Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

Luxembourg, 20 June 2022

Russian aggression against Ukraine – consequences for food security

The Foreign Affairs Council exchanged views on the latest developments in relation to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Ministers stressed their full determination to continue supporting Ukraine militarily, by putting pressure on Russia, and working with the international community.

The Council then focused on the negative consequences of Russia’s war of aggression on food security worldwide

Russia is blockading Ukrainian exports. Russia, not us. Russia is destroying ports, food stocks and transport infrastructure, and that has sparked the global food crisis. When more than 20 million tons of grains are being blocked in Ukrainian storages, and someone is preventing this food from reaching the consumers, someone else will suffer from hunger. This is a deliberate attempt to use food as a weapon of war. It is a deliberate attempt to create hunger in the world.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Council focused in particular on the effects of the crisis on African countries and how to help them mitigate the impact of the food price increases.

The EU is showing solidarity and taking decisive action. It has pledged around €1 billion to address food insecurity in the Sahel€600 million for urgent support to strengthen food systems and resilience in the Horn of Africa, and €225 million to mitigate the effects of potential emerging food crises in North Africa and the Levant. The EU will also study in cooperation with the UN the impact of over compliance to EU sanctions or undue market avoidance by some economic actors.

The Council then discussed the Action Plan on the geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on third countries. The Action Plan focuses on solidarityboosting food production on the ground, stabilising trade, and cooperating multilaterally.

 

Egypt

In the aftermath of the EU-Egypt Association Council of 19 June which endorsed the new EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities until 2027, the Foreign Affairs Council held a discussion on EU relations with Egypt, focusing on food security and Egypt’s Presidency of the upcoming COP27.

The discussion was followed by an informal exchange of views with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, over lunch.

Ministers exchanged on the consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and the COP27 preparations. Climate change remains a global priority and the EU will support Egypt so that COP 27 will be a success.

 

Horn of Africa

The Council held a discussion on the situation in the Horn of Africa, and the elements of a proactive longer-term EU engagement in a region where fragilities have been exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Ministers reviewed the situation in Sudan, where the EU supports the tripartite mechanism UN, African Union and IGAD to facilitate the finding of a political solution.

On Somalia, ministers stressed the importance of seizing the new momentum following the election of a new President, and pushing for political, security and economic reforms.

Lastly the ministerial discussion highlighted that although there is some progress in Ethiopia, this is not enough for a full normalisation of relations. The EU’s approach should be “cautious, conditional and transactional”, i.e. dependant on further humanitarian access, restoring basic services in Tigray and lifting restrictions on fuel and fertilisers.

 

Council conclusions and other decisions

The Council approved conclusions on:

In the margins of the Council meeting, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs formally informed the High Representative and the French presidency about Denmark’s intention to end its opt-out and join EU defence policy and cooperation.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3884
  • Luxembourg
  • 20 June 2022

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents

Press releases and further information, e.g. remarks by EU HR Borrell: