Brussels (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the European Union discuss with their Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, the continuation of community support for his country to defend itself against Russia in the week that marks one year after the invasion, and they plan to give the green light to more sanctions against Iran for the repression of the population.
During a Council meeting in Brussels, the ministers will also discuss how they can help increase Moldova’s resilience against Russian pressure at a working lunch with their deputy prime minister and head of foreign affairs and European integration, Nicu Popescu.
First of all, the ministers will participate in a working breakfast organized by Poland and Lithuania with former world chess champion and Russian opponent Garri Kasparov, European sources indicated.
The ministers will then speak to Kuleba, who will come to the Council in person and brief them first-hand on his country’s needs and the situation on the ground in the face of the offensive Russia is expected to launch this spring.
The European ministers will review the aid provided to finance arms for Ukraine through the European Peace Support Fund (FEAP), which already amounts to 3,600 million euros, as well as the development of the community mission that plans to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers -among other aspects, in the handling of the Leopard tanks that are going to be donated by European countries-.
In this sense, the ministers could address the proposal that Estonia has put on the table for EU countries to jointly buy ammunition for Ukraine, just as they did with vaccines during the pandemic, an idea that the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, “considers that it is a good idea to explore”, according to European sources.
But they will also talk about the tenth package of sanctions against Russia with a view to concluding their negotiation so that it can be approved on Friday the 24th, when the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine is celebrated.
The EU intends to sanction a hundred Russian people, as well as introduce new restrictions on the export of “multiple electronic components” necessary in Russia’s weapon systems, such as drones, missiles and helicopters,
In this way, added to the sanctions approved so far, Brussels will have vetoed “all the technological products that have been found on the battlefield”, according to the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, who has estimated the value of the new package at 11,000 million euros.
New sanctions against Iran
The ministers also plan to approve a fifth round of sanctions against Iran over the authorities’ crackdown on anti-regime protesters since the death of young Mahsa Amini for wearing the headscarf improperly last September.
The meeting will also address the situation in Afghanistan, especially after the Taliban government’s decision to ban women from working in NGOs, whose work is important for bringing EU humanitarian aid to the Asian country.
An issue that the ministers will discuss with the UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohamed, who will participate by videoconference.
“The Taliban are not a monolithic bloc. There are internal divisions and in this ban on women to work in NGOs, in foreign embassies, there have been some exceptions in some sectors or in different provinces (of the country). We are working on these possibilities”, affirmed a European source.