European Union External Action


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On 16 September 2020, the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced seven individuals arrested in the Crimean peninsula on 7 July 2020, including Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar activist and a coordinator of Crimean Solidarity, to prison terms for their alleged political affiliation. Their terms range from 13 to 19 years.


On 14 September 2020, the Hanoi People’s Court handed down death sentences to defendants Le Dinh Cong and Le Dinh Chuc over their involvement in the tragic confrontation between civilians and security forces at Dong Tam commune on 9 January 2020.


1. The International Contact Group met at Ministerial level by videoconference on 17 September. The Group welcomed the participation for the first time of Argentina as full member and announced that Bolivia would be stepping down from the Group.


Today HR/VP Josep Borrell chaired a Ministerial level meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela. The HR/VP briefed the group on his latest contacts with national actors, discussed the latest political developments in Venezuela as well as the humanitarian situation in the country, particularly in the context of a worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

HR/VP Borrell outlined the need for a peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis in Venezuela that includes credible, free and fair elections.

Delivered by Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen on behalf of High Representative Vice/President Josep Borrell on the situation in the Philippines, including the case of Maria Ressa.

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Madam President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament, thank you for your remarks.

  1. The Foreign Ministers of Germany, Kuwait, Sweden, and the United Kingdom co-hosted a meeting on Thursday 17 September 2020, in connection with the 75th United Nations General Assembly, with Ministers and representatives of the United States, China, France, Russia, and the High Representative of the European Union, to discuss the urgent need for political progress in Yemen.

The European Commission presented today its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The new target is based on a comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts. The Assessment demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible. This raised ambition also underlines the EU’s continued global leadership, ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26).


On 16 September, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, in Brussels.

They discussed issues of common interest, including EU-Iraq bilateral relations, domestic reforms and plans for early parliamentary elections in Iraq, the work of the Global Coalition against Da’esh, as well as recent regional developments.

The recent withdrawal of the research vessel Oruç Reis is an important step paving the way for a meaningful dialogue between Greece and Turkey. The EU also calls for a similar decisions as concerns Cyprus. Turkey’s announcement on Tuesday of the extension of the Navtex for the Yavuz drilling vessel will fuel further tensions and insecurity in the Eastern Mediterranean at a moment when there is an opportunity to pursue immediate de-escalation, and resume dialogue and negotiations, which is the only path towards lasting solutions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today mapped out in her first annual State of the Union address, a path for the European Union to overcome the fragility laid bare by the coronavirus crisis and build a union of vitality.