European Union External Action

Remarks of the HR/VP Federica Mogherini at the informal Defence Ministers meeting in Riga

Bruxelles, 18/02/2015 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 150218_03

I am happy to be here to chair the Defence Minister's meeting today. I will stay only for a while because afterwards I will be flying to Washington for a meeting on extremist violence and counter-terrorism, where I will have also the chance of speaking with Secretary of State Kerry and some of our Arab partners on the situation in Libya, in particular.

The meeting we are having today with the Defence Ministers is particularly important, as it comes in times where our security is threatened, both at our Eastern borders and at our Southern borders. And in this respect, it is important that the European Union works more together when it comes to working on its security. It is not only about military issues, we will discuss also today the ways in which the European Union is already providing support for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Let me say that the developments overnight in Debaltseve in Ukraine were clearly a violation of the ceasefire, of the agreements that were signed. Let me stress that not only the European Union, but the whole international community, with the resolution that was adopted yesterday in the UN Security Council, stands for full implementation of all points of the Minsk agreement reached last week. It is important that first of all separatists and Russia implement this, starting from the cease-fire and the withdrawal of weapons.

We will discuss and take some decisions about our common engagement in this security-challenging environment around Europe with the Defence Ministers, and I would also like to thank the Latvian Presidency for putting these issues very high on the agenda and working very hard and very well together with all our European colleagues in this respect.