European Union foreign ministers discuss Russia and meet with the US Secretary of State

The foreign ministers of the European Union will meet at the Foreign Affairs Council on February 22 in Brussels. Foreign Minister Becca Hafesto will represent Finland at the meeting. The main topics of the meeting are Russia, the European Union’s Security and Defense Policy Strategic Compass, and Hong Kong. Foreign Minister Haavisto will present a report on his visit to Ethiopia and Sudan as a representative of the European Union. In addition, the foreign ministers are having a video conference with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Foreign Minister Haavisto will also attend the North Atlantic Council (NAC) meeting in Brussels on February 24.

At the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in February, there will be a strategic discussion on the European Union’s policy towards Russia and the implementation of the Five Principles that govern it. Foreign ministers discuss the current human rights situation in Russia in light of an opposition politician Alexe Navalnigs Poisoning, imprisonment, as well as arrests in connection with recent demonstrations. Foreign Minister Haavisto talks about his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov In St. Petersburg on February 15th.

The Strategic Compass aims to assess and guide security and defense cooperation in the European Union. The intent is to define the objectives set out in the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union as of 2016, to simplify the implementation of the set target level and to ensure that the defense initiatives launched have the desired effect. Finland supports a proactive and comprehensive strategy to strengthen security and defense in Europe.

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The foreign ministers will also discuss the situation in Hong Kong. In July 2020, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions expressing the European Union’s concern about how the situation in Hong Kong and citizens’ rights are affected by the Security Act enacted last year. Finland believes that the European Union should continue to closely monitor the situation and, if necessary, respond in a timely manner. If the European Union takes new action on Hong Kong, it should be consistent with the previous action.

Foreign Minister Haavisto will present his visit to Ethiopia and Sudan as a representative of the European Union on behalf of the High Representative. Josep Borrell. It will present its proposals for the continuation of the European Union’s work, including the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region. The foreign ministers of the European Union will also meet the new US Secretary of State Anthony Blink During a videoconference.

Foreign Minister Haavisto will also participate during his visit to Brussels North Atlantic Council (NAC) Meeting and meetings with, among other things, the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO Mercia Geoana.

in addition to Information:

Joel Linanmäki, Special Officer of the Secretary of State, +358 40 500 5512
Matti Nissenin, European Reporter, +358295351780
State Department email addresses contain the form [email protected]

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