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Deputy Foreign Minister Vasil Georgiev participates in the regular meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council

20 June 2022 News

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasil Georgiev took part in the regular meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which traditionally took place this month in Luxembourg. The European foreign ministers discussed the Russian military aggression against Ukraine with a focus on food security, the EU’s relations with Egypt, the situation in the Horn of Africa and specifically Ethiopia.

The Council discussed the military situation in Ukraine and the disruption of wheat and other food supplies from the country, which directly threatens global food security. High Representative Josep Borrell presents the EU Action Plan to address the geopolitical consequences for third countries of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The plan has been developed based on the Team Europe approach and takes into account the specific requirements of partners in different parts of the world. Particular emphasis is placed on short- and long-term measures to help the Eastern Partnership countries, in particular the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which are hardest hit by stalled food supplies.

“We are witnessing Russia using energy resources and food supplies as weapons, which is unacceptable. We must help the most affected countries and take swift measures to deal with the pre-disasters,” the Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister said. He welcomed the Plan for the so-called Solidarity Lanes adopted by the EU on 12 May 2022 and noted Bulgaria’s readiness to assist in the transportation of Ukrainian wheat via its rail network and its seaports in Varna and Burgas, as well as those on the Danube - in Ruse, Lom and Vidin.

The European Union’s relations with Egypt were also among the highlights of the ministers’ discussion. The Council reviewed the implementation of the Association Agreement and expressed satisfaction with the Partnership Priorities until 2027, adopted on 19 June 2022, which envisage strengthening political dialogue on regional issues, human rights, cooperation in the field of migration and the fight against terrorism, food security, common climate action and energy.

“Egypt is a key partner in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood, playing a strategic role for security and stability in the region. We encourage further strengthening of cooperation in areas of mutual interest based on common goals and priorities. Cooperation in the field of energy deserves special attention, which offers many opportunities,” said Deputy Minister Vasil Georgiev. EU foreign ministers also held a discussion with Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.

The Council reviewed the situation in the Horn of Africa with a focus on Ethiopia and opportunities to promote efforts to establish a ceasefire and find a lasting solution to the conflict in Tigray. It was noted that Russian aggression against Ukraine has a strong negative impact on the region, where 50% of grain imports come from Russia and Ukraine, and the EU’s strong commitment to support partners was confirmed.

The ministers discussed the further development and strengthening of the European Union’s relations with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, emphasizing the importance of the Council Conclusions adopted during the meeting.

Support was expressed for Greece in relation to Turkey’s violations of the sovereignty of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

Several member states, including Bulgaria, called for a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council to be held as soon as possible.

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