The meeting of European Union foreign minsters on Monday (12 December) is an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding additional sanctions against Russia, Iran and a EUR2B increase in arms supplies for Ukraine.
It is unclear if Hungary would block decisions. Diplomats call this “blackmail diplomacy” and refer to what they call “blackmail diplomaticy” due to a dispute over Budapest‘s EU funding.
Reporters were told by a senior EU diplomat that there was agreement on principle, but that there is also the “big elephant” in the room, referring to Budapest’s use of its veto power. “It’s blackmail diplomacy. We would rather not see it, but it is what it is.”
The foreign ministers will discuss Russia’s ninth package of sanctions which is expected to add nearly 200 more individuals and entities to the EU sanction list.
They will also examine the new sanctionagainst Iran persons and organizations over human right violations in Tehran’s crackdown on protestors, and the supply drones for Russia.
They will also try to replenish EUR2bna pot that was used by member states to finance weapons purchases for Kyiv, but which has been severely depleted over the almost 10 month-long war in Ukraine.
Expect ministers to accept a civil mission in Moldova. This could include support in cyber defense, fighting corruption and strengthening the rule law.
Foreign ministers are expected to also open the doors to a three year military mission in Niger. Initially, the mission will consist of 50-100 troops and later on, up to 300 to improve Niger’s logistics.
Niger, one the poorest countries of the planet, is in danger of violence spillover from Mali. Mali is a neighboring country where Islamist militants gained ground following the withdrawal of French and other European soldiers.
Ministers will meet counterparts from the Eastern Partnership. This includes Armenia, Azerbaijan Georgia Moldova, Moldova Moldova, Ukraine and vice versa. These were the countries that the EU tried to stabilize in the face of Russia’s invasion.
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