EU to discuss Russia, Iran sanctions, top up of Ukraine arms fund

BRUSSELS: European Union (EU) foreign ministers will meet on Monday to try to agree on further sanctions against Russia and Iran and an additional 2 billion euros ($2.11 billion) for arms transfers to Ukraine.
However, it remains unclear whether Hungary will block some decisions, citing what diplomats have denounced as “extortion diplomacy” due to a dispute over EU funds locked to Budapest.
A senior EU diplomat told reporters, referring to Budapest’s use of its veto: “In principle, there’s a deal, but there’s also the big elephant in the room.” “It’s a kind of blackmail diplomacy that we don’t want to see but it is what it is.”
Foreign ministers will consider new sanctions against Iranian people and organizations over human rights abuses in Tehran’s crackdown on protesters and the supply of drones to Russia .
“We will pass a very tough sanctions package,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said before the meeting. The EU “will take all possible action to support young women and peaceful protesters.”
They will discuss a ninth package of sanctions against Russia to add nearly 200 more individuals and organizations to the EU sanctions list, but Mr Borrell stressed that there is no agreement on the matter at this stage. this. He hopes that could come later on Monday or Tuesday.
Ministers will also aim to add 2 billion euros to the fund that member states have used to finance arms purchases for the country. Kievbut much of it was exhausted in the nearly 10 months of the war in Ukraine.
Ministers are expected to agree on a civil mandate to Moldovamay ask for help in cyber defense, the fight against corruption or strengthening the rule of law.
The foreign ministers are also expected to pave the way for a three-year military mission Nigeriawith 50-100 troops at first and then up to 300 to help the country improve logistics and infrastructure.
As one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger is seen as at risk of spillover violence from neighboring Mali, where Islamist militants are gaining ground behind the retreat of France and armed forces. other Europe.
Before the meeting, ministers will speak to their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – countries with which the EU has sought to stabilize in the face of war Russia in Ukraine.


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