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Minister Lipavský attended the April meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg
Photo: MZV ČR
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Minister Lipavský attended the April meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg


The main themes of the meeting were: the current situation in Sudan, Russian aggression against Ukraine, the implementation of the EU action plan on the geopolitical consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the current situations in Moldova, Tunisia, China, and Iran. The ministers of foreign affairs of all EU member states met on April 24, 2023 in Luxembourg. The Czech delegation was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský. The ministers, among other decisions, agreed to initiate the EU Partnership Mission in the Republic of Moldova and decided on the 7th sanction package against the Iranian regime.

Before the start of the Council itself, the head of Czech diplomacy, together with his colleagues from the EU member states, met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marijá Pejčinović Burić, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir. Together they spoke about the effects of Russian aggression on the international rule-based order, democracy and the rule of law, human rights, and on the need to punish war criminals based on international law. Minister Lipavský emphasized the importance of the upcoming summit of the Council of Europe in Reykjavík, including in the context of ensuring Russia's responsibility for crimes committed in Ukraine. Efforts to ensure accountability also include activities to establish the so-called Register of Damages, which Czechia is leading in the Council of Europe.

The current situation in Sudan was an initial conversation topic, where clashes broke out due to rising tensions between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Czechia expressed concerns during its allotted time about an escalation of the conflict not only in Sudan but also in the entire Sahel area. “Both sides must find a path to immediately stop the fighting and halt further escalation of the conflict as soon as possible. At this moment our priority is the evacuation of Czech and European citizens. I urgently appeal to both actors in the conflict to uphold the Vienna Convention and not target civilians and diplomatic workers in their attacks,” added Lipavský.

Another point of the negotiations, in which Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also participated remotely, focused on traditional Russian aggression against Ukraine. The heads of state from the EU 27 concentrated on all aspects of the Union’s support for Ukraine with an emphasis on how to speed up the shipments and purchase of munitions for Ukraine. Negotiations on possible further financially increasing the European Peace Facility (EPF) and the European perspective for Ukraine were also discussed. Minister Lipavský did not forget to mention the Western sanctions against Russia. “The Russian economy is clearly feeling the effects of the Western sanctions. The Union cannot ease up with them, and another sanction package should be prepared. We have to look for ways to make it as hard as possible to circumvent sanctions,” said Minister Lipavský.

The debate on the implementation of the EU action plan on the geopolitical consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine will focus on easing the effects of aggression on third party countries and protecting the international rule-based order. “The EU must become an assertive global political player. We have our own core interests, and reflection is needed to see how the given third country stands in regards to our interests. With the support of chosen third countries, we can effectively protect against the spread of Russian narrative and Putin’s disinformation,” shared the head of Czech diplomacy.

At the end, the current situations in Moldova, Tunisia, China, and Iran were discussed. In these conversations, the heads of the Union’s diplomacy agreed on the EU Partnership Mission in Moldova that will be sent, among other things, to help the Moldovan state apparatus face hybrid and cyber threats. This initiation was a priority of last years’ Czech Presidency in the Council of the EU. The Council’s Conclusion on Ethiopia was also approved. Moreover, the Ministers of the EU 27 discussed with the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilia Darchiashvili, the current status of Georgia’s direction into the European Union. The head of Czech diplomacy headed the negotiations between the EU-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council on behalf of the entire EU at the end of the day.


Ministr Lipavský se zúčastnil dubnové Rady pro zahraniční věci v Lucemburku