The European Union has to make it clear to Russia's leaders that disregarding the principles of international law comes at a high price, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser (SDE) said in Luxembourg on Tuesday, where he attended the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
The council meeting discussed the situation in Syria, EU-Russia relations, the Western Balkans, and the Iran nuclear deal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday evening.
According to Mikser, Syria needs a real peace process, as that is the only hope to ever achieve peace and stability for the Syrian people. The minister also reiterated that Estonia "strongly condemns" the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
"On April 14, the allies gave an appropriate, proportional, and legitimate response to the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime," Mikser said. He added that the UN Security Council needs to find a solution to the protracted civil war in Syria, and all its members need to contribute constructively to a solution.
"We have to make it absolutely clear to Russia that disregarding the principles of international law comes at a price. It is important that the EU is united and resolute putting pressure on Russia, and that sanctions policy is closely coordinated with partners on the other side of the Atlantic," Mikser said in the council's discussion of EU-Russia relations.
On the issue of Iran, the council focused on the importance of the nuclear deal for regional and global security. It emphasized Europe's commitment to the agreement. Mikser expressed support for the initiative of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to preserve the nuclear deal.
Over lunch the council exchanged views on the security situation in the Western Balkans and discussed preparations for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on May 17. Mikser expressed hope that the upcoming summit will be ambitious and strengthen ties between the EU and the Western Balkan countries.
The minister emphasized that by strengthening cooperation between countries, Europe will have an opportunity to take on different challenges together, for example in the fields of security and migration.
The council also exchanged views on the future funding of external action instruments after 2020.
After the meeting Mikser also took part in a ceremonial reception where he presented the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 1st Class for Bettel's contribution to the strengthening of relations between Estonia and Luxembourg.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: BNS, ERR