The Foreign Affairs Council exchanged views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine focusing on the various ongoing strands of work, in particular continued military assistance for Ukraine’s defence and measures to isolate Russia.
The High Representative urged EU ministers to speed up the delivery and joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine, and to finalise work for a new tranche of support under the European Peace Facility.
The Council was then informed on the work of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM), which has completed its initial goal of training 15 000 Ukrainian soldiers, and is well on schedule to double this number by the end of the year.
The Council also touched on ongoing work on the 11th package of sanctions, the focus of which is the circumvention of existing sanctions, and in this context ministers were briefed by the EU sanctions envoy, David O’Sullivan on his engagement with partners in third countries.
Lastly the Council discussed the issue of accountability and Ukraine’s Peace Formula.
Horn of Africa
The Foreign Affairs Council held a discussion on the EU approach to the Horn of Africa, focusing on the worrisome situation in Sudan.
The Council agreed that a ceasefire remains the first priority, and welcomed the agreement reached over the weekend and entering into force over the night, stressing the key importance of its implementation.
Ministers confirmed that the EU would continue its efforts to drum up international support to end the conflict, and will support a robust African-led framework while engaging with partners to identify mediators. In this context, the Council recognised the pivotal role played by Djibouti during the evacuation of EU citizens out of Sudan.
The EU welcomes a progressive normalisation of the situation in Ethiopia, after two years of devastating conflict. The signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement is an important step towards peace and reconciliation in the country. The EU will support this reconciliation process, which requires strong leadership and a sustainable monitoring mechanism to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is respected by all, paving the way for recovery reconstruction and reconciliation.
EU Foreign Affairs Ministers exchanged views on Western Balkans, and had an informal discussion over lunch with their counterparts from the six countries in the region.
The discussion focused on the Russian influence which tries to derail the Western Balkan candidates from their European path.
The High Representative also mentioned the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and confirmed that the EU expects both parties to end tensions and mutual provocations, and to fully and swiftly implement the Agreement on the path to normalisation of their relations.
The Foreign Affairs Council exchanged views on Tunisia on the basis of the debrief provided by the Portuguese minister, who travelled to Tunis on 9 and 10 May together with the Belgian Minister, on behalf of the High Representative.
The Council also discussed outreach to Central-Asia and upcoming Brussels conference on Syria.
Council conclusions and other decisions
The Council approved conclusions on the Civilian CSDP Compact and the humanitarian funding gap.
The Council also launched the EU Partnership Mission in the Republic of Moldova (EUPM Moldova) and agreed on an eight package of sanctions over violations of human rights in Iran.