EU concern at Nagorno-Karabakh clashes
“We are very concerned by the latest armed incidents which caused a number of casualties along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani State border in recent days,” said the statement from the spokesperson of the EU External Action service, issued on 3 August.
“We call on both sides to immediately respect the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and continue efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
The statement recalled that the EU was ready to engage in renewed efforts towards a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to further contribute to peace-building efforts, in full complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Minister of Foreign Affairs received the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus
Welcoming the guest Minister Nalbandian congratulated him on his appointment as the EU Special Representative, and expressed hope that he would apply the experience received within the OSCE in implementing his mission.
During the meeting the latest developments in the process of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue were discussed. The continuous support of the EU to the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards the settlement of the conflict exclusively through peaceful means was highlighted.
Minister Nalbandian drew the attention of the EU Special Representative to the provocative actions periodically masterminded by the Azerbaijani side on the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The Foreign Minister mentioned that Azerbaijan continuously rejects the proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries aimed at confidence-building measures – consolidation of ceasefire, withdrawal of snipers, creation of a mechanism on investigation of incidents, and through its destructive stance Azerbaijan hinders the progress in negotiations.
The sides touched upon Armenia–European Union relations. Minister Nalbandian stressed that the Joint Statement between Armenia and the EU issued at the Vilnius Summit of Eastern Partnership in November 2013 reassured the commitment of both sides to develop and strengthen comprehensive partnership in all possible areas of common interest.
Thoughts were exchanged on a number of regional and international issues.
Ukraine: agreed sanctions against Russia officially adopted, enter into force tomorrow
The Council of the European Union today officially adopted the EU’s restrictive measures against Russia, in view of its actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine. The decision gives legal value to an agreement reached on Tuesday and announced by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
In order to restrict Russia’s access to EU capital markets, EU nationals and companies may no more buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by major state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries and those acting on their behalf. Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited.
In addition, an embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from/to Russia was imposed. It covers all items on the EU common military list. Exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users will also be prohibited, with all items in the EU list of dual use goods included.
Finally, exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia will be subject to prior authorisation by competent authorities of Member States. Export licences will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia.
The measures will apply to new contracts. The legal texts will be published in the EU Official Journal later on today so that the above restrictions will enter into force tomorrow. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Georgia: EU concern at criminal charges against former President Saakashvili
The EU has expressed concern at the criminal charges filed against former Georgian PresidentMikheil Saakashvili, saying it would closely monitor legal proceedings against members of the former government and current opposition in Georgia.
“We take note with concern that the Georgian Public Prosecutor has filed criminal charges against former President Saakashvili,” said a statement issued by the spokespersons of the EU External Action Service.
“While none is above the law, prosecutions in Georgia should be transparent, proportionate, free of political motivation, and adhering strictly to due process. The EU will closely monitor these and other legal proceedings against members of the former government and current opposition in Georgia.”
The statement recalled that, “the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, ratified only two weeks ago by the Georgian Parliament, commits Georgia to adhere to common values including respect for the principles of the rule of law and good governance”.
The EU urged all sides to move beyond past conflicts and to focus on the country’s future.“Georgia faces great challenges and these require forward-looking leadership ready to break the mould of polarised politics.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)