Foreign minister in Luxembourg EU foreign and defense ministers summit

Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: ERR

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) is in Luxembourg today, meeting with European Union counterparts to discuss the effectiveness of the union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

"The meeting focuses on an essential issue: how do we ensure the EU conducts its foreign policy in a unified and effective way. A strong and clear voice from the EU on foreign policy issues is an important guarantee of our security in the world. Estonia considers it important that all member states continue to be equally included in the shaping of the CFSP," the Foreign Minister said ahead of the meeting, according to a ministry press release.

The EU foreign ministers and defense ministers are also to assess the progress of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS), launched in 2016, and discuss how, in the past three years, the union has made its voice stronger in the world and helped solve security crises.

Reinsalu also plans use the meeting to stress the necessity of close European-Atlantic cooperation on the security of Europe, and the importance of solidarity in its policy towards Russia.

"Following the occupation of Crimea, the EU has been one of the most important supporters of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Sanctions continue to be one of the most effective tools for responding to any gross violation of international law, and we must continue with this united stance until Russia takes specific steps to implement the Minsk agreements and de-escalate the situation," Reinsalu said.

The Minsk Protocol is an agreement on halting the war in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, signed by representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), on 5 September 2014. It followed talks in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – not an EU body, but the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization.

"In this context, Estonia pays great attention to transatlantic unity and the enhancement of the cooperation of NATO and the EU," Reinsalu added. 

The agenda for Monday's meeting also includes the situation in Sudan, a meeting with the foreign minister of Jordan, and other topical issues. Reinsalu attended a dinner for the foreign ministers of the Baltic States and the Benelux countries on Sunday evening.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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