Myanmar, Russia and transatlantic relations the focus of Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
Foreign Minister Maas in Brussels, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.de
Today, Foreign Minister Maas and his EU colleagues will meet US Secretary of State Blinken for the first time in a virtual format. Topics on the agenda include the situation following the coup in Myanmar and consequences of Russia’s conduct and breaches of the law.
The EU and the United States are moving closer together again on issues of foreign policy. One important sign of this is the virtual meeting of the EU foreign ministers with their US counterpart Antony Blinken at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels today. Together they want to discuss common goals, interests and priorities in foreign policy. At the Munich Security Conference last week, US President Biden called for stronger cohesion between democracies worldwide.
Myanmar: condemnation of the coup and next steps
Heiko Maas and his colleagues will be focusing on Myanmar in detail today. Germany and the EU condemn the coup and the conduct of Myanmar’s military leaders. The Foreign Affairs Council will now discuss the next steps. Their prime goal is to prevent and alleviate the suffering of Myanmar’s people, together with partners in the region and the United States. The German Government has condemned the violent action taken by the military of Myanmar and once again called for an end to the use of violence against demonstrators and for the willingness to engage in a dialogue that will enable a return to the democratisation process. Although all options for a diplomatic solution should first be exhausted, today the EU foreign ministers want to put the required conditions in place to ensure that new sanctions can be imposed on Myanmar’s regime at short notice if necessary.
Russia: consultations on new sanctions
The Navalny case will also be on the agenda again today. The EU imposed sanctions following the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Against the backdrop of Navalny’s sentencing in Russia in contravention of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the fact that he now has to serve his sentence in a prison camp and the treatment of protesters and members of the opposition, the EU will be discussing the issue of sanctions again. Heiko Maas is in favour of preparing sanctions in the form of lists of individuals.