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Tobias Billström and Pål Jonson take part in Foreign Affairs Council


On Monday 22 April, Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and Minister for Defence Pål Jonson are taking part in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and Sudan are on the agenda.

EU foreign and defence ministers will jointly discuss the first agenda item: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“Russia’s attacks have intensified in recent weeks, for which reason it’s absolutely vital that the EU takes its responsibility and immediately delivers the support Ukraine needs. At the same time, the EU must ensure long-term support to Ukraine and increase pressure on Russia. In the next sanctions package, Sweden is pushing for a ban on imports of Russian natural gas, import duties on Russian goods and measures to limit Russia’s shadow fleet,” says Mr Billström.

“The combined support from all countries backing Ukraine needs to increase. Ukraine urgently needs anti-aircraft systems and artillery shells. At the same time, European production capacity – especially of artillery shells – is limited. It’s therefore important that the EU can also turn to suppliers outside of Europe to ensure that the support reaches Ukraine as soon as possible,” says Mr Jonson.

The foreign ministers will then discuss the situation in the Middle East, as well as Sudan.

“I welcome the EU’s united condemnation of Iran’s attack on Israel. It’s a positive development that the EU is now taking steps towards more restrictive measures against Iran to prevent it from supplying drones and missiles to other actors. Further escalation must be avoided. We must also maintain focus on the horrific situation in Gaza and the worrying developments in the West Bank, including the unacceptable violence by settlers,” says Mr Billström.

During his Luxembourg visit, Mr Billström will also take part in a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s foreign ministers.