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UPDATE: EU FMs discuss Ukraine, Mideast, Georgia in Brussels

27.05.2024 22:00
Poland’s top diplomat Radosław Sikorski attended a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the latest developments in Georgia.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

According to the Polish foreign ministry, the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting focused on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the EU's support for Kyiv.

During the meeting, EU foreign ministers discussed new sanctions against Moscow, "the need to ensure effective air defence" for Ukraine, and Kyiv's accession negotiations with the bloc, the Polish foreign ministry said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba joined the meeting remotely.

Speaking to reporters after the gathering, Sikorski said the EU principle of unanimity "prevents the realisation of Poland's national interest, which is to make Russia suffer the consequences of its war of aggression."

He was referring to Hungary's attempts to block various EU decisions about Ukraine.

The Polish foreign minister was cited as saying that Victor Orban's "Hungary is blocking almost half of all EU decisions regarding Ukraine, above all the 8th refund package for aid delivered to Ukraine by member states, to their, and Poland’s utmost irritation."

Other topics discussed in Brussels on Monday included the conflict in the Middle East and "the situation in Georgia," where lawmakers have passed a controversial measure that restricts the operations of nongovernmental organisations and the media, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was "horrified by news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children."

"I condemn this in the strongest terms," he stated in an X post.

Borrell said on Sunday that a "two-state solution is the only long-term guarantee" of security and peace in the Middle East.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday discussed the bloc's policy vis-à-vis Georgia, according to officials.

They voiced hope that the post-Soviet state's controversial "foreign agent" law, which is expected to be finally passed this week, would be withdrawn or sufficiently watered down, news outlets reported.

The bill has been heavily criticised by Western countries and rights groups for creating a framework to clamp down on civil society and free media, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has reported.

The Polish foreign ministry in mid-May expressed its "deep disappointment" with the Georgian parliament's adoption of the law on the "transparency of foreign influence," which it said "distances Georgia from the European Union."

The foreign ministry in Warsaw called on the authorities in Tbilisi to "stop the repression of NGOs and independent media."

On the sidelines of Monday's gathering, Sikorski met with his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani for talks on bilateral relations, Russian aggression in Ukraine and Italy's turn at the rotating presidency of the G7 group of the world's largest economies in 2024, according to the foreign ministry in Warsaw.


Source: IAR, PAP, rferl.org