L. Linkevičius: "Only a strong EU response can de-escalate the situation in Ukraine"
On 10 December, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, which mostly focused on Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
Foreign Ministers gathered to promptly discuss the latest developments in Ukraine after the Kerch Strait incident of 25 November off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea, when Russia illegally seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews.
"Russia's actions strike as a coherent continuation of aggression against Ukraine and military force is openly used. Russia has once again violated both bilateral and multilateral international agreements. This flagrant violation of international law requires a strong EU response, not just condemnation. If we fail to do this, it will indirectly lead to escalation of the situation," said L. Linkevičius.
Foreign Ministers agreed that Ukraine suffered direct economic losses due to a Russian blockade of free passage to the Sea of Azov or restrictions on the freedom of navigation in the sea. Therefore, it is important to mobilize support for Ukraine. In addition, Foreign Ministers discussed possible action if the blockade continued.
The EU‘s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini invited also the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin to join the discussion. Foreign Ministers also voiced their strong support for Ukraine and discussed further cooperation to help address a crisis situation after the country had fell victim to Russia‘s open military aggression.