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Russian aggression against Ukraine and political developments in the Western Balkans at the Foreign Affairs Council on May 16

Western Balkans

The Council is expected to discuss political developments in the Western Balkans in light of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The EU’s relations with the countries of the Western Balkans are important to Europe’s security and development.

The EU must welcome and at the same time reinforce our expectations that the countries of the Western Balkans, in accordance with their commitments within the framework of the EU perspective and rapprochement with the EU, will join the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The government believes that it is time for Bulgaria to lift its blockade to start the North Macedonia negotiations, not least in the case of the current security policy. The government also stresses the importance of reforms in Western Balkan countries, at least with regard to respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as gender equality. This is also of great importance in the continued rapprochement with the European Union.

The foreign ministers of the six Western Balkan countries are expected to attend a luncheon during the Latin American and Caribbean Forum.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

The Council is expected to discuss the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The government is working towards a united and robust response from the European Union. It is critical that the EU continues to work in close coordination with partners and like-minded people and mobilizes broad international support for Ukraine.

The European Union, along with others, should take further action to support Ukraine. In addition to short-term political, economic, humanitarian and military support, the EU must continue its preparations for the reconstruction of a free and democratic Ukraine by reprioritizing funds already in the EU budget.

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An informal meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie is expected during the day.

EU Ambassador Lars Danielson represents Sweden.

Produced by the representative of the European Union.