Category Archives: diplomacy

EU: sanctions against Nicaragua

Brussels 16.10.2022 This week The Council has prolonged the framework for imposing targeted restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua for an additional year, until 15 October 2023. (Image: Europa Building, EU Council)

The restrictive measures currently in place apply to a total of 21 persons and three entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

This decision takes place following the unjustified decision of the Nicaraguan regime to expel the Head of the EU Delegation from the country, and cut diplomatic ties with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as the EU reciprocal response to declare the Head of the Mission of the Republic of Nicaragua to the EU as persona non grata.

The EU reaffirms its continued commitment to the Nicaraguan people and to defending democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The current political crisis in Nicaragua should be resolved through genuine dialogue between the government and opposition. The EU remains open to dialogue with Nicaragua, provided that this dialogue is conducted in a respectful manner.

U.S. Ambassador leaves Moscow

Brussels 05.09.2022 The U.S. Ambassador to Russian John Sullivan has concluded his work in Moscow and departed on Sunday, September 4, the U.S. Embassy said in a press statement on its website.

“U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John J. Sullivan has concluded his tenure as U.S. envoy and departed Moscow today,” it said. “Elizabeth Rood will assume duties as Charge d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Moscow until Ambassador Sullivan’s successor arrives.”

Sullivan was appointed as the Ambassador to Russia in December 2019 and has served for nearly three years.

“…Why the change? Ambassadors have little power to set policy, but they control the *tone* of daily diplomatic communications. The Biden administration wants to take a harder line with Russia. Expect the new ambassador to be someone the Russians will hate,” the foreign policy analyst Clint Ehrlich writes.

Borrell: sanctions require “strategic patience”

Brussels 17.07.2022 “Since Russia brutally invaded Ukraine, the EU has adopted six packages of sanctions against Moscow – and we are about to finalise a “maintenance and alignment” package to clarify a number of provisions to strengthen legal certainty for operators and align the EU’s sanctions with those of our allies and partners of the G7” writes the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell (pictured) in his blog.

“Our measures already now target nearly 1,200 individuals and almost 100 entities in Russia as well as a significant number of sectors of the Russian economy. These sanctions were adopted in close coordination with the G7 member, and the fact that over forty other countries, including traditionally neutral countries, have also adopted them or taken similar measures enhances their effectiveness.

“Sanctions require strategic patience because it may take a long time for them to have the desired effect.
Now, as the war drags on and the costs of energy rises, people in Europe and elsewhere ask whether these sanctions are working and/or whether the side effects are too great. Without underestimating different problems that could occur, including attempts made to bypass them, sanctions remain an important instrument of political action. But for sure we need to use them in a well targeted manner, and, above all, they require strategic patience because it may take a long time for them to have the desired effect.

“One of the main sanctions adopted is to stop buying 90% of EU oil supplies from Russia by the end of 2022, depriving Moscow of corresponding revenues. Yes, Russia is able to sell its oil to other markets, however this benefit is limited by the fact that Russia is forced to give high discounts on each barrel (Russian oil is sold at around $ 30 less than the global average). In addition, and this is perhaps the most important point, this gradual oil embargo and the scaling back of the import of gas, liberates Europe from its energy dependence on Russia. We have discussed this issue at the EU level for years, but now we are implementing it.

“Cutting our structural energy dependence on Russia matters a lot because this dependence has been an obstacle to developing a strong European policy towards Moscow’s aggressive actions.
“Cutting our structural energy dependence on Russia matters a lot because this dependence has been an obstacle to developing a strong European policy towards Moscow’s aggressive actions. This dependence probably played an important role in Putin’s initial calculations in Ukraine. He may have believed that the EU would never sanction Russia seriously because it was too dependent on energy. This is one of his most important blunders when launching this war.

“Of course, this rapid detoxification from Russian energy involves significant costs for a number of countries and sectors that we will have to face. However, it is the price to pay to defend our democracies and international law. We have to handle these consequences by reinforcing our internal solidarity and that is what we are doing. By breaking its energy dependence, in line with its climate ambition, the EU is learning that interdependence is not always a neutral instrument that is beneficial to all or a mean to guarantee peaceful international relations. The Ukraine war confirmed that interdependence can be used as a weapon”.

New Ambassadors to EU

Brussels 15.07.2022 On 14 July 2022, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, received the credentials of the new Heads of Mission to the EU from the following countries: Vietnam, Australia, Timor-Leste, Ecuador, Djibouti, Mongolia, Cambodia, Comoros, Brunei, Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Congo (DRC), Monaco, Bahrein, Nicaragua and Samoa.

EU top diplomats convene in Luxembourg

Brussels 20.06.2022 The Foreign Affairs Council taking place in Luxembourg will be informed about current affairs and ministers will be able to exchange views on recent events and on fast-moving developments in external relations.

