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European Union will address its support for Ukraine and increased sanctions on Iran on Monday

The foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) will focus their council tomorrow on supporting Ukraine to defend against aggression Russiaand in the situation in Iran following the repression of the protests over the death of the young woman Mahsa Amini and the military support that it is giving to Moscow, reasons for which they will extend the sanctions against that country.

The ministers plan to speak by videoconference with their Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitro Kuleba, and will then discuss recent events such as Russia’s bombing of citizens and civilian infrastructure.

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The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrellwill inform the ministers of his visit to the training center for Ukrainian troops in Brzeg (Poland), within the framework of the new military assistance mission that the EU has launched in support of Ukraine.

Likewise, they will address help so that Ukraine can resist the winter between power cuts, how Russia can be held accountable for the crimes committed during the invasion and the possibility of imposing new restrictive measures on Moscow.

The European Comission and Borrell have put on the table a ninth package of sanctions against Russia that proposes including nearly 200 more people and entities on the blacklist, as well as cutting off Moscow’s access to the drones with which it attacks Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, among other things. initiatives.

At the moment, the Member States are technically analyzing these new options, although diplomatic sources hoped that they could move quickly to give them the green light.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky participating in the raising of the state flag in the unoccupied city of Izyum, Kharkiv region. (Photo by the PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE OF UKRAINE / AFP) (STR/)

With respect to Iranthe ministers will hold an in-depth discussion and approve some conclusions, in addition to supporting a political agreement already reached by the ambassadors to expand the lists of those sanctioned by that country for violating human rights and providing weapons to Russia.

This will be the third time that the EU sanctions Iranian individuals or entities related to the repression of protesters or the death of aminiwho died in police custody in September after being arrested for allegedly wearing the Islamic headscarf incorrectly.

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The list was already extended on November 14, when the EU sanctioned Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, along with 28 other personalities and three entities considered responsible for “gross violations of human rights” in the country.

Previously, in a first round of restrictive measures in this context, the EU had sanctioned eleven Iranian citizens and four companies.

In parallel, the list of those sanctioned for being considered responsible for providing Russia with weapons such as the kamikaze drones used in Ukraine.

The first round of sanctions against Iran for giving such support to Russia was agreed on October 20.

Another matter on which the ministers hope to reach a political agreement is the financial sustainability of the European Peace Support Fund (FEAP), which, outside the EU budget and endowed with contributions from the Member States, is used to finance weapons they are sending to Ukraine to defend against the Russian invasion.

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a rally in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police, at Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a rally in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, at Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (OZAN KOSE /)

Its budget is set at around 5,700 million euros at current prices for the period 2021-2027, but only for Ukraine 3,100 million have already been spent.

A senior European official said on Friday that the fund could be expanded in both the “short” and “long” term.

Various diplomatic sources pointed to a complement of 2,000 million euros.

The consensus on the need to extend the FEAP seems guaranteed, although several diplomatic sources acknowledged that it will be necessary to see if Hungary joins that decision or causes its delay, given that the country governed by Viktor Orbán has recently blocked other measures such as the package of €18 billion of financial aid to Ukraine by 2023, if awarded based on joint debt.

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On the other hand, the ministers plan to approve the establishment of a new military mission in Niger and address the possibility of sending a civilian mission to Moldova under the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy, in order to increase the resilience of that country, which It would not contemplate in any case the shipment of arms, diplomatic sources pointed out.

Before the start of the Council, the foreign ministers will hold their usual annual meeting with their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia).

They will talk about how this format of cooperation between the EU and these former Soviet republics can contribute to strengthening the stability and prosperity of the region, and support the advancement of the rule of law and reforms.

Source: Elcomercio

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