Tánaiste attending Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, is attending the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg today, where the agenda will be dominated by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Speaking in advance of the Council meeting, the Tánaiste said:
“Today’s meeting will focus on the EU's strategy for supporting Ukraine both politically and economically. We will also take stock of the EU’s relationship with Russia, which is, of course, under significant strain. It is vitally important that channels of communication with Moscow be kept open at this difficult time. That has been the Irish Government’s consistent position throughout the crisis in Ukraine."
“We are monitoring the situation very carefully, particularly in eastern Ukraine. There is an urgent need for a de-escalatation of the crisis and for Moscow to engage in serious dialogue with Ukraine’s interim government. In that regard, I look forward to the Quartet talks in Geneva later this week involving Russia, the US, Ukraine, and the EU. It is in the interest of the entire region that a sovereign, prosperous, stable, democratic and inclusive Ukraine emerge from the current crisis.”
Ministers will also discuss the EU's engagement with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Tánaiste added:
“Ireland is a strong supporter of Bosnia’s EU perspective. I am therefore looking forward to a strategic discussion on Bosnia, with a view to adopting Council Conclusions setting out a broader agenda of EU engagement towards the country.”
The Council will also review recent developments in Syria, with an assessment of the critical humanitarian situation and the political discussions.