At the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday, May 14, during a discussion about the relationship between EU and Ukraine, Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics expressed anxiety about the worsening situation with the rule of law and human rights in Ukraine, as well as pointed out that politically motivated legal proceedings are not acceptable.
However, as the Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister emphasized, isolation of Ukraine is inadmissible, therefore EU should continue the dialogue with the country. But speaking about suggestions for EU countries’ officials not to visit the European Football Championship in Ukraine, Rinkevics said that sport should not be mixed up with politics, so the EU politicians, when deciding upon visiting the football championship, should assess all pros and cons, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed.
But at the Foreign Affairs Council discussion about the upcoming EU-Russia summit in Saint Petersburg in June this year, Rinkevics pointed at necessity to work on conclusion of the new agreement between EU and Russia, as well as emphasized that Russia has to meet all responsibilities which it accepted upon joining the Word Trade Organization. At the same time the Minister suggested discussing restrictions of human rights and political freedoms in Russia, pointing out that human rights should be a priority in the EU – Russia dialogue.
During the discussion about the situation in the EU Southern neighbours region, Rinkevics expressed his support to the ensuring of UN mission’s activities and coordination of humanitarian aid in Syria, as well as anxiety about growing violence in this country. The Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions about Syria stressed the EU support to the UN mission in Syria and condemnation of the growing violence.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council made conclusions also about Afghanistan. Foreign affairs ministers expressed a political commitment to provide a long-term support to the development of Afghan police and security forces, as well as strengthening of legal power and public administration. Ministers discussed also the situation with the Middle East peace process, emphasizing necessity to resume direct Israeli and Palestinian self-government discussions. The Foreign Affairs Council made conclusions, supporting the development of the Middle East peace process in direction of two countries.