RIGA - On Monday, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics took part in the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union in Luxembourg. The man topics discussed at the meeting were Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the EU’s policy vis a vis China, LETA was told by the Foreign Ministry.
“Following Russia’s decision on the annexation of the occupied territories, the recent escalation and missile strikes against Ukrainian civilians and critical civilian infrastructure, the EU must continue with every kind of support for Ukraine and a stronger pressure on Russia. Ukraine must be immediately provided with further financial and military assistance. There is special urgency to deliver air defense systems and the much-needed essential supplies for the coming winter,” the Foreign Minister underlined.
Sanctions must also be further strengthened, including as regards issuing visas to Russian citizens. The Minister called for work to begin on the development of the ninth round of sanctions as well as proceeding with restrictive measures against Belarus, the country supporting Russia in its war in Ukraine.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs called on his EU counterparts to establish a special tribunal to bring Russia’s top political and military leadership to account for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine. The tribunal must be established so as to complement and reinforce the existing legal mechanisms, Rinkevics stated.
During the meeting, the ministers agreed on an EU Military Assistance Mission, which would undertake training of Ukrainian armed forces in the territory of EU Member States.
In a discussion on China, the ministers exchanged views on how to build the EU’s relations with China under the conditions of the present-day global challenges. In view of lessons learned in the war in Ukraine and during the pandemic, the ministers were unanimous that a unified policy of all the 27 EU members was important in relations with China. The EU should also focus on the strengthening of its economic resilience.
On October 15, the Foreign Minister also took part in the first meeting of a high-level Group of Friends for an Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy. Rinkevics underlined the relevance of climate change for the EU’s foreign and security policy in the current geopolitical conditions and he called for stepping up EU efforts in cooperation with third countries to mitigate climate change.
An inclusive Group of Friends for an Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy was established on the initiative of Denmark and Germany. It aims at placing climate diplomacy at the heart of the European Union’s external action.