Tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border, the political process in Libya, the situation in Sahel and the latest developments in Mali. These were the issues discussed in today’s telephone conversation between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
Minister Di Maio reiterated the need to combine unity, firmness and balance in the response to Moscow. He also underscored Italy’s support in establishing effective deterrence measures that are at one and the same time sustainable, gradual and proportionate. Di Maio expressed to Borrell the importance of the European Union playing an active role on the Ukrainian dossier and on European security, in close liaison with the Atlantic Alliance and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Minister Di Maio also expressed his appreciation of President Macron’s initiative as current President of the EU Council and of the High Representative’s efforts to coordinate with key partners and interlocutors, from the United States to NATO to the OSCE. At the same time he underscored the importance of pursuing a structured dialogue on European security with Russia, at the highest level.
Turning to the situation in Libya, Di Maio and Borrell agreed on the importance of maintaining unity of intent on the part of the European countries most engaged in the stabilisation of the country in support of a Libyan-led political process facilitated by the United Nations.
Lastly, Di Maio and Borrell also agreed on the importance of a continuing and multi-faceted EU commitment in Sahel to combat the advance of terrorist groups and support the region from a social and economic perspective, not least to stem a potential, and dangerous, drift to authoritarianism.