The Council will then discuss the latest developments in the Horn of Africa, and EU relations with Egypt.

Lastly the Council will exchange views on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, in the light of the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May 2022 and the adoption of a sixth package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia.

Over an informal lunch EU ministers will have the opportunity to hold a discussion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Sameh Hassan Shoukry.

Estonia indignent over Putin’s remarks

Brussels 11.06.2022 President Vladimir Putin paid tribute to Tsar Peter the Great (pictured) on the 350th anniversary of his birth, drawing a parallel between what he portrayed as their twin historic quests to win back Russian lands.

“Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned (what was Russia’s),” Putin said after visiting an exhibition dedicated to the tsar.

“Peter I fought the Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he fought with Sweden and rejected something there. He didn’t reject anything! He returned,” the head of state explained.

He noted that the fate of modern Russia also fell to “return and strengthen” its sovereignty and territories.

In 1721, the Northern War, which had lasted two decades, ended. The result was that the aspirations of the Muscovite tsars to establish themselves on the Baltic shores became a fait accompli. On August 30, 1721, in the town of Nystadt, the Swedes concluded a peace treaty with the Russians: the victories of Russian arms left little hope to win.

Sweden forever parted with Livonia, Estonia, Ingria and part of Karelia with Vyborg. Russia, on the other hand, had to return Finland to the Swedes, and also pay 2 million efimki (silver coins), or 56 tons of silver, for new territories. The money for those days and even today was huge, and in its own way they helped Sweden to improve the economic situation that had been shaken during the war. But the geopolitical losses could not be replenished.

Borrell: new diplomatic appointments

Brussels 08.06.2022 Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announced the nomination of 31 Heads of Delegations of the European Union.

They will be formally appointed following receipt of respective agréments from their host countries:

Christiane HOHMANN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Albania. She is currently Ambassador of Germany to Estonia and formerly served as German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gabriel VISENTIN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Australia. He is currently Special Envoy of the European Union for the Indo-Pacific. He served previously as Head of the EEAS Division for Parliamentary Affairs.

Petra PEREYRA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). She is currently Head of Unit for Communication in the Directorate-General of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission. She previously served as Team leader for West Africa in the same Directorate-General.

Jorge TOLEDO ALBIÑANA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to China. He is currently Ambassador of Spain to Japan. He formerly served as Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Spanish Government.

Francesca DI MAURO has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Côte d’Ivoire. She is currently Head of Unit for Western Africa in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Head of Unit for Eastern and Central Africa in the same Directorate-General.

Vesna Bastistic KOS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe (Strasbourg). She is currently Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. She previously served as Director-General for multilateral issues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.

Sylvie TABESSE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Djibouti and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Haiti and also served as the Head of the EEAS Inspection Division.

Gianluca GRIPPA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Eritrea. He is currently Adviser to the EEAS Africa Managing Directorate. He also served as Head of the EU Delegation to the Dominican Republic.

Pawel HERCZYNSKI has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia. He is currently EEAS Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response and also served as Director for Security and Defense Policy in the EEAS. Prior to that he served as Ambassador of Poland to the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

Artis BERTULIS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guinea Bissau. He is currently Ambassador of Latvia to India and Sri Lanka, and also served as Ambassador to Italy, Albania, Malta, San Marino, and as Latvia’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Jolita PONS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guinea Conakry. She has served as Head of the Political section of the EU Delegation to Russia and previously as Head of the Political Affairs, Press and Information section of the EU Office to Hong Kong.

René VAN NES has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guyana, for Suriname, and with responsibility for Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. He was Head of the EEAS Division Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support, and he also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division Integrated Approach – Methodology and Implementation.

Stefano GATTO has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Haiti. He is currently Senior Inspector for Delegations in the EEAS Inspection Division. He also served as Head of the EU Delegation to Guatemala.

Jean-Eric PAQUET has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Japan. He is currently Director-General for Research and Innovation within the European Commission. He formerly served as Deputy Secretary-General in charge of policy coordination and better regulation within the European Commission.

Marilyn JOSEFSON has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic. She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan and previously served as Head of Office of former EEAS Secretary-General Helga Maria Schmid.

Isabelle DELATTRE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Madagascar. She is currently Head of Unit for Southern Africa, Indian Ocean in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Regional Affairs, ASEM and Indo-Pacific.

Antonino MAGGIORE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Mozambique. He is currently Ambassador of Italy to Zambia, Malawi and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He also served as Head of Division for the OSCE in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

Salvador PINTO DA FRANCA ROUX has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Niger. He is currently Head of the Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to Mali. He also served as Deputy Head of Mission, Head of Political section at the Portuguese Embassy in Egypt.

Riina KIONKA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Pakistan. She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa. She previously served as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the former President of the Council of the European Union Donald Tusk.

