Today, March 21, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs is attending the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which brings together the EU's foreign ministers. It will be followed by a joint meeting with EU defense ministers.
The ministers will review the situation in Ukraine in light of the commitments taken by the heads of State and government in Versailles on March 10 and 11, and ahead of the European Council meeting of March 24 and 25. The French Foreign Minister will highlight the urgent need to implement a total ceasefire covering all of Ukrainian territory. He will reiterate the importance for Europeans to continue their efforts to make it increasingly burdensome for Russia to pursue its war in Ukraine. He will underscore the need for the EU and its member states to continue to provide financial, material and humanitarian support to Ukraine and its neighbors. The Minister will propose boosting international efforts to combat food insecurity fueled by Russia's war on Ukraine.
The ministers will speak with Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nicu Popescu, with whom the French Foreign Minister spoke on March 17. Mr. Le Drian will urge Europeans to provide support for Moldova to help it deal with the humanitarian, energy, economic and security repercussions of the war in Ukraine, as well as the receiving of refugees.
In regard to the continued destabilization in Mali, due large part to the presence of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, the ministers will discuss developments in the European engagement in the Sahel, in support of the countries of the region and of the Gulf of Guinea in their fight against terrorism.
The EU foreign and defense ministers will work together to finalize the Strategic Compass that will determine the Union's major security and defense orientations through 2030, just as the current crisis is demonstrating the need for the EU to do more to guarantee its security and strengthen its capabilities.