 persons and one entity to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

The new listings include oligarchs and businessmen active in the oil, banking and finance sectors, as well as government members, and high-level military personalities, and propagandists who have contributed to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda and promote a positive attitude towards the invasion of Ukraine.

“With these additional sanctions, we are targeting all who are having a significant economic role in supporting Putin’s regime and benefit financially from the system. These sanctions will expose the wealth of Putin’s elite. Those who enable the invasion of Ukraine will pay a price for their action,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Restrictive measures, which now apply to a total of 680 individuals and 53 entities, include an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. In addition, a travel ban applicable to the listed persons prevents these from entering or transiting through EU territory.

Today’s decision complements the package of measures announced by the High Representative after the video conference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers of 27 February. This package also includes the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces through the European Peace Facility, a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers of all kinds, and a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank.

 

EU imposes sanctions on another 26 persons and one entity from Russia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 02 March 2022 12:29

the Council of the European Union added 26 persons and one entity to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

The new listings include oligarchs and businessmen active in the oil, banking and finance sectors, as well as government members, and high-level military personalities, and propagandists who have contributed to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda and promote a positive attitude towards the invasion of Ukraine.

“With these additional sanctions, we are targeting all who are having a significant economic role in supporting Putin’s regime and benefit financially from the system. These sanctions will expose the wealth of Putin’s elite. Those who enable the invasion of Ukraine will pay a price for their action,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Restrictive measures, which now apply to a total of 680 individuals and 53 entities, include an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. In addition, a travel ban applicable to the listed persons prevents these from entering or transiting through EU territory.

Today’s decision complements the package of measures announced by the High Representative after the video conference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers of 27 February. This package also includes the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces through the European Peace Facility, a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers of all kinds, and a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank.

The latest news and information on the European Union’s (EU)

cooperation with its Eastern partners

EU to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons worth €450 million

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 01 March 2022 10:36

On 27 February, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council gave its political approval to a support package for the Ukrainian armed forces, new sanctions, diplomatic engagement to isolate Russia to support Ukraine and the region, as well as measures to counter disinformation.

According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the Council decided to use all its capabilities to provide the Ukrainian army with lethal weapons worth €450 million and another €50 million for non-lethal supplies – fuel and protective equipment. 

Borrell also thanked Poland, which has offered to act as a logistics hub for transferring this material aid to Ukraine.

The High Representative also said that the EU would strengthen Ukraine’s cyber defence.

The ministers also agreed to expand the list of sanctions against individuals who play a key role in Putin’s system. The list will be published on Monday 28 February. 

 

The latest news and information on the European Union’s (EU)

cooperation with its Eastern partners

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