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EU foreign ministers discussed support for Ukraine

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (green) participated in the meeting of foreign ministers of the EU countries in Brussels, where the tenth sanctions package for Russia was discussed, among other things.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (green) said before the Brussels meeting that Finland and the entire EU must continue to support Ukraine as Russia continues its attacks.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (green) said before the Brussels meeting that Finland and the entire EU must continue to support Ukraine as Russia continues its attacks. Mikko Huisko

The foreign ministers of the EU countries met in Brussels on Monday. The Foreign Affairs Council continued the discussion on Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

In the discussion, the continuation of support to Ukraine from the European Peace Fund, energy resilience, accountability, Ukraine’s peace initiative and preparation for the EU-Ukraine summit on February 3 came up.

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (vihr) told about the meeting at a press conference on Monday evening.

A message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

– Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba participated in the meeting remotely. His main message was that we must continue to support Ukraine. It was also my own message, Haavisto said.

On the anniversary of the Russian attack on February 24, it is planned to deal with the president of Ukraine to Volodymyr Zelensky peace plan in the UN.

In Finland’s speech, support was expressed for new sanctions on Russia and for maintaining sanctions pressure. The sanctions package is the tenth in a row.

– We are talking about sanctions in the financial sector, sanctions related to banking and business activities. The sanctions have also involved individual commanders who have been deemed responsible for attacks on civilians, Haavisto said.

– The EU has been able to unanimously conclude nine sanctions and I believe that a tenth agreement will be reached. Although some details may be difficult for individual countries.

The foreign ministers also agreed on armed support of 500 million euros from the seventh EU peace fund package.

– I am satisfied that additional resources have been given to the European Peace Fund. Countries that support Ukraine receive aid from the peace fund.

Leopards were talked about

The foreign ministers also discussed how Russia will in time compensate for the damages of the war and what the criminal court will be like in time.

– Sometimes there is talk of a hybrid court based on Ukrainian legislation, but it would have a national component. Another option is a separate court.

The foreign ministers also talked about Leopard tanks. They agreed that it won’t help anyone if EU countries start blaming each other. The aim is to keep the discussion within the EU.

– The Ramstein meeting was overshadowed by the fact that many countries promised immediate military support to Ukraine. Among other things, Finland supports Ukraine with 400 million euros.

Can Finland participate in the coalition if Germany is not part of the Leopards? According to Haavisto, Finland has not yet formed a precise position on what the coalition should be and what is Finland’s share.

Haavisto reminded that tanks need an entire maintenance chain, such as the training of caretakers and drivers. Finland has said that it can be a part of this chain.

Near Sosnovyi Bor

– Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Raphael Gross told about his recent visit to Ukraine and the Russian side. He has investigated the safety zone of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. He brought a worried nuclear security message from Ukraine.

An agreement with Iran was also discussed with Gross. According to Haavisto, Iran is being enticed to make its own restrictions regarding the development of a nuclear weapon. According to Haavisto, no light is visible in that.

– Finland has not supported isolating Russia from the IAEA. The IAEA cooperates with Russia with the Sosnovyi Bor and Kola nuclear power plants. The power plants near our border are essential.

Gross said that nuclear security issues are already on the ground and cooperation is also being done with Russia. According to Haavisto, nuclear safety should unite everyone. Even Finland has not left the idea of ​​isolating Russia.

The topic of the Sahel situation

The foreign ministers also discussed the situation in the Sahel and West African coastal states. Finland considers it important that the EU supports the stabilization of the countries of the Sahel region and the return to the democratic process, and supports the coastal states to prevent the spread of instability in the region.

Current topics include, for example, the situations in Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Ethiopia.

– Especially the situation in Mali was worrying and the cooperation of their professional soldiers with Wagner soldiers. So there are elements of the Cold War.

Haavisto spoke about the situation of women in Afghanistan, when women are prohibited from studying and working. The work of non-governmental organizations has been made difficult. Women can work in some areas in the healthcare sector.

– It is important that we constantly discuss with the UN and non-governmental organizations. In refugee policy, it must be taken into account that women who are prohibited from working must be accepted.

Haavisto also brought up the situation in Ethiopia. The investigation of human rights violations is still ongoing.

NATO discussion in the corridors

Haavisto also spoke on the phone with the Turkish foreign minister and had discussions with the Swedish foreign minister about the joint NATO project.

According to Haavisto, in the corridor discussions, the foreign ministers of different countries discuss Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership.

– Yes, it causes concern.

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