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EU Meetings

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 June 2022

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Ceisteanna (823)

Neale Richmond


823. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on the recent meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30444/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The most recent meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council took place in Brussels on 16 May.

Our discussions were once again focused on the collective EU response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The Foreign Affairs Council has convened six times since the beginning of Russia’s current military offensive and our most recent discussion assessed the effectiveness of the different strands of the EU response. We discussed the preparation of the sixth package of sanctions aimed at depriving Russia and Belarus of the ability to wage war on Ukraine. This package was later adopted on 3 June and includes a prohibition on imports of Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products by sea, on a phased basis.

The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Canada joined EU Foreign Ministers for a discussion on the ongoing coordination of supports. I reiterated Ireland’s continued support for Ukraine, including its EU membership aspirations.

We are aware of the impact this conflict is having on other regions. Therefore, the Foreign Affairs Council also considered the EU's relations with the Western Balkans, and possible supports that the EU can provide. Six Foreign Ministers from the Western Balkans joined the Council for a discussion, which provided an opportunity to reinforce the EU’s commitment to the region, and to discuss the European ambitions of each country and set out the expectations of the EU.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell also provided an update on efforts to address the delay in the delivery of EU financial assistance for 2021 to the Palestinian Authority. I highlighted the urgent need for the European Commission to work constructively towards finding a solution that would allow for the immediate disbursement of funds, without any conditionality.

I also raised the dire humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and called for a detailed discussion on the role the EU can play on the key issues of humanitarian access, cessation of hostilities and accountability. A full discussion on the situation in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, is now scheduled to take place at the next meeting of the Council, on 20 June.

Question No. 824 answered with Question No. 542.