The latest decision by the Russian Ministry of Justice on 25 December to forcibly include the Sakharov centre as well as two other regional NGOs in the so called "Foreign Agents Registry" confirms continued pressure on Russian civil society and human rights organisations. With this latest decision the number of Russian NGOs labelled as "foreign agents" has increased to a total of twenty-four.
On Sunday 21 December Tunisians marked a milestone in their country's transition to democracy by freely electing their President for the first time.
I should like to congratulate Mr Beji Caid Essebsi on being elected President of Tunisia. The European Union remains committed to working with the new Tunisian authorities, and with all elements of society, to help consolidate the democratic gains envisaged in the new Constitution, and to support the implementation of the reforms needed for an economic and social transition of benefit to all Tunisians.
Joint press conference by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Ibrahim Al-Jafaari, Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs
HR/VP Federica Mogherini will travel to Baghdad on 22 December where she will be meeting the President of the Republic Fuad Masoum, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari. She will also meet with the Speaker of the Council of Representative's (CoR) Ibrahim Al Jabouri. The HR/VP will send a message of solidarity and confirm the EU readiness to deepen the relationship with Iraq.
I was pleased to meet today Kosovo's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hashim Thaçi for the first time in my new capacity.
We had the opportunity to exchange views on Kosovo's progress. We agreed that, now that there is a new government in Pristina, work should resume at an intensified pace in the EU reform agenda so that good progress can be made in the next year, both in its internal development and in its EU path.
The Commission, which I represent here today for this matter is, like you, appalled by the findings of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Programme, part of which was released on 9 December (most of the inquiry remains classified).
The announcement by the FARC yesterday of an indefinite unilateral ceasefire is a welcome development. Its effective implementation will contribute to the momentum of the Havana negotiations and help build trust between parties and with the Colombian people. We hope the negotiators will now press ahead to reach an early comprehensive agreement, which would open the way to a full armistice.