EU – Catherine Colonna’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Luxembourg – Apr. 24, 2023)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna is participating in today’’s meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Luxembourg.
The Minister will urge members to continue stepping up support for Ukraine, particularly military support, with the implementation of the EU ammunition plan agreed to at the Foreign Affairs Council held on March 20. She will underscore the importance of supporting the European defense industry in order to build a war economy that ensures European support for Ukraine in the long term.
The Minister will highlight the risks that unilateral measures on Ukrainian grain represent for European unity and for our efforts of persuasion aimed at third countries. That is why she will stress the importance of renewing EU trade benefits supporting Ukraine. She will call for maintaining pressure on Russia to impede its war effort. Continuing the fight against Russia’s circumvention of sanctions must be a priority.
She will underscore the importance of maintaining the momentum of our mobilization effort with regard to third countries and she will reaffirm that the battle of competing narratives will be won on the basis of concrete actions. In this regard, she will emphasize the role that the Global Gateway strategy can play and the need to swiftly implement it.
The Minister will stress the need for Europe to support Moldova ahead of the European Political Community (EPC) summit, in light of the ongoing threats of destabilization it is facing. In this regard, she will commend the rapid deployment of the civilian European Union Partner Mission in Moldova (EUPM) and will express support for the establishment of a new sanctions regime against those who seek to destabilize that country.
During a conversation with the foreign minister of Georgia, the Minister will urge that country to make the efforts required to reduce internal political tensions and, more broadly, to implement the reforms recommended by the Commission in order to boost Georgia’s European prospects, which were recognized by the European Council in June 2022. She will also express her concern over border incidents between Armenia and Azerbaijan and will offer a message of support to the European monitoring mission on the two countries’ shared border (EUMA).
The Minister will address the importance of maintaining unity as Europeans and working together with other international partners to increase pressure on the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in order to bring an end to the hostilities and avoid regional destabilization, which would have tragic consequences.
She will urge the Europeans to send a strong, united message to the Lebanese leaders, reminding them of our willingness to use all available European instruments to end the current political deadlock.
With regard to Tunisia, she will emphasize the need for Europeans to stand united in order to pressure the Tunisians to finalize an agreement with the IMF and to implement their reform program, which is vital to the country’s long-term stability.
Can Russian correspondents from reliable newspapers still obtain new work visas?
There is no ban in principle. Consular services handle visa applications from Russian citizens in compliance with current law, which includes the EU’s full suspension of the EU-Russian visa facilitation agreement.