Tag Archives: diplomacy

Crimea: EU renews sanctions

Brussels 20.06.2021 The Council has today decided to renew the sanctions introduced by the EU in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, until 23 June 2023.

“The restrictive measures currently in place were first introduced in June 2014, and include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating from theillegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services from the illegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in illegally annexed Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources are also subject to EU restrictions.

“As stated by Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in his Declaration on behalf of the EU on 25 February 2022, eight years since the violent, illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the EU does not recognise and continues to condemn the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula as a serious violation of international law. The EU remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and dedicated to fully implementing its non-recognition policy.

“Russia has further violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with its unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine which theEU continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms. It urges Russia to immediately stop its indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“The European Union is unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression and build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. It also remains committed to continue bolstering Ukraine ability to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

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.

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: Sweden moves towards NATO

Brussels 16.05.2022 “Let me stress my strong support to Sweden and Finland. Some minutes ago, I had a conversation with the Swedish Minister [for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde], who was kind enough to call me, to inform that the process has started, that they are going to inform the King, and that there is strong support for this decision inside the Swedish society and the Swedish political spectrum” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said at the doorstep of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Brussels.

“So, I think the European Union Member States will support this decision, and I hope we could override the opposition of some members of NATO,” he added.

Russia: EU deplores expel of diplomats

Brussels 18.04.2022 “The European Union deplores the unjustified, baseless decision of the Russian Federation to expel 18 members of the Delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation.

“The EU diplomats in question exercise their functions in the framework of and in full respect for the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations” reads the statement by the spokesperson on the expulsion of EU Delegation diplomats.

“There are no grounds for Friday’s decision by the Russian authorities beyond being a pure retaliatory step.

“Russia’s chosen course of action will further deepen its international isolation.

“The European Union continues to strongly call on Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine and to return to respect of international rules and to a cooperative approach in its international relations”.

Europe expulses Russian diplomats

Strasbourg 05.04.2022 Danemark,Germany, France, Latvia, and Lithuania have announced the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats as part of a joint European reaction to the massacre of civilians in a small c town of Bucha, near Ukraine capital, allegedly by Russian forces before they retreated.

The German government announced 40 Russian diplomats “undesirable,” and France declared it would expel 35 Russian diplomats, saying their activities were “against our security interests.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called the move a response to the “unbelievable brutality” the Kremlin had committed in Ukraine.

The diplomats expelled from Germany have worked “against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society,” Baerbock added. “We will not tolerate this any longer.”

The decision was communicated to Russian Ambassador in Berlin Sergei Nethayev after he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, Baerbock said. The affected envoys were given five days to depart from Germany.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the expulsions from France were part of a European approach to the murders in Bucha, where dozens of bodies were found in mass graves or littering the streets.

The Kremlin has rejected Western accusations that Russian forces were responsible, and provided with Ukraine military forces videos, and video of the Mayor of Bucha, who also did not even hint on any disorders, while declaring the liberation of the town form Russian troops.

Lithuania said earlier it had expelled Russia’s Ambassador to Vilnius and was recalling its top diplomat in Moscow in response to reports of Bucha massacre.

“Lithuania stands in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, who are victims of Russia’s unprecedented aggression. We are therefore lowering the level of Russia’s diplomatic representation,” Lithuanian top diplomat Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a statement on April 4.

“Unfortunately, what the world saw in Bucha can be only the beginning. We will be able to discover even more evidences of cruel war crimes in other towns upon their liberation. The war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine will not be forgotten,” he added.

Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats

Brussels 23.03.2022 Poland ordered the expulsion of 45 Russians identified as “intelligence officers” using their diplomatic status as cover to operate in the country, officials said Wednesday, March 23.(Image: Warsaw skyline).

Poland’s Internal Security Agency said it has asked the Foreign Ministry to urgently expel Russians, who were described as a danger to Poland’s security.
“These are people who have and operate using their diplomatic status, but in reality conduct intelligence activities against Poland,” said Stanislaw Zaryn, the state security spokesperson.

Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreev, who was summoned to the Foreign Ministry has criticised the decision, and said those being kicked out of Poland “were carrying out normal diplomatic and trade activity.”

Polish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina said the Russians were offered five days to leave the country, with the exception person who must leave in 48 hours.

“Russia is our neighbour and will not disappear from the map of Europe, but the aggression against Ukraine proves that it is a hostile state, and even hostile to Poland,” Jasina added.

The spokesperson didn’t explain the reasons behind the actions, but suggested that they pose an especially grave threat while Poland is accepting large numbers of refugees from Ukraine.

“The illegal activities of these diplomats can also pose a threat to those people who left their country to flee the war and found protection in our country,” he continued.

“Poland, in coordination with our allies, decided to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation”, he said, and added that the Russian services are increasingly offensive and “are acting aggressively against Poland.”

Zaryn said in a separate statement that the security agency found that the activities of the 45 Russians have served “the objectives of the Russian undertakings designed to undermine the stability of Poland and its allies in the international arena and poses a threat to the interests and security of our country.”

Borrell sends EU formal response to Lavrov

Brussels 10.02.2022 Anna van Densky: The European Union has formally handed over its collective response to the letter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the European security issues, the EEAS spokesperson announced, and Russian diplomatic mission to the EU confirmed.

“Permanent Representative of Russia to the EU Vladimir Chizhov met Director Security and Defense policy at the European External Action Service Joanneke Balfoort, who on the instruction of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell handed over his address to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on behalf of foreign ministers of 27 EU member-states,” the Permanent Mission said.

The document is the response to the address of the Russian Foreign Minister on the security indivisibility topic, sent on January 28 of this year to top diplomats of certain European countries, the US and Canada.

Russian diplomatic mission made it clear that the EU does not anticipate to make the contents of this response public, the diplomatic mission source added, mentioning as a reference the name of Joanneke Balfoort, the Director Security and Defence policy at European External Action Service.

Meanwhile in Moscow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has informed British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss of Kiev’s reluctance to implement the Minsk Agreements, as Lavrov had underlined at a press conference following his talks with Truss.

“We thoroughly explained the situation around Kiev’s reluctance to implement the Minsk Agreements as the Ukrainian regime is not only unwilling to fulfil them but openly rejects them,” Lavrov said .

According to the top diplomat Russia also “explained what steps we are taking to convince those who have influence on the Kiev regime to make [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and his government implement their obligations under the Minsk Agreements, which were enshrined in the UN Security Council’s resolution,” Lavrov continued.

Further Lavrov added that Moscow and London interpreted the Minsk accords in different ways.

“We have different interpretations of the Minsk Agreements though I don’t understand how it is possible to have different interpretations of what is written in black and white,” the Russian top diplomat explained.

EU diplomats convene in Brussels

Brussels 13.12.2021 Foreign affairs ministers will hold a comprehensive discussion on EU-Africa relations, touching on the overall situation on the continent and the challenges it faces in fields such as: security, development, demographic growth, health, democratic evolution, and engagement at a multilateral level.

The Council will then exchange views on Central Asia and the EU’s bilateral and regional engagement in the region, with a particular focus on connectivity. Afghanistan is also due to be touched on during the discussion.

The third subject to be discussed by the Council will be Venezuela. Ministers will focus on assessing the outcome of the elections and the results of the EU election observation mission.

Under current affairs, the Council will be informed about the Russian military build-up and movements of troops and equipment at the border with Ukraine, and discuss Varosha, Belarus, and Ethiopia.

During a working lunch ministers will have an informal exchange with the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Ministers of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

The Council is due to adopt conclusions on the Common Security and Defence (CSDP) Policy Compact.

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