The agenda of the two-day meeting includes Belarus, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, relations between the European Union and Russia, and the European Union’s long-term strategy for the geopolitical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Urmas Reinsalu said he planned to raise the future actions of the European Union in the Belarus crisis at today’s discussion on Belarus. “In order to support the people of Belarus, the European Union must introduce sanctions at the earliest opportunity,” Reinsalu said. “We must also actively support the civil society in Belarus and the free press, and it should receive greater support from the European Union.”
The foreign affairs ministers of the European Union will also discuss relations with Russia. According to Reinsalu, it is crucial to maintain a consistent EU policy and conduct an independent inquiry into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
The Gymnich meeting on 27-28 August is a regular informal meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union held twice a year.
Reinsalu emphasised the need for urgent EU action on sanctions
At yesterday’s informal meeting of European Union foreign affairs ministers in Berlin, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that the central figure in the violence and falsification in Belarus was Alexander Lukashenko.
Reinsalu said that the EU must have a strong policy towards Belarus and make sure that the measures do not harm ordinary citizens.
“An agreement is needed on sanctions targeting those responsible for falsifying the elections and for the violence in Belarus, and they must be enforced at the earliest opportunity,” Reinsalu said. “It is crucial to keep the European Union and other international organisations focused on the situation. The emphasis should be on preventing a further escalation of violence and finding a peaceful political solution, which would result in new elections.”
Reinsalu briefed the foreign ministers on the actions of Estonia and its allies at the UN Security Council discussions concerning Belarus.
He stressed the importance of supporting the civil society and free press in Belarus. “We must jointly demand for the Belarusian authorities to release the people who have been detained illegally,” Reinsalu said. “The European Union, the United States and like-minded countries should coordinate their messages on Belarus.”
The foreign ministers discussed the possible list of individuals targeted by sanctions and agreed on continuing the procedure for imposing sanctions.
Photos (German Federal Foreign Office): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmQiHkJ9
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