RIGA - Russia's aggressive policy on Ukraine and the demands for security guarantees from the United States and NATO pose a challenge to transatlantic security and run counter to international principles and norms, the European Union's foreign ministers agreed during an informal meeting on Friday while discussing the security situation in Eastern Europe.
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) participated in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brest, France, on Thursday and Friday. The meeting featured EU foreign and defense ministers' discussion on the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defense. The foreign ministers also discussed the security situation in Eastern Europe and EU-China relations, as well as the situation in Mali, where the transitional government is significantly hindering the development of democratic processes.
The ministers confirmed that the EU's response in the event of Russia's aggression would be united and firm. Rinkevics emphasized that the EU must continue to strongly support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also called for deepening cooperation with the EU's eastern neighbors and support for strengthening the resilience of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
Rinkevics emphasized the importance of close cooperation with NATO, as well as with the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Unanimity and involvement of all EU member countries in the decision-making process is important, and the member states must reach a common understanding of the establishment of European Rapid Reaction Force, he said.
The ministers also discussed preparations for the forthcoming EU-Africa Union summit on February 17 and 18.