Ireland and its EU partners closely follow developments in relation to media freedom and the treatment of journalists in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and monitor the environment for journalists and any legislation which encroaches on the freedom of speech. Developments are discussed on a regular basis in Brussels and by EU Missions in Moscow and Kyiv.
The EU plays a key role in funding the European Centre for Press and Media freedom (ECPMF) and Ireland supports the targeted protection of journalists through Human Rights Defenders programmes.
At the European Council on 20 June, EU leaders discussed developments in Eastern Ukraine and the Azov Sea and the overall implementation of the Minsk agreements and negotiations in the Normandy format. EU leaders unanimously agreed to roll over the economic sanctions on Russia for another six months and called for an urgent resumption of negotiating efforts to implement the Minsk agreements. The European Council will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and stand ready to consider further options, including non-recognition of Russian passports issued in contradiction to the Minsk agreements.