EU Foreign Ministers To Meet In Prague To Debate Ukraine Crisis and EU-Africa Relations

The summit will take place at the Prague Congress Centre. Credit: Chmee2 – Own work, CC BY 3.0.

Prague, Aug 27 (CTK) – EU foreign ministers will discuss the Russian aggression against Ukraine and EU-Africa relations at an informal summit held in the Prague Congress Centre on 30-31 August, according to the website of the Czech EU presidency.

An informal lunch with the foreign ministers of Ukraine (Dmytro Kuleba), Moldova (Nicolae Popescu) and Georgia (Ilia Darchiashvili) will take place on the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday

Czech Chamber of Deputies chair Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09) will meet Kuleba on Tuesday.

The foreign ministers’ meeting traditionally follows up talks between the EU defence ministers, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Both summits will focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impacts on the security of the EU 27.

The head diplomats will discuss the global consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, as well as further sanctions against the country.

EU member states have already adopted seven sanction packages. The latest one was approved in July, concerning the ban on gold imports from Russia and restrictions on the export of goods that might be used for military purposes. Restrictions on Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, were also extended. At the same time, some 59 Russian citizens and several companies were added to the sanction list.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) previously said he would like to open discussions on a blanket suspension of short-term Schengen visas for Russian citizens at the meeting.

A number of European countries have restricted the entry of Russian citizens to their territory. Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic have limited the issuing of tourist visas. Estonia last week banned entry for Russian citizens with Schengen visas issued by Estonia.

However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has resisted blanket suspension, arguing that this would make it more difficult for opponents of the Kremlin to leave Russia.

On Wednesday, the foreign ministers will also debate the European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and the future of the Eastern Partnership project, boosting cooperation between the EU and a group of six post-Soviet countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This project was launched in Prague during the first Czech EU presidency in 2009.

On Tuesday, the ministers will talk about relations between the EU and Africa, including the future of the European training mission in Mali and further involvement in the region. The ministers will also discuss the fight against Russian disinformation and strengthening contacts with African countries.

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