Izabela MATUSZ has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Panama. She is currently First Counsellor in the Department of the Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, and has previously served in the Cabinet of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Jacques FRADIN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Papua New Guinea. He is currently Head of the EEAS Division for Integrated Strategic Planning for CSDP and Stabilisation. Previously, he was Head of the Africa and Europe sections in the EEAS Crisis Management Planning Directorate.

Roland GALHARAGUE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Russia. He is currently Ambassador of France to Malaysia. He also served as Director responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia countries in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

Belén CALVO UYARRA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Rwanda. She is currently seconded from the EEAS to the Cabinet of the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and is responsible for Africa and Development Cooperation. She also served as Head of the Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to South Africa.

Jean-Marc PISANI has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Senegal. He is currently Head of Division for Horn of Africa, East Africa at the EEAS, and also served as Head of the EEAS Division for Conduct of Operations.

Sandra KRAMER has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa. She is currently Director for Africa in the Directorate-General International Partnerships within the European Commission. She also served as Director for Coordination and Administration in the Cabinet of the former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Timo OLKKONEN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to South Sudan. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe. He also served as Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and COMESA.

Aidan O’HARA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Sudan. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Djibouti. He also served as Director of the European Union Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.

Raimundas KAROBLIS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan. He is currently Vice minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. He also served as Minister of Defence of Lithuania.

Marc FIEDRICH has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Timor-Leste. He is currently Acting Director of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments within the European Commission. Earlier in his career, he was also posted in the EU Delegation to Venezuela.

Jan SADEK has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana. He also served as Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia and Djibouti, and Special Representative to the African Union and IGAD.

Jobst VON KIRCHMANN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Ivory Coast, and also served as Head of Unit of Southern Africa, Indian Ocean in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission.

The EEAS has also nominated 4 new Deputy Heads of Delegation of the European Union:

Raffaella IODICE has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Afghanistan. She is currently Head of Unit for Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Head of Unit for Middle East and Gulf, Central Asia, South Asia in the same Directorate-General.

Florence LIOU has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Morocco. She is currently Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Rights, Obligations and Medical Cell. She also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Maghreb.

Plamena HALACHEVA has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia. She is currently Policy coordinator in the Citizens, Equality, Democracy and Rule of Law Unit of the Secretariat-General within the European Commission. She also served as Policy and Political Desk for Kosovo in the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Directorate-General within the European Commission.

Sara REZOAGLI has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Thailand. She is currently First Counsellor, Head of Political Section of the Embassy of Italy in China. She also served as Head of Southeast Asia and Ocean Unit in the Directorate-General for Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

Moscow expells European diplomats

Brussels 18.05.2022 Moscow said on Wednesday, May 18, it was expelling a total of 85 embassy staff from France, Spain and Italy in response to similar moves by those countries, highlighting the damage to relations with leading EU members since it launched its war on Ukraine. (Image above: Moscow, City)

The Foreign Ministry said it was ordering out 34 diplomatic staff from France, 27 from Spain and 24 from Italy.

The three countries are among European nations that have collectively thrown out more than 300 Russians since the February 24 invasion. In many cases, they accused Russian diplomats of spying, which Moscow has denied.

Russia’s response has included sending home 45 Polish staff and 40 Germans last month. It has also announced tit-for-tat moves against Finland, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Japan, among others.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Wednesday’s announcement by Moscow a “hostile act” and said diplomatic channels must not be interrupted.

France said it deplored the Russian move as an unjustified response to what it said was its own decision in April to expel “several dozen Russian agents acting on our territory under diplomatic status and working against our security interests”.

EU top diplomats convene in Brussels

Brussels 11.04.2022 The Foreign Affairs Council will review recent events and current affairs, including the situation in Mali, Libya and Yemen.

Ministers will also discuss the latest developments concerning the Russian aggression against Ukraine, following the European Council of 24-25 March 2022.

They will then exchange views on the Global Gateway, the new European strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.

Over lunch, EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal discussion with the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, and the Icelandic Foreign Minister, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir.

EU-China video-Summit

Brussels 30.03.2022 The 23rd EU-China summit will take place on 1 April 2022 via video conference.

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by High Representative Josep Borrell, representing the EU, will meet Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in the morning and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the afternoon.(Image: Shanghai, China)

The main focus of the summit will be on the war in Ukraine, the engagement of the international community to support Ukraine, the dramatic humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s aggression, its destabilising nature for the international order and its inherent global impact.

The leaders will also discuss the state of bilateral relations and areas of shared interest such as climate change, biodiversity and health, as well as ways to ensure a more balanced and reciprocal trade relationship.

The EU will take the opportunity to stress the need to uphold the rules-based international order and universal values. The EU will call for the resumption of the EU-China human rights dialogue in a substantial way.

« Older Entries