European Union External Action

Ukraine crisis and counter-terrorism dominate Mogherini's agenda this week

13/02/2015 - 00:00

This week marked 100 days in office for Federica Mogherini. It also saw her chairing a Foreign Affairs Council that focused on counter-terrorism and the unfolding situation in Ukraine. This was also a key issue at the European Council and during the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg. The High Representative also facilitated a dialogue meeting between the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo, which finalised the agreement on justice and judiciary in ‪‎Kosovo. She also met Palestinian President Mahmoud ‪Abbas and chaired the seventh EU-Lebanon Association Council.

Federica Mogherini at the EU-Lebanon Association Council

Counter-terrorism and crises in Mali, Libya, CAR, Nigeria and Yemen were the main discussion items during Monday's FAC. The crisis in Ukraine occupied a large part of the Council meeting, which agreed on the addition of 19 individuals and 9 entities to the list of those subject to asset freezes and visa bans. Publication and entry into force of the measures will take place on Monday, 16 February. On the measures to counter terrorism it was decided "to strengthen and increase the cooperation activities with some key countries in the Middle East, the Arab World, Africa and Sahel, and the Gulf”. It was also decided "to work on prevention and information exchange with key countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to prevent terrorism from an external action side."

Addressing the EP plenary, Mogherini voiced urgency in solving Ukraine crisis: "We discussed Ukraine one month ago and since then the situation that was already dramatic at that time, has deteriorated further." In separate addresses Mogherini also spoke about her deep concern about the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Throughout the week the High Representative remained engaged in the diplomatic efforts to push for a political solution that led to an agreement in Minsk on 12 February between the leaders of Ukraine and Russia as well as Germany and France. Upon her arrival at the Informal meeting of the Members of the European Council Mogherini said the agreement on Ukraine in Minsk was "definitely a step in the right direction […] The important thing now will be to see the ceasefire entering into force on the night between Saturday and Sunday" The EU was already looking "at the practical tools, the practical means, that we have to make implementation feasible, to support it, to help and sustain these efforts" she added.

Mogherini held a meeting with Prime Minister Aleksandar ‪Vučić and Prime Minister Isa ‪Mustafa to resume the high level dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo for the normalisation of relations. The two Prime Ministers finalised the agreement on justice and judiciary in ‪‎Kosovo, thereby closing a critical chapter of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement. The next day Mogherini met President of Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. She said that this visit was an opportunity to "re-state EU's support for a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable State of Palestine living side-by-side with Israel and its other neighbours in peace and security."